I don’t know about you, but it seems that our weekends are suddenly filled with parties to celebrate the upcoming holidays. Work gatherings, cookie exchanges, and cocktail parties all call for fun appetizers to be shared. I have been trying to track down some unique holiday appetizers that I can bring, and these all fit the bill. While I love a big bowl of dip, I appreciate bite sized-hand held appetizers. They seem classier and aren’t as much of a mess. Plus, I have been stocking up on trays from antique and vintage shops and love the idea of passing these out. Share your favorite appetizer in the comments below.
Who doesn’t like nuts? (Well, except those that are allergic.) Best of all, they double as hostess gifts. Bring a bag to leave!
Recipe and Photo Credit: Food Network, Ellie Krueger
Who can resist itty-bitty lasagna pockets? Perfect finger food for a cocktail party. Dip in pesto or tomato sauce for a Holiday theme.
Photo and recipe credit: Crustless Quiche a Week
I love this appetizer idea! Thinly sliced pieces of grapefruit, avocado, capers topped with good-quality olive oil. Simple and impressive.
Photo and recipe credit: Herbivoracious
Leek and Mushroom Croquettes
I love the idea of croquettes. Small, they are the perfect bite-size appetizer. Make them larger for a main entree paired with a soup or salad.
Recipe and Photo Credit: Food & Wine
Sweet Potato Bites with Cilantro Aioli
Everything is better on a stick! Try these sweet potato cubes with cilantro dip.
Recipe and Photo Credit: Rx4Foodies
Should you go Meatless one day a week? The city of Los Angeles thinks you should. “Meatless Monday” was unanimously passed by the Los Angeles city council, encouraging the community to go vegetarian for the day!
Read more on my guest post at Around the Plate.
Sweet potatoes, combined with a buttery maple sauce, are one of my favorite side dishes. I could eat these sweet little gems every day and not get tired of them. Sweet potatoes are chock- full of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. With only 100 calories per baked cup, it’s like enjoying dessert with health benefits!
Maple Roasted Sweet-Potatoes
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter (Earth Balance)
- salt/freshly cracked-pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small microwavable bowl, combine butter & maple syrup. Microwave until butter is melted, stir together and add lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss with chopped sweet potatoes. Arrange potatoes in an even layer in a 9X13″ baking dish.
Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, and continue to cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and golden brown, 45 minutes more.
Leftovers? Toss with cooked quinoa, spinach, and lemon juice!
Sometimes I wonder how the first person discovered the greatest food gems. Who would have thought underneath a prickly artichoke you would find the heart? Or stuffed in a ruby pomegranate you would find sweet, juicy seeds (called arils)?
While opening and de-seeding a pomegranate might seem a bit daunting, the reward is worth it. I prefer this method for opening a pomegrante over the water trick.
What you need: a small pairing knife, cutting board, bowl, strainer, spoon
Place the pomegranate on the cutting board, using a small pairing knife slice the crown off the end.
Now that the end if off, you should be able to see small quadrants that separate the seeds.
Cut each section out and set aside. Use the white spaces between the arils as your guide on where to cut.
Remove the sections
Place the strainer over a bowl. Flip the section upside down so arils are facing down towards the strainer and skin is up towards you. Use the back of a spoon and tap over the entire skin. The arils will fall out into the strainer. Continue until all arils are out. Repeat with remaining sections.
Rinse in cold water.
It might seem like a lot of steps, but it takes no time once you know what you are doing. Full of fiber, antioxidants, pomegranates are the perfect winter treat! I love using the seeds in this salad, perfect for fall. Spinach in a dijon vinaigrette,topped with sliced pears and pomegranate arils.
What’s your favorite way to use pomegranates?