Easy Entertaining: 5 Quick & Easy Holiday Appetizers

holiday food

Although I enjoy cooking things from scratch just as much as the next wannabe Nigella, the Holiday Season just doesn’t allow for these kinds of shenanigans. By the time the end of the year rolls around, I’m generally too exhausted and stressed out to even contemplate slaving in the kitchen for a party and I’m always looking for foods that will take the least possible time to prepare but still look good.

I’ve rounded up 5 of my favorite Holiday recipes below. They all rely on store-bought products (which makes them super easy to put together) but they still involve enough handling to give them that special ‘homemade’ touch. And the best news is: the whole thing takes less than 90 minutes to prepare!

Happy Partying x

Smoked Salmon Blinis

smoked salmon blinis appetizers

1 packet of ready made blinis (about 20) –  you could also make your own or use mini pikelets
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 lemon, zest+juice
250 of smoked salmon
Salt+Pepper to taste
Chives (or dill/parsley) to garnish

1. In medium sized bowl combine sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
2. Place a teaspoon of sour cream mix on each blini and top with a small slice of smoked salmon. Garnish with chives.

Avocado and Tomato Tartlets

avocado tomato tartlet

1 packets of ready made canape cups (tartlets)
1 avocado, diced
6-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 1 big tomato cut into small pieces)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp of paprika
Cilantro (or parsley) to use as a garnish – optional

1. Gently combine the avocado with the tomatoes, lemon juice and paprika in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Fill the cups with with the tomato and avocado mix and top with cilantro.

Yummy idea: If you have any sour cream mix left over from the smoked salmon blinis then add a thin layer of cream at the bottom of the canape cups before adding in the salsa.

Caramelized onion and goat’s cheese tartlets

onion and goats cheese tartlets

1 packet ready made savoury tartlets (about 20)
1/2 cup onion jam
100g goats cheese
Thyme to garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C. Fill each tartlet with a tablespoon of onion jam. Top with cheese and herb. Add salt ad pepper to taste .
2. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.
3. Serve warm

Savoury Palmiers

French palmiers

1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed but still cold
1/4 cup of grated cheese ( gruyere or edam)
2 tbs tomato paste
3 slices of spicy salami, chopped
Fresh thyme (or dried mixed herbs)

1. Pre-heat oven at 180c.
2. Spread tomato paste over puff pastry and top with the rest of the ingredients.
3. Fold both pastry sides towards the center until about half way. Then fold the sides again until they meet in the middle. Finally, fold one side onto the other as if you were closing a book.
4. Cut dough into 2 cm slices and place them face up onto a baking tray lined with non-stick cooking paper.
5. Cook for 10-15 mins or until golden.

Mini Pavlovas

mini pavlovas

1 packet of mini pavlovas (about 10 pieces)
1/2 punnet of raspberries (about 60 g)
3/4 cup of fresh cream, whipped
1/2 kiwifruit
2 tbs icing sugar

1. Top each mini pavlova with a layer of whipped cream.
2. Add fruit and sprinkle with a touch of icing sugar.

Yummy idea: Top your mini pavlovas with any fruit you have on hand. You could also use meringue nests if you can’t can’t find mini pavlovas at your local supermarket.