[My plan was to post this on Sunday, but I came down with the plague Friday night and by Sunday 20-something hours of sleep was a much better idea than blogging. Sorry, I’m not sorry.]
Me (after reading a text message from the boy’s cousin over his shoulder): “So, I’m making an appetizer or dessert to bring on Saturday, huh?”
The Boy: “We could stop and pick something up.”
Me: “Do I look like a stop-and-pick-something-up kind of girl? I brought a from-scratch pumpkin pie to Thanksgiving at your dad’s house; there isn’t a chance in hell I’m going to pick something up for your mom’s family Christmas party.”
The Boy: “Okay then.”
Hello! I have potential future in-laws to be impressing here. Thus began my quest for the perfect holiday party appetizers. I wanted something classy but not snobby and unquestionably yummy. Oh and in a season of indulgence, I wanted it to be moderately healthy. I found a lot of really great options, but ultimately I decided to go with Spinach Balls and a Bacon Cheese Ball with crackers.
The Spinach Balls recipe was sent to me by the fabulous Laura. This is her mom’s recipe, and I take absolutely no credit for it. I followed it precisely.
Combine the following:
6 eggs lightly beaten
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 ½ sticks butter or margarine, softened
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
½ onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 packages frozen chopped spinach thawed and water wrung out
Rolls into balls and cook in a 350 oven for 10 minutes
The Cheese Ball was a bit of a hybrid. It’s based on this recipe from Kraft, but I made some substitutions to try and clean up the nutritional stats a bit.
Combine the Following:
8 oz package of Neufachatel Cheese (or reduced fat cream cheese)
8 oz Light Sharp Cheddar
6 slice of center cut bacon, chopped (I used the food processor and it was perfect!)
2 green onions, cut
Roll mixture into ball, wrap in cling wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with crackers of your choice.
My Spinach Balls turned out more like Spinach Patties. I forgot to buy bread crumbs so I ended up making my own using my toaster and blender. I used two cups, but I think they were too fine so I should have used more. Either way they were delicious. They were rich and buttery, but not overly indulgent. Laura told me they could be served hot or cold, and I served them cold because it was more convenient. I tasted one right out of the oven and they’re great both ways!
And since you can never have too many holiday appetizer options. Here are the recipes that didn’t make the cut: Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bacon, Proscuitto (and bacon!) Wrapped Dates, Creamy Garlic and Herb Dip, Savory Parmesan Bites. (Clearly bacon, garlic, and spinach were the themes here.)
I’m happy to report my appetizers were a hit as was my white elephant gift. I really wish I had the good sense to take a picture of this thing before I gave it away because it was totally ridiculous and won everyone over. Maybe I can find a picture at my parent’s house because I really can’t adequately describe it… if I do you can expect a post devoted to the springy pink pig fan that won over my boyfriend’s family at Christmas.