Quick Holiday Food Fixes
Holiday entertaining does not have to mean toiling away in the kitchen. Cheese, in a variety of forms, makes an easy appetizer or finger food. Cheese was mankind’s first and best fast food which has come, over time, to be called a “Food of the Gods”.
The calcium cheese provides not only helps prevent osteoporosis – it may help reduce the risk of hypertension and colon cancer. Cheese supplies essential nutrients like riboflavin, phosphorus, zinc and Vitamins A and Vitamin B12. A 1-ounce slice of cheese provides the same amount of protein as two tablespoons of peanut butter – with fewer calories!
So get some crackers and enjoy!
The following ideas are quick holiday food that can be made ahead. You can relax and enjoy your get together.
Quick Holiday Food: Cheese and Crackers
Dates Filled with Honey and Feta: Cut slits in each of 16 medjool dates; remove pits. In small bowl, stir together 4 oz. softened feta cheese and 1/4 cup honey. With fingers or small spoon, stuff dates with cheese mixture.
Manchego Orange Crackers: Top crackers with small piece of manchego cheese and a dollop of orange marmalade or apricot preserves. Sprinkle with toasted anise seeds and sesame seeds.
Honeyed Blue Cheese with Pears: Cut pears into wedges; top with small amount of soft blue cheese (Point Reyes, for example). Drizzle with honey.
For beverages, think warm. The following drinks can be made in large batches for serving a crowd. The Irish Snowball is a scrumptious replacement for traditional eggnog.
Cranberry-Cider Sangria: In large pitcher, stir together 1 (64-oz.) bottle cranberry juice with 6 (12-oz.) bottles hard cider. Add 2 sliced oranges, 2 sliced lemons and 2 Golden Delicious apples, cut into wedges. Let steep 30 minutes. For a non-alcoholic version, substitute 3 (750-ml.) bottles sparkling non-alcoholic cider for the hard cider. About 24 (6-oz.) servings.
Irish Snowball: In medium saucepan, bring 3 cups milk just to a boil; remove from heat. Add 8 oz. chopped white chocolate; whisk to blend. Stir in 6 tablespoons white creme de cocoa and 4 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur. If desired, top with whipped cream. 6 servings.