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15 Delicious Bite-sized Christmas Appetizers

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For those who develop analysis paralysis in the search for holiday appetizers, we put together a manageable list of finger food favorites to get you started. 

Here are the 15 delicious bite-sized Christmas appetizers ideas and recipes. It even includes vegan, paleo, keto, and gluten-free options.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE SALES LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY FOR DETAILS.

Holiday Vegan Cheese Platter

  • Prep Time: 15 Mins + 6 hrs wait time
  • Cook Time: 0 Mins
  • Serving: 10
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Say hello to this holiday inspired vegan cheese platter! Don’t you want to serve this at your next holiday gathering!? Cheese platters are a must during the holiday season because they always look so festive, fancy and enticing.

  • 2 cups (300g) raw cashews , soaked overnight
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 lemon , juiced
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk (optional, to help with binding)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • black poppyseed (optional for sprinkling)

  1. Drain soaked cashews and add to food processor along with minced garlic, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, psyllium husk, garlic powder and onion powder. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Place a fine mesh strainer (or colander) over a large mixing bowl, and lay down two layers of cheesecloth (or a clean, fine, absorbent towel). Scoop cashew mix onto cheesecloth, then gather the corners and twist the top gently to form the cheese into a "disc." Secure with a rubber band.
  3. Place cheese in refrigerator to set for at least 6 hours, preferably 12 hours or overnight, until there is no more excess moisture, and it holds its form when released from the cheesecloth. (I left mine in the fridge overnight)
  4. To serve, unwrap from cheesecloth and gently invert onto a serving platter. Reform with hands as needed, then sprinkle with poppy seed to coat. (Handle gently as the cheese is soft). Enjoy with fresh cut vegetables, fruits, and crackers.

Christmas Appetiser – Italian Cheese Log!

  • Prep Time: 20 Mins
  • Cook Time: 0 Min
  • Serving: 15 to 20
  • Print

Kick off the holidays with this festive Christmas Appetiser – an Italian Cheese Log! It’s like an antipasto platter in dip form packed with minced salami, olives, peppers, green onions, a hefty dose of Italian seasonings, AND topped with sun dried tomato.

Cheese Log:

  • 500g/ 1 lb cream cheese , softened (Note 1)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (Note 2)
  • 1/2 tsp EACH thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, black pepper OR 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp EACH garlic powder, salt, red pepper/chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 2 cup cheddar or other cheese , freshly grated (Note 3)
  • 280g / 9 oz roasted peppers , drained and finely chopped
  • 180g / 6 oz salami , finely chopped (Note 4)
  • 3/4 cup green olives , finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion , finely minced (3 - 4 stalks)

Topping/serving:

  • 220g / 7 oz sun dried tomato strips with OIL , roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley , finely chopped (or chives)
  • Rosemary sprigs (decoration)
  • Jatz or other crackers , for serving

  • Spray a loaf pan with oil then line with cling wrap with overhang.
  • Mix Cheese Log ingredients together. Taste and adjust salt if needed (bear in mind saltiness of crackers you are serving with).
  • Scrape into loaf pan and level surface, pressing to remove air pockets. Smaller pan = taller loaf.
  • Cover with cling wrap overhang and refrigerate for 4 hours+ (up to 1 week).
  • Turn out onto platter, peel off cling wrap.
  • Top with sun dried tomato and pour over oil. Garnish with parsley and rosemary sprigs to give it a festive look.
  • Best to serve closer to room temp than fridge cold. Serve with crackers! Knives for smearing optional - it's soft enough to scoop with crackers.

Baked Brie en Croute With Thyme And Fig Jam

  • Print
  • Serving: 6 to 8
  • Prep Time: 10 Mins
  • Cook Time:40 minutes (or 1 hour, if re-chilling is needed)

Baked brie at a holiday party,it’s something people expect, but this recipe uses a few unexpected ingredients that make for subtle Christmas flavors. The thyme gives it a gentle, piney accent while the fig contributes nut and honey flavors that complement the warmth of the holidays. 

  • 1 (6- to 8-ounce; 170 to 225g) round Brie or Camembert cheese, slightly chilled (see note)
  • 10-inch square chilled puff pastry dough
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Fig jam, for topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon picked fresh thyme leaves (from 2 medium stems)
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon (15ml) water

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Using a sharp knife, score top rind of cheese in a crisscross pattern, spacing cuts about 1 inch apart.

