Perfectly portioned, these Easy Walnut Goat Cheese Bites are a wonderful addition to a holiday cocktail party or dinner. Simple to make with just three ingredients, they’re sweet, tangy, creamy and addictive.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Mackenzie Limited. All opinions and statements are my own, as always.
Who’s ready to party? Whether you’re going to a party or hosting a party, it’s pretty likely that you’re going to have to be ready one way or another. I love to host but don’t do it as often as I would like because Landon’s birthday is smack in the middle of the holiday season. So, while everyone is running around with mistletoe and cranberries I’m, usually, rushing around with mistletoe, cranberries, sharks, dinosaurs, balloons and wine. Lots and lots of wine. This is not the time of year to jump on the “I’m gonna stop drinking” wagon.
So, if I DO decide to throw together an impromptu cocktail party, you can be sure I’m going to enlist all the help I can get. Not in the form of a potluck but from one of my favorite gourmet food purveyors, Mackenzies Limited. I’ve been ordering from them for years and have my go-to list handy whenever I feel like partying. The quality of their food is top-notch and I’ve never had one dish disappoint. From itty, bitty bite-sized appetizers to homemade comfort food, you can be sure to find something for everyone.
For my cocktail party this year, I ordered the Clams Casino, Authentic Stromboli, French Onion Mini Boules and Baked Brie en Croute. Everything is easy to make and the cooking instructions help you plan out everything in advance so everything is the perfect temperature when serving. I, also, like to throw in one homemade item that’s easy to make in advance like these stuffed mushrooms, smoked salmon canapés or these Easy Walnut Goat Cheese Bites. They’re super easy to make with just goat cheese, cream cheese and these candied walnuts. Mini appetizer forks are the perfect way to serve them up.
Now to keep my sanity without having to drink a whole bottle of wine before the guests arrive, here are my planning tips for the perfect cocktail party:
- Keep it simple. I like to choose a color palate that’s clean and festive. White always wins with a few sparkles of silver or gold here and there. I throw in some red for the holidays by filling bowls with cranberries or pomegranate seeds and vases with a few sprigs of holly or greens.
- Set up the day before. You’ll have more than you think to get done the day of the party, get the decorating done the day before so you’re not rushing around like a crazy person an hour before the party starts.
- Just enough food. Plan on about 6 appetizers per person per hour and have a mix of hot and cold offerings. Provide at least one vegetarian option and choose a few dishes that can be made ahead of time like my Walnut Goat Cheese Bites.
- Wine and cocktails….my rule of thumb for wine…about half a bottle per person. Pick two cocktails you would like to serve, like a Sparkling Cranberry Paloma or an Apple Cider Gin Fizz, and then have plenty of liquor for old standbys like gin and tonics, dirty martinis. You can always save the leftover booze for another time. You can’t have too much. 🙂
- Disposable plates and paper products are not a bad thing. There are so many beautiful options to choose from and your guests won’t mind at all. Plus, clean up will be a breeze.
So…moral of the story…keep it simple, don’t be afraid to “ask” for help…make a few easy appetizers in advance and keep the wine flowing. Most importantly, take a moment to relax (yes, relax at your own party!) and enjoy the holiday season with friends and family. It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year.
Easy Walnut Goat Cheese Bites
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup finely chopped candied walnuts
- In the bowl of a food processor, blend the cheeses together until smooth. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes. Roll the cheese mixture into walnut sized balls and roll in the nuts to coat. Place on a baking sheet and chill for another 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Serve on a platter with cocktail forks or toothpicks.