‘Tis the Season for Fun Food

These fun and festive holiday treats and appetizers are sure to bring smiles to faces young and old! Not only will they add a little cheer to your holiday party spreads, they’re easy to make and delicious to eat! Bonus: Get the kids involved for a fun family craft activity.

Make-Ahead Snowman Cheese Ball

10 servings

3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
4 cups shredded white Cheddar cheese (16 oz)
2 Tbs basil pesto
1 Tbs grated onion
1/4 tsp yellow mustard
2 drops red pepper sauce
1 container (4 oz) whipped
cream cheese, softened
Decorations (see Notes), if desired
Assorted crackers, if desired

Mix 3 packages cream cheese and the Cheddar cheese; divide into 3 equal parts. Combine 2 parts to equal two-thirds of mixture; mix in pesto. Mix onion, mustard and pepper sauce into remaining one-third mixture.

Cover each cheese mixture and refrigerate about 4 hours or until firm enough to shape. Shape each cheese mixture into ball. Wrap each ball, label and freeze.

About 12 hours before serving, remove balls from freezer. Thaw in wrappers in refrigerator.

Arrange balls on serving plate with smaller ball on top for head of snowman. Frost snowman with whipped cream cheese before serving. Decorate as desired. Serve with crackers. Store covered in refrigerator.

Notes: You can make this cute little guy up to 1 month ahead! Use your imagination to decorate this whimsical snowman: Try using fresh rosemary and dried cranberries (crown), or chopped olive pieces or raisins (eyes and buttons), pimiento or red bell pepper (mouth), radicchio or carrot ribbon (scarf), and asparagus spears or pretzel sticks (arms).

Recipe courtesy bettycrocker.com

Kiwi Fruit Christmas Tree Platter

4 kiwifruit, peeled, sliced
2 Tbs pomegranate arils
2 Tbs blueberries
2 thick slices pear

Arrange kiwi on plate in shape of Christmas tree. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils and blueberries. Place pear slice on cutting board. Use small star cookie cutter to cut out star. Place on top of tree. Use remaining pear slice to create tree trunk.

NOTE: No pomegranate arils or blueberries on hand? No problem! Use dried fruit, nuts or other fruit to decorate your kiwi tree.

Recipe courtesy produceforkids.com

Chocolate Popcorn Reindeer

8 servings

8 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
2 Tbs butter or light olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
16 pretzel sticks
16 eyeball candies*
8 red candy-coated chocolate candies

Place popcorn in large mixing bowl. In saucepan set over medium heat, heat marshmallows, chocolate, butter and salt, stirring often, until smooth. Toss marshmallow mixture with popcorn until well combined. Scoop 3/4 cup popcorn mixture into ball. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 8 balls. Place each ball in paper muffin cup liner. Insert pretzel stick on each side of ball to resemble antlers, stick two eyeball candies on for “eyes” and red candy for “nose.” Let cool completely.

*Eyeball candies can be found in the baking aisle of your local supermarket or bulk food stores.

Recipe courtesy popcorn.org