In our pre-kid days, we used to throw cocktail parties with festive drinks and adorable canapes and hor d’oeuvres. These days when we throw a party, guests under 12 out number the adults. There’s no need to stop entertaining just because half your guests can’t drink cocktails.
The holidays are still a great time to get together, you may just want to adjust your menu a bit. It’s important to remember that feeding a multi-generational crowd is different than feeding a group of adults. I have found that kids love the idea of appetizers. What’s not to love about “bite size nibbles”? But they are weirded out by fancy ingredients.
So, I have come up with two “go to” appetizers that will please kid and adult palates alike. Like all good appetizers, these can be made ahead of time to streamline your party preparation.
Bacon Wrapped Lil’ Smokies
When I asked my kids what their favorite appetizers to eat at parties is, Bacon Wrapped Lil’ Smokies was their unanimous favorite. Bonus…they are so easy to make that the kids can make them without any help!
2 packages little smoked sausage links
1 package bacon
1 cup brown sugar
Cut the bacon strips into three equal pieces. Wrap a cut piece of bacon around the little smokie and secure with a toothpick. Place the bacon wrapped little smokie into a crockpot. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the sausages as you stack them. Cook in a crockpot on High for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. You may need to move the little smokies around so that they cook evenly.
Tips: I use turkey sausages and they taste great. You can also make these in the oven instead of the crockpot.
My kids love about anything Mexican. My son loves to push the envelope with the spiciness, my daughter does not. The great thing about these little pinwheels is that you can make them suit your taste by either adding a lot of green chilies or omitting them all together.
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
½ c. chopped green onions
¼ cup of diced black olives
canned diced green chilies to taste
9 small or 7 large flour tortillas
After preparing the ingredients pour them into a large bowl and mix well. Spread the mixture on tortillas, roll up and chill for one hour before cutting into ½ inch slices. May be served with salsa.
Tips: You can really make these your own. Try mixing in some of your other favorite ingredients like avocado, diced red or green peppers, chopped up spinach or cilantro, corn or black beans. Swap out the green onions for red. Or, change out the tortillas for whole wheat or spinach ones.
For fun, consider making a special non-alcoholic drink or punch to serve the kiddos–it will make them feel very sophisticated! Find a few ideas here http://dsm4kids.com/5-new-years-mocktails-4-kids/.
What “kid friendly” appetizers will you be serving this holiday season? Help us all out and share in the Comments below!