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Two more for your holiday spread

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Holiday parties are in full swing. There are all kinds of parties, from your neighborhood open house to the office party.

So let’s concentrate on party foods. Those tasty little bites we long to load up our plates with. To properly feed a party we need a variety of foods for our guests to munch on. Many appetizer recipes can be time consuming and complex, however, some are rather simple. Either way your guests do notice if you made the appetizers yourself. It is a very positive reflection on the host or the generous guest.

So, make them yourself and keep all the cooking satisfaction in your own kitchen. Both of the recipes featured today can be made in advance thereby taking the stress off the day of your event. Here are two simple recipes to get you started.

Cinnamon Pecans1 large egg white 1 tsp water 1 lb whole pecans1 cup sugar 1/4 tsp salt1 1/2 tbl cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Whisk together egg white and water in a large bowl to achieve soft peaks, stir in nuts. Blend together sugar, salt and cinnamon and stir into nuts, coating well. Spread nuts on 2 foil lined baking sheets, lightly coated with non stick spray. Bake in oven for about 35 minutes until thoroughly dried. Toss after the first 15 minutes. Cool and store in a zip lock bag. Will keep for a month.

(Optional ingredients, 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and/or a pinch of ground cloves)

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Bacon

1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes

4 oz garlic & herb flavored goat cheese, (such as Boursin)

5 Slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 tbl fresh Italian parsley minced

Cut a slice off the top of each cherry tomato and gently scoop out the inside flesh being careful not to poke through the bottom. Note: if the cherry tomato will not readily stand upright you may have to slice off a very small amount of the bottom to make it flat.

Bring goat cheese to room temperature and combine with crumbled bacon.

Place cheese mixture into the corner of a zip lock bag squeezing out as much air as possible. Snip the corner off of the bag and squeeze out the cheese mixture into the cherry tomatoes, garnish with the parsley.

This can be made a day ahead, covered and refrigerated until the party. Allow to come to room temperature before service.

(Optional ingredients, minced green onion instead of the parsley)

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