Holiday planning is in full swing. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed, why not make it easier on yourself and incorporate some simple, but tasty retro appetizers into your menu? If you are hosting a couple of friends or dozens of relatives, you’re going to need a few appetizers to get that party started.
Proscuitto Roll Ups
This twist on the classic pickle roll up has only four ingredients: Prosciutto, cream cheese, horseradish, and the pickled veggie of your choice. I love pickled okra and my husband likes traditional sweet gherkins. They are real crowd pleasers. You can find the full recipe here.
All you need is a crockpot, your favorite barbeque sauce, and a package or two of cocktail wieners. Done.
Cream Cheese and Pepper or Fruit Jelly
This is another easy appetizer to put on the table with a selection of nice crackers and veggies. I love the sweet and spicy mix of pepper jelly on cream cheese, but you can also go the all-sweet route and use a blueberry jelly or your favorite. Read more about how I like to serve this here.
You’ve gotta have a little cheese, or maybe a lotta cheese. There are many cheese fondue recipes out there, but here’s one to get you started from The Fondue Cookbook by Beth Merriman, 1969. If you don’t like garlic or can’t tolerate it, you can easily leave it out and not miss it.
My final pick isn’t a retro recipe, but a traditional food that is one of my favorite treats, probably because I grew up on the Oregon Coast. Even though I now live in the heartland, I often serve smoked salmon for holidays and special occasions. Whenever I’m home, I pick up my favorite smoked salmon made by the Siletz Tribal Smokehouse. It’s delicious, and you can order it online: Siletz Tribal Smoked Salmon Fillet 8 oz.
Trader Joe’s is My BFF When Entertaining
My final tip is to get yourself to Trader Joe’s. It’s my favorite place to pic up easy appetizers and snacks for the holiday season. Here are some of my favorites for entertaining:
- Cheese: So many delicious cheeses.
- Mini meatballs. These are easy to throw into a crockpot with BBQ sauce or make a Swedish version.
- Nuts: Also a great snack for the cook! Sometimes you need a little protein to keep yourself going.
- Proscuitto: great prices!
- Sparkling water: Perfect for cocktails, mixing with juice, or just drinking straight. They have some new fun seasonal flavors, but my standard is the lime.
- Wine: All the wine!
- Limes by the bag. Lemons too. They are an excellent price.
- Olives: Kalamatas, giant green olives, and beautiful mixed varieties.
- Check the frozen pre-made appetizer section. These are great for last minute parties. The selection seems to change often, but options often include mini pigs in blankets, baked brie bites, shrimp toast, bacon wrapped scallops. . .
What are your favorite easy appetizers? Tell me what you are making.
[This post contains an Amazon Associates link. See my About section for more information.]