EAT THIS: Holiday Appetizers

Posted on December 16, 2011 by


These are great to bring to a party, a potluck, or bust out for an early light dinner.  When I get together with friends and family on Christmas Eve, our favorite meal is a shared potluck of favorite finger foods and appetizers.  Many of us experiment with new recipes for the occasion.  Makes laughing, game playing, present exchanging and general frivolity a casual affair rather than the formality of a sit down dinner.

Caribe Alaska Halibut Appetizer Kabobs


2 TBS chili powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 TBS ground cumin

2 lb wild alaskan halibut

6 oz fresh lemon juice

4 oz mango

1.5 TBS fresh mint

3 TBS extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp dried oregano

16 oz fresh pineapple

1 lb red bell pepper


Watch the grill while you’re cooking the kabobs – you don’t want to over cook the fish!


Cut your fresh mango, bell pepper, and fresh pineapple into chunks. Place halibut pieces in shallow pan. Prepare marinade by blending lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon. Reserve 1/4 cup marinate for fruit; pour remaining marinade over halibut and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1-4hrs. In separate bowl, combine reserved marinade and mint leaves. Stir in pineapple, mango, and bell pepper. Cover and refrigerate 1-4hrs. Divide halibut, fruit, and peppers between skewers. Grill kabobs until fish is cooked through, about 5 min.

Steamed Artichoke and Lemon Herb Dipping Sauce


4 fresh artichokes

2 tsp chives

.5 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 garlic clove

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

2 TBS fresh lime juice

5 TBS extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp fresh parsley

2 tsp dried tarragon


This dipping sauce for the artichokes is also exquisite on asparagus, brussels sprouts and lightly steamed broccoli.


Artichokes should have stems and leaves removed. Also the garlic clove, parsley, chives, mint leaves, tarragon should be minced. Rub fresh lemon juice on cut surfaces of artichokes. Place artichokes upside down in steam basket over boiling water. Cook for 25-30min or until leaf easily pulls out from artichoke; bottom should be tender when pierced with fork. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Transfer to a plate and place upside down to drain then serve with dipping sauce. In small bowl whisk together all ingredients (include 2 tsp of mint leaves mnced .5 tsp lemon zest) except olive oil. Slowly add olive oil and whisk until slightly thickened.

Bacon Wrapped Dates


8 oz dates, pitted

1 lb nitrate free bacon


Quick, easy, and a tasty direct sodium hit. Great for company – don’t make a daily habit out of these sweet-salty taste bombs!


Preheat the broiler. Wrap each date in a quarter of a bacon slice, securing with a toothpick or alternative lining them up on skewers. Broil 15 minutes, turning once, until bacon is evenly browned. Can be served hot or cold. Don’t leave them laying around after the party – these are crazy addictive!!

Jodee’s Crab Cakes


1 lb raw dungeness crab

2 eggs

1 TBS fresh lemon juice

1 TBS dijon mustard

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 lb potato


These are made with mashed potatoes instead of bread crumbs – yummy!


Peel and boil the potatoes, until just barely done but not soft – you want them a bit grainy. Combine with the egg, mustard, lemon juice and some cayenne and black pepper. Fold in the crabmeat. Use 1/4 cup blobs for 12 crabcakes, pat and shape in the pan and cook until brown in the olive oil, about 3 minutes per side. 3 crab cakes per serving.

Shrimp Kabobs with Chili Lime Marinade


4 TBS chili powder

4 TBS fresh lime juice

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp fresh ground pepper

1 lb raw shrimp


These are pretty addictive.


Use large deveined and shelled tails on shrimp. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water about an hour. Whisk together the chile powder, oil, and lime juice. Add the shrimp and toss to coat in the mixture. Let marinate for 15 minutes. Thread the shrimp onto the skewers so that the shrimp lie flat. Grill on high heat until shrimp are golden brown and slightly charred, about 1.5 minute per side. Watch carefully! Serve with lime wedges and chopped cilantro sprinkled over the skewers.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates


4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley

16 dried dates, each cut in half, pits removed


An easy and elegant appetizer for parties.


Combine goat cheese, garlic, and parsley in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until blended. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of cheese mixture into each split date. Serve dates immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 hours, then bring to room temperature and serve. (16 servings

Veggies and Tahini Goddess Dip


Any raw veggies:  carrots, celery, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber, zucchini etc all cut into dipping sticks

Arrange on a large tray.

1 recipe Tahini Goddess Dip, with only enough water to process.


This will disappear once folks start eating it.


Keep the Tahini Goddess Dressing THICK to create a ‘dip’.  Scrape into a serving bowl and set it into the center of the veggie tray.


Posted in: Eat This!