Like it or not, the holidays are upon us. My guess is that most of us enjoy this time of year but feel so much pressure for a myriad of reasons.

My gift to you is these simple holiday appetizers. Rather than slave in the kitchen when you have shopping, wrapping and decorating to do, these little hors d’oeuvers shine by elevating basic ingredients.

The Walnut and Goat Cheese Stuffed Endive get an unexpected flavor boost from honey and jelly while the Cheese, Apple and Meat Skewers boast an unexpected herb treat.

Reduce your stress (if even just a little) while enjoying tasty snacks at the same with these Fat and Happy appetizers.


Herbed Cheese, Apple and Meat Skewers
This is a loose recipe. Mix and match with your favorite meats and cheeses.

  • Cheese (I used a Cranberry Wenslydale and a Smoked Gouda)
  • Apple (Honey Crisp is my preference, but a tart green apple would add a fun twist)
  • Deli meats (I used a smoked turkey and a hot Italian salami)
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh oregano
  • Drizzle of olive oil (now is the time to use the GOOD olive oil)
  • Toothpicks


Peel the apple, and cube and squeeze the lemon over the apple (this will keep the apple from turning brown and give it a little burst of flavor).

Cube the cheese. Slice the meat into strips or cube, depending on how thick it is.
Chop the mint and oregano (you’ll only need about a tablespoon of each).

Now compile the skewers. Start with the meat. If you cut this into strips, fold the strip and put on the toothpick. Then stick a cheese cube and an apple cube. Place on a platter and repeat until the platter is full.

Drizzle the skewers with olive oil, getting a few drops on each. Then sprinkle with the fresh herbs.

Enjoy!

Walnut and Goat Cheese Stuffed Endive

  • 2 endive heads
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 radishes (+2 if you want to make the snowman decoration)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • Honey
  • 2 tablespoons quince spread or jelly (optional)

Separate and wash the endive leaves. Leave on a towel to dry while you mix the filling. Lightly toast the walnuts over low heat (this step can be skipped if you are short on time).

Chop the walnuts and the radishes relatively fine. Place on a plate with the goat cheese and one tablespoon of thyme. Use a fork to mash the filling together. The filling is easier to work with when the cheese is at room temperature; if needed, pop the plate in the microwave for 15 seconds.

Using a knife, place a scoop of the goat cheese filling onto each endive leaf and arrange on a large platter. Sprinkle the platters with the remaining fresh thyme. Drizzle the stuffed endive and platter with honey.

Optional — Warm the quince spread for 30 seconds in the microwave. Drizzle over the endive and platter.

For additional effect, make two platters and drizzle one platter with honey and one with quince.

Snowman Decoration

  • 2 Radishes
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 black olive
  • 1 toothpick

Slice to bottom of one radish so that it will sit evenly. Use half a toothpick to secure the second radish on top of the bottom one. Stick a clove in each side of the top radish for arms. Cut the olive in half to make a hat. Secure with the other half of the toothpick.

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: If you are really pressed for time, arrange the meat, cheese and apple on a pretty platter, sprinkle with herbs and then drizzle with a little olive oil. The herbs and olive oil elevate a seemingly ordinary appetizer to an inviting one.

For more recipes, go to Monique’s blog: FatandHappyBlog.com

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