We are steadily rolling through the month of December and the holiday parties are heating up! In our previous edition of Holiday Party Appetizers, we included some of the best cheese recipes that we could find. Truth be told, we have to remember to get plenty of veggies this time of year so we’re not living in the land of regret come January. We are happy to report that there are tons of veggie recipes on the interwebs, but to simplify your party to-do list, we hand-picked a few of our favorites. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Cucumber Bites Christmas Tree

1 cup of plain yogurt

8 ounces of cream cheese – softened

2 tbsp feta cheese

4 sprigs of fresh dill

1 tsp fresh minced garlic

1 tsp lemon juice

4 cucumbers

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

1 brick of cheese – optional for the star at the top of the tree

1 package of crackers – optional for the trunk of the tree

  1. Add yogurt, cream cheese, feta cheese, dill, garlic and lemon juice into the cup of your food processor and blend until you have a thick, creamy consistency.
  2. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and slice the cucumbers to about 1/2” thick. Once complete, set the cucumber slices on a party tray in the shape of a Christmas tree.
  3. Next, top each cucumber with a small portion of your yogurt blend. The author suggests using piping bag with a frosting tip for best results. Once complete, top each yogurt spritz with one half of tomato.
  4. If you choose to make a star with the brick of cheese, bonus! Use a star cookie cutter to accomplish this.

Recipe Credit: http://www.makingtimeformommy.com/2016/12/01/cucumber-bites-christmas-tree-appetizer-tray/

Spinach Balls

2 – 10 ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted

2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

½ cup butter, melted

1 bunch green onions, chopped

3 eggs

1 cup white cheddar, shredded

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients.
  3. Form into balls and place on a large greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until spinach balls are golden brown and cooked through.

Recipe Credit: http://www.dishingdelish.com/best-ever-spinach-balls-appetizer/

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms

8 ounces white mushrooms

1/3 cup whipped cream cheese

1 tbsp Parmesan cheese

¼ tsp garlic salt

2 tbsp chopped spinach, pressed dry

1 tbsp panko breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pop out the stem of each mushroom, leaving the caps. Reserve stems for another use or discard.
  3. Brush off any dirt on the mushrooms with a damp paper towel.
  4. Mix cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt and chopped spinach in a bowl.
  5. Fill the opening in each mushroom with the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Place mushrooms on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes. Juices will begin to pool at the bottom of the mushrooms and the top will begin to lightly brown.

Recipe Credit: http://www.dinner-mom.com/easy-stuffed-mushrooms/

Broccoli Cheese Bites

12 ounces raw broccoli

2 large eggs

1/3 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

salt & pepper to taste

  1. Plug in your waffle iron to bring to full heat.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to boil.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add in the broccoli. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute then remove to a colander in the sink and immediately rinse with cold water to shock the broccoli.
  4. Once the broccoli is cooled, chop it finely
  5. In a mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients and add the broccoli. Mix until combined.
  6. Using a 1 tsp measuring spoon, dollop the broccoli cheese mix onto your hot waffle iron and let it crisp for a few minutes.
  7. Remove the broccoli cheese bite to a plate and repeat until the batter is all used up!

Recipe Credit: http://www.kellysambitiouskitchen.com/broccoli-cheese-bites/

Cheddar and Herb Stuffed Mini Peppers

10 mini bell peppers, sliced in half, stem removed, seeds removed and washed

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

8 ounces Cabot Cheddar with Garlic and Herbs cheese, shredded

3 tbsp assorted fresh herbs, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

  1. Mix the cream cheese, cheddar, herbs and minced garlic in a small bowl until completely combined.
  2. Scoop spoonfuls into the halves of mini bell peppers.
  3. Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until filling is soft.
  4. Broil a minute or two if you want the tops lightly browned.
  5. Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs if desired.

Recipe Credit: http://www.suburbia-unwrapped.com/cheddar-herb-stuffed-mini-peppers-appetizer/