Snack and appetizer items are such an integral part of the holidays, whether entertaining or just celebrating the season at home with family. This season is also the most hectic of the year for most of us, and it can be challenging to find the time to create elaborate hors d’oeuvre spreads from scratch. Personally, a buffet of tasty snacks is my absolute favorite type of “meal” to put together – both because I enjoy the process of creating a visually lovely spread, and because everybody loves snacks. Snacks rule. That said, I’m realistic about the lack of time I have during the holidays. So what do I do when I don’t have the time to create a beautiful and delicious appetizer display but won’t settle for a mediocre one? I head over to my favorite grocery store The Fresh Market, grab a bunch of favorites from their various departments, and put together what you see here.
While this isn’t exactly a recipe, I’m setting it up like one for you guys, so you can see exactly what I do to create this holiday snack spread, from start to finish.
(all found at The Fresh Market)
The Fresh Market take and bake brie
The Fresh Market garlic and herb risotto cakes
Various olives, olive salads, and marinated mushrooms from The Fresh Market’s antipasto bar
The Fresh Market Cheese Straws
Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers
Carr’s Table Water Crackers
Homestead Creamery Eggnog
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove wrapper from The Fresh Market take and bake brie and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. While brie is baking, slightly thaw Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers, then slice into 1/8 inch rounds and place on a baking sheet. Also place The Fresh Market garlic and herb risotto cakes on a baking sheet. When brie is finished baking, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake risotto cakes for 6-8 minutes or until hot throughout, and cheese wafers for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned. (Tip: You can also bake the Mamie’s cheese wafers ahead of time. I sometimes bake them the night before.)
While the brie, cheese wafers, and risotto cakes are baking, place the different antipasto items in ramekins, and the cheese straws into a pretty bowl. Cut clementines into half or wedges. Place the salami slices on a plate. Pour glasses of eggnog and top with freshly ground nutmeg.
When the baked goods are ready, arrange them on a cheese board and/or plates with the cracker, then set up your spread! This is the best part because you can get creative. I like to add small seasonal details to my display, like rosemary sprigs and fresh cranberries. Then tell your guests or family to dig in. (They won’t believe these delicious snacks were ready-made!)
I always love going to The Fresh Market (because the inside is so pretty), but during the holidays, it’s my go-to. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re a specialty grocer with a beautifully curated product selection of high quality specialty foods and the absolute best ingredients. I could spend hours in there just looking through everything. Their food is fresh and delicious, the service is great, the store is visually lovely, and the atmosphere is so inviting. It doesn’t even feel like a grocery store. And this time of year, they make my life so much easier, because they have such an incredible selection of gourmet goodies, prepared dishes, and everything from stunning holiday decor to unique gift items. (I even got the kids’ advent calendars there!) They make holiday entertaining easy for me – which is a big deal for someone who is admittedly way more stressed out than they should be the majority of the time. You can find your local The Fresh Market right here.
Again, this snack spread is so easy to make and fun to put together, and perfect for entertaining friends or just hanging out with family during the holidays. What are your favorite items to use in appetizer or snack buffets this time of year? Who else is a fan of The Fresh Market?
Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.