Chrismukkah season is upon us, and in case you didn’t know, this year is the big one: Hanukkah 2016 begins at sundown on December 24. Since many of us will be scrambling to find candles for the menorah (I could’ve sworn we had extras from last year!) in between pulling cookies out of the oven for Santa, the idea of also preparing lots of food from scratch for company is pretty laughable.
To make life easier, we’re calling out our top three way-too-easy appetizers for you to choose from—each takes less than 10 minutes to assemble and requires no real cooking (other than toasting some bread), and most have fewer than five ingredients. Our number one tip: Buy everything you’ll need for these apps at least two days in advance; there’s nothing scarier than the grocery store on the morning of a high-stakes holiday.
Crostini are essentially just toast with a smear, and what more could you want? Make or buy the jammy toppings in advance, then pop the bread in the oven when the first guest arrives.Crostini are the best choice for those with small party spaces—chips and dip may seem simpler, but ask yourself again when you have 10 people crowded around one bowl in your teeny living room-slash-kitchen-and-hallway. No bueno. With crostini, folks can pile their plates high with toasts, then spread out to mingle, leaving your fire exits unblocked. Whew.
When you’ve accidentally found yourself hosting all 20 cousins, resort to no other app than chips and dip. Make a quick guac, tapenade, or herby spread (don’t forget to make a triple batch!). And buy extra bags of the appropriate chip. Easier still: Toss the recipes and go mega simple with salsa and corn chips—we doubt anyone will be mad about that.
So you’re feeding three vegans, one pescetarian, five near-carnivores, and your sometimes gluten-free sister? You can’t go wrong with a platter. Put the meat on one side, the veggies and cashew-cheese on another, and throw the rice crackers in their own bowl. Have a jar filled with cutlery and plenty of toothpicks near the (presliced) Manchego; everyone gets to munch without fear of cross-contamination.