Classic Party Appies With a Modern Twist

We all know them.  The appies we can find at any party (especially your mother’s). The ones passed down over the decades. The ones we always feel will “cramp” a fancy dinner party but we secretly hope are there because they’re oh-so-delicious. Since the Holiday party season is fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to spruce up some retro appies with a modern twist.

The classics:  The Deviled Egg,  The Cheese Ball, and the Swedish Meatball.

What is better than elevating some classics? Pairing them with wine of course! That’s why I’ve teamed up with Red Rooster; a local winery based in the Okanagan, British Columbia for some delicious wine pairings to not only amp up the appies but to blow your guests away with a delicious paired wine.

Check them out below:


Deviled Egg, Dill Pickle Relish, Potato Crisp

Take your deviled egg recipe and play with the toppings for a fun, easy way to kick them up a notch.


12 Eggs
1/4 cup of mayo
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of mustard
pinch of salt and pepper
2-3 baby purple potatoes – thinly sliced
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 Bunch of fresh dill
5 dill pickles minced


In a medium pot, boil water. Add eggs and cook for 13 minutes. Transfer eggs into cool water and let sit for 5-8 minutes.
Peel eggs and cut in half longways. In a small bowl, remove egg yolks and add mustard, cayenne pepper, mayo, sour cream and salt and pepper. Whip until nice and creamy. Place in piping bag and pipe egg yolk mixture into cooked egg whites.

In small frying pan on medium high heat, heat grapeseed oil until small ripples show (about 5 minutes). Add potato slices to the oil and fry until they are golden. Flip half way. Place on paper towel and pat off extra oil. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

To Serve

Place potato chip on top of egg, add 1/2 teaspoon of minced dill pickle and garnish with a pinch of fresh dill.

 Wine: Red Rooster Chardonnay

Showing great pride within the flock. Bright lemon yellow colour with a clean, fresh aroma of apple, pear, yellow plum and white peach. This light to medium-bodied Chardonnay is a refreshing fruit-forward style, showing plenty of apple, pineapple, yellow plum and honeydew melon flavours. Refreshing notes of lemon, green apple and white peach are accented by a delicate touch of oak on the finish. Drink while young and fresh.

Pistachio and Cranberry Goat Cheese Ball

Everybody loves goat cheese.  Add some to your cheese ball then roll in a mixture of pistachio and cranberries to give a festive look with a delicious flavor.


5 oz soft goat cheese
5 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup of dried cranberries minced
1/2 cup of pistachios shelled
Pinch of salt


In a large bowl mix together cream cheese, goat cheese, salt and half of the minced cranberry. Form a ball and set in fridge.

Place shelled pistachios in a small ziplock bag. Gently hit the bag with a rolling pin until the pistachios are crushed. Alternately, throw the pistachios into a blender and pulse for a few seconds. Place crushed pistachios in a small bowl and mix with the remaining dried cranberry until well combined.

Remove cheese ball from fridge and place onto the pistachio mixture. Roll into the mixture until the entire outer layer is covered. Saran wrap and place in fridge until ready to serve.

Wine: Red Rooster Reserve Rose

‘Pretty in Pink’ colour with a summer fresh aroma of strawberry, watermelon, crab apple, red currant, cherry and rose petal. The medium frame is supported by refreshing acidity. Flavours of red berry, currant and red cherry fill the mouth. Refreshing red fruits and red berry tea notes linger on the finish of this extra-dry rosé.


Lamb Meatballs with a Mint Yogurt Sauce 

Tired of the typical Swedish meatball?  These two bite lamb meatballs are a burst of flavor that will make your guests come back for more.



1 pound of ground lamb
1 large shallot minced
1/2 cup of fresh parsley minced
1/4 cup of semolina
2 teaspoons of Cumin
1 teaspoon of allspice
1 egg beaten
Pinch of salt

Mint Yogurt Sauce

1 cup of greek yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh mint minced
1/2 lemon juiced
Salt and pepper to taste


1/2 cup of crumbled feta
Fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside

In a large bowl mix together ground lamb, shallots, 3/4 of the fresh parsley, semolina, egg, cumin, allspice and salt. Form 1 1/2 inch balls and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place in oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes, The tops should be a nice brown color. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together greek yogurt, mint, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

To Serve

Place a small dollop of yogurt onto the meat ball and garnish with fresh parsley and crumbled feta.

Wine: Red Rooster Merlot 

This Rooster is sleek, suave and seductive, with an easygoing youthful approach. His aromatic presence reveals black cherry, smoke, charred oak barrel, leather and sweet spice. This dry, medium-bodied Merlot has soft tannins and flavours of juicy black cherry, plum and currant. Plenty of ripe red and black fruit notes with a dash of spice linger through on the drying finish. Enjoy now through 2018.


Classic Appetizers with a Modern Twist

And there you have it! It doesn’t take a lot to turn appetizers we all know and love into something new and exciting. The flavors above, particularly with the right wine pairing, can make Holiday parties and get-togethers all the more fun for you and your guests. Taking something familiar and comforting and spicing it up is also a great way to enjoy your time in the kitchen without overly complicating things.  I hope you enjoy, and Happy Holidays!