Thanksgiving 2013: Favorite Appetizers

Here we are on the cusp of the holiday season…are you ready? After a month of savoring our travels I’m ready to dive in, back into the most special days of the year. We’ve tamed the stress this year by quite a bit by reserving gifts for the children. Phew! So in my mind, save a few necessary items, the focus is on the food and that’s just the way I like it.

I believe in appetizers through and through. Without them, the meal is just not complete, not in the least. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy of course. Just some tasty bites that balance hearty and healthy, sweet and savory, all falling into the broad categories of hot and cold.

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Hot:

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Stuffed Mushrooms This is my go-to, crowd pleasing recipe for every holiday. You really can never make enough and they’re so easy.

Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Almonds I made a variation of these using prosciutto a while back it’s a perfect combination and not too rich to ruin your appetite.

Baked Brie en Croûte with Apple Compote

Baked Brie en Croûte with Apple Compote Classic. Puff pastry, brie, and a little sweet… PLUS you can make it two weeks ahead.

Cold:

Cheese Plate This is my favorite and is perfectly suitable for a standalone appetizer. You can go all out or stick to a few favorites plus grapes and call it a day.  See this article for a great, comprehensive tutorial. All else fails, remember “Something old, something new, something goat and something blue”

Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce This is an easy knock-out! You can roast the cauliflower a day or so ahead an the dip can be made in minutes. Perfect for your health conscious guests.

Kalamata Olive Tapenade

Source

Kalamata Olive Tapenade This recipe was one of my first contributions for the holidays. Assuming you have a food processor it’s incredible easy and sure to be a staple in your spread. Note: I serve it as a dip, forget putting it in the teeny tomatoes (too time-consuming!) and put out some crackers or pita for dipping.

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