Holiday Helpers

words and images: James Steufix
Get the party started with one, or all three of these delicious appetizers. Happy holidays!


BLT Bites


  • 15 to 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons snipped fresh parsley


Cut a thin slice off of each tomato top. Scoop out and discard pulp. Invert the tomatoes on a paper towel to drain. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Spoon into tomatoes. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Yield: 16-20 appetizer servings.



Apple, Bacon, and Arugula Bites


  • Red Delicious apple slices
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic-and-herb spreadable cheese
  • Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Baby arugula sprigs
  • Freshly cracked pepper


Toss apple slices in lemon juice; pat dry. Spread each slice with about 2 teaspoons of the garlic-and-herb spreadable cheese. Top with bacon, baby arugula sprigs, and freshly cracked pepper.



Fried Green Beans


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • Ranch dressing


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and cayenne pepper. In another medium bowl, stir together 1½ cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and vinegar. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and baking powder. Whisk into water mixture.

Pour 2 inches of oil into a Dutch oven. Heat between 350-375°. In batches, dip green beans in egg mixture and then dredge in flour mixture. Dredge in egg mixture a second time and then in flour mixture a second time.

Fry beans for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Season to taste with salt and serve with Ranch dressing.

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