Just when you think you are off the hook and don’t have to host the Christmas feast, the dread hits you when you are asked to bring an appetizer to your upcoming holiday party. GULP. You see, there are tons of delicious appetizer dishes out there, but for the holidays you want to step up your game a little bit. Luckily for you, I am tasked with bringing appetizers to Christmas and Hannukah every year and I have discovered appetizers that are mostly store bought but delicious, as well as homemade recipes that aren’t too tricky or time consuming. It’s like a Christmakkah miracle, eh? Without any further ado (because c’mon, do you really want to wait any longer to battle the crowds at the grocery store?!?!), here are some of my tried and true and BEAUTIFUL holiday appetizers that will both impress the eyes and the bellies of your friends and family:
I promise that these recipes aren’t too time consuming…and even better? You can make them ahead and they transfer so easily!
-1 bunch of fresh basil (julienned)
-3 cloves minced garlic
-1/2 cup diced tomatoes
-8 oz of fresh pearled mozzarella
-1 loaf of French bread
-Olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste)
Slice French bread, drizzle with olive oil, and toast under the broiler for 2 minutes. While baking, toss tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic, basil, olive oil and seasonings in a bowl. Take out of the oven and cover with the caprese topping. If you want to spice it up a little bit, add some diced avocado.
-8 oz package of cream cheese
-8 oz package of shredded cheddar cheese
-1 tsp minced onion
-1 tsp lemon juice
-2 tsp Worchester sauce
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-1 cup chopped pecans
Mix all ingredients and form into a ball. Roll in nuts, equally coating the entire surface. Serve with your favorite crackers.
-2 lbs ground beef
-2 eggs (slightly beaten)
-2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1 cup breadcrumbs
-2 small onions (grated)
-2 tsp minced parsley
-1/2 cup milk
-4 tbsp butter or margarine
-1 bottle chili sauce
-1 jar (10 0z) currant jelly
Mix together all ingredients (except for chili sauce and jelly) and shape into balls (about 1 tsp). Brown them on all sides in the melted butter. Simmer chili sauce and currant jelly and add meatballs. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
Sausage and Pepper Bruschetta
-3 Italian sausage links
-1 red, yellow, or orange pepper
-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 loaf of French bread
Brown sausage links until cooked through in a frying pan. Add pepper slices to the pan and lightly cook them with salt and pepper. Cool and cut sausage links into bite sized pieces. Slice French bread and top with a drizzle of olive oil before putting under the broiler for 2 minutes. Take bread out of the oven and top with the sausage, peppers, and a sprinkle of cheese. Put under broiler until the cheese browns (about 4 minutes).
Pressed for time or don’t trust yourself in the kitchen? Then these recipes are for you. They require very little work but make a huge and delicious impact.
Cheese and Honey Toast
-Bag of seasoned toasts (crackers work as well)
-Fresh or dried cranberries
Spread each toast/cracker with a smear of Boursin cheese (the garlic and herb flavor is my favorite), drizzle with honey and top with sliced almonds and cranberries.
Lazy Charcuterie Tray
Basically anything goes with a charcuterie tray, which makes it great for entertaining with kids. For example, my boys love mozzarella sticks so I wrap them in prosciutto to make them extra special for the holidays. I also always include nuts for texture and a fresh veggie or two in order to cleanse the palette and not overwhelm it with too much salt. You an also simply put out a wedge of cheese, jar of jam, and loaf of crusty bread and you are DONE! It’s even Instagram worthy, I promise.
And finally, something great to wash it all down with. My signature cocktail that you can also make into a cocktail.
Hope these beautiful and delicious holiday recipes make your holiday season a little less stressful and even more yummy.
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