Christmas time is all about tradition.  For me, Christmas eve consists of sparking apple cider, the Nutcracker ballet, and my mom’s version of shrimp cocktail.  

 That is the perfect bite right there. Mmm…

Every Christmas eve, as soon as it is dark outside, that is the perfect time to pop the bottle of that chilled sparking cider open, and find your favorite spot on the couch to enjoy one of the most beautifully written ballets of all times.  I absolutely love Tchaikovsky.  The Nutcracker is a true masterpiece.

This shrimp cocktail is so easy and yet so delish.  The tiny tweak I’ve made to my mom’s easy recipe is making my own cocktail sauce, but please if you are strapped for time, buy a good organic cocktail sauce from a jar.  

You will need:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

about 2 cups of cocktail sauce (jarred or home-made)

1 pound cooked shrimp

 Ritz crackers, or any kind you like

Note on the shrimp: I get my shrimp at the Whole Foods seafood counter.  It is pre-cooked, peeled and deveined.  How easy is that?  It is 31/40 which means there is about 31-40 shrimp per pound. They are a pretty good bite-sized piece. I cut mine in half just to stretch my dollar. Get whatever kind of shrimp you like, as long as it’s fresh and it looks good enough to eat! Just be sure to rinse the shrimp with water before you add it to the rest of the dish.

For home-made cocktail sauce:

juice of 1 lemon

1 cup Heinz chili sauce

1 cup ketchup

4-5 tbs prepared horseradish (more or less depending on how you like it)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients together.  Place the softened cream cheese on a platter, pour over the cocktail sauce, then scatter the shrimp around the plate.  Serve with Ritz crackers. So easy! And so good.

I should have taken a picture before we dug into this but what can I say…it’s good man.