Holiday Appetizers!

The only thing I love than Christmas parties themselves is the array of appetizers served at holiday parties. More interesting than the spiral ham or cheese platter, the appetizers show off a hostess’s creativity and frame of mind. Some serve right out of the Crock-Pot, others go to Martha-Stewart/Cordon Bleu level of precision + design and still others just let the caterers handle it all.  I’m most definitely the Crock-Pot/chafing dish kind of gal: as a hostess, I like to set it and forget it. Any good WASP will tell you, we’re more worried about refilling our guests glasses than we are about managing the buffet table! I was raised in the 70’s and my preference for appetizers will clue you in to that!

BACON BOURBON MEATBALLS

I’m not sure I love anything more than meatballs during the holidays. SO easy to make. SO many recipes. Click on the header for a delish Bacon Bourbon Meatball recipe from House of Yumm (or any other header below!).

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Photo: House of Yumm

GRAPE JELLY/CHILI SAUCE MEATBALLS

Easiest appetizer you will ever make. Jar of grape jelly, two jars of chili sauce, pinch of cayenne if you feel like it. Go! Also works with Lil’ Smokies. Ha. Little Smokies. What a dumb name!

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Photo: bunsinmyoven.com

DEVILS ON HORSEBACK

SO many variations on a theme! I like this recipe because it calls for marinating the dates in sherry overnight, hence the name “Drunk Spanish Devils”! You can fill your dates with anything: goat cheese, thyme, sage, maple, sriracha, pancetta, blue cheese, cream cheese, water chestnuts, almonds. Mix it up! I particularly like the sharp bite of parmesan opposite the sweetness of the date. And anything wrapped in bacon is delicious.

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Photo: deliciousmagazine.co.uk

MAPLE BACON WRAPPED SCALLOPS

Again. Anything wrapped in bacon. This time scallops, wrapped in bacon, brushed by maple syrup. Sweet & salty. Nothing like it and so good. You can also serve this with an apricot glaze or Thai sweet chili sauce.

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Photo: Lynda D., Tripadvisor

DEVILED EGGS

I will never turn down a Deviled Egg at any time, at any party. Full of protein, and sure, yes(!), some cholesterol, but they’re so good and they’re always the first to go. No leftovers to store or toss? A hostess’s idea of perfection.

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Photo: divascancook.com

ANYTHING SERVED ON ENDIVE

I love endive! And anything served on this delicious bitter leaf! This particular Martha Stewart jam is a super simple lobster salad recipe but you’ve got options for this party boat: crab salad, pears/blue cheese/almonds, gruyere & prosciutto, curry chicken salad. The ideas are endless!

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Photo: marthastewart.com

HERBED SHRIMP DIP

I love seafood year-round and I know I’m not the only one- which is you’ll always find some form of shrimp cocktail, caviar + gravlax blini or this delicious mayo-based shrimp dip at one my my soirees. Yeah, I’m down with (non-seafood) Lipton’s French Onion Dip with Ruffles, too. Ruffles have ridges. I told you, 70’s! 🙂

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Photo: marthastewart.com

CLASSIC FONDUE

Of course, I consider this a main dish as opposed to an appetizer, as in swinging Fondue Parties, as in “come over, lover, we’re having fondue- just the two of us- naked” or a fun wine-soaked après-ski drunch (drunk lunch) with girls on the slopes. I still serve this at parties, but,  regardless of how many fondue forks I have, one can’t trust that someone hasn’t made a vile dipping mistake with the instrument! Egads! Better off for a smaller party. Again, so many options but if your recipe doesn’t call for emmentaler, garlic & kirsch you’re doing it all wrong. Beer & cheddar? NO!

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Photo: Pinterest

What are some are your favorite appetizers for the holidays? Share links in the comments below!

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