Quick and Easy Holiday Appetizer Spread

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This holiday season, wow your guests with delicious bread bowl dip, mini caprese pizza bites and savoury beef crostinis – all made with ingredients found in the deli aisle at your local Atlantic Superstore.

Big thanks to Atlantic Superstore for sponsoring this delicious post!

I think we can all agree that nothing brings friends and family together better than food, right? This year my birthday falls on the Saturday before Christmas, so it just made sense to host our annual open house party for friends and family at the same time! Double celebration!

Our gatherings are all about relaxing, sinking into the slowness of the season and there’s always a range of ages too – parents, little kids, teenagers; so we plan the food accordingly. We want there to be something for everyone to enjoy. This year, we decided to do an entire edible spread full of savoury appetizers and finger foods with a giant bread bowl right smack in the middle. 

How I planned the holiday appetizer spread

The first thing I did was decide on the bread bowl. As an edible centrepiece and the focal point of the table, I knew I wanted it to be a dip that appealed to everyone’s tastes. I decided to go with a warm onion dip encased in a gorgeous crusty loaf from the bakery at Superstore. 

This is one of my favourite ways to enjoy dip! You cut a ‘bowl’ (also called a boule) into a large circular loaf, make your dip and then scoop it into the centre. Break off the bread directly from the bowl to dip! One thing thing to consider is if you don’t think you’ll eat it all in one go, you can always put a ramekin dish into the bread and fill that with the dip to save the bread from going soggy. 

To make this onion dip

  1. Peel and chop a large onion.
  2. Heat about 2 TBSP olive oil in a frying pan. Add onions and caramelize over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add in 2TBSP chopped fresh garlic and incorporate for about two more minutes.
  4. Turn heated ingredients into a dish containing 1 cup grated swiss cheese, 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 8 oz. cream cheese and stir well. 
  5. Season dip with salt and pepper.
  6. Turn dip into the bread boule and heat under a 500F broiler for about 10 minutes or until bread gets crusty.
  7. Top with chives or green onions for colour. Serve with more chunky bread.

The next step was to add in complimentary appetizers along with other little finger foods, like the mini pizzas! These aren’t just ordinary pizzas – they are a little fancier with Dan’s homemade pizza dough, fresh PC smoked mozzarella, juicy cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.

We cut the dough in triangles, added a generous slice of cheese and baked them for about 12 minutes. Then, fresh from the oven, we topped them with a few fresh tomatoes and basil and drizzled them with olive oil. Absolute perfection and they taste good warm or cold.

The final appetizer is one of the simplest to make, but it’s a hit with guests every time. Roast beef crostinis! I buy thinly sliced beef at the deli counter, along with some fresh cream cheese. Slice up a crusty baguette and cucumber stack them up. As an alternate, you could swap the beef for a lovely smoked salmon or go completely vegetarian with just cucumbers.

Filling out the holiday spread

I filled out the appetizer spread with some traditional and non-traditional charcuterie foods – big chunky olives (fresh from Superstore’s olive bar!), gorgeous almonds and nuts,  and some special blocks of cheese. I also added in a variety of crackers to the mix. This year, the Superstore even had boxes of fancy cheeses already packaged up – which made it so much easier to just grab and go.

Adding in the decor

I went super minimal for my holiday decor this year. So for the holiday party spread, I kept things basic and pretty. A neutral table runner with some simple plates, wintery themed serviettes and chunky wooden cutting boards.

I brought in a bit of the season with some festive greenery and a few candles to amp up the glow factor. 

I hope you find this inspirational for your next festive gathering of food lovers, whether it’s for the holidays, New Year or just a warm inviting winter evening. 

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