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Vanessa Druckman

Vanessa, also known as Chefdruck, is a foodie, writer and mom living in Chicago with her husband and four children. Whether you're planning a holiday dinner party or small impromptu get together with friends, Vanessa has easy menu ideas and helpful tips to minimize your time in the kitchen so you have more time to spend with your friends and family. Vanessa's personal blog can be found at chefdruck.com

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Quick & Easy Holiday Recipes

When stores begin playing Christmas carols the day after Thanksgiving, I get as worked up as my children. I can’t help myself. I love the holiday season. I love to decorate our tree and fill our house with the smell of Douglas Fir. I love an excuse to gather with friends in festive clothes, drinking eggnog and singing Christmas carols. I even love the frenetic shopping, the angst of finding just the right present for each child. I love everything about the holiday season except the stress of cramming too many activities in such a short time.

Holiday Appetizer Recipes

Olive Roll

Olive Roll Recipe →

To keep from getting overwhelmed, I make sure to have a few quick, easy, and delicious holiday appetizer recipes on hand at all times. That way, I’m always ready to feed the hungry crowds that drop by unexpectedly, regardless of whether they are carolers or neighbors. A pecan cranberry spread is not only delicious but it’s also festive with its specks of brown and red on a creamy white bed. The spread contrasts nicely with a dark green olive roll whose blue cheese flavor never fails to surprise and delight my guests. When all else fails, I cut up a few slices of cheddar to whip up a stunning cheddar spread topped with homemade tomato jam and serve it with some hearty multigrain crackers.

My husband is always amazed at how quickly I can throw together these holiday appetizers. He calls me a magician! But the truth is that with a pantry stocked with a few boxes of crackers and a few other key ingredients, I can breathe easier and actually enjoy the festivities, knowing I’m ready for anyone to walk through the door.

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