With the holidays coming up, most people’s thoughts are turning to celebrations, including the always popular office party. Office parties can be a lot of fun — you get to see an environment that’s usually reserved for serious business matters turn into a place of fun and festivity while spending some social time with the people you work with every day.
The best way to transition everyone into a celebratory mood is through food. Breaking bread with your co-workers will loosen everyone up and help get them out of work mode so that they can relax and celebrate. But what works well in the confines of a professional office that is not likely to have a full kitchen on site? Whether you’re in charge of party prep or bringing something to an office potluck, here are some ideas to make your office party merry:
Veggie trays are ubiquitous for good reason: they offer a healthy palate cleanser to typically rich and fatty party foods and they’re really easy to put together (especially if you buy pre-chopped veggies). Go the extra mile and impress your co-workers by making a tasty homemade dip rather than picking up a pre-packaged one.
People love munching on popcorn and it seems a bit more elevated than chips or cheese puffs. Put together a big batch of caramel corn, sweet and salty kettle corn, or corn flavoured with herbs and spices for colleagues to snack on.
Nuts and Bolts
Another snack that’s easy to munch away on while conversing with co-workers, nuts and bolts is a snap to make and is always a hit.
Sausage rolls look difficult to make, but if you buy some bulk sausage, encase in in puff pastry and then cut them into small segments after they’re baked, you’ve got an easy appetizer that doesn’t need to be baked on-site.
Another familiar holiday party food, cheese balls have stuck around a long time because people love them. Set one out and see how quickly it disappears.
Homemade Hummus and Other Cold Dips
Hummus is delicious and surprisingly healthy, making it a good choice for a buffet filled with high-fat treats. Other Mediterranean-style dips like tzatziki, olive tapenade, and baba ghanoush are also good options, especially because they don’t need to be heated in an oven.
A good charcuterie board (or even better, a charcuterie board served alongside a cheese plate) never goes unappreciated at a party. Fill up a tray with cured meats, breads and crackers, nuts, pickles, mustards and other condiments and you’ve got a perfect spread for people to graze on as they mix and mingle.
Every party needs something sweet! Christmas cookies and squares are easy to make in advance and if several people contribute their favourites you’ll end up with a wide (and delicious) variety of sugary goodies. Plus, if there are any leftovers, they’re easy to divvy up and take home.