Entertaining during the holidays can add a lot of additional stress to your already busy schedule. A time of year that’s meant to be about love, family, friends, and thankfulness seems to always get overshadowed by a never ending to do list. One of the greatest stresses that comes with hosting your family’s annual holiday bash is the food. You can always go for a “pot-luck” style to help ease the pressure of cooking for 20+ people, but sometimes, the details get lost. Appetizers are an amazing way to ensure that you have enough food for everyone, because regardless of how hungry someone may or may not be after eating your Christmas feast, you can always count on the extra box of cheese and crackers to hold people over.
Appetizers are one of those details that tend to get overlooked. With such a heavy focus on gift giving, decorations, organization, etc. it’s no wonder that you forgot to assemble a platter of various olives and dips for your guests to enjoy. When it comes to the appetizers, the simpler, the better. Apps are meant to be the opening act to an otherwise extravagant and traditional Christmas dinner, however, we all know that the dessert is the real star of the show.
Appetizers should be the simplest and easiest checkpoint on your to do list. There are plenty of easy recipes that take no more than three ingredients to ensure you have apps that really pop this holiday season, without adding any extra stress to your schedule.
Life With The Crust Cut Off is a lifestyle blog that is filled with easy holiday recipes for anyone to whip up this year. One of their most popular and trendy recipes is their Cranberry Pepper Jelly Dip, a dish that sounds complex, but only requires three ingredients and five minutes, if that. This dip is actually a holiday tradition in many parts of the South. All you need is a can of pepper jelly, cream cheese, and of course, cranberry sauce. Pepper jelly is much more common than it sounds; you should be able to find it in any grocery store wherever the traditional grape/strawberry jellies are kept. All you do is mix equal parts cranberry sauce and pepper jelly, and pour over a block of cream cheese, serve with crackers. This simple dip will look just as festive as it tastes!
If you’re a fan of jalapeno popper appetizers, but don’t have the time or oven space for it, Recipe Girl is another cooking blog that has the perfect solution. All you need is salami, cream cheese, and pepperoncini peppers. Take a little cream cheese, smudge it on the salami and wrap in a pepperoncini pepper like a little burrito. Use a toothpick to hold it together and boom! You have a makeshift mini jalapeno popper. While this recipe definitely lacks all the aspects of a traditional popper, the same taste elements are still present enough to make a delicious and satisfying app for you and your guests who enjoy a little extra kick.
If you want to up the ante on traditional cheese and cracker plates, but need it to be just as easy to prepare, look no further than making some Parmesan cheese crisps. These amazingly delicious cheese cracker-type crisps are easy to make and will only take you 13 minutes. The simple recipe comes from the blog Foodie With The Family. You mix together Parmesan cheese, everything seasoning (which is available in most grocery stores’ seasoning sections), and flour. Mix these three ingredients together, make a few powder piles, and stick it in the oven for 8 minutes and you’re set!
If it comes down to it, don’t stress about the appetizers when you want to be concentrating on what the holidays are really about: spending time with your loved ones. Worst case you can just buy some cheese, crackers, olives, and a few dips and you’re done! However, if you’re feeling the holiday magic and want to make even more simple 3 ingredient appetizers, click here. Parade Magazine compiled a huge list from blogs like the ones listed above of easy recipes that won’t take you longer than 10 minutes to make and enjoy!
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.