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Happier New Years Eve Hors D'oeuvres PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 26 December 2013 00:00

Holiday entertaining is all about food, wine and quality time with family and friends. This year, try a new approach to holiday get-togethers by hosting an hors d'oeuvres party.

Skip the hassle of preparing a full meal by serving a number of small bites, dips and spreads for your guests to enjoy. Most hors d'oeuvres can be prepared ahead of time so you can spend more time with your guests instead of in the kitchen, making it easy to entertain flawlessly.

The best part is you don't have to break the bank to host a fabulous holiday gathering. By switching from national name brands to a grocer like ALDI, party essentials and seasonal must-haves, such as holiday gifts and baking necessities, can be as much as 50 percent less. Manufactured by many of the nation's leading food producers, these exclusive brand items often meet or exceed the quality and taste of the national name brands.

Try these hors d'oeuvre serving tips from food stylist and loyal ALDI shopper Janice Stahl:

* Rethink the regular: Surprise guests and get creative with classic recipes by changing the presentation. Square pizza bites, circular tea sandwiches or star-shaped fruit make entertaining fun.

* Keep hors d'oeuvres simple: Serve foods that are bite-sized and easy to pick up. Try skewers to create festive kabobs, which are perfect for nibbling.

* Presentation is everything: Experiment with serving pieces like vases, champagne glasses or appetizer cups that add special interest to bite-sized snacks from chips and dip to shrimp cocktail.

With these simple tips and recipes, you'll be ready to throw a festive holiday hors d'oeuvres party that's easy and affordable. Visit for more entertaining ideas.

Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups

Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI
Test Kitchen
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Cook time: 3 minutes
Yields: 16 ceviche cups
1 1/2 teaspoons iodized salt, divided
16 ounces medium raw shrimp,
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or
ground black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano

16 ounces tortilla chips

2 limes cut into wedges
Fresh cranberries, optional

Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately plunge cooked shrimp into ice water bath. Peel shrimp and place in flat dish. In food processor, combine cranberries, red onion, parsley and jalapeno. Pulse until finely chopped. Add cranberry mixture to shrimp. Add lemon juice, lime juice, remaining salt, crushed red pepper and oregano. Stir to combine ingredients thoroughly. Refrigerate for 1 hour. To assemble, spoon ceviche, about 4 to 5 shrimp each, into small clear cups or glasses. Garnish with tortilla chips and lime wedges.

Pistachio Lemon Truffles

Test Kitchen
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to
Cook time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to
Yields: 24 truffles
1 1/4 cups pistachios, shelled
8 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces plain goat cheese
3/4 cup dried mixed berries,
1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
Pinch ground black pepper

Roughly chop pistachios, place in bowl. With electric mixer, cream together remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Scoop tablespoon size balls of cheese mixture and roll in pistachios to coat. To serve, sprinkle platter with remaining pistachios and place truffles on top. Serve with crackers.

Signature Drink

A signature drink is a must at any holiday soiree. Get creative by offering guests a specialty cocktail that matches the color scheme for the event. An avid party hostess, food stylist Janice Stahl makes the occasion special by pairing white wine with a splash of cranberrypomegranate juice, garnished with fresh fruit or herbs. Giving your signature drink an original name to reflect your personality is an added touch your guests will love. For a lasting impression, hand out recipe cards of your signature drink as party favors.

Recipe courtesy of ALDI Food
Stylist, Janice Stahl
Sugar for glass rim
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup cranberry- pomegranate
1 tablespoon fresh cranberries
Fresh fruit for garnish

Dip rim of glass in sugar. Pour wine and juice into glass, stirring to combine. Drop in cranberries, along with any additional fruit desired. Serve immediately.

Entertain with Delicious Dips

Dip Tips Here are a few tips and tricks to use when preparing any dip recipe:

* Make quick dips, like plain hummus or Greek yogurt with curry powder, and add a little spice with Tabasco Sauce.

* Prepare some dips a day or so in advance to save time on party day. Bean- and vegetablebased dips keep best overnight.

* For a healthier option, dip with veggies instead of chips. In addition to your favorite standbys, try sliced peppers, radishes or fruit, such as apples or melon. For more recipes and tips, visit

Spicy Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen
chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts,
drained and chopped
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
cheese, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese,
2 tablespoons Tabasco Original Red
Salt, to taste
Toasted pita bread wedges
1 cup medium tomato, chopped, for
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt butter in large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, 3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, Tabasco Original Red Sauce and salt. Stir until well blended and heated through. Pour mixture into 1 1/2-quart casserole dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup Monterey Jack and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake in oven until cheese starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Serve with pita bread and garnish with tomatoes.

Healthy Home Entertaining

Make mealtime memorable with lean, flavorful lamb

(Family Features) When hosting your next get together, share a great meal that offers a variety of foods that are both delicious and good-for-you. Nutrition is often overlooked when planning menus, even though a recent U.S. survey showed 81 percent of grocery shoppers report putting at least "some" or "a lot" of effort into better eating. According to Janice Bissex, registered dietitian, one way to have enjoyable healthy meals is increasing variety at the table by including unique foods, such as lean lamb. "When it comes to healthy entertaining, it's important to serve a diverse array of foods," said Bissex, "and flavorful, tender lamb is a nutrient-rich protein source that's as easy to prepare as other meats." Here are a few reasons why lamb is the perfect protein to add to the menu: * Lean. On average, a 3-ounce serving of lean lamb has only 170 calories. Lean cuts include the leg, loin and rack.

* Omega-3s. Lamb can contribute to your daily intake of the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic (ALA). A 3-ounce serving of lean lamb provides about the same amount of omega-3s found in a 1 tablespoon serving of olive oil.

* Nutrient Rich. Lamb is naturally nutrient rich, and on average, is an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, selenium, and a good source of iron and riboflavin. For more tips and tasty lamb recipes for healthy home entertaining visit www. and www.pinterest. com/leanonlamb.

Sweet & Sour Lamb Meatballs

Yield: 8 appetizer servings (4 meatballs per serving)
Recipe provided by Janice Bissex, registered dietitian

1 pound lean ground leg of lamb
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely diced (about
1/2 cup)
1 large egg, beaten
3 scallions, white part only, finely chopped
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 scallions, green part only, sliced into thin rings
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line large baking sheet with foil, lightly oil or coat with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Combine lamb, panko, bell pepper, egg, scallion whites, soy sauce, ginger and pepper in large bowl and mix until ingredients are just combined. Shape meat mixture into 32 balls. Place on prepared baking sheet and cook until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the hoisin sauce, honey, vinegar and ginger together in large bowl until well combined. When meatballs come out of oven, add them to bowl and toss gently to combine. Place meatballs on serving platter with toothpicks and sprinkle with scallion greens and sesame seeds. Note: Serve meatball appetizers with small cubes of fresh pineapple. Meatballs can also be served over whole wheat egg noodles with a side of sautÈed vegetables, such as red bell pepper, snow peas and cauliflower. Nutrition information per serving: 180 calories, 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 16 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 270 mg sodium, 20% vitamin C.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 December 2013 22:52

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