Making Simplistik Work of Quick Holiday Appetizers

Today we’re here to help you make last-minute holiday entertaining look effortless. You’d be surprised at just how easy it is to throw together a cocktail-do with things you probably already keep on hand… like nuts.

Pour few bowls to set around the living room or mix your nuts with some butter, cumin, and ground red pepper. Then mix them up really thoroughly, put them on a baking sheet, and pop them in the oven.

And here’s an easy holiday dip made with canned cranberry sauce, orange marmalade, and just a touch of ground red pepper. That’s cream cheese on the bottom.  Now you’re going to want to make sure that it’s softened before you spread it into the pie plate. Then, in a separate bowl, you’re going to mix your cranberry sauce, your orange marmalade, and just a touch of red pepper to give it a little bit of jazzing up. Then spread all of this over your cream cheese. Next, add some slivered almonds on top, and you’re ready to serve it. I personally love to serve this appetizer with Ritz crackers. Or you could dazzle the crowd by making your very own crackers.

These cheese crisps are not only fast, but they’re incredibly easy to make. They’re made with shredded Parmesan cheese and rosemary. You just bake them in little mounds.

This time of year, a lot of holiday parties have shrimp on the menu, and here’s an easy and an elegant shrimp appetizer like you’d find in a nice restaurant. It’s made with toasted coconut and Shake ‘N Bake® with curry powder and red pepper.

And instead of the usual cocktail sauce, whip up something new like this orange-curry dip All you do is mix up some Ranch dressing, orange marmalade, a dash of curry powder, and then what I like to do is toss in some hot pepper sauce to jazz it up a bit.

Add one more great flavor to your last-minute cocktail party with some creamy hummus. Now, I always have hummus on hand. It’s wonderful to serve with some warm pita bread, or you could even serve it with these beautiful, thin, triangular Triscuits.

Now, for a small-ish cocktail party, three or four choices of appetizers are usually enough. And you want to figure about 12 pieces per person.

Now we can’t forget the beverages for this cocktail party. It’s a good idea to keep a few bottles of wine on hand for impromptu parties just like this one. But I also like to have a specialty cocktail.

This one right here is a double-berry martini made with Crystal Light® Raspberry, ice, water, light cranberry juice cocktail, and, of course, some vodka. I’m just going to top it off with some club soda, or sparkling water would do, and then pour it in my glasses over a frozen cranberry.

Now for those who don’t drink, you always want to offer a nonalcoholic option, and what I like to do is serve a sparkling water with a lemon or a lime in a beautiful pitcher.

And finally, a cool way to make your winter guests feel special and warm is to break out the coffee machine. This one is the Tassimo system, and what I like to do is I like to whip up my guests’ favorite coffee drinks. Maybe it’s a latte, an espresso, or even a hot chocolate.