Cooking

Easy Appetizers

So, New Year’s Eve is tomorrow, and for a family of home bodies complete with toddler, this means staying in and probably going to bed before midnight. Even still – the evening can be centered on spending quality time and still be festive. We plan to have a family game night and snack on our favorite finger foods before sitting down to a special candlelight dinner. We like to keep our appetizer platters simple and varied –

  • Summer sausage – we love sliced summer sausage, and it doesn’t break the bank. If you can stretch the budget a bit, prosciutto, salami or serrano ham are all delicious.
  • Grilled shrimp cocktail – shrimp can be a bit of a splurge, but it is a holiday. This recipe by Smitten Kitchen is amazing, and if you don’t want to fire up the grill in the middle of winter, a quick pass under the broiler is a respectable facsimile.
  • Marinated olives – another must have on the appetizer plate, a variety of flavors of types of olives are nice. We particularly enjoy garlic, lemon and thyme flavored, or garlic stuffed green olives.
  • Cheese – cubes of mozzarella are tasty and easy. We happen to be a dairy-free household, and Soy Kaas mozzarella has a texture and taste that are respectably close to the real deal, so we opt for that.
  • Pickles – we love pickles at our house, so much so that that I usually have a gallon jar of kosher dills in the fridge. To make appetizer-sized portions we simply slice a pickle into rounds; one or two fills out the plate nicely.
  • Pretzels – we are also a gluten-free household due to celiac disease, so we opt for gluten-free pretzels, but of course if you can have wheat get the wheat version. We particularly enjoy honey mustard flavored pretzels for a little variety.

So even if you won’t be going out for New Year’s Eve, you can still break out the board games (or a good movie), arrange an easy appetizer platter or two, and have a festive evening in that matches your speed. Happy early New Year!

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