New Year’s Eve is soon and with it comes lavish parties, champagne…and food. As if that was something we needed after the last few weeks of Christmas cookies and the overstuffed bellies at Thanksgiving. So how is it possible to enjoy the season’s revelry without having to buy a bigger pair of pants? Find a few luxurious looking appetizers like these Seared Scallops and Baby Spinach with Spiced Pomegranate Glaze spoons that come with a low caloric load to serve as party food. They don’t look like they’re healthy on purpose, so they almost feel like cheating. As a bonus, this healthy appetizer is gluten-free and the perfect accompaniment for a glass of champagne.
This recipe for Seared Scallops and Baby Spinach with Spiced Pomegranate Glaze was originally written out to serve as a full meal. All the fantastic flavors that are in it made it perfect for shrinking down to a bite-size appetizer, but you will need to find a few wonton spoons to serve them up. The only significant change I made to the recipe was to use small scallops instead of the larger variety. You can’t quite fit a large scallop gracefully in your mouth in a single try, so the smaller bay scallop is a much better choice. I also found it wasn’t entirely necessary to sprinkle the scallops with sugar.
To assemble the scallops as an appetizer, lay a small bed of sautéed spinach in the wonton spoon, then a seared scallop, and drizzle with the pomegranate glaze. Add a few pomegranate seeds on top for garnish, and they’re ready to serve. The contrasting textures and sweet and tart flavors with a little bit of spice made for one amazing mouthful.
Not only is this appetizer healthy, it’s super quick to make. It took me 20 minutes to plate up about two dozen spoons. Speedy fancy appetizers are a boon for any hostess busy with party preparations!
Cheese balls. Even the words evoke a party. Katie here, prompting you to consider this season of get-togethers as an opportunity to try out a few of our best cheese ball recipes. We’ve gathered them all here, and recently I gave a few a test-run for a work party. I’ll tell you our favorite (and our favorite dippers) at the end!
I made these three:
The recipes are available here:
Since I’m likely to forget an ingredient unless I plan, I printed each recipe and laid out the supplies. (Not a necessary step, I know, but it made me feel better as I chopped, measured, mixed, and poured.):
Each of these recipes makes a party-size portion (think 30 or so servings), so I cut the recipes into thirds since our party was smaller and I was making three cheese balls.
Mixing was fun; each cheese ball took on a life of its own with its savory, sweet, or spicy add-ins:
Ensure you have lots of chill time before the party; each cheese ball needs to bank a few hours in the fridge before you roll them (don’t worry, each recipe explains more).
My hands were too gooey to take pics, but you get the idea from the finished products:
Next, I wanted party-goers to know what they’re eating so I doodled on scrapbook paper and taped a toothpick to the back to make these handy guides:
And what’s a cheese ball without yummy dippers? I recommend crunchy veggies and, the party’s favorite, Melba crackers:
What fun! Each party-goer weighed in on their favorite. The results? Bacon Cheddar emerged victorious. C’mon, why would you ever bet against bacon?
Here’s the thing, I’m not a big football fan. Yes, it’s true; I’m one of those folks who have no idea which teams are playing in the Super Bowl until I actually get to the party. Though, what I lack in terms of interest in the game, I think I make up for through my enthusiasm for party food. Whether it’s a delicious dip, a decadent dessert, or a delightful delicacy (something wrapped in bacon!?) – I’m all over it! With the holidays more than a month behind us, I’m up for any excuse to get together with friends and family, break our diets, and pig out. (I love watching the commercials, too.) As you know, BHG has been creating fabulous recipes for years. Many have become family favorites and others have yet to be explored. So, in celebration of the upcoming biggest game of the year, I have pulled together a number of recipes for game day. Whether you are watching the game, or just the commercials, enjoy the food as you connect with your family and friends!
Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm