Monday, December 19, 2011

"12 Days of Christmas" Day 7, Parties & Appetizers


Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the warm flame of charity in the heart. by Washington Irving

A Holiday party! What a splendid way to celebrate the season! Whether it be a Christmas, Chanukah, or even a New Years party, the food is number one on your list. Do you stress about what appetizers to make for your holiday parties? Or- Something that you can make a head of time, so you can enjoy your guests? Well I have the answer. I would love to share with you two tasty appetizers for your holiday gathering, that your guests will be amazed at how enjoyable they will be, plus you will be able to join in the festivities of your party. My recipe for DAY 7, of the “12 Days of Christmas,” is “Ham, Turkey, and Roast Beef Roll Ups” and a “Christmas Cheese Ball”.


Whether you call them, appetizers, starters, finger food, or hors d’oeuvres, these little delicacies are always the hit of your party. They are usually served before the main course of a meal, for an extended period as your guests arrive to your party. This “cocktail hour” as it is sometimes called, can sustain your guests during the wait, just like aperitifs are served as a drink before the meal. Some hors d’oeuvres are passed around, and some are placed on a decorative stationary table. They can be either hot or cold. Many people love this type of finger food, better than the main course. Some examples of appetizers or hors d’oeuvres are canapés, caviar, crudités, tapas, nachos, shrimp, sushi, and multitudes of different types of cheeses.
In many Italian households, they celebrate their holiday parties by serving an Antipasto platter. Antipasti means “before the meal” and is the traditional first course of a Italian meal. A traditional antipasto platter includes such items as cured meats, olives, roasted peppers, marinated anchovies, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, bruschetta, and various cheeses such as provolone and mozzarella. Then all of these delectable foods are topped off with a sprinkle of good olive oil. Oh, I was forgetting a very important part of the antipasto appetizer, which is a loaf or two of a soft Italian bread, so you can have something to dunk the olive oil with. There is no wrong way to create an antipasto plate, just add what your family loves to eat.
A little trivia : The term “antipasti” has appeared on U.S. restaurant menus since at least 1911.

Day 7- Appetizer: Ham, Turkey and Roast Beef Roll Ups
Cream cheese and a variety of herbs and vegetables make even deli cold cuts a fancy and filling appetizer. Bite sized pieces look so pretty set on a platter in a circle. But the arrangement never stays complete for very long once this appetizer is served.


Ingredients for Roast Beef Roll Ups:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/ 4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 to 3 tablespoon minced peppers (green, red or yellow)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/ 2 pound thinly sliced cooked roast beef

Directions for Roast Beef:
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, parsley, peppers and garlic. Spread about 2 tablespoons on each slice of beef. Roll up tightly and wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate overnight. Slice the roll ups unto 1 1/ 2 inch pieces.

Ingredients for Ham and Turkey Roll Ups:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/ 2 cups shredded carrot
1/ 2 cups shredded zucchini
4 teaspoons dill weed
1/ 2 pound thinly sliced fully cooked ham
1/ 2 pound thinly sliced cooked turkey

Directions for Ham and Turkey:
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, carrot, zucchini and dill. Spread about 2 tablespoons on each slice of ham and turkey. Roll up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate overnight. Slice the roll ups into 1 1/ 2 inch pieces. Yields: 24-28 servings

Christmas Cheese Ball
For every holiday or celebration, there is always someone who asks me to make or bring a cheese ball. This creamy and rich spread looks so festive with flecks of red pimiento and green onion dotting with cheddar cheese. It is definitely a crowd pleaser at any celebration.

 
Ingredients:
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped
1 jar (2 oz) diced pimientos, drained
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Assorted crackers

Directions:
In a bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in cheddar cheese, onions, pimientos, butter and Worcestershire sauce. Press into a small bowl; round and smooth top then refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before un-molding. Serve with crackers.
Yield: 1 cheese ball (2-1/2cups)

Till Next Time……..
 
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