Braising, roasting, marinating, candying, glazing, piping—it all takes care, craft and, most importantly, time. But with main courses, desserts, cocktails, sides and not to mention everything else that goes into getting the house ready for a holiday meal...we need timesavers. As a part of our 12 Days of Hosting Journal Series, our social media coordinator, Piper, has pulled together her favourite fast appetizers to pique your guest's palettes in next to no time.

"There are so many things pulling your attention when you're in the final countdown to a party. These are my go-to finger foods because they take very little effort (with most of the ingredients already in your cupboard), but still serve a little more sophistication than a veggie tray or bowl of chips." 

Balsamic Caprese Bites

You'll need:

  • 24 Cherry Tomatoes 
  • 24 Small Mozzarella Balls
  • 24 Basil Leaves
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • Basil (ground)
  • Oregano (ground)
  • Rosemary (ground)
  • Thyme (ground)
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic (crushed)
  • 4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tsp Honey
  • 1 Tsp Mustard (a simple dijon is best)
  • Flaked Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Mixing bowl
  • 24 Small wooden skewers or toothpicks
  • Serving tray

Directions:

  1. Combine 1/2 cup of your olive oil, ground herbs and garlic in a bowl and briefly whisk to combine. Add mozzarella balls to the mix to ensure each has an even coating. Place in the bowl in fridge to marinate (either 10 minutes before serving or up to 12 hours if you prepare ahead.)
  2. In separate bowl: mix remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and mustard. Whisk to combine. Set this balsamic glaze aside.
  3. Wash tomatoes and basil leaves. Pat to dry.
  4. Remove marinade from fridge. To each skewer: add a tomato, basil leaf and mozzarella ball. 
  5. Place on serving tray. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.
  6. Serve. Enjoy!

Serves 6 - 10

Blue Cheese Pears

You'll need:

  • 2 Large Pears
  • Blue Cheese
  • 12 Slices of Prosciutto 
  • 3 Tbs Honey (a spiced or flavoured honey glaze works too)
  • 12 Walnuts or Pecans
  • Black Pepper (ground)
  • Small bowl
  • Serving tray

Directions:

  1. Wash, half, pit and slice pears into 24 flat strips.
  2. On each slice: place approx. 1/2 tsp of blue cheese and one nut.
  3. Wrap each slice with a single slice of prosciutto. Place on a serving tray.
  4. In small bowl, pour honey. Warm very slightly in microwave (10 - 15 seconds.) Drizzle over top of blue cheese pears. Ground pepper, to taste. 
  5. Serve. Enjoy!

Serves 4 - 5

Nathan's Parmesan Crisps 

You'll need:

  • 1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Flakes (based on spice preference)
  • 1/2 Tsp Italian Seasoning (ground)
  • Black Pepper (ground)
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper
  • Serving bowl
  • If preferred, dip or sauce of choice

Directions:

  1. Place oven shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl: combine freshly grated parmesan, Italian seasoning and chilli flakes. Lightly fold with a fork to combine.
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment. Pour mixed parmesan in the centre of your baking tray and distribute evenly into one large crisp shape. (It should be thin but not sparse in any areas.)
  4. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, but watch as this can burn quickly. You’re looking for even bubbling and a golden colour.
  5. Remove and let cool for 30 - 45 seconds. Before it fully sets, cut (with cooking scissors or sharp knife) into squares. If you want to really impress your guests, mold each cooling crisp around a rolling pin or clean wine bottle to achieve a curved shape.
  6. Allow to fully cool. Black pepper, to taste. 
  7. Serve alongside your favourite dip. Enjoy!

Serves 4 - 5

Check back tomorrow for more seasonal tips and recipes during our 12 Days of Hosting series! Follow Flax Home on Instagram and subscribe to our Newsletter to be the first notified for new launches, sales and exclusive perks.

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