I absolutely adore coming home for the holidays…or anytime, for that matter. Without fail, I walk in to a kitchen island full of delicious appetizers. (So many, in fact, that I’m often full before dinner is even served!) With a side of fresh flowers and seasonal candles, stepping into our family home is truly magical.

In preparation of hosting a few holiday shin digs, I’ve curated a list of three phenomenal appetizers that take little to no effort. Because, my friends, the holidays can easily become stressful and lose the true purpose: connection. Put away the hustle and reach for simplicity!

 

12.2 blog

Bacon-wrapped green beans, from the William-Sonoma kitchen

Anything with bacon is delicious – am I right? Take this seasonal favorite and add a twist. Serve with toothpicks for easy sharing!

  • 8 thick bacon slices
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. roasted garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and blanched
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat, cook the bacon in batches until the slices are just beginning to brown along the edges but are still very underdone (think “flimsy bacon,” about 4 to 6 minutes). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool, then cut each slice in half crosswise.

In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, salt and garlic powder.

Divide the green beans into 16 equal portions, about 6 beans each. Gather each portion into a neat bunch and wrap a half slice of bacon around the center to hold the beans together. Place the bundles on the prepared baking sheet with the loose ends of the bacon underneath. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bundles and drizzle with the butter mixture.

Roast until the bacon is cooked through and browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the green bean bundles to a warmed platter and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.

 

 

sausage balls

Cream Cheese Stuffed Sausage Balls

Cream cheese. Bisquick. Sausage. Just a few of my favorite things, all rolled into one (literally!)

  • 1 lb hot sausage, uncooked 
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups Bisquick
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Mix all of the ingredients together, separate into one inch balls, and place on the baking sheet. Bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

 

radish-onion-dip-ictcrop_300

Spinach and Caramelized Onion Dip

Dips are a perfect holiday appetizer. Most are easy to prepare in advance of guests arriving. This savory dip pairs well with veggies and chips. And lucky for you – it’s always better on day two!

  • tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 16-ounce container sour cream
  • 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
  • tbsp white wine vinegar
  • broccoli and cauliflower florets, endive spears, and radishes, for serving

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add the onions, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook (stirring often) until golden brown (normally about 12 to 15 minutes). Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool.

Add the sour cream, spinach, vinegar, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the onions and mix to combine. Serve with your choice of veggies!

 

What are your go-to appetizers? Share the recipe with me in the comment section below, so I can feature it down the road!

Happy cooking,
Parker


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