Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Appetizers

I have been in the kitchen all day cooking up Christmas presents for my family. Unfortunately, Sydney follows me on Pinterest, so I cannot share the recipes on my blog today. I don't want to spoil the surprise.

Harper helped me make these rice krispie treats for my dad. There is no fear of him seeing them on Pinterest. It's more likely that Harp will blab, but hopefully she can keep her mouth shut for two more days. (Can you believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve?) My dad loves rice krispie treats, and I am sure he will love them with Harper's special touch all the more.

On Saturday I posted a bunch of Christmas desserts. (See the post here.) A week or so ago I shared a yummy turkey recipe. Back in November I shared a ton of Thanksgiving recipes that work for Christmas too. All that you need now are some appetizers. Good thing that I have a few to share with you.

First up is a really good recipe for a cream cheese hummus dip and homemade pretzel bites to dip in it. The dip has a bit of a kick, and is also good with pita chips (recipe follows), tortilla chips, crackers, veggies, or pretty much anything else you could think to dip in it.

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels Bites with Hummus Cream Cheese Dip (3)
Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels Bites with Hummus Cream Cheese Dip
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp honey
2/3 tsp yeast
½ tsp salt
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tbsp oil
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp water
sea salt, for topping (optional)

Mix the water, oil, honey, and yeast together. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes before adding the salt and flour. Stir it all together and then knead for 5 minutes. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, divide the dough into four balls. Roll them out into long snakes on a floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut the snakes into bite sized pieces. Brush them with the egg mixture and sprinkle the sea salt overtop, if using. Bake on an oiled baking pan for 18- 20 minutes.
Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels Bites with Hummus Cream Cheese Dip (1)

Or you could opt to make the pretzel bites into big pretzels. They are great either way.
½ cup spicy three pepper hummus
¼ cup cream cheese

Heat the cream cheese for 15 seconds in the microwave. Mix the hummus and cream cheese together until fully incorporated. Serve with your pretzel bites.

baked pita chips (1)
Baked Pita Chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Split the pitas in half so that it becomes two disks. Cut it into triangles. Spread the triangles out on a baking sheet, spray with oil, and bake for 7 minutes. Flip the chips over, and bake another 7 minutes. Allow them to cool and then enjoy.

These no bake peanut date cookie balls are the perfect combination of sweet and salty all wrapped up in a healthy, energizing ball of deliciousness. These very well may be the best dish on your Christmas snacking plate, in taste and nutrition.
Peanut Date Cookie Dough Ball
Peanut Date Cookie Dough Ball
makes 24
1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
1 cups pitted dates
1 cup peanut butter
Put the dates in a microwavable bowl and cover them with water. Microwave for 1 minute and then drain off the water. Blend ¾ cup of peanuts until they form a flour. Add the dates, peanut butter, and the rest of the peanuts and blend until well mixed. Form into balls and freeze for ½ an hour.
Two days until the big day! Happy cooking.

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