Holiday Appetizers

6 December 2023

During this last month of the year, it seems there are lots of parties and you are often asked to bring some goodies to share.  It is also a popular time to entertain in your own home, whether a gathering for the family or friends, or just you and your sweetie.  Here are some ideas for snackables.

Caramelized Onion Dip


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ½ cups (1 large) sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups (1 medium) yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups (1 medium) red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups (4 medium) shallots, thinly sliced
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper



  • Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat until butter is melted. Add onions and shallots.  Salt to taste.  Stir and fold into each other until barely soft.  Reduce heat and continue cooking until they are caramelized, adding scallions halfway through.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and add cream cheese, stirring until cream cheese is fully incorporated. Add sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and cayenne. Stir well to combine.  Salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Cover and chill at least three hours or up to over night
  • Serve at room temperature with chips, breads, or other items.


Chipotle-Cranberry Turkey Meatballs


  • 2 pounds lean, ground turkey
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • ½ cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic



  • 1 medium navel orange
  • 1 pound cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup honey


  • 3 cups cranberry-orange sauce (see above) – Reserve sauce
  • 2 cans (7 ounces each) chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce from cans



  • Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine turkey, onion, oats, parsley, salt and pepper, cumin, chile powder, paprika, eggs, and garlic in a large bowl, but do not over mix. Allow to rest 10 minutes.
  • Form meatballs using a small scoop and place on prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake until firm (about 20 minutes) or until internal temperature is at least 165. Remove and set aside.
  • Meanwhile prepare sauce. Cut orange, including peel, into 8 or 10 pieces and place in a food processor.  Finely chop.  Place orange, cranberries, and water in a medium saucepan.  Cook on medium-high uncovered until cranberries begin to burst, stirring occasionally.  Reduce to low, cover pan, and stir occasionally until thick.  Remove from heat and stir in honey.
  • For glaze: 3 cups cranberry-orange sauce, chipotle chiles, hone, and adobo sauce in a large saucepan.  Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until heated through.  Remove from heat and add meatballs, stirring to coat evenly.  Serve warm.


Turkey and Cranberry Pinwheels


  • 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 2 small jalapeno peppers, stemmed and chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 12-inch spinach flour tortillas
  • 32 thin slices turkey



  • Combine cranberries, jalapenos, onions, and cilantro into a food processor. Blend until everything is finely chopped but not a paste.  Transfer to a bowl and add sugar and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
  • Mix cream cheese and cheddar cheese until evenly combined.
  • Spread cheese mixture evenly over each tortilla. Spread ¼ cup of cranberry mixture on one half of each tortilla.  Layer turkey over cranberry mixture.
  • Roll each filled tortilla tightly starting at the end with the cranberry mixture. Cut into 1 inch pieces.
  • Arrange pinwheels into the shape of a Christmas tree or wreath for a seasonal flair.
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