Whole Story

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Watch & Win: Successful Holiday Appetizer

Happy Holidays Secret Ingredient Viewers! It’s the season for great food and the Secret Ingredient is offering a chance to win a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card, so you can treat yourself to something special this holiday season. What’s the catch? It’s simple. We want to know what your favorite holiday party dish is and how it adds that special touch to your holiday celebrations. For inspiration, check out this week’s Secret Ingredient episode featuring our Specialty Department and watch as host Mark Law shares his tips for creating an amazing antipasti platter—for ten guests— in a snap. Antipasti platters are one of our favorite holiday entertaining tricks and the secret to their success is the great selection of artisan cheeses, charcuterie meats, olives, rustic breads, crackers, nuts and classic cheese accompaniments available in Whole Foods Market’s Specialty Department. After watching this week’s episode, post a comment with your favorite holiday party dish and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card. Please post your comments between Monday, December 8th and midnight Wednesday, December 17th.  The winner will be selected by The Secret Ingredient panel of judges and posted in The Whole Story on 12/22/2008. Top Ten Tips for Successful Holiday Appetizer Parties 1.    Plan for 2 to 3 ounces (each) of cheese and charcuterie meats per person. 2.    Choose 4 to 5 cheeses. Feature cheeses made from one kind of milk, sourced from one region or create an eclectic mix of blue, cheddar, soft bloomy rind and fresh cheeses. 3.    Choose a variety of olives and plan for about 3 to 4 olives per person. 4.    Add variety with classic cheese accompaniments, such as: •    Marcona Almonds: Almonds lightly sautéed and dusted with sea salt. •    Walnuts in Lemon Honey: A heavenly addition to blue cheese. •    Membrillo: A quince paste from Spain. Delicious paired with Manchego. 5.    Choose 2 or 3 types of breads and crackers. Have our bakery experts slice the bread for you. 6.    Allow cheese to come to room temperature before serving for fullest flavor. 7.    Ask our wine experts for wine pairing tips. Chill whites, pinks and bubbles and allow reds to breathe. 8.     Each 750 ml bottle of wine yields 5 glasses. Plan on 2 to 3 glasses of wine per person. 9.    Pick up a selection of 365 Everyday Value Sparkling Water and Italian Soda for non-drinkers and designated drivers. 10.    Have small appetizer plates, napkins, serving utensils, cheese knives, corkscrews, ice and wine glasses on hand.

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169 comments

Comments

leslie long says …

Brie! Always a pleaser!

Bea Karnes says …

I love potluck get-togethers because it takes the pressure off of the hostess. I always bring deviled eggs. They're easy to make, relatively inexpensive and hugely popular. I have never had leftovers. To the mashed-up egg yolks I add mayo, mustard, minced celery, minced onion and sweet pickle relish. Stuff the eggs. Sprinkle with paprika before serving.

Julie Wong says …

My favorite dish is baked salmon with mayonaise and buttered topping. Fresh salmon from Whole Foods Market, oven at 440 for 20 minutes, mayonaise spread on top with butter patties to melt into the salmon and salt and pepper. Delicious

Sharon Burr says …

My favorite holiday appetizer is something I don't even eat! (Not for vegetarians...:)) It's a mix of sweet and hot Italian sausage cut into bite-sized pieces and simmered in my crock pot all day in some yummy tomato sauce. It's my favorite because: a) everyone who eats meat loves it, b) it's easy to make and transport to a party and c) most importantly - I got the recipe from a dear friend who died several years ago, at a very young age, from pneumonia. Every time I make this appetizer, I think of her and I'm happy to keep her recipe alive!

Leslie says …

Cheeses, hot artichoke dip, and wine from Sonoma Valley!

Vicky says …

My favorite holiday appetizer is Greek spanakopita - my grandmother's recipe. I use fresh spinach and form the spanakopita in triangles. A generous amount of butter should be brushed on the top of each pastry to enhance flavor and add to browning in the oven.

