‘Tis the season! The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is truly one of my favorite seasons of the year. It’s incredible busy – with something happening just about every night – but filled with fun parties and Christmas lights and late nights. Since there are only so many weekends in December, oftentimes holiday parties fall on weeknights which usually means I’m scrambling around after work to get there and not show up empty handed. I decided to team up with my favorite brand, La Crema, to share three of my go-to recipes that can easily be prepared in that quick hour between work and your next Christmas get-together.
Jalapeño Pimento Cheese Bites
Several years ago, I attended a baby shower in my hometown where my favorite restaurant catered. They served little pimento cheese bites with jalapeños on top, and I’ve been making them ever since. The nice thing about these is that you can really put your own spin on them – making them as simple or as gourmet as you want. I made some delicious pimento cheese dip for La Crema about a year ago if you feel like whipping some up from scratch! But, no one will have a clue if you use store bought. Stir in a little fresh cracked pepper and add some pimentos, and you’re golden! Spread a layer of pimento cheese onto pretzel snaps and top with a jalapeño. I usually do some pickled and some fresh so that people can choose their spice preference!
Baked Gouda Crescent
This appetizer is a fan favorite – for good reason! Everyone loves a dip during the holidays, and this one has it all. It takes about 25-30 minutes from start to finish, so you can run home from work, toss it together, and put it in the oven to bake while you finish getting ready. I usually see this recipe with brie, which is also great, but I love that gouda has a slightly richer flavor. For this dish, roll crescent dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. In the center, spread a thin layer of dijon mustard and top with a round of gouda cheese. Wrap the crescent around the cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. I topped with a little honey for some sweetness and served with crackers and apples. This appetizer is perfect with La Crema’s 2015 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. The wine pairs well with creamy cheeses and has notes of green apple with a textured, balanced finish.
Of course, none of these recipes (or parties) would be complete without an accompanying bottle of wine. One of my go-to’s for the holidays is La Crema’s 2015 Monterey Pinot Noir. It’s juicy and earthy with just enough spice. Your hostess will be incredibly grateful for the bottle if you can’t get it together to bring a dish, too!
Head over to La Crema for the perfect sweet and spicy mixed nuts recipe to serve or take to your next holiday soiree!
Brought to you by La Crema