I know, I can’t believe it either. We have reached DECEMBER. The end all, be all of 2018. Where did time go? I don’t even want to know [in my world it most likely went in the form of hours on social media, countless calories consumed and a LOT of couch sitting in the cabin]. While it’s been a great year, I am ready for 2019 to see what it brings our way. Of course, before we get to that point we have to get through one thing – the holidays. Bring on the gift buying, present wrapping, hosting, cleaning and parties to attend. We all know that the holidays can be stressful, but I also think it is the BEST time of the year, especially if you can find ways to lessen the stress by working smarter, not harder [my life motto].
To keep hosting a breeze, I thought it would be fun to bring you 4 super simple appetizer recipes for all of your hosting or party going this season. Additionally, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite pieces of serving ware that you can use not only during this season but every season [versatility is just as important in the kitchen as it is our wardrobes, ladies]. You will notice all of the serving and cookware came from Macy’s as it’s always been a personal favorite retailer of mine to shop at for home items [proof: master bedroom at the cabin and home and guest bedroom]. Right now they are having their Friends and Family sale which means 30% off w/code FRIEND, happening now through December 10th! If that doesn’t put a little extra pizazz in your pants, I don’t know what does.
Let’s jump into these easy and delicious holiday hosting recipes shall we?
- Cream Cheese + Red Pepper Jelly
Quite possibly the easiest appetizer on the planet that is sure to leave an impression on the plate and in your guests stomachs. All you need to make this:
- One 8 oz block of cream cheese
- One container of Red Pepper Jelly or Jam
To make, simply put your block of cream cheese on a platter [I love the simplicity of these The Cellar Whiteware Square Dinner Plates for presentation all year round], pour your jam or jelly over your cream cheese and serve alongside your favorite cracker! A little bit sweet and a little bit of heat. Include a festive spreader and you’re guests will be coming back for more over and over and over again.
2. Classic Slow Cooker Meatballs
Now, nobody said you had to make the meatballs from scratch did they? Save yourself some time and heat up this tasty concoction:
- One package frozen meatballs
- 1 Jar of Jellied Cranberry
- 1 Jar of Cocktail Sauce
- Fresh chives for garnish
To make this, simply combine all of the above ingredients and place in a slow cooker on low for a couple of hours to heat up in a slow cooker and allow the flavors to blend. If you would like your meatballs to be easy to grab for guests, place a few on these classic Square Appetizer Plates and garnish with chives for a nice presentation. This Rachael Ray Lil’ Huggers 2-Pc. Tongs Set can come in handy as well for grabbing those little balls of goodness.
3. Roasted Cranberry + Goat Cheese Flatbread
The showstopper of the group, your plate won’t look much more festive than this. We found this recipe on Pinterest and had to give it a try! To make this beautiful treat, here’s what you will need:
1 1/2 cup Cranberries, fresh
1 tbsp Shallot
1/2 tsp Thyme, dry
- 3 tbsp Maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 flatbreads
- 1 4-ounce package Goat cheese
To make it follow these quick and easy steps [found here]:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cranberries, maple syrup, shallot, thyme and salt in an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the cranberries are bubbling and caramelizing along the edge, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir until the cranberries are broken down and the mixture is thick. Set aside.
- Lay flatbreads out on work surface. Spread the hot cranberry mixture over the flatbreads, dividing evenly. Top with the goat cheese. Bake directly on the oven rack until the cheese is softened and flatbread is crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Cut into 8 small wedges or strips each.
- Garnish with Thyme and serve!
4. Peppermint Coffee
It’s not a proper party without a coffee drink [gotta keep those guests groovin’ after 9 pm somehow]! Being a huge peppermint fan, I knew I wanted to work it into the menu somehow and in a fancy schmancy martini glass seemed like the most fun. To make this cup of cheer you’ll need:
- 8 oz Coffee [I used one k-cup in by beloved Keurig K-Elite Brewer]
- 1 T Half and Half
- 1 T Peppermint (or other flavor of choice) flavored syrup
- Whipped Cream
- Peppermint Sticks
- Chocolate syrup
First, pour a little chocolate syrup in your martini glass. Then pour in coffee, half and half, peppermint. Garnish with whipped cream, sprinkles and peppermint sticks for the full affect.
Of course, we can’t forget about the most important part of any party – the outfit 😉 I turned to this I.n.c. Sheer-Trim T-Shirt in the most vibrant blue color with some of my favorite go to skinnies, Jessica Simpson Kiss Me Super-Skinny Jeans and these beautiful Jessica Simpson Kiss Me Super-Skinny Jeans.
Congratulations. You are now prepared to tackle the holidays, one plate of delicious food and smokin’ hot booties at a time. Remember to check out Macy’s for all of your holiday hosting needs this season!