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It's that time of year where everything is whirling at full speed, taking the kids to see the lights and different holiday festivities around town.
Packing the calendar with visits to the skating rink, mountains, and various outdoorsy adventures. And not to mention, planning for all our family visits, and preparing a usually laborious and tasty Christmas dinner.
It isn't Christmas without a TON of delicious food at our house, from holiday roasts, Christmas cookies to festive snacks, and everything in between.
However, most of that holiday food takes quite some time to make, with preparation and planning happening days in advance.
But have you ever had unexpected guests arrive at your door during the holidays? It's happened to me before and it can be such an anxiety-inducing moment when you realize that you don't have enough food ready for your guests.
Not to worry! I've got you covered with the help of Loblaw City Market -- it's my go-to for all of my grocery shopping and they always have everything I need for my cooking during the holidays.
I've partnered with Loblaw to bring you 3 quick and delicious holiday appetizers using 5 ingredients (or less) that you can whip up in less than 20 minutes! Yes, perfect for unexpected guests, serial snackers, or hungry kids!
The first rule is to be prepared. It's the holidays, and with that in mind, it's always prudent to keep some staples in your house.
A few standbys I like to keep at my home:
- Crescent roll dough
- Fresh veggies
- French baguette
- Smoked salmon
Crescent roll dough is always easy to keep in the fridge.
It's versatile in that you can use it in sweet or savoury dishes. These quick and easy cocktail wieners get elevated with a blanket of dough and puff up to perfection with the addition of crescent rolls. Serve on a platter and they'll be devoured in no time.
Fresh veggies such as grape tomatoes are nice to have on hand as they don't need to be refrigerated.
They're transformed into elegant skewers with bocconcini and fresh basil. These are simple enough for the kids to help make, and a great option for vegetarians.
And my house is never without a freshly baked baguette. It's another flexible workhorse.
Use the baguette for sandwiches or slice them into rounds to make fast and delicious canapes or toast them for croutons or stuffing when they become stale.
Smoked salmon is a regular staple in my household. For long term storage, it can be kept in the freezer and defrosted in the fridge. The kids love it on toasted bread with a smear of avocado (which is where this recipe gets its inspiration from). I've added chopped chives to make it more festive.
With a few staple ingredients on hand, you can elevate your holiday entertaining by transforming these ingredients into gourmet appetizers.
As I've mentioned previously, I love to grocery shop with my family.
My kids are at the point where they are aware of the groceries that we purchase (and love to have their pick... see below!) and how I transform those groceries into a meal in the kitchen.
Cooking and eating together is a family affair in our household, and I'm lucky that my husband is as involved as he is in sharing in my passion for good food. He tells me that the kids are going to grow up as "foodies" but, really, we're all #foodlovers since we all love eating food.
Family, friends, and food -- that's ultimately what the holidays are about -- bringing people together over delicious eats, whether they be fun and simple appetizers or a fancy and elaborate dinner.
From my family to yours, Happy Holidays! #FOODLOVERSUNITE
Caprese Tomato Basil Skewers
Yield: 12 skewers
1 bunch of fresh basil
24 grape tomatoes
12 mini mozzarella balls (bocconcini)
1 T balsamic glaze
12 wooden/bamboo skewers
Lay out the basil, tomatoes, and drain the mozzarella balls onto a paper towel.
Taking a wooden skewer, thread a tomato, basil leaf, a mozzarella ball (bocconcini), basil leaf, and end with a tomato.
Repeat with the remaining. Place onto a platter.
Drizzle with balsamic glaze over the skewers and serve.
Smoked Salmon & Avocado Crostini
Yield: 12 crostinis
1 pkg smoked salmon
1 avocado, pit removed
squeeze of lemon juice
12 slices of French baguette
1 T chopped chives
Toast the sliced baguette in a 350°F preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove and arrange the sliced baguette onto a platter.
Mash the avocado with a fork and add a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent the avocado from browning.
Add a small dollop of avocado mash to each baguette slice.
Open the package of smoked salmon. If the piece of salmon is too big, use a sharp knife to cut it in half.
Lay a slice of smoked salmon on top and garnish with chopped chives. Serve.
Mini Wrapped Cocktail Wieners
½ pkg crescent roll dough
12 pcs mini cocktail wieners
1 T honey mustard
1 T chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Open the crescent roll dough package and place 3 pieces of dough onto a flat surface.
With the dough laying lengthwise, cut on a diagonal to create a triangle-shaped piece of dough with the widest base measuring the length of the mini cocktail wiener. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Lay a wiener on top of the widest part of the dough and roll up.
Place onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 375°F for 13-14 minutes, until golden brown.
In the meantime, add the honey mustard to a small bowl. Remove the cocktail wieners and place onto a platter. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with the honey mustard.