Three cheeseballs in the shape of a snowman?
December 23, 2009 8:51 AM   Subscribe

I need a good, NON-SWEET Christmas morning snacky food!

For years my family's Christmas tradition involved eating pumpkin pie and tons of candy on Christmas morning while we opened presents. This made everyone feel really gross. Two years ago I stumbled on the idea of having a cheese plate out in addition to the pie, and it was a revelation. Protein! Something without craploads of sugar! Amazing!

Cheese plate's a little dull, though, and also a little pricey for us. So now I'm looking for something else to make for Christmas morning.

We usually sit around on couches and the floor, and take a couple of hours to slowly open presents. A non-drippy, non-sticky finder food is ideal for this- it won't get on the couch and it won't get on the presents. Something that isn't super fatty would also be good, we eat enough fat on Christmas (that's another reason to ditch the cheese). Oh, and it needs to be makeable the day before, because Christmas is for sitting on one's ass. However, I'm not opposed to making something complicated.
posted by showbiz_liz to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Roasted edamame, or roasted chick peas? Cheap, easy & yum. With or without parmesean.
posted by kellyblah at 8:55 AM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:55 AM on December 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

White cheddar cheese popcorn.
posted by mmmbacon at 8:59 AM on December 23, 2009

Quiche, which does not need to be served hot, fits the bill and is a great breakfast food. Salmon and creamcheese rollups would also work, or stuff like this but maybe on mini belinis.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:01 AM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by Nyarlathotep at 9:02 AM on December 23, 2009

Try a breakfast bake - there are lots of different kinds of recipes, but basically it's a large breakfast casserole type thing with eggs and sausage/bacon and cheese and bread/crust/biscuit/whatever. Also easy to make the night before, and then just reheat in the oven!
posted by FatherDagon at 9:02 AM on December 23, 2009 [4 favorites]

How about some cut up vegetables? You could get kind of festive with red and green bell peppers. I'm fond of baby carrots, too. Maybe add some dip if that's a little *too* healthy by itself, or have that and the cheese plate.
posted by larkspur at 9:03 AM on December 23, 2009

I take it you meant "finger" food and not "finder"?

If so the following might not work, but someone in my family ends up making an egg casserole type of dish, similar to a quiche I guess. I don't have a recipe, but it works pretty well becuase people can just get some when they want and eat it while others are opening presents.

I like the empanadas idea.
posted by Big_B at 9:03 AM on December 23, 2009

Try quiches or other savory tarts, either full-sized or individual ones. These are good because they're endlessly adaptable, and you can work in whatever veggies, meat, or cheese you like. If you have vegetarians to feed, rely more on cheese and mushrooms for bulk, rather than meat. I also prefer them at room temperature, so you don't even really have to heat them up if you don't want to.
posted by runningwithscissors at 9:04 AM on December 23, 2009

What if you set out a pita sandwich station. Lunch meat, lettuce, cheese, condiments, sliced hard boiled eggs, maybe some tomatoes if you are feeling fancy. Everything can be prepped the night before and then just set out Christmas morning. Everyone can make their own sandwiches and the pita bread will contain all the mess.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:04 AM on December 23, 2009

Pre-made pesto (traditional and tomato) and good crackers.
posted by mmmbacon at 9:07 AM on December 23, 2009

Here in AZ salsa and chips are great anytime!
posted by tucsongal at 9:07 AM on December 23, 2009

Trail mix or parmesan popcorn! Also, you can get a somewhat unusual bread, slice into strips and broil it with cheese and garlic, toast with cinnamon or layer on some pate or hummus. Or all three. Why not?

On review, maybe broiled with cheese wouldn't be makeable the day before. In that case, toast in a 300F oven until golden and serve with hummus dip or cheese dip. Yum.
posted by caveat at 9:08 AM on December 23, 2009

We do the breakfast bake in the form of a pizza for Christmas morning. Lay out canned, crescent rolls flat on a pizza stone or in a pyrex (doesn't have to be in a circle, just connect them to make a crust). Top with scrambled eggs, crumbled cooked bacon or sausage, peppers, onions, cheese, whatever sounds good! Cook at 350 until the dough cooks and the cheese melts. About 10-15 min. Doesn't really qualify as low fat but stays warm and good for the morning, easy to make and when cut into pieces, is a good finger food. Serve with coffee and fruit. Happy Holidays!
posted by pearlybob at 9:09 AM on December 23, 2009

Party mix.
posted by ropeladder at 9:10 AM on December 23, 2009

Sausage balls! Bonus: you get to giggle at the word balls.
posted by sugarfish at 9:20 AM on December 23, 2009

Some ideas:

1. Mixed nuts dusted with a little creole seasoning

2. Dried fruits

3. Homemade Chex Mix (though it can get a little sticky on your fingers)

4. Veggie tray and pita chips with hummus

5. Baked Tostitos w/ guacamole or homemade salsa (maybe a mango/black bean/corn salsa)

6. Shrimp cocktail

7. Bruschetta on toast (get a thin baguette so they can be bite-sized)

8. Caprese bites (mozzarella, tomato, fresh basil, a little olive oil, salt and pepper; cut into bite-sized pieces and assemble on toothpicks)
posted by melissasaurus at 9:21 AM on December 23, 2009

we usually do Chex Mix or mini-quiches.

