5 Easy Holiday Appetizers



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I'm Kris, trained chef, culinary nutritionist and busy mom, here to help you take the stress out of healthy eating with flexible meal planning, simplified meal prep and easy budget-friendly meals.

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The holidays are upon us, and that means being invited to parties and potlucks… and as busy moms, it can often feel like one more thing on our plate in an already full season. Which is why this year, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite easy holiday appetizers that come together in little time- with just a few ingredients. You could serve all of these up in a delicious holiday spread- or bring any of the bunch to your next holiday get-together. Be sure to follow me over on Instagram– I have a reel for each one of these coming up this week!

This baked sun-dried tomato feta is SO tasty- and it comes together in no time!

Baked Feta with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives

Garlic Rosemary Oil:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced

1 block good-quality feta
4 oz pitted kalamata olives (drained)
1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer jarred)

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. To make garlic rosemary oil, whisk together oil, rosemary and garlic.
  3. Drain feta if in brine and place in the center of a high-sided baking dish (make sure the feta doesn’t peek over the edge- it might get melty!).
  4. Drizzle oil all over feta. Surround feta with kalamata olives, and top with sundried tomatoes.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, broiling at the end if desired to make it extra melty. Serve with crusty bread.

For crusty bread:

  • Preheat oven to 400. Thinly slice baguette and place in one layer on 1-2 baking sheets.
  • Slice a clove of garlic and rub each piece of bread with the cut side of the garlic clove.
  • Drizzle all slices with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  • Bake for 5-10 minutes, flipping once, until crusty.

Brown Sugar Rosemary Pecans
2 tbsp butter
1 cup halved pecans
sea salt, to taste
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary

  1. Melt butter over medium in a medium saute pan.
  2. Add pecans, toss with butter and sprinkle with salt. Allow to heat for about 30 seconds before adding brown sugar and rosemary.
  3. Stir to combine. Let cook on low heat 4-5 minutes until sugar is melted. Shake to combine and remove to a plate lined with parchment paper. Mix again if needed- you want all the buttery-sugary goodness coating those pecans!
  4. While warm, sprinkle with extra salt if desired. Let cool and enjoy.

Shortcut Buffalo Bacon Jalapeno Poppers
For this recipe I use a pre-made buffalo chicken dip from Trader Joe’s- feel free to use your own or choose another brand!

8 jalapenos, halved (to make 16 poppers)
1 cup buffalo chicken dip
8 slices of bacon, cut in half

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack or parchment paper.
  2. Slice jalapenos in half and scoop out seeds (make sure to wash your hands, after this!).
  3. Stuff each jalapeno half with 1 tbsp buffalo chicken dip. Wrap each with bacon half, tucking ends under or securing with a toothpick.
  4. Bake in oven 15-20 minutes until bacon is crispy. Let cool and enjoy.

Smoky Savory Roasted Brussels Sprouts with sriracha aioli ⁠

1 lb brussels sprouts, halved
1 tbsp avocado or olive oil

Spice blend:
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
sea salt to taste

sriracha aioli (see below)

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss brussels sprouts with oil and seasoning blend.
  2. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Toss sprouts and bake until crispy and golden on the outside, soft on the inside, about another 15 minutes. Set aside.

Easy sriracha aioli:

Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sriracha (more as needed)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I love avocado oil based!)
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
pinch salt

  1. Combine minced garlic (if using) and lime juice. Let sit at least 10 minutes to allow garlic flavor to mellow.
  2. Whisk lime juice (with garlic if using) with sriracha and mayonnaise. Season lightly with salt.
  3. Taste for spice, adding more sriracha as needed.

Jeweled Honey Fig Goat Cheese

1 4-oz block goat cheese
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp fig jam
1/4 cup pomegranates
1/4 cup roasted salted pistachios, chopped

  1. Heat honey and fig jam in a small pot, whisking, until combined. Set aside to cool for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Arrange goat cheese on your plate (I recommend one with sides, as the sauce tends to spread). Top with honey/fig jam mixture, pomegranates and pistachios. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.

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