An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season

7 November

November!… ah, I love you but I still can’t believe you’re here!  This is my favorite time of year for obvious–holiday party and family-filled reasons.  Tis the season our social calendar quickly fills up but also, at least in our case, the season of more impromptu gatherings.  My parents are super social and love to entertain–hence where I get my the more the merrier mentality.  One thing I’ve picked up from them over the years is to always keep a few crowd pleasing essentials on hand.  Taking notes from mom and dad, I’m attempting to properly stock our fridge, freezer and wine stash this November-December, because there’s nothing worse then having nothing to offer when friends unexpectedly stop by with holiday cookies.  Right?!

My new-found secret crowd pleaser worth stocking the freezer with for such impromptu nights?  Lundberg Family Farms Grainspirations Arancini.  As an Italian girl who craves arancini from Italy, let me tell you all three flavors are bomb!

An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season

Gouda & Mozzarella: brown rice stuffed with the finest cheese – heaven for cheese lovers.
Black Rice: a unique blend of black and brown rice filled with savory cheese, sweet sautéed onion and crisp black pepper.
Gochujang: brown rice balls stuffed with peas, carrots, onions and sesame seeds – inspired by spicy Korean cuisine.

These yummy cheesy rice bites are delicious on their own but can also be tossed into salads for a more substantial meal.  I recently binged on the arancini all last week.  I hosted some girlfriends at my place, and then enjoyed again while dining with the Lundberg family themselves in my hometown, in Chico (where their farm is!).  Besides being delicious, you can feel good about all Lundberg rice products as they’re organic, made with high-quality ingredients and the family is dedicated to eco-positive farming methods.  And fun fact about the Lundberg’s, besides being an amazing family-run business from my hometown (80 years family run business–which is really impressive!), I babysat two of the Lundberg 4th generation girls growing up!

An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday SeasonAn Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday SeasonAn Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday SeasonAn Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season

My girlfriend Suruchi whipped up two dipping sauces to enjoy with the arancini.  The tahini sauce was my personal favorite (went with all three flavors) but I do love tahini!  And we enjoyed our little taste testing with a bottle of Merchant Rake wine.  A friend’s wine out of Los Alamos that everyone was raving about!

Savory Peanut Dipping Sauce
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 medium sized garlic clove
A pinch of red pepper flakes
– Add all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed depending on preferences – add more red pepper flakes if you prefer something spicier, and extra honey if you want something sweeter. If the sauce is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of warm water at a time until reaching desired consistency.

Herby Tahini Sauce
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 medium clove garlic
1/2 cup parsley
3 tbsp chopped mint
3 tbsp chopped chives
splash of warm water
salt and pepper to taste
– Add all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, like a hummus texture. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday SeasonAn Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season  An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday SeasonAn Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday SeasonAn Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season An Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday SeasonAn Easy Appetizer to Have on Hand this Holiday Season

The Look |  Doen Blouse (similar option under $30).  Re/Done Jeans.

Thank you to Lundberg Family Farms for collaborating on this story!

Photography | Stephanie Russo

  • Lauren De Valencia y Sanchez

    Where is that great top from that you’re wearing in the appetizer post? Love that color and ruffles!

  • Phyllisa

    Looks yummy! My go to market even carries them so will have to give them a whirl. Happy Thanksgiving Alicia! Xx

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