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Holiday party planning can be stress-free if you use these party planning tips for hosting the perfect party and serve up this Jalapeño Pepper Jelly with cream cheese and crackers. It’s one of my favorite easy cold appetizer recipes.
Hosting a party can be quite stressful – especially during the holidays.
I used to obsess about everything being perfect. A perfectly clean house. Perfect decorations. Perfect food. This quest for perfection can take its toll, though.
One time, I hosted a dinner party and spent three days preparing. I can vividly remember painstakingly ironing all of my linens and napkins before the guests arrived and cleaning the light switch in my bathroom with a cotton swab. Please don’t judge me. I was young. And naive. And didn’t have kids.
I also spent the entire time worrying about everything. Making cocktails to order. Serving several hot appetizers. Plating everyone’s dinner.
What I noticed that night is that my friends didn’t have a better time at my party because of the cocktails I served or because my light switches were squeaky clean. More importantly, I noticed that I didn’t have a good time. I spent too much time worrying about details that didn’t matter.
Party Planning Tips for Hosting a Stress Free Party
Here are some of the lessons I learned from that night:
1. Choose a party type that fits your schedule. If you don’t have the time to host a dinner party, don’t. Cocktail parties are just as much fun and don’t require you to prepare a full meal.
2. Serve a signature cocktail. Anymore, I usually serve one cocktail (usually themed) at my parties. I make a big batch and have it ready on a table near the door. This way my guests can help themselves as they come in. No more mixing drinks all evening.
3. Choose the right music. Select happy, upbeat music to provide some background noise for your party. But, don’t have the volume too loud.
4. Label your food. If you’re serving buffet style, make sure you label your food so your guests know what they’re eating. Here are some handy printable buffet table food labels.
5. Add some easy cold appetizer recipes to your menu. These Jalapeño Pepper Jelly Crackers with cream cheese are a huge hit at my parties.
It’s one of those recipes that I’m always asked to bring whenever I go to a party, too.
The key to this great appetizer is using Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
You smear on a nice layer on your favorite cracker and then top it with a dollop of the pepper jelly.
Store bought pepper jelly is perfect or you can use your favorite homemade recipe.
You can easily find all of the ingredients for this recipe at Walmart.
Easy Cold Appetizer Recipes: Jalapeño Pepper Jelly Crackers
Jalapeno Pepper Jelly Crackers
- 1 oz block cream cheese - 8
- 1 pint jar Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
- 1 box crackers
- Spread a small amount of cream cheese on each cracker.
- Top with a dollop of peppery jelly.
- Serve immediately.
- Want to scale a recipe up or down? Simply type in a new serving amount and the recipe will automatically adjust!
- When a recipe call for House Seasoning Blend, you can use this recipe or substitute salt and pepper to taste.
- I always use unsalted butter in my recipes.
- I always use a meat thermometor to test for doneness when cooking meat. This one is my favorite.
- When a recipe is made in the oven, it should be pre-heated to the temperature in the recipe, unless otherwise noted.
- The nutritional information provided in this recipe is an estimate. Learn more on how I calculate nutritional information for my recipes.
If you need more inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website. It has recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What’s not to love? If you’re looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out!
Some of my other best party appetizer recipes are: