Do you have a favorite appetizer you would like to share?

caminncDecember 21, 2012

Looking for something other than pinapple cheeseball or meatballs (which are delicious) but just want something new that I might not have tried that will impress. Thanks and Merry Christmas to all!

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A recent sweet-salty-savory favorite is bacon-wrapped dates. Cut bacon in half and roll it around a date (Costco dates are the best - plump and moist), secure with party toothpicks and bake until bacon is cooked. Drain and serve. Yummmmm.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 6:56PM
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Ohh, that sounds wonderful gina! How can you go wrong with bacon and dates. Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:00PM
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I have a new favorite that olychick posted earlier this month. It is the goat cheese pops. I made 100 of these for our Christmas Open House Food drive benefit and they were gone quickly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Goat Cheese Pops

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:46PM
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I'm in love with a version of what Gina offered....but slice the date and stuff with chorizo before wrapping in bacon....oh my!

The nibble that gets the best reviewes for me is my Stuffed Mushrooms....been making them for a million years but no matter what else I serve they are always the hit.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:17PM
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I'm in love with a version of what Gina offered....but slice the date and stuff with chorizo before wrapping in bacon....oh my!

The nibble that gets the best reviewes for me is my Stuffed Mushrooms....been making them for a million years but no matter what else I serve they are always the hit.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:18PM
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My family inhales gravlax. I just finished putting up 1+ kg of it last night, to be ready for slicing on Christmas Eve. We serve it with cream cheese, finely sliced red onions and capers, on thin mini bagel rounds or crostinis.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY Gravlax

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:37PM
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Another of my favorites that is always a BIG hit is Olive Poppers. I remember making them in the 1960's from Sunset Magazine, I think. They've made a comeback, at least around here, partially because of Tom Douglas serving them in his restaurants. This is his recipe; the original used plain black olives or maybe pimento stuffed green olives. I use kalamata now and some kind of green olive (make half a batch of each kind) - garlic stuffed is good, but pimento remains my fav.

Since I can't buy huge kalamatas where I live, I use the biggest pitted ones I can find and kind of splay them open (2 of them for each popper) and wrap them around the cream cheese. The olives don't have to be pretty. I never mess with the pastry bag. I don't use cream cheese with the green stuffed ones and can usually find colossal green ones with no problem

Palace Olive Poppers

Tom Douglas Seattle Kitche

6 to 8 Servings
If you want to make a lot of poppers for a party, double or triple the recipe and use a pastry bag with a plain 1/4-inch round tip to fill the olives.Soften the cream cheese first by beating it lightly with and electric mixer. Unbaked, these dough-wrapped olives will keep refrigerated,covered with plastic wrap, for a day or two and then baked when needed.

24 colossal size Kalamata olives(or pitted green olives)
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
9 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter,melted
1 to 2 tablespoons milk, as needed

Herb Sour Cream Dressing (Dip for the Poppers)

1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt(optional)

1 Pit the olives with an olive pitter,keeping them as whole and unbroken as possible. Place the cream cheese in a small bowl and beat it with a spoon to soften it slightly.Using your fingers, stuff the olives with the softened cream cheese. Set aside.

2 Combine the Cheddar cheese,flour, Tabasco,and salt in a bowl,using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.Add the melted butter and mix.Add the milk,starting with 1 tablespoon and using more as needed, and mix. Use your hands to knead the dough for a minute until a soft dough is formed.

3 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.Pinch off small balls of dough about the same size as the olives.Flatten each ball of dough with your fingers and wrap each olive with it. Place the dough-wrapped olives on a parchment-lined baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake until golden brown,about 25 minutes.

Olychick note: Serve warm - if they've cooled too much just warm them for a minute in the oven. Don't microwave them. If you want to differentiate the poppers with the black from the green olives, I usually sprinkle some paprika on the green olive ones before baking.

Oh, and they do hold well, unbaked for a few days. Just makes sure you keep the olives kind of dry when you're assembling them. And I never make the dip either, I just serve them plain.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:26PM
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A variation of the dates wrapped in bacon: stuff the dates with gorgonzola (or blue cheese) before wrapping. Yummy!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 7:51AM
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I can vouch for Sharon's stuffed mushrooms. They are the best.

A few of my favourites.

Mushrooms and Pimento in Puff Pastry

The Foods and Wines of Spain

1 package puff pastry
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1 clove garlic minced
2 Tablespoons minced pimiento
preferably homemade
1/4 pound mushrooms, chopped fine
1/2 dried red chili crumbled or 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Teaspoons grated parmesan cheese


Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the onion and garlic until onion is
wilted. Add the pimiento and cook for a minute, then the mushrooms,
chili pepper, salt, and pepper and saute until mushrooms are softened.
Remove from the heat and stir in cheese.

