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Holiday Party ideas?

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I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for savory holiday party snacks that aren't too frou frou but are still above chips and dip. I don't feel like cooking so I'm looking for cheap and easy. Thanks!

Oh, and some things I already had in mind are the standard cheese & bread, spiced nuts... popcorn?

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  1. I'm sure I'll get snubbed by some for this, but I love it. Cream cheese, make a well in the center, put raspberry jam in the well and serve with Ritz.

    Up a few steps, serve Cambazola cheese with a nice chutney and better crackers.

    2 Replies
    1. re: scuzzo

      My dad does something similar, only it's cream cheese, garlic, and chopped green olives.

      1. re: scuzzo

        I do cream cheese with some sweet pepper relish over the top of it and serve with crackers... yummy!

      2. An easy bean dip is to throw black beans and Rotel together in a crockpot...the beans practically melt. Add some cheese and green onions before serving, and it's really good, hearty stuff. It could definitely stand up to some pita chips.

        1. Can't go wrong with hummus (pretty easy to make or you can buy it) with pita chips and I like it on celery now, too.

          1. I'm making crostini with gorgonzola, walnuts and honey for a holiday party this week. Anything on crostini is wonderful, festive, inexpensive (usually) and definitely above chips and dip. How about an Olive tapenade, or proscuitto, melon and balsamic. Also Asparagus wrapped in proscuitto and roasted is wonderful too.

            1. For a holiday party we did a few years ago we tried to keep the appetizers simple from a prep point of view as we also were doing a big dinner buffet. We put out:

              A cheese and fruit tray with appropriate condiments

              Rosemary and potato pizzettes

              We bought some gourmet sausages and cut them up, put them in a chafing dish and offered with a couple condiments(a couple mustards and I forget what else)

              Gravlax

              Two types of nuts: mixed salted and spiced pecans

              A few different types of olives

              1. Edamame's a fave of mine. The bright green colour's pretty festive, too. To step it up a notch, sprinkle with both salt and toasted black sesame seeds.

                You can also make grown-up cracker sandwiches: take some quality bite-size crackers, spread with spiced peanut butter or seasoned goat cheese, sandwich together. I like sesame crackers or the President's Choice blue menu crackers.

                1. I think most everyone enjoys cream cheese and/or toasted bread, so to play on the theme:
                  Crostini with roasted tomato and parmesan
                  Water crackers with cream cheese and a dollop of ajvar (a combo I invented for myself over the weekend)
                  Pinwheel sandwiches
                  Baked brie
                  Wasabi peas mixed with cheddar Goldfish (whimsical and surprisingly good!)

                  1. Cream cheese with red pepper jelly/crackers
                    summer sausage with party rye and assorted mustards
                    Costco's Kirkland brand of dried fruits and nuts mix is great
                    Poppycock
                    Crackerjacks
                    little smokies cooked in catsup, mustard, Bourbon
                    Nancy's quiches
                    cheese straws
                    deviled eggs

                    1. The first thing that came to mind was garlic breadsticks.

                      1. thanks for all the great ideas!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kamaii33

                          ham and little biscuits.
                          deviled eggs

                        2. These are maybe a bit lowbrow, but I like them:

                          Hanky-pankies--sausage mixed with melted Velveeta, spread on slices of "party rye" bread and broiled

                          Covered meatballs--the concept is akin to pigs in blankets, only with meatballs: take a pound of ground beef, mix with whatever you like to make meatballs out of (the recipe calls for a packet of Lipton onion soup, but I'd say you can do whatever); then open a can of crescent rolls, cut each triangle into two triangles and roll a meatball up in each one, then bake--I think about a half hour at 350. Serve with whatever sorts of dipping sauces seem appropriate to you (I'm a fan of grainy brown mustard, personally).

                          1. Page of a cute article called "10 Frugal but Fabulous Holiday Party Ideas"
                            http://food.ivillage.com/holiday/chri...

                            Mini quesadillas --- made w/ jack and cheddar, (or if you so desire to spend a little more... combos of more gourmet ingredients... a pear and gorgonazola combo, or ricotta, parmesan, eggplant, sundried tomatoes and basil, or butternut squash cubes, jarlsberg, and basil

                            )

                            Costco's Spanokopita, from the frozen section (at TJ's too), baked and sliced

                            Sweet Potato and Root Veggie Chips --- not cooking, just slice and sprinkle with seasoning and bake (cinnamon on the sweet potatoes, garlic salt or spice on the rest?)

                            Crab Appetizers http://southernfood.about.com/od/seaf... (sooo easy to make

                            )

                            Sausage Balls (cheap and easy) http://southernfood.about.com/od/appe...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Emme

                              ooh great suggestions! thanks!

                              1. re: kamaii33

                                sausage balls always go fast...make double batch!

                                http://johnbscigarblog.blogspot.com/

                            2. Do a layered dip of hummos, tapenade (black olive spread), and crumbled feta cheese. This simple recipe (assembly only, not cooking) is by Janet from Richmond, and it's fabulous!

                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/34243...

                              This might be bordering on frou-frou (tapenade is a bit fancy), but it's so good you won't care.

                              See the rest of this thread for other easy party ideas.

                              Anne

                              1. I haven't tried these yet, but they're on my Christmas Menu. I'm going to add spinach to the original recipe. Looks really easy and something different!

                                http://www.puffpastry.com/recipedetai...