Food For Thought

Food For Thought

Ramp Up Your Holiday Party with Simple Appetizers

Posted On December 5, 2019

Ramp Up Your Holiday Party with Simple Appetizers

The holidays are upon us, bringing a variety of holiday parties with the community, the office or family. Simple appetizers not only make you look like the best host, but they're also satisfying and enjoyable. Take a tray to your office for the company party or set some out before the turkey finally comes out of the oven. Either way, these appetizers are easy to make, packed with protein and so tasty even the kids can’t get enough of them.

Pretzel Dog Bites

While these take 1 hour and 45 minutes to make, about an hour of that is simply waiting for the dough to rise. Make the dough the easy way by using a mixer. Mix 1-1/2 cups warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 package active dry yeast and a little salt, then let sit. After five minutes, the yeast has risen and it’s time to add in 2 oz. of melted unsalted butter and 4-1/2 cups white flour to the yeast mixture. Use the dough hook to work the dough for a minute on low then four minutes on medium speed.

Remove the dough, spray the bowl with cooking spray, create a dough ball, place back in the oiled bowl, then put a towel over the bowl. Allow the dough to rise for about 1 hour. For faster rising, heat the oven to 200 F and place the bowl on top of the stove. Once the dough doubles in size, spread it out on a well-greased surface. Create about 32 1-1/2 inch rolled balls.

Heat 10 cups of water in a large pot and add 2/3 cup baking soda. Preheat the oven to 450 F while the water gets to a roiling boil. Place a baking sheet on the counter near the stove and spray it with cooking spray. Beat 1 large egg yolk in a bowl. Cut 16 Bar-S Classic franks in half. Roll out one ball of dough then wrap around a piece of hot dog. Pinch the dough ends together.

Once all 32 are created, drop the pretzel dogs into the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Use a strainer spoon to remove the dogs from the water and place on the greased baking sheet. Brush the egg wash onto the dough, then sprinkle with kosher salt. Cook in the oven for 11-12 minutes, then serve with the dipping sauce of your choice.

Kentucky Hot Brown Dip

In about 30 minutes, you can create a delicious dip perfect for crackers. Spray a 7 x 11-inch casserole dish with cooking spray while the oven preheats to 350 F. Cook 8 slices Bar-S Smoked Bacon or Thick-Cut Naturally Hardwood Smoked Bacon according to package instructions. Slice 14 oz. into small bite-sized pieces. Dice one small tomato.

Mix 8 oz. cream cheese, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and the sliced turkey together in a medium-sized bowl. Spread the mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish. Top the mixture with the bacon crumbled up, diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese then place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, then serve.

Brown-Sugar Bacon-Wrapped Sausages

Using only three ingredients and about 35 minutes, you can create a satisfying appetizer. While the oven preheats to 400 F, cut 11 Bar-S Smoked Sausages or Hot Links Sausages into three equal pieces and slice 1 lb. Bar-S Bacon in half. Wrap the bacon slices around the sausage pieces, then roll in brown sugar until covered completely. Place parchment paper onto a baking sheet then add the sausages on top. Brown them in the oven for about 25 minutes.

Mini Ham-and-Cheese Roll-Ups

In 30 minutes, create a new fan favorite. While you wait for the oven to heat to 375 F, stir 1/4 package (2 oz.) softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese, 1 teaspoon honey and 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce together in a small bowl.

Unroll 1 package (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent roll dough and cut the triangles in half. Cut 2 or 3 slices of Bar-S Classic Chopped Ham to fit the half-triangle pieces of dough. Place a slice of ham onto the dough. On the wide end of the triangle, add a teaspoon of the cheese mixture, then roll up starting with that end. Put each triangle seam-side down on the baking sheet, then bake about 11-15 minutes.