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This post is sponsored by ALDI as part of the Healthier Holidays Series. 

I am excited about the holidays this year. I’m staying in Charlotte for Thanksgiving where I’ll spend the day with a big group of friends and going home for Christmas to be with my family in Georgia. I’m also looking forward to all of the holiday parties that December will bring. It’s such a wonderful time of celebration and connection.

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is preparing and sharing meals with friends and family. I love the planning that goes into it and have so much fun menu planning, developing and testing recipes, food shopping and cooking. I am in charge of “Friendsgiving” logistics this year and couldn’t be more excited about it. I have been known to go as far as making spreadsheets and timelines in preparation for holiday meals. We have a shared Google spreadsheet for Friendsgiving….it’s the six years I spent as a project manager coming out in me! ;)

This is why I’m super thrilled to be partnering with ALDI on a series of “Healthier Holiday” recipe posts. Over the next few weeks I will share holiday meal ideas ranging from appetizers to desserts along with some tips on how to make your holidays a little healthier this year.

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I have an ALDI store about a mile from my house so I stopped in to get some inspiration for my holiday meal planning. I found everything that I needed and more at ALDI…and at amazing prices.

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There were tons of seasonal and specialty items ranging from cheeses to meats to prepared and convenience items and more.

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I filled my cart with a selection of products to make four variations of bite-sized appetizers on skewers.

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There are many reasons that I love serving bite-sized “appetizers on a stick” including…

  • Easy eating. If you’re hosting a party, skewers are so easy for your guests to eat. They don’t have to make a plate and can still hold a drink in one hand while eating a bite-sized appetizer.
  • Portion control. I don’t know about you but when there’s a big bowl of dip around, I have a hard time staying away from it! I find that the skewers help so much with portion control. It’s a well-known diet trick that it’s always better to have a serving of something portioned out rather than trusting yourself to stop.
  • Easy prep. I am all about appetizers that can be assembled ahead of time when I’m entertaining. These hold well in the fridge.
  • Minimal clean up…just toss the skewers in the trash.
  • Pretty presentation. They looks so great on trays and platters.
  • A perfect bite every time. I love that I can combine fun and delicious flavors and know that my guests are getting the perfect bite every time!

Here are four combinations that I created. These skewers are crowd pleasers for holiday parties and are also ideal to set out on Thanksgiving day to enjoy a bite of something without filling up.

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1) Antipasto Bites 

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I combined Specially Selected bite-sized salami, Priano fresh mozzarella, Tuscan Garden marinated artichokes and olives for an antipasto-themed skewer.

Total price of appetizer with all ingredients from ALDI: $12.86; 12 servings (2 skewers per person)

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2) Pear and Brie Bites with Toasted Walnuts and Honey

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I love the combination of brie and fresh fruit. I cut the Specially Selected brie and pears into bite-sized pieces and toasted Southern Grove walnuts to sprinkle on top. I also added a drizzle of honey.

Total cost of ingredients from ALDI: $11.17 (that includes the entire bag of pears and walnuts…I had tons of leftovers!); 12 servings (2 skewers per person)

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3) Pesto Shrimp and Tomato Bites 

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I coated the shrimp in ALDI’s Priano tomato pesto sauce and cooked them under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes total, flipping once. The shrimp can be served warm or cold.

Total cost of ingredients from ALDI: $9.97 (the pesto is only $1.29!); 12 servings (2 skewers per person)

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4) Apple and Chipotle Cranberry Cheddar Bites with Toasted Walnuts and Honey

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When I saw this Specially Selected chipotle cranberry cheese I knew I had to pair it with an apple for a sweet and savory treat with a kick. I loved this combination so much and served it opposite the brie and pear bites with the same toasted walnut and honey topping. I loved the contrast of red and green it gave the plate. Pretty for the holidays!

Total cost of ingredients from ALDI: $7.98 (for the entire bag of organic apples and cheese…I left the walnuts out since they’re included in the price above); 12 servings (2 skewers per person)

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Try these bite-sized skewer appetizers for a creative twist on healthier holiday entertaining and eating. And stay tuned for my next post where I’ll share tips for what snacks and appetizers to enjoy and what snacks and appetizers to avoid to keep your holidays healthy.

What’s your favorite tip for portion control at holiday cocktail parties? 

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