Before we get to the THIRTY-EIGHT (38!!) outstanding party appetizers I have for you, I wanted to share a few tidbits that might help you the next time you have folks over! And if you don’t want to know about my bits, you just go right on ahead and scroll on down to the recipes. That’s OK too!
Anytime I have a gathering (even if it’s just having a few families over to swim in the summer) there are a few things I always have: a cheese board, a vegetable tray and a spouted beverage dispenser of something cool to drink.
Get yourself a nice big cutting board if you don’t already have one. You’ll use it for cutting, of course, but you’ll also use it as your cheese board. It’s rustic and practical and perfect for cheese!
When selecting cheeses I think I good rule of thumb is to have something creamy and soft, something sharp, something mild and neutral, and something flavored. Here are a few I often use:
Creamy/Soft: Camembert, havarti, brie
Sharp: Jarlsberg, English cheddar, bleu cheese
Mild/Neutral: Provolone, monterrey Jack, medium cheddar
Flavored: Smoked gouda, apricot cheddar, herbed goat cheese
If I want to dress things up a bit, I also serve things I think compliment the cheese like honey, olives, hard meats (salami, pepperoni, etc.), grapes and nuts (I especially love to have cashews and smokehouse almonds).
OK, you don’t need me to tell you how to put together a vegetable tray but I wanted to suggest a few things you may not have considered serving. Folks really enjoy the unexpected and it’s a good way to experiment. Here are a few veggies you may want to add to the usual:
Green tomato wedges
Green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
Asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
Snow Pea pods
Alongside the traditional bowl of dip/dressing, I also like to serve hummus and have a small bowl of sea salt too.
Spouted Beverage Dispenser
When you go get that big rustic cutting board, pick up a 2-3 gallon beverage dispenser (preferably one with a stool so glasses can fit under it without having to sit on the edge of the table or counter).
Depending on the guests, event and season here are a few beverages I like to have available:
Ice water with cucumber slices
Sweet tea with lemon slices
Pink lemonade with lemon slices
Sangria with chopped fruit
Arnold Palmer (equal parts sweet tea and lemonade)
John Daly (the alcoholic version of Arnold Palmer: sweet tea, lemonade and bourbon)
OK, now on to the recipes! If I don’t get to tell you again, I hope your holidays are merry and bright! Eat lots, sing Christmas carols like you mean it, give big hugs, laugh hard and remember to be thankful for your blessings! God bless!
All recipes are listed clockwise starting in the top-left of each collage.
Hot Dips & Spreads
You can serve these in a chaffing dish or at room temperature. They’re all delicious either way!
Tuscan Sausage Dip by South Your Mouth
Hissy Fit Dip by Plain Chicken
Cheesy Baked Vidalia Dip by Southern Plate
Warm Crack Dip by Plain Chicken
Trisha Yearwood’s Hot Corn Dip by Mommy’s Kitchen
Hot Chicken Salad by South Your Mouth
Sliders, Sandwiches and Roll-Ups
These can usually be prepared ahead and served up quickly just before guests arrive!
Monte Cristo Party Sliders by South Your Mouth
High Rollers by South Your Mouth
Ham & Cheese Party Rolls by The Country Cook
Queso Roll-Ups by South Your Mouth
Because it’s not a party until somebody’s licking their fingers!
Ham & Cheese Pastry Puffs by Plain Chicken
Sriracha Bacon Deviled Eggs by South Your Mouth
Ranch Sausage Stars by Mommy’s Kitchen
Sausage Biscuit Bites by Plain Chicken
Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Poppers by South Your Mouth
Cream Cheese Sausage Balls by Plain Chicken
Cold Dips & Spreads
These can always be prepared ahead of time and make for a nice display when surrounded by crackers and chips.
Fiesta Corn Salsa by Sweet Little Bluebird
Salmon Spread by South Your Mouth
Spinach Dip by South Your Mouth
Dill Pickle Dip by Southern Bite
Homemade French Onion Dip by South Your Mouth
Because every Christmas party has to have a cheese ball. Period!
Peppery Ranch Cheese Ball by Southern Bite
Pineapple Cheese Ball by The Country Cook
Ranch Chicken Cheese Ball by Southern Bite
Christmas Cranberry Cheese Ball by South Your Mouth
Aunt Louise’s Cheese Ball by Southern Plate
Cracked Out Cheese Ball by Plain Chicken
Crock pot appetizers travel great and are always welcome!
Bacon Double Cheese Dip by Recipes that Crock
Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Wings by Recipes that Crock
Sweet Party Mix by Recipes that Crock
Creamy Rotel Sausage Dip by South Your Mouth
Slow Cooker Whiskey Meatballs by Plain Chicken
Because sometimes you just want to beat your sister-in-law. Or that hoity heifer from the PTA. With these recipes you'll win every time!
Pulled Pork Cornbread Tarts by Southern Bite
Chipotle Shrimp Tostada Bites by South Your Mouth
Maryland Crab Cakes by South Your Mouth
Beef & Blue Crostini by South Your Mouth
Brie Tartlets by South Your Mouth
Stuffed Mushrooms by South Your Mouth