Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Appetizers: Apricots with basil-goat cheese and almonds & Pomegranate Avocado Salsa

The Beauties definitely know how to set a weekend agenda. Santa, please bring me another weekend filled with delicious food & drinks, and a full day at the spa, with a little dancing at the Brick thrown in for good measure.

I arrived late for the Christmas dinner feast, so I was glad my cooking responsibilities were limited to appetizers and a side dish, especially since I was mostly looking forward to catching up with the Beauties and enjoying Megan’s cocktails. I can vouch that these recipes didn’t require me to set down my drink for very long.  Thank goodness.

I discovered this recipe for an apricot appetizer in Sunset magazine and it has become one of my staples. The combo of savory/sweet + cheese is hard to turn down.

And what is there to say about the avocado salsa except it has avocado, so of course it’s decadent and amazing. Plus the addition of pomegranate makes it just about as festive as your favorite holiday sweater.

Apricots with basil-goat cheese and almonds (from Sunset magazine)
Makes 40 appetizers
4 ounces fresh goat cheese such as Laura Chenel, at room temperature
About 2 tsp. milk
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
40 dried apricots
40 salted almonds, preferably Marcona
2 teaspoons honey

1. Mix together cheese, 2 tsp. milk, and basil with a wooden spoon until spreadable. Thin with more milk if necessary.
2. Spread a heaping 1/4 tsp. cheese on each apricot and top each with an almond.
3. Drizzle with honey.

makes about 2 cups
1 small shallot, chopped
1 large avocado, diced
juice of one lime
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
salt and pepper to taste
*If you like spicy foods, you could add a diced jalapeno to the mix!

Place chopped shallot, avocado, lime, and cilantro in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add pomegranate seeds and season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. These were all SOOOO delicious! Thank you!

  2. I've already made your apricot appetizer and every single one was devoured! I love how easy it is and will be making it again for Christmas. And the pomegranate seeds brought the guacamole to a whole new level. It's already one of my favorite foods but the seeds just made it extra festive and special! And I'm with you ... "Dear Santa, I'd like a repeat!"

  3. I could've kept popping those apricots like candy all night.