Check out our recipes for the perfect semi-homemade party foods! Guests will love our shrimp cocktail with brussels sprout pesto and other fab holiday finger foods!
You know how hindsight is 20-20? Well, there was that year my husband and I offered to host the holiday party for his co-workers. It would be “4 office-mates and their guests,” he said. I’m not sure what happened at the water cooler that year, but a few days before the party, my husband was all… “So, how do you feel about 40 guests?”
As a food blogger, I felt all kinds of pressure to pull off and execute the perfect, from-scratch holiday party. And, oh, did I mention? The DAY BEFORE we were to host the party, I found out I was pregnant! Yep.
At the end of the day, everyone had fun, the food was decent, and I was a HOT MESS. As was the house.
That was then. This is now. Let’s chalk it up to experience. Gone are the days of trying to make meatballs from scratch and home-baked pastries to impress my guests. These days, I’m making semi-homemade apps for the holidays. With a tweak here and there, I’m pulling off the perfect holiday party without the stress. And a lot less mess. (Not to mention no more pregnancies… phew!)
Semi-Homemade Party Food
Brussels Sprout Pesto
I LOOOVE shrimp cocktail, and I really like the cocktail sauce that comes-with. So by all means, be sure to add it to your spread. But, to really knock the socks off your guests, serve it with this on-trend and tasty Brussels Sprout Pesto!
Trim and quarter 1 1/2 cups of brussels sprouts. Trim and thinly slice one more brussels sprout. Place the quartered brussels sprouts to a microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 cup of water and cook on high for 3-4 minutes. You want them slightly softened but bright green.
Drain and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, coat a small skillet with cooking spray. Add in the sliced brussels sprout and a tiny pinch of salt. Cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes until the leaves are slightly charred.
Once the steamed brussels sprouts have cooled, place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add in 1 cup of prepared pesto. Blend until smooth. Serve alongside skewered and chilled shrimp.
Spicy Herbed Marinated Cheese
This recipe is packed with tons of great flavor and is super-easy to make. Even better? Whip it up the day before, then simply let it come to room temperature before serving.
In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon each: dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley. Add 1/2 Tb. salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Whisk in 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Carefully add your favorite cubed cheese, like havarti.
You can divide up the marinade and keep each cheese separate or go ahead and mix them up. Stir to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with lemon zest for additional flair once in the serving bowl.
Sweet Chili Cream Sauce Dip
Grab a package or five of frozen egg rolls. They’re one of my favorite go-to holiday hosting foods. Serve them with this easy Sweet Chili Cream Sauce Dip for the perfect pairing experience!
Combine 1/2 cup mayo, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce, and 1 tablespoon buffalo wing sauce. Stir until smooth. Serve with the Wellsley Farms Steak and Cheese Spring Rolls cooked according to package directions.