We all love holiday parties, the beautiful music, the colorful decorations, but what makes a Christmas party stand out each year more than the fantastic, delectable appetizers to whet the appetite throughout the festivities. the best holiday parties are remembered not only for their hosts, but for the mouthwatering treats prepared for the guests to indulge in. Here are two wonderfully delicious yet simple appetizers guaranteed to make your party the talk of the neighborhood for years to come.
Ritzy Ham Doolies – A variation on my mother in laws ever popular recipe, this bite size treat is not only healthy for you but easy to make in a pinch, and quite festive with its Christmassy colors. You’ll need the following ingredients:
1 box Ritz crackers or other fancy party crackers (buy no salt for the healthiest choice)
2 packs of thin sliced sandwich ham (the kind that comes in a rectangle package, your choice of brand)
6-8 fresh green onions
2 8 oz. packages of soft cream cheese (Philadelphia brand is a good choice)
1 8 oz. container of low fat ranch flavored dip (can use any flavor you prefer, we like the ranch)
Wash and rinse green onions. Prepare by removing the root tips. Set aside. Lay the ham slices out flat and pat dry on each side. Smooth on a thin layer of the soft cream cheese on to one side of the ham slice. Place a green onion on one edge of the ham slice. Roll the ham and cream cheese around the green onion to shape like a log. Pin with a toothpick and place on a plate. When you finish preparing all of the ham in this manner, cover the plate with plastic wrap loosely and refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, spread a thin layer of chosen dip onto each cracker. Place crackers on serving tray.
Remove log rolls from the refrigerator, remove wrapping and tooth picks. Slice ham logs into sections by cutting across the roll vertically. As each slice comes off you should get a round “pinwheel” with ham, then cream cheese, then onion in the layers. Place one ham slice on top of one cracker and center as closely as possible. Rewrap tray loosely and refrigerate until ready to serve.
prep time: 20-30 minutes makes about 3 dozen
This recipe is really great because it is so versatile. The meat can be substituted for any variety you prefer, healthier choices include chicken or turkey. The cream cheese can be substituted for people that don’t care for it with a thick dip of your choice or pimento cheese spread. Another great variation is to use a thin slice of mozzarella or swiss cheese instead of the dip between the pinwheel and the cracker. For colorful garnish, sprinkle a tiny amount of shredded cilantro over the tray after it is ready to refrigerate. For those finicky guests that don’t like green onions, try a thin slice of a celery stock, this gives it a crispy veggie taste. For really thick finger food, layer by using any combo of the above, separated by a slice of meat, remember to only use one center item to roll the log around so it doesn’t get to thick and fall apart.
Deviled Ham and Eggs: These tasty treats are great for any time of the year and can be used as an appetizer or a side dish. A variation on traditional deviled eggs, these little taste teasers are sure to cause a mouth watering sensation and guests will clamor for your special recipe. You’ll need the following ingredients:
2 dozen large grade A eggs
1 4 oz. can of deviled ham
2 tablespoons of pickle relish
1/2 onion minced
1 tablespoon horse radish sauce (optional)
1 teaspoons mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (we prefer miracle whip )
1 teaspoon salt
Boil eggs until completely hard, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile mix all the other ingredients except the paprika in a medium bowl. Once the eggs have boiled, drain the water and take the shells off the eggs. Cut the eggs in half longwise. With a teaspoon, carefully removed the yolks and add to the mixture. Using a fork, crush the yolks into the mixture, then whip until smooth. Spoon mixture generously into the hallowed out eggs. sprinkle mildly with paprika. For an extra festive look, cap with a half a teaspoon of chives. Place eggs on serving tray and wrap loosely with plastic wrap. Place a fancy wrapped toothpick in the center of each egg pinning it through the bottom of the egg for easy finger picking. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
A great use for the left over mixture is to add an 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese, mix until smooth, and use it as a dip for crackers and veggies. This recipe is slightly versatile. You can add or deduct spices to suit your taste as well as add mushroom chunks, minced black olives or other veggies as you like.
prep time 15 mins. cook time 15 mins. total time about 20 minutes. makes 4 dozen. (unless you have a helper who likes to taste test …. Bubba!)