Holiday Apps

Shrimp Cocktail: Shrimp Cocktail does not need much explaining. After all, it's really just some fresh shrimp and cocktail sauce. The fun factor in serving shrimp cocktail is in the presentation. For our holiday party last night, I served it up with a touch of simple Christmas spirit. All you need is, shrimp, cocktail sauce (we bought a pre-made one from Fresh Market- very good!), crushed ice, cranberries, rosemary, margarita glasses, and a small serving dish for the sauce. The cranberries and rosemary are for garnish only. First, put some cranberries in the margarita glass to fill the neck of the glass, then add crushed ice to keep the shrimp chilled. Place the shrimp hanging over the edge of the glass. Then, add a couple sprigs of rosemary along with cranberries in the center of ice, for final touch.

BLT Bites: Last night, hands down, the absolute favorite of apps was the bread-less BLT bites. This is an easy recipe, looks cute, and people LOVE! All you need is one bag of pre-shedded lettuce (or shred yourself), 1lb of bacon, about 1 cup of mayo, 2-3 packages of campari tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the insides. Cook the bacon and chop or break up into small bacon bits. Mix the lettuce, mayo, and bacon all together. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Lastly, stuff the tomatoes and top with a sprinkle of the bacon crumbles. You may want to add a little more mayo depending on how much mayo you like. You will have enough filling for about 22 tomatoes. 

Cream Cheese Roll Ups: Cream cheese roll ups have been a favorite in the Bernard house for a long time. Another, very simple recipe to make. You can add more ingredients to this recipe to doctor it up a bit' more, but usually we stick to using a few ingredients. You need 1 package of cream cheese, one bunch of scallions or green onions (chopped small), 1 lime for juice only, and a pack of 8 large flour tortillas. Mix the cream cheese, lime juice, and chopped green onions all together. Spread over entire surface of tortilla and then roll tortilla. Cut the tortilla into about 3 or 4 pieces, then serve with side of fresh salsa. So easy!

Pasta Salad: Pasta salad is an easy app or side dish, year round. At Christmas, it is fun to make with holiday pasta. You can usually find at grocery stores, or even Homegoods, packs of tri-color festive holiday pasta. For this recipe you will need 1 bag of pasta, 1 bottle of Italian dressing, 1/2 green pepper, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 yellow pepper, 1 cup of halved grape tomatoes, 3/4 cup of finely chopped parsley, 1/3 lb of chopped Genoa ham, and 1 package of mini mozzarella balls quartered. After pasta is cooked and chilled, mix all ingredients together. Serve cold. The kids will love the Christmas tree or Santa pasta. It adds color and punch to the table of food. 

What is your favorite app to serve at the holidays? Would love more ideas for Christmas Eve!?? xo RCN