Get creative with finger foods for the perfect holiday party


Santa Brownies Christmas by Steven Depolo
Santa Brownies Christmas (Steven Depolo / Flickr)

Story by Jessica Kryza // Contributing Writer | Photo by Steven Depolo // via Flickr

The most wonderful time of the year will be here before you know it. On top of making plans for travel and gift giving, you’re probably anxiously waiting parties and gatherings that include any tasty goody you can imagine.

If you’re throwing the holiday party or two, money can be a little tight.

The answer to this question is simple: finger foods. That’s right, celebrate Christmas a little differently this year.

Instead of serving a traditional feast — with a roast beast, tons of fattening sides and cookies and pies for days — have a stress-free holiday party with an assortment of tasty and inexpensive finger foods. Your guests, who will be contributing to the party, will thank you for it because they will more than likely be on a tight budget as well. This will allow everyone to eat and socialize at the same time, and it will keep you out of the kitchen so you can enjoy your company while eating – no utensils required.

Appetizers:

Cheese Tree – Cut up different kinds of block cheese into cubes and place them on a large platter in the shape of a tree. Feel free to be creative and include different vegetables to add color.

Triscuit Bruschetta – A twist on a classic. Mix up chopped tomatoes, green onions, basil, garlic, Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese, and spoon it onto Triscuits. If you want to take a shortcut, then buy prepared bruschetta if you can find it. About a tablespoon should be plenty for each cracker.

Ham Roll-ups – These little bites are simple and very cheap. Choose your favorite deli ham, smear cream cheese on top, and place a green onion in the middle lengthwise. Roll it up and cut it in to pieces. Secure with a toothpick.

Stuffed Olives – All you would need is a good quality brand of olives that are already stuffed with cheese, garlic, jalapeno, etc. Put a toothpick through each one and arrange on a nice dish or platter. World Market carries an assortment of stuffed olives that you may want to check out.

Entrées:

Turkey Roll-ups – Instead of making this crowd favorite with tortillas, roll your cheese and veggies with the turkey. Choose any desired vegetables, shredded cheese and spreads and wrap it all up with a slice of turkey. Try it with lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, honey mustard and basil. Remember to cut your veggies lengthwise so that the turkey can wrap all of the ingredients up. Cut the rolls in half and secure with a toothpick. You should be able to make plenty with your entire pack of turkey.

Pesto Pizza – Pesto is sometimes easier to buy than to make, and it doesn’t hurt your wallet. Buy a jar of your favorite pesto, Pillsbury pie crust, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Bake a single roll of pie crust, top with pesto, tomato slices and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Cut it into pizza slices. Two rolls of pie crust come in each package, so you might want to go ahead and make both for your guests.

Desserts:

Santa Brownies – Don’t be afraid to be corny during the holidays. These brownies are sure to make someone at your party smile a little. All you need is mini chocolate brownies, white icing and a strawberry to put on top of the brownie to look like Santa’s hat.

Fruit Tree – Same idea as the cheese tree, but with fruit. Buy different kinds of fruit to add interest and color to the platter. Also, New Year’s resolutions will be coming up soon, so some of your guests might want to go ahead and get a head start on the track to becoming healthier.

Donut Snowmen – This is super easy and your guests will definitely love them. Buy a box of mini powdered donuts, place a piece of candy corn through the center, and pipe the eyes and mouths with black frosting. These treats would be a perfect ending to your party with a steaming pot of coffee to go with them.

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