Are your holiday affairs in order? Have you checked off everything on your list, except the gatherings and “bring a dish if you wish” evenings? I feel under pressure to whip up something as opposed to grabbing that tub of dip at Sam’s Club. And don’t think I didn’t consider it. I, too, get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle, clean the house for company, buy and wrap gifts, manage a project load solo at work, laundry from two college kids — you feel my pain yet? It’s life, right? Who is going to judge if that cheesy store-bought tub is in your pretty dish? Okay, honestly I can hear the murmurs before they start; doesn’t she like to cook? She has a food blog, right? Umm, yes, you got me there. But I digress; I can give you a list of all my quick shop go-to’s if you want, or I can draft this lovely child of mine to sous-chef for me today (for pay, and yes, the bacon recipe cinched the deal).
This year I am going to dub this the trifecta of the holiday season. The dish that keeps on giving. In the right way, of course, not the gross way. If you followed me back in September, I had a basil bush three feet tall. I made pesto, of course, the recipe offered here. I am lock stocked in pesto for one of these recipes. If you don’t want to make it because (I am not going to lie, this time of year fresh basil is pricey) it is OKIE DOKEY to get the jar stuff. Yes, I said it, premade — kind of lost the whole vibe of this post but, whatever. I am rolling with it.
Okay, so #1 of this trifecta is Red Pepper Pesto Potatoes. One thing I have to say is this is easy and festive looking and tastes fantastic.
The second recipe is an old standby that I tweaked with goat cheese. I love a good cheese ball, but this one is full of fresh herbs and crunchy pecans smeared on red pepper spears or cukes (because we need a healthy alternative to the toasts.) I could honestly eat this for lunch. Speaking of that, I have chopped up the leftovers of this and sprinkled them over a roasted beet arugula salad.
The third recipe brings home the bacon. I adapted it with bourbon instead — who knew bacon and bourbon and brittle would be a match made in heaven? I mean, I LOVE homemade peanut brittle, the thinner the better. Adding bacon into the mix might make me a believer that all things could be good with bacon. Of course, everything in moderation.Print
Need a fast appetizer? This dish is super easy and brings on the holiday flair!
- 4 medium red potatoes
- 4 tablespoons pesto sauce
- 1 block cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- olive oil spray
- 4 tablespoons roasted red pepper strips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice four red potatoes about 1/2 inch thick and place on parchment lined pan. Spray olive oil onto potatoes. Sprinkle with garlic salt, flip over potatoes and repeat. Roast the potato slices for 25 minutes, turning halfway till tender and golden.
While potatoes are roasting, mix softened cream cheese with your prepared pesto sauce. Our recipe is here if you have fresh basil growing this time of year 🙂 Recipe calls for arugula, just sub out for basil.
Add tabasco sauce to the mixture and blend by hand till smooth.
Once potatoes are out of oven and plate them onto your entertaining ware. Add a small teaspoon scoop of cheese mixture onto each potato slice. Make a tiny well in center to hold your roasted red pepper slice.
You can garnish with a bit of parsley to make it legit. Enjoy!