Whip up some tacky, but delicious, appetizer recipes that are as entertaining as your ugly Christmas sweater! By Dawn Williams
Tacky Christmas Sweater Party
It's time to celebrate the season, the camaraderie, and, of course, the tackiest piece of Christmas clothing you can find. Ugly sweater parties are all the rage during the holidays. And if you want to be deemed the ultimate hostess of one of these gatherings, serving food with tacky flair is a must.
We've taken our recipes and made them, well, just a little more festive than usual. Your gaudy guests will not only comment on the creative spread, but also on how tasty the appetizers are!
Feta Cheese Truffles
Tiny cheese truffles are super-simple to make and pair well with other finger foods, such as almonds, olives, and grape tomatoes. To up the tacky ante, serve them in ice-cube trays nestled in holiday boxes.
Mini sausages hand-battered and fried golden are just the right size for munching and mingling. Not to be left out of the tacky theme, we served them in a jolly basket with cheery red (ketchup) and green (salsa verde) condiments.
Famous Sausage Ball Muffins
We just took "decorating the tree" to a whole new level! Once these cheesy sausage bites cool, use toothpicks with red and green frills to affix them to a foam cone (you can find the foam at most arts and crafts stores). If that's not enough for your sweater-party spread, add a bow tree topper and use holiday fabric as a tree skirt.
Ugly Christmas sweaters aren't just for partygoers. Let the food join in on the festivities by "dressing" gingerbread men in their own tacky sweaters. Use icing, candies, and colored sugars to create the decked-out wardrobes.
Fruity Gelatin Mold
Give grandma's gelatin mold a chance and tote this updated version to the party. Have fun with the mold you choose (ours is topped with a Christmassy star), and add leftover decorations around the plate to give the piece some personality.
Whoever gave fruitcake a bad name will eat their words when they try this fruit-filled, rum-spiked cake. Because a fruitcake needs no introduction, a simple bow tied around the dessert adds just enough tackiness to this Christmas "gift."
Panna Cotta Shots
These sweet, creamy shots are anything but ugly. But we managed to take them down a notch by pouring into plastic shot glasses and topping with red and green liqueurs. Just be sure to make these dainty desserts ahead, as they take some time to chill.
This appetizer wins the award for the ugliest presentation. And your guests will flip when they realize that this classic appetizer is resting in a ring of pasta. You could always serve the meatballs in a regular bowl, but that wouldn't be half as much fun!
Recipe: Holiday Meatballs Photos: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro