Monday, December 30, 2019

Christmas Dinner With Our Friends – Appetizers And Drinks

My previous post covered the salad and the lasagna main course for our Christmas meal and today I’ll show our appetizers.

I'll begin with two kinds of hummas using a recipe from Gimme Some Oven for the first one. You can visit Ali’s site by clicking on the link for the original recipe, a how to video, and more shots like this one.


1/3 cup good-quality tahini 
2-4 tablespoons cold water, or more if needed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
juice of 1 lemons (2–3 tablespoons)
15 ounce can chickpeas*, rinsed and drained
optional toppings: extra drizzle of olive oil, chopped fresh parsley, sprinkle of ground sumac or paprika, toasted pine nuts

1. Add tahini, cold water, olive oil, cumin, salt, garlic and lemon juice to a food processor.  Puree until smooth.
2. Add in the chickpeas.  Puree for 3-4 minutes, pausing halfway to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the hummus is smooth.  If it seems too thick, add in another tablespoon or two of water.
3. Taste and season with additional salt, cumin, and/or lemon juice if needed.
4. Serve immediately, garnished with your desired toppings.  Or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

The second version was Roasted Red Pepper Hummas using the recipe from Tori Avey so check her site for the original recipe and some how-to shots like this one.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummas - Lightly adapted from Tory Avey

3/8 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers (drained and chopped)
15 oz. can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/8 cup tahini
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp crushed fresh garlic (or more to taste)
1/3 tsp smoked paprika (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp salt 
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
Warm water as needed for consistency

1.Use jarred roasted red peppers (drained)
2. If using canned chickpeas, drain, and rinse them.
3. Outfit your food processor with a blade attachment. Combine roasted peppers, chickpeas, tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and spices in the processor.
4. Pulse the ingredients for about 60 seconds, then process until smooth. If mixture seems too thick, add warm water a tablespoon at a time and blend until desired consistency is reached. Taste the mixture and add more salt, lemon juice, cayenne or garlic to taste. 5. 5. Process again to blend any additional ingredients.
5. Pour into a serving bowl and serve at room temperature

I made ours on Monday and kept covered in the fridge and we served them with flat bread – it got a little stiffer in the fridge.

The other appetizer was an antipasto made up of ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone cheese, pecorino-romano cheese, fontina cheese, marinated mozzarella cheese, blue cheese stuffed olives, marinated olives and feta cheese, marinated mushrooms, baby dills, and grape tomatoes.  This is one of my favorite dishes and I’ll look forward to the leftovers.

We also tried to have everyone’s favorite drink on hand which included regular Pepsi, three kinds of beer, chianti, pinot grigio, and prosecco sparkling wines, diet soft drinks, and Weigels (local dairy) Eggnog (it is outstanding).

We spent about 45 minutes visiting before the salad and hot rolls and I enjoyed the pre-meal items but thought the hummas would have been better had we made sure to get some good tahini such as this highly rated one.

The teams for the college football championship game are set and the good news is that they are the two teams we wanted and the bad news is that Bev and I will be rooting against each other on Jan 13th.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


12/25/19 event date


  1. Larry, That was a very attractive antipasto tray! It was an artistic presentation. Loved the garlic hummus... Laurie and I will be rooting for LSU. However I was very happy to see Ohio State lose. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  2. That antipasto platter looks fabulous! And I love a good hummus. One of my favorite appetizers. Happy New Year to All!

  3. It all looks delicious, esp the antipasto tray! Happy New Year to you and your family! OSU was a shock, what's left of my family lives there and I can't imagine what Columbus was like after that!

  4. What a great looking appetizer table.


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