  2. Place puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and roll to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Set cheese in center of square, top with a few tablespoons of fig jam, and sprinkle thyme leaves on top. Fold dough up and over sides of cheese, pleating it neatly on top to enclose cheese. Gently pinch dough together in center to seal gathered pleats. You can tie a bit of kitchen twine on top to hold pleats together if you like, but this is not essential.
  3. If dough is no longer cold, chill wrapped cheese for at least 20 minutes. (Prepared cheese wheel can be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to bake.)
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place wrapped cheese wheel on prepared baking sheet and brush evenly with egg wash. Bake until pastry is crisp and golden brown all over, 25 to 35 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then serve.

Bacon Brie Crescent Wreath

  • Prep Time: 5 Mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hrs
  • Serving: 6
  • Print : Not Available

This bacon brie crescent ring is the ultimate holiday appetizer.

  • 8-oz tubes Crescent rolls
  • 1/3 c. cranberry sauce
  • 12-oz wheel of brie, cut into cubes
  • slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • eggs, lightly beaten
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Chopped parsley, for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Unroll crescent rolls, separating each triangle. Arrange in a sunburst pattern, with pointed ends of the triangles facing outward (the base of the triangles should overlap).
  2. Spread cranberry sauce on dough. Top with brie and bacon. Fold triangle tips over filling and tuck under the base to secure.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Brush top of the dough with egg and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until dough is golden 15-20 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Bacon Crack Bites

  • Prep Time: 10 Mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hr
  • Serving: 6 to 8
  • Print

This is the easiest app to whip together (it even works in the air fryer!) and everyone will love it. 3 simple ingredients come together in an hour and turn any gathering into a party! 

  • 1 package bacon strips, cut in half
  • 32 Club Crackers
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Ranch dressing, for dipping

FOR OVEN
  1. Preheat oven to 350º and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange crackers on baking sheet and sprinkle with Parmesan. Tightly wrap each cracker with bacon and place seam-side down, then top with more Parmesan.
  3. Bake until bacon is cooked through and bites are crispy, 45 to 48 minutes. 
  4. Season with pepper and serve with ranch for dipping.
FOR AIR FRYER
  1. Sprinkle crackers with Parmesan. Tightly wrap each cracker with bacon and place seam-side down on a baking sheet, top with more Parmesan.
  2. Arrange crackers in basket of Air Fryer, working in single layer batches of 5 or 6 , spaced at least ¼-inch apart, as necessary to not overcrowd basket. Cook at 350° until bacon is cooked through and bites are crispy, about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. Season with pepper and serve with ranch for dipping.  

5-INGREDIENT SLOW COOKER HONEY MUSTARD WINGS (PALEO)

  • Prep Time: 15 Mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hrs
  • Serving: 6
  • Print : Not Available

For this recipe, you just throw wings into the slow cooker with mustard, honey, and red wine vinegar and then let them cook for four to six hours on low. Set them out with ranch and watch them disappear.

  • 2 lbs chicken wings

SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary

  1. Add chicken wings to slow cooker.
  2. In a medium size bowl, mix together sauce ingredients. Pour sauce over chicken.
  3. Cook HIGH 2-3, LOW 4-6.

Gluten-Free Broccoli Ham N Cheese Crescent Bites

  • Prep Time: 15 Mins
  • Cook Time: 35 Mins
  • Serving: 4
  • Print

Warm flakey crescent rolls are the best…really any warm bread for that matter is heavenly.  Good gluten free breads are harder find but so worth the effort.

Dough

  • 3 cups gluten free all purpose flour white blend
  • 1 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp milk of choice
  • 1 rapid rise yeast packet or 2 1/2 tsp
  • 3 tsp xanthan or guar gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp melted vegetable shortening + extra for parchment paper
Filling
  • 2 cups blanched broccoli
  • 1 cup ham
  • 3/4 cup mozerella cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  1. Heat 1/4 cup of milk to 100 degrees.  Add yeast and set aside for 5 minutes or until foaming.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients for the dough.  Combine yeast, 3 T melted shortening and remaining milk.
  3. Mix ingredients by hand for 5 minutes to help activate gum.
  4. Lightly grease a sheet of parchment paper the size of a baking sheet.  Divide dough in half. With greased hands, gently press out dough to form a rectangle approximately 14×18 inches.  Use a rolling pin to make extra thin.
  5. Cut into desired size squares, smaller for appetizers, larger for meals
  6. Add approximately 1 T full of filling in the center of each square.  Top with 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese.   Carefully fold up each corner towards the center.  (It’s ok if it does not close completely since it expand and open during baking.)
  7. Brush remaining 1 T melted shortening on the tops and allow to rest 10 minutes before baking.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden brown.
  9. Add remaining cheese and bake another 3-4 minutes until cheese is melted and dough is browned.

