Holiday Cocktail Party Eats with Love & Lemons

Looking for the perfect holiday party app to whip up for friends and family? We asked Jeanine Donofrio of award-winning food blog Love & Lemons for a few recipes to help you spruce up your spread. Enjoy!

Let’s face it, the holidays are all about celebrating with indulgent, delectable bites (oh, and friends & family too). Even though I won’t be hopping on the treadmill until January, I love to take a slightly healthier approach to party appetizers by using colorful produce and natural ingredients.

Mini sweet potato pizzas make a hearty tasty bite, guacamole is made more festive with little pomegranate seed “ornaments,” and desserts are made green with my foodie food coloring of choice: matcha.



Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas

Ingredients

  • Part of a sweet potato, peeled into ribbons
  • 4 mini naan breads (like mini Stonfire naan) or pizza crust of your choice
  • Olive oil, for brushing on the dough
  • 1/2 clove of garlic
  • Ricotta cheese – a few tablespoons per pizza
  • Shaved red onion
  • Shaved brussels sprouts
  • A few pieces of kale
  • Pinches of red chile flakes
  • Grated pecorino cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Toss sweet potato ribbons with a tiny bit of olive oil and salt. Brush a little bit of oil on each crust or flatbread and rub it with the open side of a ½ clove of garlic. Top each pizza with a slather of ricotta cheese, a few slices of red onion, a few shaved brussels sprouts, kale and a few ribbons of sweet potato.
  3. Top generously with grated cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender and cooked through. (tip: check after 15 minutes – if the sweet potatoes are cooking slower than the other veggies (and/or your pizza crust), cover loosely with foil).

Avocado Pomegranate Crostini

Ingredients

  • Baguette, thinly sliced
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 large avocado, sliced into cubes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives (or scallions)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese (omit if vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • Drizzle of honey (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Brush baguette sliced with olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Toast until golden brown around the edges.
  2. Mix together avocado cubes, lime juice, chives, salt & pepper. Stir in feta and pomegranate seeds. Taste & adjust seasonings – adding more salt and/or lime juice to your liking. Spoon onto toasted crostini pieces, drizzle with a little bit of honey (optional) and serve.


White Chocolate (& Matcha)
Almond Butter Cups

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. bag white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • About 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 – 1+ teaspoon matcha

Directions

  1. Over a double boiler on the stove (or a saucepan filled with a few inches of gently boiling water with a glass bowl on top), melt the chocolate and coconut oil together. Remove from heat, scoop half of the white chocolate mixture into a second bowl and whisk in the matcha until smooth. (Add as much matcha as you like – I like mine pretty matcha-ey).
  2. Prepare a mini muffin tin with paper liners. Add about 1 teaspoon of white chocolate into each cup, swirling it a little to coat the bottom completely. Chill in the freezer until set. (about 20 minutes).
  3. Scoop about 1/2 teaspoon almond butter into each cup and cover each with remaining chocolate. Freeze until set. (about 20 more minutes).

Jeanine is the voice behind Love & Lemons, an award-winning cooking blog inspired by vibrant seasonal produce. She and her husband Jack create and photograph recipes in their Austin, Texas kitchen. Love & Lemons was named 2014 Best Cooking Blog by Saveur Magazine, and has appeared on Food52, Refinery 29, and SELF Magazine, among others.