Ever notice how guests always end up migrating to the kitchen? Aside from great company and conversation, a festive and flavorful spread of appetizers and hors d'oeuvres is the key to any successful holiday open house, cocktail party, or family get-together.
I created a fantastic, sweet-savory appetizer, Figgy Blue Cheese Bacon Bites, that will have tongues wagging in every sense of the phrase. Also, because parties can be planned in advance but impromptu visits from holiday well-wishers can’t, I have suggestions on how to stock the pantry and fridge for a spread of spur-of-the-moment nibbles.
First, let’s dig into the Figgy Blue Cheese Bacon Bites recipe. These appetizers are so simple to make and have long-lasting ingredients that you can stock up on, assemble and bake in about 30 minutes – keep enough for several batches on hand over the holiday season. There is no need to stress yourself out with a head-spinning list of hard-to-find ingredients, this straightforward appetizer recipe tastes like you’ve been cooking all day yet only uses four foods -- a nicely smoked, thick-cut bacon, a wedge of blue cheese, dried figs and (surprise), fig cookies (like Fig Newton brand). No need to ring a dinner bell, as these little beauties bake, an insanely delicious bacon aroma wafts through the house to alert everyone that good things are about to happen!
If you don’t even have 30 minutes to make my Figgy Blue Cheese Bacon Bites appetizers, you can still treat guests to an array of sophisticated holiday snacks if you go the anti-pasta, cheese tray route. At the beginning of the holiday season, load up on a cornucopia of no-cook foods (such as nuts, cheeses, sausages, olives, marinated peppers, fresh and dried fruits, artisanal crackers) and pull them out when guests call.
If you have a nice cheese tray or even an inexpensive slate tile (find at a home improvement store), you can quickly unwrap food from the packaging and arrange in an aesthetically pleasing way). Uncork a bottle of wine or serve sparkling mineral water mixed with cranberry juice and you’ve created an instant “event” brimming with tasteful holiday hospitality.