Roll the puff pastry to 1/8 inch. You can cut Cut into 1 3/4 inch
circles and place 1 teaspoon of filling on half of the circles. Moisten
the edges with water, cover with the remaining pastry circles, and
press with the tines of a fork to seal.

I prefer to make them triangle shape,by cutting the pastry into 2 1/2
inches squares, add filling on one half and then folding over corner to
form a triangle.

(May be prepared ahead and refrigerated) Place on a dampened cookie
sheet and bake at 425 F on the upper rack of the oven for 7 to 10
minutes or until golden.

( To cut down on work you could make this appetizer in a larger size
and Bake for about 20 minutes.) Then cut into wedges.

Blue Cheese Tartlets
Source: Williams-Somona

8 ounces tart pastry dough (or frozen puff pastry)
3 ounces spinach or Swiss Chard
1 egg
2/3 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Emmenthaler Cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
3 ounces Blue Cheese (Roquefort, Gorgonzola, etc.)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
. If using tart pastry, prepare the dough and refrigerator 30 minutes before you are ready to roll it out. If using commercial puff pastry defrost in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Preheat an oven to 425�F. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Plunge the spinach or Swiss Chard into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Immediately drain in a colander and rinse with
cold water to halt the cooking. Drain again, pressing against the greens to force out as much water as possible; set aside.

Break the egg into a bowl. Add the cream, Emmenthaler cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste and beat with a fork until completely blended. Coarsely chop the spinach or chard and add it to the bowl; stir well.

On a lightly floured board, roll the dough out as thinly as possible. Sprinkle the Roquefort or other blue cheese evenly over the dough. With a fluted pastry cutter about 1 1/4 inches in diameter, cut out 18 dough rounds. Use the rounds to line 18 individual tartlet pans or wells in tartlet trays or miniature muffin pans. If using the former,arrange the lines pans on a large baking sheet. Fill each lined pan with some of the egg mixture and scatter a few pine nuts on top. Place the tarlets in the oven and bake until the filling sets and the crust
is golden, about 15 minutes. Serve Warm.

If you are looking for something easy, both of these are really simple and always well received. You can buy the focaccia instead of baking your own.

And the mini cocktail toasts are easy to find in most grocery stores.

All you need for this is mini toasts, toasted walnut halves and soft goat cheese and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.

Focaccia with Warm Goat Cheese

1 focaccia, homemade or purchases

1 roasted red pepper, cut into strips and drizzled with olive oil.

1 recipe homemade Tapanade (or purchase all ready made)

Chevre (Goat cheese)

Cut the Focaccia into bite size squares

Cut the roasted pepper into small strips

Warm the Goat Cheese in the microwave to soften.

Put a dollop of goat cheese on top of each square of focaccia.

On half the focaccia place a few strips of pepper and on the other half place a small spoon of Tapanade.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 10:01AM
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i can vouch for this hot crab and artichoke dip. i make it every Christmas Eve. it's gone in no time flat!! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: joelle's famous hot crab and artichoke dip

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 2:19PM
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I just made these savory palmiers from Ina Garten for Christmas Eve and they are easy and wonderful. Pesto, goat cheese, and sun dried tomatoes with a sprinkle of Parmesan on top (my only change to the recipe).

Here is a link that might be useful: Savory palmiers

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 2:50PM
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I know you already mentioned meatballs but I really like the Italian meatballs I buy the Farm Rich brand dump them in the crock pot and dump a jar of roasted garlic Alfredo sauce in and heat thru one of my faves. Another one is water chestnuts wraped in bacon I do not have the recipe for the sauce. Things are still in a mess from the move sorry. I also vote for stuffed mushrooms and hot pepper jelly on cream cheese. Good luck with your entertaining and let us know how it goes. Patty

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 2:54PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Very easy and yummy:

In "Mini Fillo Shells" (in frozen foods, with doughs):
-fill almost half with a small piece of a hard, strong cheese like gruyere or jarlsberg
-fill almost the rest of the way with a jam or jelly of your choice.

Leave enough space for bubbling.

Bake 350 - about 10-12 mins, until golden and bubbly, let cool at least 5 mins before unleashing to avoid burned lips.

There are never any of these leftover.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 4:51PM
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OMG, thank you all so much! I am going to make a few of these Christmas day but I promise I will make ALL of them soon. They All sound outstanding. I often enjoy the appetizers more than the meal. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all and thanks for all your help through out the year!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 5:38PM
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