Party On: 3 Easy Holiday Hors D’oeuvres

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01_AppetizerTrio_111212_020 Thanksgiving’s over, guys. And just as you lay there on your childhood bed, soaking up daytime TV and rocking your food baby, a whole new tradition is about to begin — Holiday Party Blitzkrieg: the month-long rush week that takes festivity to a whole new level. Rest up while you can, because in just a few days you’ll be back in your heels and party dresses.

And whether you’re a host or a guest, you’ll likely spend a few nights this month assembling a tray of something small and nibbly to satisfy your fellow merry-makers. But, we’re pretty sure you also have a life to lead (not to mention dresses to dry clean, hair to blow out, and weary, chipped nails to touch up). So, we came up with three super-fast, super-easy, and super-conscious-of-all-those-gifts-you-have-to-buy party snacks, to get you through the season with ease. Each of these hors d’oeuvres has just five ingredients and takes less than twenty minutes to whip up. Oh, and they’re good. Really, really, talking-with-our-mouths-full good.

Whip ‘em up and head on out. We’ll see you in the trenches.



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Lemon-Pomegranate Chickpea Dip

Traditional hummus gets a holiday spin with this zesty, tart dip that goes great on crackers, carrots, or simply by the spoonful.


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Ingredients:
2 15-oz cans chickpeas
1 lemon
½ cup pomegranate seeds (plus some to top off later!)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (the fruitier the better)
Salt to taste

Pour chickpeas into a medium mixing bowl, and squeeze lemon in.


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Add 1 tbsp of olive oil…


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…and a good dose of salt (this will contrast nicely with the lemon).


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Using an immersion blender (or regular blender, or food processor) blend chickpea mixture until relatively smooth.


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Scoop chickpea mixture into serving bowl(s), and top with remaining olive oil.


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Finally, sprinkle liberally with pomegranate seeds.


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Throughout the evening, you can add more seeds to refresh this (obvious) favorite.


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It’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost.


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Wonton Crisps

This is the fancy-pantsiest chip we’ve ever seen, guaranteed to ruin Baked Lays for you, forever. Plus, they’re super light on the calories, so you can save those for your ginormous glass of mulled wine. With these little crisps, who needs holiday cookies? (Okay, we do. We really do.)


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Ingredients:
1 package wonton skins (check the frozen foods section)
2 tbsp butter
Salt & pepper to taste
Topping options: sesame seeds, cinnamon-sugar, garlic salt, paprika, or nada!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a festive cookie cutter of your choice (or just the top of a cup) cut each wonton skin into shapes.


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Lay onto a lined or greased baking sheet and brush lightly with butter.


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Sprinkle with salt & pepper (you can skip if you’re using a sweet topping).


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And add your topping of choice.


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Pop these in the middle rack of the oven for five minutes.


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Check immediately! Remove as soon as the edges start to brown. If left too long they’ll burn fast, but even if you mess up a batch it’ll only take about 10 minutes to make another!


20_WontonChips_111212_026 We have a feeling you’ll be doing that anyway.


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Toasty Herbed Nuts

If the idea of serving warm nuts seems old-school, give these a whirl and you’ll understand why the concept is a classic. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as this combo of sweet, spiced, and smokey.


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Ingredients:
1 lb mixed nuts, toasted
2 tbsp salted butter, melted
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp chipotle powder
2 tsp fresh thyme

After toasting your nuts (five minutes at 400 degrees, or in batches in your toaster oven), pour them into a large bowl. Pour melted butter over nuts and sitr well to coat.


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In a small bowl, combine sugar and chipotle powder.


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Pull thyme leaves off the stem (pressing between your fingers to express the flavor)…

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…and stir into sugar & spice mixture.


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Pour over nuts...


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...And stir until nuts are well coated and sugar is mostly dissolved.


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These will keep for over a week. If necessary, just reheat for one minute in the microwave before serving.


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These will rock your socks at room temp, but when served toasty-warm, they're Christmas in a bowl.




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