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12 Days of Christmas - Day 11 - Appetizers of the Season

I LOVE a great appetizer! Small bites of a variety of foods is my absolute favourite way to eat and entertain! I have put together a few new appetizers that I am testing out this holiday season. Check out last years appetizer blog for more ideas.

Let's Eat!

Cowboy Caviar

This fresh and slightly healthier offering than the usual Christmas party menu you will be able to continue eating it all night long because it's so addictive! This is great as a 'dip' / 'Salsa' or for a Mexican themed dinner.


  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed or 1.5 cups of fresh corn

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 diced avocados

  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced

  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped finely (I make a small batch without cilantro because Darren doesn't like it and it is still delish!)

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing


  1. Dice the avocado and tomatoes into cubes.

  2. Chop the onion into semi-fine cubes.

  3. Place corn, beans, avocado, tomatoes, onion and cilantro into a large mixing bowl.

  4. Squeeze lime juice over the avocados so they don’t brown. Sprinkle salt over the entire bowl and pour on Italian dressing. Stir until well combined. Don't over mix as the avocado will mash and it will not be as chunky.

  5. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for an hour to meld the flavours together. This is best served the same day.

  6. Serve with your favourite tortilla chips.

Crab Rangoon Dip in Wonton Cups

Who doesn't love Crab Rangoon? I don't have a deep fryer so this is the next best thing!


  • 2 (6-ounce) cans lump crab meat, drained and finely chopped (I like the Costco Crab from he deli refrigerator if it is available)

  • 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • 1 TB soy sauce

  • 1.5 TB powdered sugar

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

  • 1 scallion, finely chopped

  • 1 package Wonton wrappers

  • spray olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.

  2. Place mixture into a 9x9 baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling around the edges.

  3. Cut wonton wrappers in half diagonally to make triangles. Lightly coat each wonton with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

  4. Prepare mini muffin tins by spraying cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place a single layer of wontons into each muffin hole to create a little cup.

  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes (ovens vary) or until golden brown. Make sure to watch them VERY CAREFULLY. You can go from “not cooked” to completely burnt in less than a minute. I recommend making the wonton cups in advance.

  6. Serve warm dip with wonton cups.

  7. Serve with Sweet Chili Sauce.

Pizza Sliders

These are not fancy and they're a little messy compared to my usual Christmas party fare but they are a crowd fav so I wanted to include them. They are a great thing to serve if you have kids/teens and you need to fill everyone up! I don't recommend serving these before a full dinner.


  • 1 12-pack of tray buns (the butter ones that are connected to one another).

  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce

  • 35 – 40 pieces pepperoni slices (you can add or sub for your fav Italian meats)

  • As desired pickled pepper rings (hot and spicy or just pickled) - skip for kids

  • 2 cups mozzarella, shredded

  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

  • sprinkling Italian seasoning


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tray buns in half horizontally, while keeping them all connected.

  2. Spread the pizza sauce on the top of the bottom half of the buns. (at this point, it would be a good idea to place the buns in a slightly greased or sprayed 9 x 13 pan)

  3. Layer on the pepperoni pieces so they cover the entire surface of the buns. Layer on the pepper rings.

  4. Layer on the mozzarella cheese. Replace the top section of the buns.

  5. Mix the butter, garlic powder, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning together. Brush over the tops of the buns, getting into the nooks and crannies of the buns.

  6. Bake for approximately 10 – 12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Pimento Cheese Ball


  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened

  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise

  • 2½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 (4-oz) jar diced pimentos, drained

  • ¼ tsp garlic salt

  • ¼ tsp onion powder

  • finely chopped pecans or almonds


  1. Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheeses, pimentos, garlic salt and onion powder in a bowl. Mix well. Form mixture into a ball and roll in chopped pecans.

  2. Refrigerate several hours to overnight before serving with crackers. Let soften slightly before serving.

Beef + Blue Cheese Crostini

The great thing about a crostini appetizer is you can do a variety. I am sharing a beef and blue cheese option but your imagination can come up with any combinations you love! I've made fig jam, brie cheese and reduced balsamic, or cranberry compote, turkey and mayo, or shrimp in a cream sauce. Whatever you can think of, you can put it on a crostini and serve on a pretty plate and you have a beautiful and delish appetizer!


  • 1 French bread baguette (10-1/2 ounces)

  • Cooking spray

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons minced chives

  • 1 tablespoon horseradish

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1-1/4 pounds shaved deli roast beef

  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

  • Additional minced chives


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut baguette into 36 slices. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Spritz with cooking spray. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake until lightly browned, 4-6 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sour cream, chives, horseradish and salt.

  3. Top toasts with beef; dollop with sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and additional chives.

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread

This will hit the spot for everyone's sweet tooth! A strange but delicious mix of sweet and savoury flavours. I like to serve this as a dessert but it can be with the rest of your spread if you prefer. Whenever you serve it, it will NOT last long! This is the absolute easiest thing you will ever make.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese.

  • 1/2 cup (or more) caramel sauce (I use store-bought).

  • 1/2 cup (or more) toffee bits or a nut (or candied nut) of your choice.

  • Sliced apples, pears, pretzels chips for serving (at least 5-6 apples).


  1. Shape the cream cheese into a round disk and make a shallow indent in the top to hold more caramel and nuts. Place cream cheese on a serving dish. Pour as much caramel sauce as you want evenly over cream cheese. Sprinkle with a generous helping of toffee bit or nuts.

  2. Serve with sliced apples, pears, or pretzels.


I hope these recipes inspire you to try a new recipe this year! Check out last years appetizer Christmas appetizer blog HERE for more ideas!

WOW, only one day left! I am so thrilled you are reading along every day. It means the world to me! Thank you.



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