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Holiday dinner

3 holiday appetizers to wow the party

Looking for a great way to dazzle the guests at your holiday party? Spice up your celebration with these three amazing appetizer recipes. 

Mini stuffed potatoes appetizer

Nancy Waldeck, a chef at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont, serves up a fun and delicious way to prepare potatoes, perfect for a holiday appetizer.


  • 12 small yellow, red or white potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 8 ounces shredded white cheddar
  • 1 cup chopped roasted pecans
  • 1 cup chopped parsley

Prep the potatoes

  • Boil the small potatoes until crisp-tender.
  • Remove from heat and drain the water.
  • Set potatoes aside until they are cool enough to handle.
  • Cut a layer off the top and bottom of each potato so they can stand on their own.
  • Use a melon baller or 1/2 teaspoon to scoop out the center of the potato.
  • Spray with olive oil and place in a 400 degree oven until crispy on the edges.

Mix the filling

  • Sauté the garam masala in the butter and oil mixture until fragrant.
  • Add in the coconut milk and pour the mixture into the mashed sweet potatoes.

Stuff the potatoes

  • Spoon or pipe* the sweet potato mixture into the roasted potatoes.
  • Sprinkle the white cheddar on top of one-third of the potatoes, pecans on another third and parsley on the remaining third.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until warmed throughout, about 15 minutes.

*Kitchen smidgen: You can use a small plastic bag to pipe the sweet potato mixture into the roasted potatoes. Place the sweet potato mixture in a bag and cut a small edge off the bottom corner of the bag. Squeeze the filling into the potatoes. 

Mango and avocado guacamole with baked white corn tortilla chips

For a healthy holiday appetizer, try this colorful mango and avocado guacamole recipe from Mitchell Anderson, the owner of MetroFresh in Atlanta and author of the new cookbook Food and Thought: Recipes and Conversation with Mitchell Anderson.

From Chef Anderson: On catering gigs, I often fall back on this amazing guacamole. I also make it all the time at the lake after a long day on the boat when our campers are hungry. It doesn’t last long.

Mostly I use blue corn tortillas, but if you want to be super healthy and make your own chips, I’ve included them in the recipe.

Serves about six

Baked white corn tortilla chips


  • 12 white corn tortillas cut into six pieces
  • Olive oil spray
  • Kosher salt

Stack tortillas and cut into six pieces.  Place on baking sheet in single layer and spay both sides with olive oil.  Lightly salt and bake at 350 degrees until crispy, about 12 to 15 minutes 

Mango and avocado guacamole


  • 2  ripe mangoes
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove (optional)
  • 2 to 3 jalapenos peppers, finely diced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 ripe, but not soft, avocadoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and dice mango into ¼-inch cubes. Add onion, garlic if desired, and jalapeno. Toss with cilantro, lime juice and olive oil. 

Add diced avocado and lightly toss with mango salsa. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with chips.  This also makes a great topping for grilled salmon, peppery steak or pork chops.

Helpful hint: Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed.  With a butter knife (or “spreader”) make a cross-hatch in the flesh of the avocado and simply scoop right into the bowl.

Reindeer Cheese Bites

For a fun, easy holiday appetizer sure to please kids and parents alike, try Chef Beci Falkenberg's reindeer cheese bites.


  • Small wedges of cheese (semi-soft cheese cut into about 1.5-inch triangles or unwrapped wedges of Laughing Cow cheese)
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Roasted red bell pepper
  • Mini round pretzels

Use a small plastic straw to cut circles from large pieces of roasted red bell pepper.

To assemble the reindeer cheese bites, use pieces of chopped walnut for the eyes, roasted red bell pepper for the nose and mini round pretzels for the antlers. 

For more healthy recipes, click here.  

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