It happens every single year, someone, somewhere invites us to a holiday event and when you ask “what can I bring?” you hope they’ll say “nothing” so when you show up with a bottle of wine and some homemade treats they think you’re a superstar. Instead, they casually say, “just bring an appetizer.”
Appetizers are both easy and complicated at the same time. The complicated factor for me is always, what do I bring and is it fast and easy enough that I’ll have time to make it in my already crazy busy day? Of course, I have tricks for making a cheese plate look Instagram worthy and a veggie platter look anything but store bought, but when I recently showed up to a friend’s Christmas party and placed the fourth cheese platter on their dining room table, I thought enough – I need something new!
But new, doesn’t need to be complicated and store bought ingredients can turn into something wonderfully homemade but still super easy. And when I say easy, here’s my easy holiday appetizer checklist:
All three of the recipes below check every one of the must-haves above, and all three of them also involve a tube of store-bought pizza dough – because what could be easier than starting with that?
If you’re looking to please both kids and adults, these Muffin Tin Panzerottis are perfect. Stuff them with your favourite pizza toppings or mix up the toppings to please the kids and the adults.
If you want to bring something that I guarantee guests haven’t seen before (unless they read my blog or follow me on Pinterest – which they should), this Baked Spinach Dip with Flatbread Volcano Bowl is made with store bought spinach dip and store bought dough and comes together in a way that is definitely going to surprise your fellow party-goers!
Finally, if you’re need something a bit fancier and heartier as an appetizer, these Chicken Pesto and Goat Cheese Pinwheels look complicated, but the most complicated part of the entire recipe is making sure you have a pre-cooked chicken breast on hand. But not to worry, I’ve thrown in some tips for how to make that part super easy too.
I wish you all the merriest of holidays and if you need me, I will be yelling upstairs for the hundredth time that "yes, you do need to wear tights with your Christmas dress" (it’s DECEMBER in Canada!) and "no you can’t bring your Nerf gun to great-grandma’s house" followed by "I have no idea where your one missing reindeer fuzzy sock is." Among many other things I never ever thought I’d have to say until being a mom proved me wrong (on everything!).
PS: Want to know how I make Christmas morning breakfast super easy? Here's my Completely Make Ahead Christmas Morning Breakfast Menu.