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Impressive and Easy Holiday Appetizers

Impressive and Easy Holiday Appetizers

This recipe and photos were provided by Sally Roeckell of Table and Dish and were originally published at

We’re almost there!  Christmas is days away. Decorations are up and lists are made.  Maybe this year I will remember where I hid all the presents.  One year I didn’t find a gift until April…yikes!

Now that we are in full swing entertaining season I’m always looking for a new (easy) recipe to impress friends and family. Are you looking for a simple “go-to” recipe to serve when people drop by for the holidays? How about dip? You could easily buy dips pre-made, but making them from scratch is so much better. You’ll be blown away by the difference in taste once you start making your own. You’ll also love how easy they are to make with items you probably have in your pantry.

I once read about this dip technique created by Anna Jones, a former food stylist to Jamie Oliver. It totally simplified dip recipes that can be made in hundreds of combinations. I do most of my dip making in my Vitamix. It’s so simple to add the ingredients, pour it in a bowl and serve!

Beans + Cream + Flavor + Acid + Sweetness + Herbs

That’s it. Now choose one ingredient from each of the categories below:

Start with a 15-oz. Can of Beans

  • Chickpeas
  • Black beans
  • Butter beans
  • Cannellini beans
  • Borlotti beans

Blitz ‘n Season

  • Blitz the beans with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper until you have an evenly textured mash, then add one item from each category below, and process until well combined, adding a little more oil or water to loosen as needed.

A Tablespoon of Creaminess

  • Tahini
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Nut butter
  • Plain Greek yogurt

A Good Pinch of Punchy Flavor

  • Toasted cumin seeds
  • Finely chopped thyme
  • Grated fresh ginger
  • Grated garlic
  • Chopped chile

Some Brightening Acidity

  • Zest and juice of half a lemon, lime, or orange

A Dash of Balancing Sweetness

  • A Medjool date
  • A drizzle of maple syrup
  • A squeeze of honey
  • A few dried apricots
  • And a Handful of Fresh, Tender Herbs on Top if You’d Like
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Dill

Need some more inspiration? Try these combos:

Assorted Dips

  1. Cannellini Beans + Tahini + Toasted Cumin Seeds + Lemon Juice/Zest + Medjool Date + Herbs
  2. Black Beans + Plain Greek Yogurt + Chopped Chile + Lime Juice/Zest + Honey + Herbs
  3. Chickpeas + Sunflower Seed Butter + Grated Ginger + Orange Juice/Zest + Maple Syrup + Herbs

Now get busy!

It’s Christmas, so here’s one more crazy simple yet delicious idea for holiday appetizers.

Butternut Squash and Chorizo Skewers

Butternut Squash and Chorizo Skewers


  • One large butternut squash
  • 1 pound chorizo
  • 1 bunch of parsley leaves
  • For the marinade
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pinches sea salt and a pinch of coarse black pepper
  • half teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1/8th teaspoon ground cumin
  • baking sheet lined with parchment.


  • Preheat the oven to 400° mix ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl. Cut the butternut squash into 35 meet cubes.
  • Toss in the marinade and then transfer to a prepared baking sheet, making sure there is a little space between each cube of squash.
  • Cook in the preheated oven 20 minutes or until the edges are crisp in this class is cooked through
  • meanwhile, cut the chorizo into 35 pieces, heat in a frying pan or skillet and fry the Chorizo pieces for a couple minutes on each side.
  • Skewer through the parsley leaf into the squash and the Chorizo. Serve
Heinen's Grocery Store

By Heinen's Grocery Store

In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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