Herbal Holiday Treats

Blog Archive

Tired of the same old hand-me-down recipes for holiday appetizers and snacks? Try one of our fresh ideas for your New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl Sunday get-togethers that are easy on your time, budget and palate.



Cracked Pepper Potato Chips

  • 3 large russet potatoes (2 1/4 pounds total) sliced into 1/8-inch thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

  1. In a large bowl, toss the potato slices in a large bowl with the olive oil and pepper until well coated.
  2. Arrange potato slices in a single layer on 2 ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the chips are lightly browned.
  4. Remove from oven and immediately season with salt. Let cool before serving.


Prosciutto & Shrimp with Apricot-Ginger Sauce

For the Shrimp:

  • 32 shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
  • 8 thin slices of prosciutto (or 16 slices of bacon)
  • 16 wooden toothpicks

For the Sauce:

  • 1 jar apricot preserves
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons warm water 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  1. Cut each slice of prosciutto in half, lengthwise. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each shrimp and secure with a toothpick.
  2. Place the wrapped shrimp on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or just until the prosciutto is crisp.
  3. Combine the apricot preserves, vinegar, ginger, thyme, garlic powder and water. (If the mixture is too thick, add a bit more water.) Pour into a dipping bowl and serve with the shrimp.


Cheddar-Cayenne Crackers

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Place all of the dry ingredients in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse several times just until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  2. Add the cheese and pulse a few times more. With the motor running, add the cream in a slow, steady stream. Continue processing until the dough forms a ball.
  3. Remove the dough and roll into a log a couple of inches in diameter. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  4. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Slice the dough log into 1/8-inch slices and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool before serving.


Sesame Chicken Wings

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Pinch of cayenne to taste
  • 4 pounds chicken wings
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 scallion, sliced thin

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  1. Line a large shallow baking pan with foil. Lightly spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the garlic and the salt to make a paste. Add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, sesame oil and cayenne. Reserve one-fourth of the sauce to coat the wings after cooking.
  3. Add the chicken wings to the bowl with the remaining sauce and toss to coat evenly. 4. Arrange the wings in a single layer in the baking pan and bake, turning over once, for 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through.
  4. Remove the wings from the oven and baste with the reserved sauce. Let cool slightly before serving.


Sweet & Spicy Cashew Mix

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the cashews, sugar, water and salt in a large skillet and heat over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, and cook until water is nearly evaporated and the liquid forms a syrup, about 10 minutes.
  3. Blend the spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle over the cashews, stirring constantly until the water completely evaporates, about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and carefully continue to stir the cashews until they become evenly coated with crystallized sugar.
  5. Turn the nuts out onto the lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer with a spatula to cool. When the cashews have completely cooled, toss them in a sifter to remove excess sugar. Store leftovers in an airtight container.