Now that the holiday season is in full swing, lots of us will be turning our attention to our upcoming hosting obligations! Whether you’re hosting a holiday party, a family get-together, or a sophisticated soirée, here are five easy, fun, and tasty appetizers to see you through the entire holiday season.
Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini
These are perfect if you’re looking for a light appetizer to kick off your hosting duties. With just five ingredients, you can keep refreshing your platters all night long.
- 12 slices (1/2 Inch Thick) Baguette
- 6 tbsp. Crumbled Blue Cheese
- 1 Red Anjou Pear, Cored, Cut Into 12 Slices
- 1 1/2 tsp. Agave Nectar (or Honey)
- 1/2 tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and lightly toast in the oven for about 2 minutes.
- Divide blue cheese evenly between the baguette slices (about 1 ½ teaspoons per slice) and bake until cheese starts to melt, 3–4 minutes.
- Place the pears in a medium bowl and, using your hands, coat them with the agave nectar or honey. Top each baguette slice with a pear slice and a few thyme leaves. Serve.
Source: The Pioneer Woman
Christmas Tortilla Roll-ups
Go super festive with these pretty red and green tortilla roll-ups! Bell pepper and green onion add some freshness to your appetizer offering, with ranch flavoring to transform this simple snack into a real crowd-pleaser.
- 2 packages (8 Oz. Size) of Cream Cheese, Softened
- 1 package (1 Oz. Size) of Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
- 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
- 5 whole Burrito-sized Flour Tortillas
- 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced Finely
- 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced Finely
- 5 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin
- In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, 1/2 to 3/4 of the packet of ranch dressing mix (add the rest to taste), and black pepper with a wooden spoon until totally combined. Divide equally among the tortillas and spread into a single layer all over the surface of each tortilla.
- Sprinkle on the red and green bell pepper, as well as the green onion. Roll them up nicely and tight, then wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
- Before serving, slice into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices and serve on a platter.
- Options: Add shaved turkey, prosciutto, ham, or any meat.
- Add fresh herbs if you have them.
Source: The Pioneer Woman
Christmas Deviled Eggs
Guests of any age will love these fun green deviled eggs. A mixture of herbs and a secret ingredient (green food coloring!) means that kids and adults alike will be following the tray around all day.
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1/3 c. mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. mustard
- 3 tbsp. dill pickle relish
- 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
- 1 drop of green food coloring, optional
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 c. diced red bell pepper
- Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Carefully add the eggs and cook for 12 minutes.
- Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Let cool for 2 minutes. Remove each egg from the water; tap the top and bottom gently on the counter, then return the eggs to the ice water for 10 more minutes. Peel the eggs.
- Halve the eggs lengthwise and remove the yolks.
- Combine the egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish, parsley, dill, green food coloring (if using), salt and black pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 1 to 2 minutes to break down the herbs and combine well, scraping the sides and base of the bowl as needed. Remove the mixture and transfer to a large pastry bag, or zip top plastic bag. Snip the corner of the bag with scissors, to make a 1/2-inch wide cut.
- Place the tip of the bag into the empty hole of one egg-white half. Pipe the filling just until it fills the hole. Then, draw a triangle around the edges of the filling, to resemble a Christmas tree. Repeat with all the egg halves.
- Sprinkle chopped red pepper over top of the trees. Sprinkle with more chopped, fresh dill, if you like. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Source: The Pioneer Woman
Tree-Shaped Cheese Christmas Board
You’re always onto a winner with a cheese board: major hosting points for minimal effort. Simply layer your favorite sliced cheeses, meats, and crackers in the shape of a tree, and decorate with berries, grapes, and sprigs of rosemary. It couldn’t be easier!
- Sliced cheeses – I buy the presliced cracker cheese to save time.
- Assorted meats – Use pepperoni, salami, prosciutto, etc.
- Crackers – I used Raincoast Crisps here. They are my favorite cracker! Not only are they delicious, but they are beautiful too.
- Assorted berries – You can use whatever you’d like. I used blackberries and golden berries.
- Sugared cranberries – I make a batch of these sugared cranberries early in the season to garnish appetizers, desserts, and cocktails.
- Fresh rosemary – It’s the perfect garnish for a tree.
- Small cookie cutters – These are game changers. Use them to cut out shapes like stars, snowflakes, and candy canes. These cookie cutters will take your holiday cheese board to the next level.
- Begin creating your Christmas cheese board by adding two layers of crackers to the bottom of a large wooden cutting board.
- Working upwards, add two layers of sliced cheese. Next, add a layer of sliced meat.
- As you layer, start to form the shape of a tree. (You can use my photos as a reference.)
- Continue layering with more crackers, cheeses, and meats until you reach the top of the tree.
- Decorate your tree with various berries and fruits. Sprinkle with sugared cranberries.
- Tuck in pieces of fresh rosemary around the tree.
- Using small cookie cutters, cut shapes from the cheese slices to decorate your tree and board.
Source: Inspired by Charm
Cranberry Brie Bites
Crescent dough is your holiday hosting savior, and these cranberry brie bites prove it. Creamy brie, tangy cranberry sauce, and crunchy pecans give you the perfect holiday appetizer – or get creative and try out other cheeses and preserves to be the best host on the block.
- 1 (8-oz.) tube crescent dough
- Cooking spray, for pan
- Flour, for surface
- 1 (8-oz.) wheel of brie
- 1/2 c. whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1/4 c. chopped pecans
- 6 sprigs of rosemary, cut into 1″ pieces.
- Preheat oven to 375° and grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll out crescent dough, and pinch together the seams. Cut into 24 squares. Place squares into muffin tin slots.
- Cut brie into small pieces and place inside the crescent dough. Top with a spoonful of cranberry sauce, some chopped pecans, and one little sprig of rosemary.
- Bake until the crescent pastry is golden, about 15 minutes.
Happy holidays from the AMI team!