Are you planning a delicious Christmas dinner? If you prepare a meat dish, whether it is pork, ham, lamb or turkey, you will need quite a few baking hours to get it all ready. And in the meantime, what can you offer your guests?  

A Christmas dinner is not complete without appetizers. This is a great way to calm the appetite and allow guests to talk, relax and get ready to enjoy a delicious meal.

Apart from our special dishes, including family favorites and holiday classics, I thought these very simple, tasty, and decorative recipes are great choices. They not only taste good, but look great and can be enjoyed by both adults and children alike. Ready? Then let’s cook up a storm!

Cuddly Penguins

To prepare these super friendly penguins, you will need: 

Ingredients for 18 servings: 

  • 18 jumbo black olives (pitted)
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese 
  • 18 small black olives
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 sweet red pepper (roasted and peeled) or green onion stalks.

First, cut a lengthwise slit along the jumbo olives, on one side only. In a small bowl, soften the cream cheese. You can also add blue cheese or parmesan cheese if desired. Use a pastry bag to help you set a neater edge. Then fill the olives with cheese.

Apart, peel and cut carrot in 18 circles ¼ inch thick. (You may need more than one to make them all the same size). 

Cut a small triangle in the circles to make the penguin feet and use them for the beak.

In the final stage, place the small olive over the filling, and then over the carrots you will use for feet. Secure with a toothpick. Finally, at the very end, place the small carrot triangles in the small olive to form the beak. Use a strip of roasted red pepper or green onion stalk to make a decorative scarf!

 
Christmas Stealing Shish-kabobs!

This Shish kabob recipe is even simpler and reminds us of the famous Grinch.  They are full of flavor, color and sweetness!

Ingredients for 24 servings:

  • 24 green grapes
  • 1 or 2 bananas (24 slices)
  • 24 small strawberries 
  • 24 miniature marshmallows
  • 24 toothpicks

This recipe is as simple as counting from 1 to 10! First, wash the fruit and remove the strawberry ends. Then peel and cut bananas into 24 slices. (Not too thin). All that’s missing is to put it together! Here’s how: take a toothpick and add the grape in vertical form. Then add the banana on a perpendicular slant and the strawberry with the ends removed. On the opposite end, place the miniature marshmallow. This will be the head of the Grinch with a Christmas hat! Repeat the same step with each one of the grapes!

Another Christmas classic (and winter) is the famous snowman! Prepare your favorite cheese appetizer with this lovable character!

Cheesy Snowman

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. of cream cheese 
  • 4 cups of grated cheese (whichever one you like best)
  • ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Black Pepper

Decoration:

  • 1 carrot
  • Raisins or cranberries
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Pretzels 
  • Green onion stalks
  • Roasted red pepper

Preparation:

First, prepare your appetizer as follows: soften the cream cheese with a fork and add cheese, olive oil and pepper. Blend well using a wooden spoon. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  

Shape two balls with your hands and use for the head and the body of your snowman. On a serving dish, place the smaller ball on top of the larger one.

The only thing missing is to decorate your snowman! Use the raisins for buttons and eyes. You can also use capers or pieces of black olives. The hat is the most complicated part! You can place a few rosemary sprigs or if you feel up to it, use cheese or eggplant skin.

Use the pretzels for arms and follow the recipe of the cuddly penguins; a carrot triangle for the nose, with roasted red pepper or green onion stalk for the scarf. Adds all the details you want!!!! Serve with biscuits! 

There are many more ideas than these 3 recipes! 

For example, these pines are made with cheese snacks and decorated with fresh parsley, almonds and diced red pepper. You can even make a star to decorate the top with cheese!

This classic guacamole served as a base to assemble these delicious pine trees!

Or you can also simply serve a dish of diced cheeses, fruits and cold cuts in the form of pine trees or Christmas rings! 

What do you think about these ideas?

Have a very Merry Christmas!