Sweet & Spicy Slow-Cooker Pineapple Meatballs

  • Prep Time: 15Mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hrs
  • Serving: 6
  • Print

Slow cooker cocktail meatball recipe that’s sweet and spicy. The one caveat is that there are a lot of ingredients, but they’re mostly spices. Other than that, this is wickedly easy. Prep time is only 15 minutes and after that, the only thing you have to do is replenish the serving platter.

Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 3/4 cups soy sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon red chile paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, cilantro, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hands or a heavy wooden spoon until combined. Form the mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized balls. Place in the slow cooker, situating them in an even layer.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pineapple, soy sauce, garlic, rice wine vinegar, mirin, red chile paste, cayenne pepper, onion powder, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Pour the sauce over top of the meatballs. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
  • When finished cooking, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. Serve as an appetizer or over rice for a quick dinner!
  • Enjoy

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Persimmon Bruschetta Holiday Appetizer

  • Prep Time: 20 Mins
  • Cook Time: 0 Mins
  • Serving: 6
  • Print

Here is a beautiful a persimmon bruschetta recipe to share as a delicious holiday appetizer: Persimmon Bruschetta. It’s made with toasted whole wheat bread, smothered in cashew cream cheese, and topped with freshly sliced persimmon. Then sprinkled with fresh chives, salt flakes and pepper. Oh-fa-la-la-la this toast this was a holiday appetizer HIT in our home!

  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked in water overnight
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • the juice of 1/2 lemon
  • splash water if needed
  • 6 slices bread fresh whole wheat bread toasted
  • 2-3 persimmons
  • fresh chives chopped (for topping)
  • salt flakes and pepper for topping
  • maple spice to drizzle* see ingredient below
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt

  1. Begin by making your cashew cream cheese: in a blender add soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if needed.
  2. For the maple spice: Add the maple syrup, coconut oil, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Add apple cider vinegar and stir.
  3. Toast sliced bread and top each with a thick layer of cashew cream cheese. Then top one toast with sliced persimmon. Drizzle with spiced maple syrup Sprinkle with freshly chopped chives, salt flakes and pepper to taste.

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Melted Mozzarella Caprese Crostini Toasts

  • Prep Time: 3-4 hours to roast the tomatoes
  • Cook Time: 20 Mins
  • Serving: 24
  • Print

This bite-sized appetizer is one of those that you’re going to come back to making time and time again. 

  • 10 ounces of cherry tomatoes about 3 cups
  • 1 whole head of garlic cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 8 ounces Cache Valley mozzarella cheese sliced
  • 4 ounces prosciutto slices
  • Balsamic glaze

  1. Slice the baguette into 24-30 1/4-inch slices and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven or a toaster oven to 250 degrees F. Scatter the tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil along with the halved head of garlic and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and 1/4 cup of the fresh basil leaves. Toss lightly to coat. Bake for 3-4 hours or until the tomatoes are soft and blistered. After roasting, squeeze the garlic from their papery skins, mashing slightly and gently toss with the tomatoes and set aside.
  3. On another baking sheet lined with foil, arrange the slices of baguette and top each with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Top each slice of cheese with a tomato and some of the garlic if desired and toast until the cheese is melted. Gently tear pieces of prosciutto and nestle in a basil leaf with a roasted tomato then place on each toast. Garnish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and a spritz of black pepper if desired.

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3-INGREDIENT MINI QUESO CHEESE BALLS

  • Prep Time: 10 Mins
  • Cook Time: 10 Mins
  • Serving: 30
  • Print

This bite-sized appetizer is one of those that you’re going to come back to making time and time again. 

For the Mini Cheese Balls:

  •  1 (8 oz.) La Vaquita Queso Fresco
  • 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, regular or 1/3 less fat
  • 30 small pita chips, or your favorite hearty chip/cracker

Rolling Ideas: (all should be finely  chopped/minced)

  • Fresh chives
  • Scallions
  • Parsley or cilantro
  • Crispy bacon bits
  • Jalapenos
  • Crushed pretzels or potato chips
  • Nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, pistachios
  • Dried fruits, such as cranberries, apples, apricots
  • Poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • Vegetables, such as bell peppers, broccoli, carrots
  • Pomegranate seeds

In a large bowl, combine queso fresco and cream cheese. With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer, blend cheeses on medium speed until smooth and creamy. The mixture should easily roll into a ball. If too sticky, refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until cheese is easily rolled.

