Holiday Recipes Collection Special Edition Issue #2
Made Ahead Snacks and Appetizers

Holiday Cheers!

Just a couple of weeks until the holidays. Between the extra baking and cooking, shopping, wrapping and decorating we do we always make time to share the holiday spirit with friends and family. Have a snack or appetizer on hand for your guests. Serve with pita crisps or your favorite crackers and enjoy the evening without a worry.

One of my favorite appetizer or snack is...

Greek Cheese Spread

  • 1 loaf baguette (16 oz.)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 - 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and pressed dry2 - 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp. Greek Rub*
  • 8 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and dried**
  • 3 tbsp. shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

Cut baguette into 1/4" thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking stone. Brush with olive oil. Bake 10 - 12 minutes in a 375° F. oven. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Dry thawed spinach in a colander lined with paper towels. Place spinach colander and wrap paper around it and press until almost dry.

With a fork, stir cream cheese until soft. Add spinach and greek rub. Mix well, then add feta cheese. Stir until well blended.

Finely dice sun-dried tomatoes and set aside. Line a small mixing bowl with plastic wrap. Spoon 1/3 of the cheese mixture into bottom of bowl, spreading evenly. Top this layer with tomatoes. Spread remaining cheese mixture over tomatoes.

To serve, invert onto a serving plate. Remove plastic wrap and press chopped pistachios into top.

Serve with toasted baguette slices.

* If you don't have a Greek rub, you may use 1 tsp. lemon zest, 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves and 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground pepper.

** You may substitute the sun-dried tomatoes with a 7 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, drained, dried and chopped into pieces.

Don't get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the busy season that you miss the fun. Stop, relax and enjoy the warmth of your family and friends.

Make these cheese biscuits ahead and store in airtight container to have ready to serve holiday guests. They will melt in your mouth.

Melting Morsels

  • 3 oz. all purpose flour
  • pinch of celery salt
  • 3 oz. unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
  • 2 1/2 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 oz. Parmesan, finely grated (for topping)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Brush two baking trays with melted butter and refrigerate.

Combine flour, celery salt and a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Add the butter cubes and cut into flour mixture.

When the flour has almost disappeared into the butter, add the cheeses and continue cutting for a few moments until the mixture is blended and coming together in rough lumps. Make a well in the center and drop in the egg yolk and combine. Take out of bowl and form a ball.

Wrap the dough loosely in plastic wrap and flatten slightly. Chill for about 20 minutes or until firm.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Cut in half and roll out each half to about 8" square and 1/4" thick. Cut each square into 16 small squares, then cut each square in half to form triangles. Using a palette knife, carefully place on enough triangles to fill the two baking trays. Chill for 30 minutes.

Brush each biscuit with beaten egg and sprinkle with a pinch of Parmesan. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool.

You have vary to topping with finely chopped nuts and rock salt, popping seeds or mix cayenne pepper with your Parmesan.

For more holiday recipes, click here.

Next week look forward to one of my favorite 4-Sided-Cookie recipes and a bowl of Wassail to share with your best of friends. This Wassail recipe is not for faint of heart!