It’s the holiday season with lots of festive get togethers. Hope you’re ready to put on your sparkle and get those parties!
But as an invited guest you may generously ask the host, “What can I bring?”
If their answer is “Why don’t you just bring a side dish?” I’ve got you covered.
Here are some great tasting crowd pleasing recipes that just so happen to be super easy to prepare. I created a buffet of EASY HOLIDAY SIDES for NBC Atlanta & Company.
And if you shop at ALDI food markets, they’re super affordable too. Have you ever been to and ALDI? No frills, but all fabulous.
ALDI is a great place to buy holiday essentials like fresh seasonal produce and organics, dairy, gluten-free foods, USDA choice beef and bakery items, priced up to 50 percent less than at other traditional grocery stores.
Disclosure: I’m working with ALDI this holiday season to get the word out on their great food products, award winning wines and all you need for holiday bash. Find lots more tips, inspiration and recipe ideas at ALDI Holiday Hub.
First Side Up! Twice Baked Butternut Squash
Cut a butternut squash in half, bake and then scoop out the insides leaving enough skin to create your ‘boat’. Mix mashed butternut squash with honey goat cheese, …well hold on…here’s the recipe from ALDI Holiday Hub website.
Twice-Baked Butternut Squash
SERVINGS: 8 | COST PER SERVING: $1.12† | PREP: 10 MIN | COOK: 1 HOUR, 20 MIN
- 1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
- 2 cups hot water
- 5 ounces Happy Farms Preferred Honey Goat Cheese Log, crumbled, divided
- 1/4 cup Friendly Farms Half & Half
- 2 tablespoons Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, melted
- 5 ounces Southern Grove Dried Mixed Berries
- 2 teaspoons Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice*
- Stonemill Table Salt, to taste
- Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup Southern Grove Chopped Pecans
Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a large baking dish, place butternut squash cut side up. Add hot water, cover with foil. Bake until tender, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven, discard water, allow to cool. Scoop out tender parts of squash leaving skin intact.
In a medium bowl, combine squash, 3 ounces of goat cheese, half & half, melted butter, mixed berries, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Scoop mixture back into squash skin, top with remaining goat cheese and chopped pecans. Bake until mixture is slightly firm, approximately 10-12 minutes.
Change oven setting to broil.
Broil until cheese is browned, approximately 5-8 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Morgan, ALDI Test Kitchen
How about these Tomato and Goat Cheese Santas? Stuffed with garlic and herb goat cheese, they are an adorable addition to any holiday party and are pop-in-your-mouth easy to eat and delicious! Top a hollowed out cheery tomato with a grape tomato half as the hat! OK…it’s my secret holiday mission to get folks to eat more fruits and vegetables during the holidays…and all year long!
If you’re going to build and bring a cheese and meat platter to a party don’t forget to add the fresh fruit to add good taste and good fresh seasonal nutrition. The gourmet cheeses including a white cheddar with cranberry and a beautiful brie cheese are from…you guessed it…ALDI.
Pears are in season right now and add a naturally fresh sweet taste to cheese platters. A included Anjou (brown) and Bartlett (green) pears to my platter on Atlanta & Company. Thank you USA Pears!
Oh, and to round things out….how about a little indulgence with teeny tiny bites of cheesecake and wonderful chocolate covered gingerbread cookies, too. The wines, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a Cabernet Sauvignon and Italian Prosecco are wines from ALDI’s award winning and super affordable wine collection.
Ok let’s get to the party!!!! Happy Holidays everyone! And THANK YOU Mallory for your fab food styling skills! You made everything look sooooo great! More plaid please. (: