Throw away the vegetable tray and cheese balls you normally serve at Christmas. Replace them with a starter guaranteed to get taste buds revved up for the main course. The starter is the wrapping paper on your gift of dinner-make it memorable by using a variety of colours. Most importantly, serve small portions, or nobody will want to eat Christmas dinner.
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Place small beds of arugula on salad plates. Add two blood orange slices and top with a large spicy scallop. Or slice cooked sweet potatoes into pieces one inch wide. Use a Christmas themed cookie cutter, like a bell, Christmas tree or reindeer, to cut the sweet potato slice. Top the cutout with one piece of coconut shrimp.
Serve guests artichoke hearts and a sauce made by mixing mayonnaise, yellow mustard and garlic powder. They may also enjoy mini cornbread bowls filled with a meatless stew, or fried sandwiches made of eggplant slices and mozzarella cheese.
Wrap thin slices of steak marinated in a papaya sauce around jalapeños filled with cream cheese, and bake. Or slice balsamic glazed steak thinly, and place on top of a small piece of toasted garlic bread. Serve it with a side of mango salsa.
Offer curried pork with a side of cucumber yoghurt sauce or give them a pork dumpling in a pork broth with scallions for a lighter start. Serve a pork sausage, soft pretzel stick and cranberry mustard for an eclectic appetizer.
Serve strips of smoked chicken with avocado and mango slices, or sliced spicy chicken on top of pear slices. Offer your guests decorative spoons filled with coconut chicken soup with a side of jasmine rice for a simple, yet tasty starter.
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