December 03, 2019

First-Rate, Last-Minute
Holiday Appetizers

Copywriter Chris Allen

Turkey Madness is over! I hope your clothes still fit and you put all those leftovers to good use with some cleverly timed recipes. That means it’s officially holiday party season.

One thing I’ve noticed since my little guy was born about two years ago is how the parties have changed. This time of year, my world used to be filled with slim flutes filled with something bubbly and bright, elegant appetizers made casually in my kitchen. Now I’m slated to attend my second Hot Cocoa Party already this year and the elegant appetizers have transformed into mangled apple sauce pouches and half-eaten turkey roll-ups. Life is good!

I guess that’s why I’m so grateful we put together our annual Easy Holiday Appetizers every year. These recipes have great flavor and holiday beauty with prep time that’s shorter than nap time. We have a lot fun putting together this list every year and we hope it inspires you! We’ve put them all together on a single page, and called out the notables below. 

Butter Rum Pecans

Your search for perfect candied pecans that can be made in mere minutes is over. Great for serving to guest, AND to package in cute little jars for gift giving.

Crab-Artichoke Wontons

These elegant little packages of yum are ridiculously quick and easy to make with just wonton wrappers and Our Own Crab-Artichoke Dip made in our Seafood Market.

Cranberry-Blue Cheese Mini Tarts

Festive, crispy, sweet and tangy, these cute mini tarts are a party unto themselves. Our Own Blood Orange Cranberry Sauce ensures they’ll be remembered.

Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms

Hearty, rich with flavor, and unbelievably easy. Mix sausage with herbaceous cheese, stuff into mushrooms, and bake. Garnish with parsley and you’re ready to party.

Tropical Prawns

Want your guests to talk about your appetizers for days? Make these and just wait for the raves. No need mention that they only took about 15 minutes to make.

Chipotle-Cherry Goat Cheese

Smoky, spicy, sweet and simple to make. Cherry preserves, chipotle paste, goat cheese. crackers. That’s it.

Market Fresh Party Platters

Our specialty cheese tray - fig spreadh, grapes both green and red marconi almonds and four or five different kinds of cheese

The Specialty Cheese Board

If you’re looking to throw a big office party or just have family coming over, Market Fresh Party Platters from our Deli provide tasty, thoughtfully curated shortcuts for you.

From charcuterie, antipasto and specialty cheese boards to savory sandwich makings and freshly prepped salads, our markets have options for feeding whole crews. Please give our Deli folks 48 hours’ notice.

There’s a lot of food on these platters! Check out all your options with full descriptions and images.

We Make Cheese Balls!

Three flavors of cheese balls on a cutting board

Our three flavors of cheese balls

When I hear ‘cheese balls” I think of a crumpled bag of neon-yellow snacks, or an orb of processed cheese (no thanks!).

But the good folks in our Deli have cleansed those images from my mind with our fresh-made gourmet cheese balls. They’re the perfect last-second solution to what to bring to the party.

They taste even better than they look, and they’re made with real — never processed —cheese.


Cheese Corner

Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.

Belfiore Farmers Cheese: Very similar to dry curd cottage cheese, this Russian-style Farmers Cheese is an essential ingredient for so many traditional Eastern European pastries. I am particularly fond of this California-based Belfiore brand because of its silky texture and milky flavor.

Looking for a dessert that’s high-protein, low-fat, and quick to make? Just fold in some unsweetened cocoa powder and it’s like instant chocolate pudding without all the bad stuff. Drizzle with a balsamic reduction or blend with your favorite herb packet and this cheese transforms into an easy dip or spread.


Chris Allen is a copywriter and assistant marketer with Town & Country Markets. He’s a former contributing editor, radio anchor and producer, and an Air Force veteran. He’s also mastered the art of chopping red onions with one hand while sipping a dry Tempranillo in the other.

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