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Holiday Party Hors d’Oeuvre Tips: We’ll Help Make Your Holiday Party Stress-free!

How to Holiday with Newport Avenue Market

So, you want to throw a fab holiday party, but you still want time to relax and play — after all, the trails and the slopes are waiting, and you just don’t want to stress about party planning. Chill. We’re here for you. We’re the only employee-owned market in Central Oregon, and that means we are the local experts on great food, drink, and fun — and the best at making your holiday party memorable but easy, too!

You’ll notice the difference as soon as you walk in our doors. Our staff experts are always at the ready for whatever you need. We have everything from the most delicious and interesting ingredients to stylish party decor. Now all you need are a few ideas, tips, and recipe ideas to pull it off, right? Well, here they are!

A Few Tips on How to Make Your Holiday Party the Tops and Six Holiday Hors d’Oeuvre Recipes to Try Now!

Tip One: Size Matters

When it comes to throwing a great holiday party, the size of those delicious hors d’oeuvres matters greatly. In fact, it’s one of the keys to preparing the perfect holiday party food, not to mention the overall enjoyment of your guests.

Just picture it: you’re having a fun conversation at a holiday party with someone you’ve wanted to chat with for a long time. You’re laughing, you’ve taken a sip or two of a lovely flute of bubbles or an interesting vino or a seasonal brew, and then you lift a delicious-looking hors d’oeuvre to your lips. You bite into it and then you realize there’s no easy way to eat this. It’s breaking apart. It’s falling — onto you, the floor, your shoe. The gaffe hijacks your conversation. It’s a faux pas that can be easily avoided with bite-size, easy to eat appetizers and hors d’oeuvres.

How do you create delicious, crowd-pleasing hors d’oeuvres that will satisfy your guests? Read on.

Tip Two: A Little Goes A Long Way

Take bite-size pieces of any of our local breads and top it off with some of our terrific, high-quality ingredients, and hors d’oeuvres are a cinch. Think wild salmon lox with cream cheese, a dollop of caviar, a drizzle of garlic oil and garnish with a sprig of fresh dill. It’s a crowd-pleaser, especially for the indulgent crowd.

There’s nothing ordinary about cheese and crackers when you visit our Cheesemonger Jeff and get a guided tour through our case. We hand-pick every piece, and you can taste just about anything—from world-renowned Oregon Rogue River Blue, to oh-so-popular Cougar Gold, to Truffle Tremor, an earth-shaking epicurean delight.

Tip Three: Make Mini-lamb Skewers in a Snap

Our house-made, tender, juicy, flavor-packed lamb kebabs win over even lamb naysayers. That’s because we use sustainably raised Umpqua Valley lamb, and grind it in-house with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs.

These entree-sized kebabs can easily be transformed into luscious appetizers in minutes. Simply divide the meat on each of our skewers into bite-size portions.

To cook, place the lamb meatballs on a cookie sheet coated with olive oil, heat oven to 425°F, bake for 8 to 10 minutes on one side, turn them over and cook another 7 to 10 minutes (or until, using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature of the meat has reached 145°F).

Tip Four: Pick Up Some Party Picks

Party picks make hors d’oeuvres that much more fun and appealing, especially when they are Bend’s Simply Baked appetizer and cocktail picks. Sleek and stylish, these natural wood picks have great design elements, such as metallic gold ball tips, marvelous form as well as function.

The party picks are perfect for dipping each mini, luscious lamb skewer (see hors d’oeuvre idea above) into refreshing, creamy, cucumber-yogurt tzatziki, which we also carry. These tasty morsels don’t require a plate, only a cocktail napkin (oh, we have a ton of those) and are easy to eat while mingling, drink in hand.

We’re just getting started. Here are six of our favorite holiday hors d’oeuvre recipes to make your holiday party fabulous, fun, and easy.

