The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is in full swing, and so is our social calendar! With a month full of parties ahead, we are excited to share some of our favorite holiday snacks that we'll be serving.
First up, is a cream cheese and pesto torte that is as delicious as it is festive! Layers of softened cream cheese, basil pesto and sun-dried tomatoes make a colorful and tasty addition to any cheese board.
CREAM CHEESE & PESTO TORTE
- 2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
- 5 Tbsp basil pesto
- Fresh cranberries and rosemary to garnish (optional)
- Assorted crackers
- Press a layer of saran wrap (we like using Press n' Seal) into a 6" cake pan.
- Spread 8 oz of cream cheese into the lined cake pan.
- Spoon sun-dried tomato pesto on top of cream cheese, and spread evenly.
- Spread 8 oz of cream cheese on top of sun-dried tomato pesto (it's ok if the pesto shows through).
- Top with 2 Tbsp of basil pesto.
- Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate at least two hours, and up to 24.
- Uncover torte and turn out onto a small plate. Peel the saran wrap off the bottom layer.
- Cover the cream cheese (now the top layer) with 3 Tbsp basil pesto, and garnish with fresh cranberries and/or rosemary.
- Serve with assorted crackers.
Next, is a warm, cheesy dish that combines two old favorites, warm bacon & swiss and hot spinach dip, into one killer (and slightly fancier) appetizer. This Asiago and Kale dip is easy to make, but takes a bit of time - prep the ingredients in stages to make assembly a cinch (OR, make it up to 24 hours ahead of time, then heat through before your party!).
WARM ASIAGO & KALE DIP (adapted slightly from Southern Living)
- 6 bacon slices, chopped
- 1 bunch fresh kale, stemmed and chopped
- 1/2 medium-size red onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (4 1/2 oz.) shredded Asiago cheese
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (4 1/2 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Assorted crackers
- Preheat oven to 350°. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring often, 6 to 7 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 Tbsp. drippings in Dutch oven. Sauté kale, onion, and garlic in hot drippings 7 to 8 minutes or until onion is tender. Add wine, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until particles loosen from bottom of Dutch oven.
- Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in Asiago cheese, next 4 ingredients, and kale mixture. Spoon into a lightly greased 1- to 1 1/2-qt. baking dish.
- Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is hot and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes; top with bacon. Serve with your favorite crackers, crudites or sliced baguette.
Make Ahead: Prep recipe through Step 2. Cover and chill up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temp 30 minutes, and then bake.
Finally, we must share our latest #snackhack - Black Truffle Kettle Chips from Aldi! You may think that a bowl of chips screams TAILGATE, as opposed to an elegant holiday soiree, but these chips are both addicting AND the perfect pairing with a glass of bubbly. We like adding a little freshly cracked pepper, and a shower of grated parmesan would also be a delicious touch.
We hope you enjoy these fun hors d'oeuvres. Keep in touch as you cook your way through the holiday season by using the hashtag SGPSavors!