Are you entertaining this holiday season? Hosting a crowd doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’d like to spend more time mingling with your guests and less time slaving in the kitchen, then this post is for you!
I teamed up with talented foodie videographer, Ariel Sultan, at Food Guru to create a festive spread of easy-to-make noshes and nibbles that are sure to be the hit of your party.
We chose three tasty appetizer recipes with the perfect blend of sweet, savory, salty, and spicy flavors balanced with creamy and tangy notes to please every palate.
Roasted Balsamic Cranberry & Brie Crostini
Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese on Endive
Mexican Spiced Roasted Chickpeas
The best part of all? These small bites can be assembled ahead of time, so on party day you can actually grab a glass of wine and join the celebration yourself! We hope you will enjoy our short how-to video, along with the detailed recipe instructions below.
ROASTED BALSAMIC CRANBERRY & BRIE CROSTINI (makes 12 crostini)
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ French baguette, sliced thin
12 ounces fresh cranberries
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
4 ounces triple cream brie
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Brush both sides of the baguette slices with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the cranberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and rosemary.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the cranberry mixture evenly over the parchment.
- Place the cranberries in the oven. Roast for five minutes, then add the tray of baguette slices to the oven.
- Roast for 6 minutes more, then remove the baguette slices, flip them over, and return to the oven for another 4-6 minutes, or until crispy and golden. The cranberries should now be popped open with juices running out. Remove both the cranberries and baguette slices from the oven. Note: The cranberry mixture can be made ahead of time and chilled overnight. The crostini will keep in a zip lock bag.
- Top each toasted baguette slice with a piece of brie and a spoonful of cranberries.
- Served warm or at room temperature.
SMOKED SALMON & GOAT CHEESE ON ENDIVE
2-3 small packages thinly sliced smoked salmon
8 ounces soft spreadable goat Chèvre
2-3 heads endive
¼ small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons capers
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
fresh chives, chopped
- Place Chèvre in a small bowl. Mix in chopped red onion, capers, and dill.
- Cut smoked salmon into bite size rectangles. Set aside.
- Cut off the bottom end of the endive. Separate the leaves.
- Place a spoonful of Chèvre-herb mixture in the center of each endive leaf. Top with a piece of smoked salmon and garnish with chopped chive.
- Arrange on a platter and serve.
MEXICAN SPICED ROASTED CHICKPEAS
Two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas—rinsed, drained and patted dry
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Taco or Mexican Seasoning Blend (see below or use your favorite brand)
Freshly ground black pepper and salt
Taco Seasoning Blend (equivalent to one packet of seasoning mix)
1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
1/4 tsp. Onion powder
1/4 tsp. Oregano, dried
1 tbsp. Chili powder
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Red pepper flakes
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Cumin
Mix all herbs and spices together and store in an airtight container.
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Drain and rinse canned chickpeas in a colander. *Dry chickpeas thoroughly with a kitchen towel. If they are damp, they will not crisp properly.
- In a medium bowl, toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and seasoning mix. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 30-35 minutes, or until slightly crisp and golden brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.