RECIPE: Easy holiday appetizers

Wow your party guests this holiday season with delicious recipes

HOUSTON – Kick off the holidays with delicious and festive appetizers you can whip up in no time, owner of Smart In The Kitchen and culinary chef, Marcia Smart has us covered.

Check out her recipes below: 

Potato Chips with Lemon Creme Fraiche and Caviar

  • 2 cups salted kettle cooked potato chips (not ridged chips)
  • Caviar (small black eggs, either American paddlefish or Russian)
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche
  • Fresh Chives 


Lay potato chips on serving tray. Arrange chips so there is space in between each one. Try to use larger unbroken, flat chips. Put a heaping teaspoonful of creme fraiche on the middle of each potato chip. Put 1/4 teaspoon of caviar in the middle of each dollop of creme fraiche. Garnish with two small criss-crossed 1-inch piece of chives. 


Stilton with Honeycomb and Roasted Pecans

  • 1 Wedge of Stilton Cheese (You can substitute bleu cheese or gorgonzola dolce if you prefer)
  • 1 Piece of honeycomb, roughly 3 inches long
  • 1/4 Cup good quality honey
  • 1 1/2 Cups whole pecans
  • Garnish with rosemary or sage leaves 


Preheat oven to 400 degree. Place the pecans on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and toast in the oven until it's slightly darker, being careful cot to burn the pecans. (About 4 - 5 minutes)

Place the cheese on a serving tray or cheese board, top with honey comb and drizzle with the additional 1/4 cup honey. Arrange the pecans behind the rind of the cheese (so the honey is moving away from the pecans). Dip a pecan wedge into the cheese and honey to enjoy. 


Crostini with Pear, Burrata and Honey

  • 1 Baguette, sliced thin
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves
  • 8 Ounces burrata cheese
  • 1 Pear sliced very thin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon fresh thyme, finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoons honey 
  • Flaky sea salt such as Maldon



Preheat oven to 450 degree. Brush each bread slice with olive oil. Place sliced bread on a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden brown around the edges, flipping the bread half way through. 

Remove from the oven and rub both sides of the toasted break with the raw garlic clove. 

Top each piece of crostini with two ounces of burrata. Arrange fruit on top of the burrata. Sprinkle the thyme on top of the crostini and drizzle with honey. Top with a pinch of flaky sea salt and serve immediately. 


Cranberry Meatballs

2 Pounds ground beef
1 Cup breadcrumbs
2 Large eggs
2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons finely minced onion
1/2 Teaspoon salt

Cranberry Pepper Jelly Sauce

10-ounce jar hot pepper jelly
12-ounce jar chili sauce
1 8-ounce can cranberry sauce (preferably jellied)
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 Lemon, juiced



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a large bowl, combine the ground, beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, chili sauce, worcestershire, onion, and salt. Mix until incorporated, but do not overwork the mixture or the meat will become tough. 
From the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet, roughly 1 inch apart.
Cook for 10 minutes and then turn each meatball over: Cook the meatballs for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Carefully remove from oven when done. 


In a large skillet over low heat, combine all of the sauce ingredients. Stir until well blended. Remove from heat once the meatballs are ready. 

Once the meatballs are cooked, carefully place them in the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour; ir until the sauce has thickened. If you'd rather, you can simmer the sauce and meatballs in a slow cooker on high heat for 1 hour; or low heat for 2-3 hours, before turning to warm.