1. Gorgonzola-Pear Toast

Makes 40

Ingredients:
1 baguette, cut into ¼” thick slices
Extra-virgin olive oil
8-10 oz. of our new Gorgonzola Dip (available in the deli)
1 – 15 oz. can of pear halves in juice, drained and slices each half into 3 pieces
1 cup candied pecans (available at Newport Avenue Market)
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400º.

Lightly brush 1 side of each baguette slice with olive oil, place single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 5-7 minutes or until just brown. Let cool.

Spread or pipe the gorgonzola dip on the toasts.

Top with pear slices and chopped pecans. Sprinkle with parsley.

2. Ham and Pickled Asparagus Wraps

Makes 20

Ingredients:
1 large jar of pickled asparagus
2 packages of our Gorgonzola Dip or 1 – 8 oz. package of Cream Cheese
1.5 lbs. sliced Boars Head Ham – Smokemaster, Rosemary, Honey baked or Black Forest

Ask the deli to set the slicer on #8 for perfect ham slices.

Directions:
Lay a slice of ham on your cutting board. Spread with a light layer of the gorgonzola spread, almost to the edge.

Lay an asparagus spear on one end and simply roll it up. You can serve these whole or slice into pinwheel bites.

Chill until ready to eat.

3. Stuffed Dates

1 package medjool dates, halved and pitted
1 cup crème fresh
1 cup blue cheese
2/3 cup pine nuts
Chives, finely chopped
½ balsamic reduction

Directions:
In a bowl, cream together fresh and blue cheese.

Fill date halves with cheese mixture,

Lightly chop pine nuts, toast in a cast iron skillet, and sprinkle over cheese filled dates on a serving platter.

Garnish with chopped chives and a light drizzle of balsamic reduction (recipe available on-line).

4. Stuffed Peppadews – Red & Gold

Makes 20 to 30

Ingredients:
1 package of our new Gorgonzola Dip form our Deli Department
1 small carton of Peppadews from our Cheese Department

Directions:
Rinse and dry the Peppadews well

Fill a pastry bag (or make your own using a Zip-loc bag) with our amazing Gorgonzola Dip

Fill each Peppadews

Add garnish, fresh dill, tarragon leaves or chives

5. Spicy Sausage Cranberry Cheese Balls

Makes 36

Ingredients:
1 pound of Newport’s Own Hot Italian Sausage found in our Meat Department
2 cups of our Flagship Cheese, shredded
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pecans, chopped
¼ cup all-purpose baking mix (Bisquick)
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350º

Mix all ingredients just until well blended.

Shape into 36 1-inch balls. Place balls in a single layer on a lightly greased sheet pan.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

Tip: Use a 1” scoop to make all the balls the same size and serve with picks.

6. Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

Makes 20-30

Ingredients:
1 box Ginger Wafer Cookies (in the cookie section)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin -divided
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 ½ cups whipped topping (Cool Whip or make your own whipped cream), thawed
1-8 oz. package of candied pecans, chopped

Directions:
Beat cream cheese, 1 cup pumpkin, sugar and pumpkin pie spice with mixer until blended

Gently fold in 2-1/2 cups Cool Whip or whipped cream.

Fill a pastry bag with a large star tip, with the cream cheese mixture. A heavy zip-lock bag with the corner cut out can also be used.

Chill the bag for 30 minutes.

Pipe a very small amount of mixture onto the center of a cookie and place a second cookie on top. This will adhere the cookies together.

Pipe additional cream cheese mixture in the center of the top cookie, covering about ½ the cookie.

Fill another pastry bag or sandwich bag with the remainder of the pumpkin. Pipe a dot of pumpkin on the top of the cream cheese mixture.

Sprinkle with chopped pecans, arrange on a platter, and serve.

Remember, Life is short. Eat good food. And, this holiday season, throw great parties!

Now that you know how to make your holiday party hors d’oeuvres delicious and stress-free, check out our blog on Holiday Party Décor and how to keep it fun, fabulous, and totally functional.

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