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Dazzle Guests with Easy Holiday Eats

12/01/2015 02:36AM ● Published by Family Features

Creating a delicious holiday spread that your guests will love doesn’t have to be hard. Keep it simple and serve a table of tasty appetizers rather than a full meal, especially during a season when guests likely have several stops to make.

Simple Starters. Cheese and crackers or vegetable trays are reliable starters that can serve as a precursor to any meal. For an easy and eye-appealing appetizer, serve a hand-crafted cheese inside a wreath of fresh rosemary and pomegranate seeds, along with honey and premium deli crackers. The Litehouse Simply Artisan Reserve line cheeses are prepared in open air vats in small batches, handcrafted, hand-salted and aged 100 days for top-market flavor quality and gourmet taste. For a delicious twist on a veggie tray, round out traditional favorites such as broccoli and carrots with unexpected delights, such as endive leaves and blanched green beans.

Easy Flavor Boosters. Dial up the flavor of your favorite holiday recipes with a simple, single ingredient. A quality, perfectly seasoned dressing, such as those from Litehouse, are a delicious and convenient way to add flavor to any recipe, whether it’s making a salad that’s the star of a holiday party, or using it as a quick-and-easy marinade for an appetizer, such as a shrimp skewer. You can also add a pinch of freeze-dried herbs to your favorite recipe for added brightness and flavor.

Ready-In-Minutes Favorites. Making delectable appetizers doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen. Timesavers, such as the easy-to-serve feta cheese crumbles used in this Holiday Bruschetta, are also a quick way to enhance any salad, cheese plate or side dish. Then round out your menu with a diverse offering of other crowd-pleasing, quick-prep items, from deviled eggs and pinwheels, to shrimp cocktail and bagel pizzas.

For more holiday cooking inspiration, including recipes and contests, visit litehousefoods.com or facebook.com/Litehouse, and check your Sunday newspaper for special holiday coupons.

Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese (Crumbles or Center Cut)
  • 1/3 cup pre-cooked red quinoa
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils (seeds), 1 tablespoon reserved
  • 1 teaspoon Litehouse Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1 teaspoon Litehouse Instantly Fresh Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • assorted crackers

Preparation

  1. In small bowl, add blue cheese crumbles, quinoa, pomegranate arils and vinaigrette. Stir gently to combine.
  2. Transfer to 6-ounce ramekin dish and use back of spoon to tightly pack down.
  3. Place serving plate on top of ramekin and quickly invert. Carefully lift ramekin, leaving mixture in mold form.
  4. Sprinkle top with thyme, walnuts and reserved pomegranate arils.
  5. Serve with crackers.

Holiday Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette
  • olive oil
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1 container (6 ounces) Simply Artisan Reserve Feta Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Litehouse Instantly Fresh Basil
  • 1/2 cup Litehouse Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette

Preparation

  1. Cut baguette into 1/2-inch slices. Brush with olive oil and grill lightly.
  2. In bowl, combine tomato, red pepper, feta cheese, basil and just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat.
  3. Place heaping spoon of mixture on each baguette slice and drizzle with more vinaigrette, to taste.

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