The first snow of the season happened this past weekend here in Milwaukee which was a nice reminder that the holiday season is upon us! Although I’ve lived with snow and cold weather my entire life, and absolutely hate it, there’s just something so peaceful about snow that is gently falling outside of my window. And following that peaceful feeling came a rush of panic as I begin to think about hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas at my own home this year!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love to host. I think it comes with the foodie territory! What I don’t enjoy is menu planning and coordination of everything so it is all served on time and hot. I’m starting to think about what kind of appetizers I’m planning to serve for the holidays and in my opinion, less is always more. I’m not talking about less food, I’m talking about appetizers with very few ingredients that can come together quickly and easily.
This recipe for Sweet Potato and Herbed Ricotta rounds many ingredients that you may already have in your pantry and can be prepped ahead of time so that they can be popped into the oven before your guests arrive. The ricotta is spiced up with Italian Herb Blend and a dash of honey for a sweet and savory taste. You can prepare the sweet potato rounds and the cheese mixture ahead of time and then when your guests arrive just pop the pan into the broiler to warm them up. Finish off the appetizer with toasted hazelnuts, dried cranberries and a drizzle of honey to complete these little bites of heaven. You can also use pecans or walnuts if you have them on hand.
When looking for potatoes at your local grocery store, find some that are about 2 inches around and are nice and straight. I would encourage you to use a mandolin to have evenly sliced potatoes so that they crisp up perfectly. You can leave the skins on the potatoes as well.
Holiday appetizer planning doesn’t have to be hectic and the perfect winter flavors come from a pairing of sweet and salty seasonings. Try to prep as much as you can ahead of time so that you can enjoy your time with your guests!