With a small cookie scoop or 1/2 Tbsp. measuring spoon, roll the cheese into bite-sized balls. Place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet or cutting board; set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare your desired ingredients for rolling. Place in a bowl or small dish for maximum coating and easy rolling.

One at a time, roll cheese balls in the desired coating, covering and patting gently on all sides. Place on a serving platter. Press a pita chip or cracker into the top of each.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. (If refrigerating overnight, do not place your chip/cracker in the cheese until next-day.)

Enjoy!

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Cranberry and Brie Bites

  • Prep Time: 10 Mins
  • Cook Time: 11 Mins
  • Serving: 20 Bites
  • Print

These Cranberry and Brie Bites always gets polished off in minutes! Super easy to make, Five ingredients in the oven and ready in 21 minutes! 

  • 14 oz (400g) ready rolled Puff Pastry
  • 1 egg lightly whisked
  • 5.3 oz (150g) Brie
  • 6 tbsp Cranberry Sauce
  • Fresh thyme leaves to decorate

  • reheat the oven to 200c/400f and line a baking tray with baking parchment or a silicone liner.
  • Unroll the pastry and brush with egg wash, then cut the pastry into approx 40 small rectangles. Place one rectangle on top of another and repeat with the rest of the pastry, so you have 20 or so ‘doubled up’ rectangles of pastry. Place on the prepared tray and bake for 10 minutes. Then take out of the oven.
  • Slice the Brie into small slices and place on top of the pastry puffs. Place back in the oven for 1-2 minutes to melt the brie.
  • Place the puffs on a plate and top each one with a small blob of cranberry sauce and a few fresh thyme leaves, then serve.

Ham and Cheese Rosca

  • Prep Time: 10 Mins
  • Cook Time: 25 Mins
  • Serving: 6
  • Print

With the help of refrigerated pizza dough, this savory rosca will be ready in under a half hour. Let the kids help you decorate it with colorful slices of bell pepper and sliced olive. 

  • 1 package (13.8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated pizza crust
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 8 ham slices
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • Olives, sliced
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with oil cooking spray.
  3. Unroll and spread the pizza dough over a lightly floured surface, forming a 14x9-inch rectangle. Spread the mustard over the surface of the dough.
  4. Arrange the slices of ham over the dough and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Roll the dough up, starting at the widest end, in the form of a burrito, leaving the folded side down. Cut into 1-inch slices and arrange them in the form of a rosca on the greased baking sheet.
  5. With a pastry brush, coat the top of each roll with egg wash. Garnish the rosca with the bell pepper and olives. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
     
    Serve and enjoy!

Gruyere, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Bites

  • Prep Time: 10 Mins
  • Cook Time: 45 Mins
  • Serving: 30 to 34 Bites
  • Print

Top golden pastries with balsamic caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, garlic, and smoked gruyere. Your guests (and you) will fall in love from the first savory bite.

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 5-6 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces grated gruyere cheese (I used applewood smoked gruyere)
  • 1 package (1 pound) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  1. In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil along with 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes until tender. Remove and set aside in a medium bowl.
  2. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter along with the 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the onions for 5 minutes. Add the dried thyme and sugar and continue to cook for 25 minutes on medium low heat. Make sure to stir the mixture every 5 minutes or so. If the onions are caramelizing too fast, turn down the heat a little more. Add the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan, allow the onions to soak it all in. Turn off heat. Add the onions to the mushroom mixture. Season with the garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste, stir to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature. Mixture can be kept in an air-tight container and refrigerated for up to 48 hours at this point. Allow to come to room temperature before proceeding. Add the gruyere cheese and mix well.
  3. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  4. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry into 2-inch squares and place them on a lined baking sheet. Make sure the puff pastry is cold before proceeding. If not, allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes before proceeding. Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg on the squares. Place a tablespoon of caramelized onion mixture in the center. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway in between until crisp and golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

Spinach Artichoke Cups

  • Prep Time: 10 Mins
  • Cook Time: 15 Mins
  • Serving: 24 Bites
  • Print : Not Available

Everyone’s favorite dip—now in bite-size form.

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (10-oz.) package frozen spinach, defrosted and chopped
  • 1 c. artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tube crescent dough

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour  cream, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out crescent dough, pinching seams together. Cut into 24 squares. Place squares into muffin tin slots and spoon 1 tablespoon of dip into the dough. Top with remaining mozzarella.
  3. Bake until pastry is golden and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

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15 Delicious Bit-sized Christmas Appetizers
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