other standards: sausage,cracker and cheese tray or a veggie tray

similar to the veggie tray, is the (cold) veggie "pizza", which is awesome.

also, I have seen bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:27 AM on December 23, 2009

Sausage balls! Here's a make-ahead recipe. These are great!
posted by raisingsand at 9:28 AM on December 23, 2009

I like it when my mom puts out little bowls or divided serving trays with black olives, dried and sweetened cranberries, cheese and crackers, small frozen shrimp and cocktail sauce, and bridge mix; sometimes she's used frozen appetizers from Costco, etc., but those are the best. No plates necessary if it's just family.
posted by theredpen at 9:34 AM on December 23, 2009

Thirding Chex or Crispix Mix. That stuff is phenomenal for a salty breakfast.
posted by cereselle at 9:37 AM on December 23, 2009

Deviled eggs; crackers and veggie sticks with spinach dip. Bagles with cream cheese and smoked salmon.
posted by taz at 9:42 AM on December 23, 2009

Smitten Kitchen has a lovely brunch recipe for a spinach and cheese strata that looks very yummy indeed! Not sure about the not-too-fatty part though...
posted by ukdanae at 9:42 AM on December 23, 2009

I absolutely love potstickers for breakfast.
posted by piedmont at 9:59 AM on December 23, 2009

I always make Chex Mix for the holidays, and it's a very tasty breakfast food. I often make strata or quiche, and always lots of bacon. This year I have some nice smoked salmon, to serve with bread, sour cream and capers. I also have leftover corn pudding, which reheats well, and is delish with salsa. The sausage balls look like they'd be a hit, and sausage is affordable and popular.

These food questions always make me hungry.
posted by theora55 at 10:05 AM on December 23, 2009

Here's something that's low-fat, high-protein, and can be made in many flavors: marinated, baked tofu cubes. Serve with toothpicks.

It's even possible to buy pre-baked tofu. No work.

Alternatively: nuts. They can be a little fatty, and they're not good for everyone, but that's oen idea. Also peanuts.

If you want to put in a little more effort: peanut-butter cracker sandwiches.

Little sausage/biscuit sandwiches (problem: crumbs).

Olives are great, too.
posted by amtho at 10:09 AM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Gougeres, they are a bit on the fatty side, but really not much worse than a cheese plate. Oh so yummy and also fun to make.
posted by ecurtz at 10:15 AM on December 23, 2009

Make mini-quiches or mini-frittatas. Basically, you can take any filling you would have put into a quiche shell - usually it's beaten egg, cheese, and some kind of vegetable/meat/etc. filling -- and instead of pouring it into one big bowl or one pie shell, grease up your muffin tin, or even mini-muffin tin, and fill the muffin cups in that, and bake it. Bake it at the same temperature you would have done if it were a quiche, but for shorter -- and you end up with little baby quiches, or crustless quiches, that people can just pop in their mouths.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:43 AM on December 23, 2009

My family always makes a big batch of sausage filled kolaches for Christmas day. They're filling and wonderfully tasty, and super easy to eat while opening presents. Our version looks a lot like this. They're not exactly good for you, but I look forward to Christmas kolaches all year long!
posted by rosethorn at 11:33 AM on December 23, 2009

Bowls of nuts, still in the shell, with nutcrackers and tons of those little prong things used to dig out the nutmeats. My grandma would put these out, and these would keep my family quite occupied.

The walnuts are especially hard to dig the meat out of, and are consequently the most fun.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:14 PM on December 23, 2009

Christmas = smoked salmon.
posted by pompomtom at 1:47 PM on December 23, 2009

Chex Mix
posted by KRS at 1:51 PM on December 23, 2009

A simple and cheap direct replacement would be cheese straws. Easy to make, even with taste variations.
posted by Idcoytco at 2:37 PM on December 23, 2009

Bagels with various spreads?
posted by delladlux at 3:37 PM on December 23, 2009

1. Cheese straws. Like shortbread, but with cheese and a little cayenne added.
2. Cheese and onion pasties. A British specialty, these could become a new tradition! There's a version with potato added, which may make these less rich. Or try this variant made with crescent roll dough
3. Cheese, Onion and Thyme Mini Muffins. To die for. There is also a version with curried cashew-nut filling. Nom-nom.
4. A selection of dips: Refried beans --- Guacamole --- Hummus --- Salsa --- Ranch dressing diluted 3:2 with yoghurt. Serve with fresh veggie bites and tortilla chips. I buy bags of microwaveable fresh veggies (baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower) as these are cheaper than pre-prepared dip vegetables. You can layer these into a multi-layer dip, for effect.
posted by Susurration at 8:18 PM on December 23, 2009

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