(Family Features) Holiday entertaining is all about food, wine and quality time with family and friends. This year, try a new approach to holiday get-togethers by hosting an hors d’oeuvres party.
Skip the hassle of preparing a full meal by serving a number of small bites, dips and spreads for your guests to enjoy. Most hors d’oeuvres can be prepared ahead of time so you can spend more time with your guests instead of in the kitchen, making it easy to entertain flawlessly.
The best part is you don’t have to break the bank to host a fabulous holiday gathering. By switching from national name brands to a grocer like ALDI, party essentials and seasonal must-haves, such as holiday gifts and baking necessities, can be as much as 50 percent less. Manufactured by many of the nation’s leading food producers, these exclusive brand items often meet or exceed the quality and taste of the national name brands.
Try these hors d’oeuvre serving tips from food stylist and loyal ALDI shopper Janice Stahl:
- Rethink the regular: Surprise guests and get creative with classic recipes by changing the presentation. Square pizza bites, circular tea sandwiches or star-shaped fruit make entertaining fun.
- Keep hors d’oeuvres simple: Serve foods that are bite-sized and easy to pick up. Try skewers to create festive kabobs, which are perfect for nibbling.
- Presentation is everything: Experiment with serving pieces like vases, champagne glasses or appetizer cups that add special interest to bite-sized snacks from chips and dip to shrimp cocktail.
With these simple tips and recipes, you’ll be ready to throw a festive holiday hors d’oeuvres party that’s easy and affordable. Visit www.aldi.us for more entertaining ideas.
Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups
$0.58 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Cook time: 3 minutes
Yields: 16 ceviche cups
- 1 1/2 teaspoons iodized salt, divided
- 16 ounces medium raw shrimp, thawed
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 16 ounces tortilla chips
- 2 limes cut into wedges
- Fresh cranberries, optional
- Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt.
- Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately plunge cooked shrimp into ice water bath. Peel shrimp and place in flat dish.
- In food processor, combine cranberries, red onion, parsley and jalapeno. Pulse until finely chopped.
- Add cranberry mixture to shrimp.
- Add lemon juice, lime juice, remaining salt, crushed red pepper and oregano. Stir to combine ingredients thoroughly.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- To assemble, spoon ceviche, about 4 to 5 shrimp each, into small clear cups or glasses. Garnish with tortilla chips and lime wedges.
Pistachio Lemon Truffles
$0.43 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Cook time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Yields: 24 truffles
- 1 1/4 cups pistachios, shelled
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 4 ounces plain goat cheese
- 3/4 cup dried mixed berries, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
- Pinch ground black pepper
- Roughly chop pistachios, place in bowl.
- With electric mixer, cream together remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Scoop tablespoon size balls of cheese mixture and roll in pistachios to coat.
- To serve, sprinkle platter with remaining pistachios and place truffles on top. Serve with crackers.
A signature drink is a must at any holiday soiree. Get creative by offering guests a specialty cocktail that matches the color scheme for the event. An avid party hostess, food stylist Janice Stahl makes the occasion special by pairing white wine with a splash of cranberry-pomegranate juice, garnished with fresh fruit or herbs. Giving your signature drink an original name to reflect your personality is an added touch your guests will love. For a lasting impression, hand out recipe cards of your signature drink as party favors.
$0.58 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of ALDI Food Stylist, Janice Stahl
- Sugar for glass rim
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup cranberry- pomegranate juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh cranberries
- Fresh fruit for garnish
- Dip rim of glass in sugar.
- Pour wine and juice into glass, stirring to combine.
- Drop in cranberries, along with any additional fruit desired. Serve immediately.
(Family Features) Farmers are the experts when it comes to enjoying the fruits of the land in the best way possible. Learn to eat like a farmer, and your taste buds will be sure to thank you later.
Across the United States, farmers are working hard to bring high-quality foods from their fields and groves to grocery store shelves and, ultimately, to your pantry. Sometimes foods you may not even think about coming from a farm have been grown with the most tender, loving care.
One example is olives, which are typically bought in cans, far removed from the produce section people more typically associate with farms. In California, hard-working, multi-generational farming families produce more than 95 percent of the olives grown and consumed in the United States. The farms – groves, to be exact – are home to thousands of trees that bear olive fruit for harvest each fall.
It should come as no surprise that these families have fine-tuned some of the most appetizing olive recipes by passing them on from one generation to the next. These farmers don’t just grow olives, they cook with them too, and are sharing some of their favorite recipes – from snacks to salads and pasta – using California Ripe Olives.
Find more California olive farmer-approved recipes at CalOlive.org.
Recipe courtesy of olive grower Natalie Jameson
- 2 cups chopped tomato
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into small cubes
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (6 ounces) large California Ripe Olives, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup prepared vinaigrette dressing
- corn chips
- In medium bowl, stir together tomato, green onions, avocado, black beans and olives.
- Toss with dressing and serve with corn chips.
Rotini with Shrimp and Olives
Recipe courtesy of olive grower Pablo Nerey
- 1 pound rotini pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
- 1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced California Ripe Olives
- Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook 8-10 minutes, or until al dente; drain well and set aside.
- In large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic and stir until golden, being careful not to burn.
- Add shrimp to skillet and season with garlic salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add cream to skillet; simmer until thick.
- Add cooked pasta to sauce and stir in Parmesan cheese, pesto and olives.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Red Potato and Olive Salad
Recipe courtesy of olive grower Carolina Burreson
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup sliced California Ripe Olives, drained
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered and boiled until tender
- 1 jar (6 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- In sealable jar, mix together dressing ingredients and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
- When ready to serve, place all salad ingredients in large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss lightly to coat.
Source: California Olive Committee