Holiday Bash on a Budget: A Festive Menu for Less

Want to whip up a meal for your guests that will actually save you money? As you just saw in our holiday party planning series, Events Designer Matthew David Hopkins has all the secrets when it comes to hosting a budget-friendly holiday shindig. Check out these tasty recipes below from Personal Chefs International.

Roasted Beet Salad
1 red beet
1 golden beet
1 lime
2oz roasted chopped hazelnuts
2oz goat cheese
1oz olive oil
1oz pea shoots

•Wash beets, toss in oil, salt and pepper.
•Roast beets at 350 until a skewer can penetrate through center easily.
•Let cool and peel.
•Slice beets thin and arrange on plate inter-layering both red and gold beets.
•Season with salt and pepper then drizzle olive oil and lime juice.
•Top with chunks of goat cheese and sprinkle on hazelnuts.
•Toss pea shoots with olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper, and lay on top of beets.

Click here to watch the video and see how it’s done!

Main Dish: Cornish Game Hens
1 onion
1 lemon zested
2oz dried cranberries
4oz apple cider
3 sprigs thyme
1lb butter
Orange blossom honey

•Bloom cranberries in apple cider for at least an hour until plump.
•Chop onion and mix with zest, cranberries, thyme, salt and pepper.
•Wash and dry hens.
•Season cavity of hens with salt and pepper. Stuff with cranberry mixture.
•Let butter get soft and mix with honey until desired flavor of sweetness. Brush on birds.
•Bake at 350 degrees until hens hit an internal temp of 155 degrees, remove from oven and let rest under foil for 15 minutes.

Side: Truffled Mashed Potatoes
5lbs russet potato
1qt half and half
1lb butter
2 onions
5 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
5oz white truffle oil

•Small dice one onion and sauté in oil until caramelized and golden brown. Reserve.
•Heat half and half with butter, onion, bay leaf and thyme.
•Keep warm and reserve.
•Peel and dice potatoes and add to cold water and bring to a boil.
•Cook until fork tender.
•Drain potatoes; pass through food mill until smooth.
•Add half and half mixture until creamy.
•Add truffle oil and onion.

Side: Haricot Verts with Almonds and Balsamic Reduction
1lb haricot verts
16oz balsamic
3oz sugar
8oz sliced almonds
8oz butter

•Mix sugar and balsamic and reduce by 75%. Reserve.
•Blanch haricots in salted boiling water for a few seconds.
•Shock and reserve.
•Sauté almonds in butter till golden brown. Reserve.
•Sauté haricot verts in butter and toss in almonds.
•Plate and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Dessert: Tiramisu
6oz mascarpone
Powdered sugar
8oz good cappuccino
1 bag amarretti cookies
Cocoa powder
Toasted hazelnuts

•Whip mascarpone with the sugar until it becomes soft peaks. Refrigerate.
•Dip cookies in coffee and line first layer in glasses.
•Add layer of mascarpone and hazelnuts.
•Repeat layers until glass is full, ending in mascarpone.
•Dust with cocoa.
•Refrigerate for at least two hours

Click here to watch the video and see how it's done!

Cocktail: Elderflower Eggnog, recipe from Ryan Bromz

Yields about 12 10oz servings

1 quart whole milk (or skim)
1 quart half & half (or fat free half & half)
1 pint heavy cream (optional)
12 egg yolks
4 egg whites
20 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz Bacardi gold rum
12 oz brandy (any variety)
6 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liquor

•Add your half & half, milk and cream to a large serving bowl.
•In a chilled metal mixing bowl, cream egg yolks with 16 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon salt.
•In a separate mixing bowl beat egg whites with 4 tablespoons sugar until firm.
•Combine all ingredients with 8oz gold rum 12oz brandy and 6oz elderflower liquor.
•Chill and serve.

Watch Ryan whip up this delicious drink!

For more party planning tips on a budget, check out how to decorate for less.

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