A Trio of Easy Holiday Apps

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*

As odd as it may sound, I hear it all the time: “It’s the holidays, I have NO time to cook!”

We hear that at The Mouse House. I can’t even believe that it’s already mid-December, and we’re starting our countdown for Santa in earnest.

Here’s a trio of appetizers that’s easy to bust out while your guests are nestling into their first cocktail:

  1. Baked Brie with Walnuts and Preserves
  2. Classic Shrimp Cocktail
  3. Crispy Fried Goat Cheese

They’ll totally impress your guests, and won’t tie you up for hours in the kitchen.

Do a lot of the prep ahead

In fact, you can do a lot of the work for these dishes ahead of time.

If you’re going to serve all three of these on the same night, make the shrimp cocktail earlier in the day and have it chilling in the fridge. Prep the brie in advance and bake it off while you fry the goat cheese.

This post comes to you as part of our partnership with Sam’s Club, who invited us to put together a few fabulous holiday appetizers using ingredients available at their stores. (Thank you, Sam’s!)

I’ll be posting these recipes this week. Here’s a sneak peek.

Baked Brie with Walnuts & Preserves

Baked brie is a regular on holiday party tables. It’s easier to make than you might think, and you can customize it with your favorite flavors. I’ll show you how to put the whole thing together.

I paired a truffled brie with earthy walnuts and sweet raspberry preserves, swaddled it in buttery puff pastry, topped it with egg wash and brown sugar, then baked it ’til golden. I served it with salty crackers and crisp, Granny Smith apples.

When you slice into the brie, the warm cheese is shot through with ribbons of raspberry preserves and dotted with whole walnut halves. It’s ridiculously gooey and totally luxurious.

Shrimp Cocktail

Again, another holiday mainstay. A lot of folks use precooked shrimp for shrimp cocktail, which is great in a pinch.

When I have the time to do it in advance, I love to cook my own in a bubbling bath of lemons, herbs, and spices. It gives the shrimp phenomenal flavor.

When I post the recipe this week, I’ll also include a detailed guide on how to clean and de-vein the shrimp.

Crispy Fried Goat Cheese

Fried cheese has to seriously be one of my favorite things on the planet. For this appetizer, I took rounds of goat cheese, dressed them up in seasoned panko breadcrumbs, then fried them ’til crisp and crunchy in a little olive oil.

Serve them on top of a little romaine for a great starter.

Stay tuned for these recipes this week!

*Please note that Sam’s Club compensated me for my participation in this campaign.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.