The Only 3 Appetizer Recipes You Need to Survive the Holidays

By Camille Styles
the most jaw-dropping cheese display

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but today marks the one month countdown to Thanksgiving! And I’ve got to admit that I’ve suddenly been bit by the holiday party bug, planning menus for our family gatherings and a couple dinner parties I’ll be hosting this season. Can’t imagine more perfect timing for Darcy Miller’s insanely gorgeous new book to drop than today! Celebrate Everything is our new favorite guide to making any occasion unforgettable, and in honor of the occasion, Darcy popped in to share 3 foolproof appetizer ideas that will make you the belle of the bash. Keep scrolling to read her expert tips, and pop over here to get your hands on your own copy before the party season kicks off.

Say Cheese!

A cheese plate or table looks beautiful and tastes great — and there’s no cooking involved. Caterer Peter Callahan set up the spread shown on these pages. Here are his tips plus pairing advice from the world-famous Murray’s Cheese Shop at right.

  • Pick a range: Offer options made from a variety of milks including sheep, goat, and cow. Not sure which cheeses to choose? Ask the cheesemonger for his or her favorites in a given price point.
  • Serve a spectrum: Along with a range of milks, look for variety in texture (hard, soft, semi-soft) and size.
  • Add extras: Fresh, sweet fruit complements cheeses. Go beyond grapes and strawberries with figs, dates, or pomegranates and add nuts, honey-combs, compotes, and cured meats.
  • Aim high: Breadsticks are great for giving dimension to a display. When choosing bread, breadsticks, or crackers make sure the flavor is mild (no garlic or onion) so that it doesn’t interfere with the cheese.


Mix it Up!

Do-it-yourself snack mixes can be made in advance, saving you time on the day of the party if you are making a lot, buy in bulk! Then go ahead and start mixing.

Use the handy cheat sheet above for Darcy’s favorite snack combo ideas!

Break it Down

If you don’t like your snacks all mixed up, another no-cook option is to serve a trio of tastes in individual bowls. Pick unexpected combinations with ingredients that complement each other in flavor and in color and let guests put them together to taste.

  • Parmesan, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts: An explosion of flavor, this popular array is smoky, tangy and delicious.
  • Castelvetrano olives, almonds, cara cara oranges: This trio can be a hit even for those who don’t normally like olives, as the Castelvetrano variety is mild and juicy, with a fruity, buttery flavor.
  • Radishes, butter, salt: This classic French combo is fresh, sweet, and peppery all at once.

Celebrate Everything is available today and you can get your copy here!

All images from Celebrate Everything by Darcy Miller. Copyright © 2016 by Darcy Miller. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Comments (5)

  1. TresBohemes says:

    That photograph of cheeses…
    Our formage fantasy!

  2. Lily says:

    I will definitly use one of these mix options. I once saw a mixed bowl of Potato chips, popcorn, Salt puffs, corn chips etc. somewhere in the Internet and I serve the same in my all parties ever since!

  3. Cynthia says:

    It’s crazy how quickly the holidays sneak up on you! This year we’re hosting company and I feel like we have sooooo much to do to prepare. A big platter in the middle of the table filled with appetizers is a great way to start the meal while you wrap things up in the kitchen.

  4. Joyce says:

    My daughter is getting married in September and I am planning to do my own catering, Her theme is rustic so one of the favorites has been mini sweet potato ham biscuits and buffalo chicken bites with blue cheese mousse.

  5. Jackson Jones says:

    Black Olive tapenade, Pine Nut Hummus, Fresh Aolio set in the center of a large board or platter surrounded by endive leaves, radishes, pita chips, crostini, chunks of poached chilled cod, carrot sticks, green pepper strips, broccoli crowns, bread sticks, create a very eye appealing and appetite engaging starter.

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