Host an elegant but easy holiday open house: Make a few choice recipes, then round them out with terrific prepared foods from across the West. (Serves 25)
Smoked Salmon Canapés
Tapenade Goat-Cheese Canapés
Sweet-Potato Soup with Prosciutto Crisps
Radicchio Salad with Citrus, Dates, Almonds, and Parmesan Cheese

Spiced Beef Tenderloin

Spicy-sweet chutney

Crusty rolls

Assorted cheeses

Cured sausages

Credit: Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto

Party Game Plan
With a menu this easy, most of the planning ahead involves buying food (and renting party supplies if you're really having a crowd).

At least 2 months ahead
• Call party rental store if using

2 weeks ahead
• Purchase all mail-order foods except cheeses

1 week ahead
• Order cheeses

5 days ahead
• Prepare tenderloin

2 days ahead
• Make dough for canapés
• Make sweet-potato soup through step 2

1 day ahead
• Make salad dressing
• Roast tenderloin
• Roll out canapé dough and bake
• Set up bar area and buffet tables with glasses, plates, and flatware

Morning of the party
• Slice tenderloin and arrange on platters with chutney and rolls
• Prepare ingredients for salad
• Arrange cheeses, meats, and chocolates on platters

1 hour before guests arrive
• Reheat soup with cream
• Toss salad and arrange on platter or in a bowl
• Top canapés, slice, and arrange on platters