Becca says …

One of my FAVORITE Holiday party dishes is my version of Baked Brie. It is very easy to make and always disappears before anything else on the table. All the ingredients are available at Whole Foods. You will need: 2-3oz of Brie Cheese per person (I like the American version because it is cheaper than most others and still packs a great flavor, but you can use any Brie) Whole Wheat Filo Dough - found in the frozen foods section Carmel Ice Cream topping One yellow onion - Cooked over low heat with olive oil until very soft but not brown One egg - beaten Step one: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Step two: Lay out 3-6 layers of Filo Dough on top of one another a smooth surface. Step three: Place a medium thin layer of caramel on the middle section of the Filo squares. Step four: Place the cooked onions on top of the caramel. Step five: Place the Brie cheese (minus the white outer coating - you can keep it if you like, but it makes cutting the Brie easier if it is removed prior to cooking) on top of the onions. Step six: Wrap up securely but carefully so the contents are covered but the Filo does not tear. Step seven: Place seal side down in a metal oven safe cake pan. Step eight: Brush the surface with the beaten egg (this will make a nice golden color when it is finished). Step nine: Cook until the melted cheese is just coming out of the bottom and the egg is fully cooked (about 15 minutes). Serve HOT! with either sliced baguette or whole wheat crackers. ENJOY!

K. says …

Fried sauerkraut, fresh polish sausage, and cherry pierogi - these are staples at our Polish family Christmases. At one family reunion around the holidays we also shared opłatki, or Christmas wafers, in which you break off a bit of the large, rectangular wafer and share a blessing with the person siting next to you. Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2009!

Meghan says …

I always get a variety of Wisconsin artisan cheeses to wow my guests.

Carri says …

Baked brie in a sourdough bowl. This stuff is better than crack! Bowl must be strategically placed in the family room or as far from the kitchen as possible. It's the only thing that works to lure people out of the kitchen so I can actually finish making Christmas dinner. I swear- it's like hearding sheep in my family. But always very entertaining to see them all fight over the bread bowl carcass once we're out of chopped bread pieces! Definetly a Kodak moment!

Marcia says …

The best appetizer is shrimp dip. Sour cream, cream cheese, seasonings, minced onion, small shrimp cut into 2-3 pieces, a few shakes of hot sauce, and horseradish. It can get hotter the next day so I don't put much hot sauce in it. I used to make a triple batch for Super Bowl too. An assortment of crackers are nice, but my late husband just used soda crackers. It is a variation on a shrimp dip we had many years ago in Charleston, SC on vacation.

Elizabeth says …

this one is my favorite because it's so simple. I use a mini crockpot and leave it out on the counter throughout the day so everyone can help themselves whenever they want. First put in a wheel of Brie, then spoon apricot preserves over the top. Leave a plate of crackers and a butter knife close by for serving. If you want to make it a bit more complicated, add some roasted garlic cloves to the pot.

Elizabeth Hagans says …

My favorite holiday appetizer is a warm brie spread with fig preserves. I use a crock-pot little dipper to heat a round of brie in, top it with a healthy amount of fig preserves and turn it on about 15 minutes before guests are ready to dig in. I offer an assortment of crackers or hearty bread pieces. Just make sure you turn off the pot before the cheese gets too bubbly. It's my favorite because, with everything else going on, it's one thing I can just plug in and leave. I can then concentrate on fixing the rest of the holiday dinner, or actually enjoy spending time with my guests. If you're serving a large crown and one round of brie isn't enough, then buy two and layer them in the little dipper with the fig preserves.

Tanya says …

I have never gone wrong with Butternut Squash Turnovers! They always please and are so delightful in the fall!

Greg Hageli says …

I love this italian loave that has been passed down my family for generations. It starts with a homemade pizza crust filled panzarotti style with parmigiano reggiano, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, parsley, ham, italian sausage, prosciutto, egg, salt and pepper! It can be served warm or cold. It is amazing!!!

Katie Salberg says …

excellent presentation !

kacey davy says …

I keep it simple by wrapping pineapple with bacon or sometimes shrimp with bacon.

says …

@Ed Good question. They may be available through the online shopping with the Holiday table. To learn if they're available for reservation online just follow the below link and make sure you select your store location of preference. If you don't find them online, the best way to get the most accurate information is to reach out to your community store. The second link below will take you to the W. Hartford store info. www.wholefoodsmarket.com/shop http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/westhartford/

Katheryn Roberts says …

Baked garlic as a spread on croutons with a pomegranate or fig compote. Delicious & easy- cut off the tops of garlic bulbs. Drizzle olive oil on them until cloves are coated, bake in the oven at 400F for about 45 until they are soft like butter. They look a very pretty golden color & serve as they are on a pretty dish with plenty of knives (like for a butter) with a dish for the compote, (or even just slices of nectarines or pears if not enough time to make a compote), add large croutons or thinly sliced baguette & viola!

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