The holidays are coming closer! Raise your hand if you’re not ready!
Now raise your hand if you are hosting one (or more) holiday parties and don’t know what you’re going to cook or serve. Here are some basic tips for navigating your way through planning, and shopping, for your menu.
The first things, of course, that you will consider is the who and the what: who is coming to your party (and also possibly, are there any dietary considerations) and what will you be serving. Because the holiday season is full of dinners and meals, sometimes it is nice to switch things up a bit and do an appetizer evening. Appetizers provide a welcome change to the often heavy meals that accompany the holidays: they can be lighter, there are smaller portions, and a great variety of different things. It’s even better if you have your guests bring their favourite appetizer as well.
Here are some of our favourite ideas for appetizers:
A charcuterie or cheese platter: provides great variety and you can also customize it to include the cheeses, meats and crackers that you really love. If you have someone who has a gluten-free diet, swap out for some gluten free chips or crackers. Check out our Cheese Tray post for tips on choosing the best cheeses while shopping.
Dips: Dips are great options that are easy to make and a great time saver. Make any of your favourite dips up to a day ahead of time and store in the fridge. This not only helps you on the day of your party, but the flavours of the dip will be so much better once they’ve had a chance to mingle together for a couple hours. Check out our Roasted Red Pepper Hummus or our Fresh Salsa for the recipes and ingredient list.
Finally, a baked brie is really my absolute favourite appetizer to enjoy at the holidays…well really any time. It does require a little more prep and will need to be baked before you enjoy it. Check out our cranberry topping, or if you want something with a little bit more crunch, check out our apple topping here.
Happy entertaining and here’s to all the appetizers that you will eat this holiday season!