There are few things better than getting together with those you love, celebrating the holidays, and creating new memories. All of these things are made even better by a smorgasbord of yummy food to snack on while enjoying the festivities. Unfortunately, most snack food is packed with unnecessary carbohydrates and sugars. Here are just a few of my favorite low-carb party go-tos.
Meet, Cheese, and Fruit Plate
I am a total sucker for a great cheese plate. Pair the right cheese with the right meat and fixings and WA-LAH! Heaven on earth! There are SO MANY different kinds of delectable cheeses, meats, and spreads out there. You really want variety on your platter. Here are a few of my favorite combos.
Brie (soft cheese)
Prosciutto (Italian dry cured ham)
Parmigiano Reggiano (hard/firm cheese), thinly sliced
Sopressata (Italian dry salami)
Smoked Guoda (smoked semi-hard cheese) or Farmhouse Cheddar (aged semi-hard cheese)
Dry cured salami (made of beef or pork and mostly air dried)
Herbed Goat cheese (crumbly soft cheese)
I also always add something…
Sweet: like berries, grapes, or chocolate
Salty: like pistachios, cashews, or almonds
Crunchy: like carrots, celery, or cucumbers
Arrange cheese, meats, and fixings on a large platter with small cheese knifes and meat forks.
Place spreads in small bowls or dishes and place strategically around the platter.
Consider labeling items with small pieces of paper taped to tooth picks.
Serve with a selection of bread and/or crackers.
For a ketogenic lifestyle:
Stick to the cheese and meat alone and then load up on the veggies for stacking and dipping.
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
Bacon! Cheese! And shrimp! Oh my! Three of my favorite things put into a simple, yet seriously delicious, appetizer.
1 pound of bacon
1 pound of jumbo shrimp, raw
1 8-ounce brick pepper jack cheese, sliced
Garlic salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Wash, peel, and devein shrimp. Leave the tail on. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Place a small cube/slice of cheese on top of each shrimp.
Wrap each shrimp with 1 slice of bacon (or a ½ slice of bacon if your shrimp are smaller). If the bacon is not staying in place you may stab a toothpick through the middle to hold everything together.
Place shrimp on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil.
Lightly sprinkle the shrimp with garlic salt.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until bacon is at desired crispiness and the shrimp is pink.
Sausage Cream Cheese Dip
This one is a Thompson family favorite! It is SO EASY to make and is packed full of flavor.
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 pound ground sausage, Italian or regular/plain
1 10-ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until cooked all the way through and no longer pink. Drain excess grease.
Add cream cheese and mix until melted.
Stir in Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies.
Serve warm with tortilla chips.
I have a small, dip sized, crock pot I keep the dip in to keep it warm and/or to take to parties.
For a ketogenic lifestyle:
Serve with celery sticks, cucumber slices, and/or thick-sliced bell peppers.