Fun with food: Simple party favors — even if the party is smaller this year

PHOTO CREDIT: Metro Creative

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Metro Creative

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Metro Creative

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Metro Creative

Addie Graffin PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Metro Creative

With parties likely becoming smaller this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have decided to make them much simpler as well.

Everyone loves appetizers. So, why not make your holiday planning easy and delicious serving those a la cocktail party?

Don’t have the time to research fantastic recipes? I got you. I am all about making dishes with fewer than five ingredients. If it gets too fancy or the ingredients are too far out, I feel overwhelmed. I want this year’s holidays to be fun, simple and delicious for you and your guests.

Normally, you know me as the creator of health-filled recipes. I definitely suggest having a few healthy options at your parties. But I also want you to have a good time with some “splurge” tapas, too.

One tip:

Don’t head into the season trying to “diet.” Don’t think too much about the food. Eat what looks delicious to you — something you really love and enjoy.

This is not a time for worrying about weight (which you really should never worry about anyway, but that is another topic for another time). Put your weight loss goals aside for this special time, and just be. Live life to the fullest, enjoying everything and everyone. Have fun.

You are so blessed. We all are if we are able to celebrate with loved ones. Don’t ruin it by using the famous words, “I really shouldn’t eat that.”

Each day should bring you joy. Do things this month especially that do just that. If baking is your thing, go for it. Cooking elaborate meals? Do it. Just try having the best time you can, doing the things you love all month long. That is my suggestion for really enjoying this holiday season.

Cooking for hours and baking all day does not bring me joy. I love to eat, though. So, I will make things that can be prepared with little effort but will be loved by all.

Mediterranean Dip

• 10 ounces hummus

• 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt

• ½-¾ cups diced Kalamata olives

• ½-¾ cups diced tomatoes

• 8 ounces crumbled feta

Use an 8-inch-by-8-inch dish or even a large plate. Layer the ingrediants, starting with the hummus, otherwise you won’t be able to spread it out. Use pita chips or fresh, raw vegetables for dipping.

Taco Roll Ups

• 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

• 4 ounces sour cream

• 1 cup cheddar cheese, finely chopped

• ½ cup finely chopped black olives

• ½ package taco season

Mix well, and spread on eight to 10 white tortillas. Roll up the tortilla, and cut in

1- to 2-inch slices. Serve with salsa.

Light Cocktail

Add a ¼ cup of frozen cranberries or raspberries to a festive glass. Fill half with a white soda and half with white wine. I love this, as I am kind of a lightweight but like to celebrate.

I hope you find simplicity, ease and fun in these recipes.

Remember to have fun. That is what life is all about. If you are not having a good time, you aren’t doing it right.

Addie Graffin is a freelance columnist and blogger based in Platteville, Wis. Read more at

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