K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Santa

K.I.S.S. – Keep Your Holiday Appetizers Easy…

The holiday season can be stressful enough in normal circumstances, but in 2020, the season arrives with unique challenges that can frustrate even the calmest of us. Most of the pressure we experience is unnecessary and self-imposed.

So let’s all take a deep breath and relax. Don’t overextend yourself – especially in the kitchen. Some of you may have already decided to scale back on the traditional feast. Others may want to maintain the time-honored family ritual of a gastronomical wassail. But one way to eliminate stress is to scale back on the pre-meal munchies.
This year, give yourself the gift of more time celebrating the season by cutting back on the number of hours you spend in the kitchen. Here are five tips to simplify your pre-meal munchies:

  • Limit the number of appetizers that require the oven or stovetop. The kitchen will be busy enough. Look for dishes that can be served chilled or at room temperature.
  • Individual servings may be a better option this year. Limit or remove appetizers that require shared serving spoons, etc.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s the holiday season. Celebrate imperfection.
  • If the recipe appears complicated, skip it. Remember, the whole point this year is to simplify. Save the elaborate appetizer for next year.
  • This may sound sacrilegious to some of you, but there is nothing wrong with buying store-bought appetizers. Really. Shed the shame and remember what the season really means.

In the spirit of the holiday (and in the spirit of simplicity), here is an appetizer that you can prepare in advance, is a snap to make and is festive enough to share with your loved ones this holiday season. As an added bonus, this can be served as an appetizer or as a side dish – either way, it will be a big hit and a new tradition around your holiday table.


1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry (store-bought crescent rolls also work) Flour for dusting
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
2 dozen asparagus spears
2 egg whites, beaten
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
STEP 2: Lightly dust a working area and roll out the sheets of puff pastry.
STEP 3: Carefully spread the cream cheese onto the puff pastry.
STEP 4: Cut the puff pastry into 10-inch strips.
STEP 5: Wrap a puff pastry strip around each spear of asparagus.
STEP 6: Brush the tops of the puff pastries with the beaten egg white. Sprinkle generously with parmesan cheese.
STEP 7: Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes.

You can assemble these tasty treats the morning of your get-together, cover and store in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them. You can also bake them days in advance and store in the freezer. Once baked, allow them to cool and place them in the freezer. After two hours, transfer them into an airtight freezer safe container. Freeze for one to two months. To reheat, allow them to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before warming them up in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes.

About Terry Olson

Terry loves culinary arts, adult beverages and hiking in the North State wilderness. You may find him soaking up the sun at one of our area’s many state or national parks or sitting on a barstool sipping on a cold locally brewed craft beer.

Related Posts