5 Appetizers for the Holiday Season

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The holidays are a time to gather with family and friends, often around the table. Noshing on these pre-main course bites may just help make the small talk with family a bit more bearable.

Raise a Toast

You can imbibe in champagne in a unique way with champagne jello shots, made and fitted into plastic shot glass cups.

Prepare your shot glass cups by spraying them lightly with cooking spray, then sprinkling a pinch of sanding sugar in the bottom to give the shot a bubbly effect.

Whisk together 1 cup of sparkling cider or lemonade with ½ cup of water in a small saucepan. Take 2 packs of gelatin (equaling .5 ounces) and sprinkle it over the top of the liquid. Allow this to rest for 5 minutes until the surface appears slightly wrinkled.

Warm the liquid mixture over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

Remove this from the heat and whisk in ¾ sparkling wine and ¼ cup vodka. Fill your molds and

refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Sweet Heat

Add a zing to an otherwise cheesy mixture with delicious pepper jelly dip. Throw in a little bacon, and what’s not to love?

Cook 4 slices of bacon per any method you prefer, let them cool, then crumble them up.

While the bacon is cooling, beat 8 ounces of cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy, then add 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, 1 minced garlic clove, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir in ½ of a

10/5-ounce jar of pepper jelly. 

Stir the bacon into the cream cheese mixture. 

Pour the whole thing into a 1-quart baking dish, and bake at 350 °F for 35 minutes until it’s hot and bubbly. 

Warm up the remaining pepper jelly and top the dip with it before serving. 

A Taste of Thanksgiving

Crescent roll dough is one of the greatest blank canvases in the kitchen – and it’s the perfect cup for these cranberry brie bites.

Roll an 8-ounce tube of crescent roll dough out and cut into 24 squares. Grease a mini muffin tin and press one square into each spot. 

Cut an 8-ounce wheel of brie into 24 pieces, and insert one piece into each dough square. Top that with a spoonful of cranberry sauce and a pinch of chopped pecans. 

Bake the tins at 375°F for about 15 minutes, until the pastry dough is golden. 

Roll with It

These tortilla roll-ups are easy to make, and can be stacked in a formation akin to a holiday tree to really wow your guests.

In a large bowl, mix together 16 ounces cream cheese, 1 package ranch mix, 4 ounces drained pimentos, 4 ounces drained green chilis, 2.25 ounces chopped and drained black olives, 2 chopped green onions, ¼ cup chopped yellow pepper, and ¾ cup shredded cheddar.

Spread the mixture evenly among four 12-inch green flour tortillas, and roll the tortillas up. Chill until firm, then cut into ½ inch slices. Stack, and serve with salsa for dipping.