Holiday Munchies by Grace‑Marie's Cooking School
posted on December 19th, 2013 by Bristol Farms
Oh, the holidays! Who doesn’t love them? The hustle and bustle of the shopping season, parties to attend with family and friends, and not to mention all the good eats! If you’re hosting a holiday party this season, we understand that times are busy and while it’s very easy to pick up a veggie tray with dip and a few bags of chips, where’s the fun in that?! Don’t you want to impress your guests with what appears like you’ve spent countless hours and lots of energy in the kitchen to whip up fancy hors d’oeuvres and appetizers? Of course you do! Well, good news is we visited Grace-Marie’s Kitchen, the Cooking School at Bristol Farms and she gave us some of her go-to recipes for Holiday Munchies but without all the hassle of making it from complete scratch. She uses a lot of short cuts in these recipes and can’t we all appreciate that this time of year? Not to mention that they are simply delicious…let’s get started.
Pesto Chicken Salad on Cucumber Rounds
First, Grace-Marie offered her recipe for a very festive Pesto Chicken Salad on Cucumber Rounds. Beautiful, fresh, and yummy! We just loved the hints of red and green in this one. The chicken salad is made using a fresh rotisserie chicken, red bell pepper, and fresh Bristol Farms Pesto sauce from our deli, among other ingredients. Just hollow out a cucumber slice, place a scoop of chicken salad, and top with fresh basil for a cool, creamy, savory finger appetizer.
Moroccan Carrot Dip with Warm Pitas
Now, here’s a dish with flavors from the other side of the globe. This spicy, sweet Moroccan Carrot Dip is a great alternative to hummus or dairy dips. It quickly cooks down and is best served with warm pita bread or pita chips.
Smokey Cheese Pastry Swirls
We LOVE puff pastry! Buttery, flaky, light and airy…..this versatile pastry dough is so simple to work with and is equally delicious with just about any ingredient you add to it. It can be used to make savory appetizers or serve as a star ingredient in many sweet desserts. Grace-Marie chose to serve her pastry dough in an appetizer of Smokey Cheese Pastry Swirls. Cheese, cheese, and more cheese! This recipe incorporates cream cheese along with any other cheese you choose: Cheddar, Swiss, Havarti, Goat..you name it, it works! This will be a sure-fire winner at your holiday party.
Bacon and Guacamole Aioli Toasts
Everything’s better with bacon, right? At least we think so. These little BLAT toasts (but without the lettuce) are so good, you will find yourself going back for more! We loved the cool creamy guacamole atop crunchy baguette slices…add the crumbled bacon, sliced cherry tomatoes, and you’re in heaven. We’d also like to share a cool little tip given by Grace-Marie for keeping your avocados from browning. After halving them and removing the pit, simply dunk the two halves in a bath of water to wash the enzymes off the avocado that makes it brown. An even better method would be to remove the meat of the avocado and give it a large dice and dunk the diced cubes in water. Here’s to your avos not browning!
Candy Cane Lane Fudgy Peppermint Cups
Isn’t Peppermint and Chocolate the best combination? Some of our favorites during the holiday season would be peppermint hot chocolates or chocolate peppermint bark (such as our Bakery’s own). The combination of rich chocolate and cool peppermint is perfect for the cold winter season. These Candy Cane Lane Fudgy Peppermint Cups by Grace-Marie are a no brainer! She makes it truly easy by starting with a pre-made brownie mix and incorporates her own fine touches. The end result is a perfectly baked, fudgy, pepperminty little brownie bite. A crowd-pleaser!
We hope some of these recipes inspired you to serve up something a little different this year at your holiday parties. Honestly, these recipes are a breeze and don’t skimp on fresh flavors! Give them a try and come back to let us know what you think. If you are interested in attending one of Grace-Marie’s Cooking Classes, you can find her complete schedule and registration information here. Happy Holidays to you and yours!