The holidays are certainly here and though I’ve been celebrating nearly two weeks straight… the parties aren’t over yet! We still have New Year’s Eve around the corner. The great thing about New Years is that anything goes when it comes to entertaining. Whether you are hosting a laid-back NYE get-together with pizza or a fancy cocktail party with all the trimmings… it is just about the CELEBRATING!
I recently got to share a few holiday appetizer tips on KGW and thought I’d share them here today. See my spot here, and scroll down for more tips.
Holiday Party Appetizers
Your holiday party doesn’t have to be extra stressful, use some of the below tips to make whatever you are celebrating a fun time for everyone involved, including YOU the host. Affiliate links are included below and are marked as such. Affiliate links are one way that this blog is able to maintain content. Purchases made from affiliate links may result in small amount of income for this blog at no cost to the purchaser.
Make miniature versions of your favorite holiday foods.
Do you have a favorite holiday meal that you enjoy each year? Make it mini! Meatballs on toothpicks have never really gone out of style for good reason. Mini foods are fun to serve and easy to eat. This year I did a miniature version of fruit cake to serve at my holiday shindigs. I nixed the dried fruit in favor of a fresh fruit combination of cranberry and orange. The fresh cranberries made the cake much more tart than a traditional fruit cake. In order to balance that pop of tart flavor I glazed the mini fruit cakes with an orange glaze and white chocolate drizzle. You could certainly create little cupcakes to make this recipe, but I favored my mini loaf pan (affiliate link) to mimic the traditional loaf.
Some favorite Cranberry Orange Cake Recipes:
Get festive with favorites!
Caprese salad or caprese skewers are always a fan favorite at any of my parties and they are SO easy to make. Make it slightly more festive by putting the skewers in a ring around a dipping sauce to mimic the shape of a wreath or clock.
Caprese Wreath Appetizer
This recipe makes 24 skewers. You can easily increase this recipe to feed a crowd however.
- mozzarella balls – marinated in Italian seasonings, garlic, and olive oil. Approximately 24 mozzarella balls.
- cherry tomatoes – halved – you need 24 halves
- 24 basil leaves (fresh, not dried)
- 24 tooth picks
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- You can buy pre-marinated mozzarella balls and just move on to the next step. However, if you can’t find the mozzarella balls pre-marinated then simply create a marinade of olive oil, Italian seasoning, and garlic. Cover the mozzarella balls in the mixture and let sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. If you can’t find mozzarella balls then you can cut up a larger portion of fresh mozzarella into 24 pieces and then marinate.
- Skewer 1 half cherry tomato, 1 basil leaf, and one mozzarella ball with a toothpick. I think that it looks more festive to go with red, green and then white, but you can really do it in whichever combination looks right to you. To create the wreath like look it just needs to be uniform with the other skewers. Circle completed skewers around a bowl on a platter.
- In the center bowl mix your seasonings and balsamic vinegar. This makes a delicious dipping sauce for your caprese skewers.
Enjoy an unexpected decadent treat!
If there is any time in the year to splurge a bit and treat your guests it would be the holidays. New Years Eve screams oysters and champagne to me. Bring out the good chocolate or treat your guests to some caviar to really make the evening special. I shared one of my favorite dips that I learned from a team member at Whole Foods a few years ago. I call it my $50 dip. It is quite extravagant, but it can easily feed a crowd and is an extra special treat!
Caviar Dip & Chips
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
- 16 oz of creme fraiche
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- fresh squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 to 1 oz of caviar – I used Paddlefish Roe (affiliate link). Sturgeon Caviar (affiliate link) would also be a great addition. You could even substitute Salmon Roe for a different flavor profile.
- Kettle Chips
- Mix chopped chives, garlic powder, and lemon juice with creme fraiche. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Top the dip with caviar – spread out with a spoon so that guests get a little caviar with each chip.
- Serve with kettle chips.
Other decadent appetizer ideas:
Don’t forget a festive garnish!
Elevate your holiday appetizers by making sure your platters and plates are garnished. Use fresh fruits and herbs for a truly spectacular (and useable) garnish. I like taking pomegranates, oranges, grapefruit, cranberries, and rosemary for a beautifully festive garnish for holiday treats.