It’s that time of the year, all of us are swamped and stomped and we don’t know wether we’re going left or right! Between the workspace, family and friends there’s a lot of gatherings and cooking all around. On this blog post, I’m trying to make your life easier for your Christmas gatherings by sharing some eye popping appetizer recipes that are easy to make. I hope you enjoy it, and don’t forget to share with me your favorite appetizer recipes.

– Camila

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Meatball Skewers

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 Egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
4 garlic cloves (divided)
1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan, divided
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5-6 mozzarella slices, cut into small squares
Fresh basil leaves, for serving
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

DIRECTIONS

Mince two cloves of garlic.

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, minced garlic and ¼ cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until just combined. Roll into small balls.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook to brown on all sides. When the meatballs have developed a nice crust, remove them from the skillet.

Mince the other two cloves of garlic and add them to the pan drippings and stir until garlic blooms. Pour marinara into the skillet and add remaining Parmesan, bring sauce to simmer then add the meatballs back to the pan. Spoon sauce over the meatballs. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer meatballs for another 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.

Top each meatball with mozzarella. Cover pan with lid or lose foil until the cheese is melted. Turn off heat.

Remove meatballs and plate

Top each meatball with a whole basil leave, folded, and pierce with a toothpick to serve.

Pour the extra marina sauce into a small bowl to serve with meatballs.

Inspired by: Delish.com

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Turkey Cranberry Pinwheels

INGREDIENTS:

1 (8 oz.) container of chive and onion flavored cream cheese, softened
4 large (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 (5 oz.) package dried cranberries
9 oz. thinly sliced turkey breast
2 cups baby spinach leaves, stems removed

DIRECTIONS:

Divide the cream cheese among the tortillas. Spread the cream cheese in a thin layer to cover the tortillas.

Sprinkle the cranberries over the cream cheese, covering half of each tortilla.

Add thin layers of turkey and spinach leaves on top of the cranberries.

Starting with the end that has the cranberries, turkey and spinach, roll up the tortillas as tightly as you can.

Tightly wrap the rolls in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 1 day.

Remove the plastic wrap. Slice each roll into 12 pieces, making 48 pinwheels.

Optional: Arrange the pinwheels on a large platter in the shape of a christmas tree and trim with fresh rosemary.

Inspired by: Thewholseomedish.com

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Black Bean Salsa with Pomegranate Seeds and Avocado

*This salsa is perfect for holiday parties!

yield: serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups pomegranate seeds
1 small jalapeño, diced, seeds removed
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 large avocado, diced (use
2 avocados if they are small)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tortilla chips, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl, combine black beans, pomegranate seeds, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, avocado, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Gently stir. Serve with tortilla chips.

Note-This salsa is best the day is made.

Inspired by: Twopeasandtheirpod.com

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Candied Mixed Nut Cranberry Mix

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups unsalted cashews*
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts*
2 cups whole pecans*
1 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1-1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 cup dried cranberries

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine nuts. Set aside.

In a medium bowl,beat egg white with whisk until foamy. Add sugar, spices, and salt.

Pour egg white-sugar mixture over nuts. Gently fold until nuts are evenly coated. Divide nuts between prepared baking sheets.

Bake candied nuts at 300F 30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once every 15 minutes.

Cool nuts completely on baking sheet. Once cooled, break nuts apart into clusters and combine with dried cranberries.

Store snack mix in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

Inspired by: Wholeandheavelnyoven.com

Hummus Medley

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Classic Hummus

Makes about 4 cups

INGREDIENTS:

2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
1 cup tahini
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
3 large garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In food processor combine all ingredients and puree until creamy. If too thick, add a little water to get to desired consistency.

Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with olive oil,pomegranate seeds, thinly sliced radishes, and mint.

Serve with pita chips, whole radishes and carrots.

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Spinach and Herb Hummus

Makes about 4 cups

INGREDIENTS:

2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
1 cup tahini
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
3 large garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
6 oz of blanched spinach

DIRECTIONS:

In food processor combine all ingredients and puree until creamy. If too thick, add a little water to get to desired consistency.

Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with fresh parsley, cilantro, or dill, and pine nuts.

Kosher salt to taste

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Beet Hummus

Makes about 4 cups

INGREDIENTS:

2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
1 cup tahini
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
3 large garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 medium beets cooled cooked – (Wrap beets in foil and cook at 425 degrees for 1 hour or until tender).

In food processor combine all ingredients and puree until creamy. If too thick, add a little water to get to desired consistency.

Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with sliced almonds, feta cheese, thinly sliced scallions, and sliced radishes.

Inspired by: Food and Wine Magazine

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