Easy Appetizers = Help

lakemayorDecember 6, 2012

Have we had a thread on easy appetizers? I did a search but didn't come up with anything. If there is a thread already would someone help me find it, if not could we start one.

Appetizers are difficult for me. Yes, I can mix sour cream and mayo with some pre-packaged seasonings and I can top cream cheese with my Habanero Pepper Jelly. I can slap some shrimp on a plate with cocktail sauce, mix up a batch of meat balls, but that's about the end of it.

Does anyone have and want to share easy but clever or different ideas for appetizers?


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Toast baguette slices lightly then spread with goat cheese and top with some type of pesto, sundried tomato etc. A quick trip under the broiler until bubbly.

We also serve freshly cooked and lightly salted edamame, or lightly steamed and cooled asparagus wrapped with prosciutto, or pepadews chopped into feta cheese and spread on crackers.
There's always easy cheese and crackers or nut nibbles or hummus etc on the aisles of Trader Joe's!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 7:49PM
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Here are a couple links to past threads:

Super easy

Holiday Cooking - Hors d'oeurves

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:01PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Looks fancy, but is so easy and tasty. Take a dried apricot and put a small dollop of mascarpone cheese on it and top with a pecan half or walnut or pistachio. Yum.

Just put out a plate with sliced english cukes...no peeling...and some sliced salami.

Cut up fresh fruit and a dip made of plain yogurt or sour cream mixed with some brown sugar and cinnamon.

A wood board with a couple of cheeses, a selection of crackers and some grapes is a classic.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:17PM
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OK, I know I posted about this, it must be floating about on another thread. I've got to stop that, LOL.

I also posted the Hors d'oeurves link that denise added above and suggested Ann T's Gougeres.

I'll go and see if I can find it, LOL.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:18PM
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I haven't made this yet, but am going to try them for the holidays. They look pretty easy and yummy

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

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:42PM
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One more I bookmarked for the holidays this year...looks easy peasy...

Here is a link that might be useful: 5 Layer greek dip

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I'll take a piece of good cheese and some crackers over most wrangled appetizers. Good food doesn't have to be difficult.

I am currently enthralled with White Stilton with Cranberries, which can be bought at Trader Joes.
I recently had a hunk left over from a party and I uhmmm, ate all of it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 9:38PM
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One that's easy to make and take to parties is good water crackers topped with a dollop of cream cheese blended with sour cream and a little dill weed to make it soft, topped with a sliver of smoked salmon and a couple of capers. I put the cream cheese mix in a piping bag to travel and assemble on-site, it's quick and easy with the piping bag as you just lay the crackers out on a platter and squirt, squirt, squirt :-)
A hot appetiser that's easy, yummy and different is a de-seeded prune, stuffed with a small piece of cream cheese, wrapped in bacon (secure with a toothpick) and popped into the oven or under a broiler for long enough to cook the bacon.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 9:44PM
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~ button mushrooms, wipe clean, remove stem, put a cube of Monterrey Jack jalapeno cheese in stem cavity, bake at 350 F for 5-10 minutes until cheese melts - serve hot

~ wrap cocktail wieners in strips of crescent roll dough, bake according to dough directions, serve with gourmet flavored mustards and catsup

~ Curried Chutney Spread: combine 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, 4 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 t. curry powder, 1/4 t. salt, 3 TB sherry, spread in a shallow serving dish, and top with 1/2 cup chutney (chopped if pieces are large) and finely chopped green onions. Serve with Bremmer Wafers or other plain crackers.

~ small, thick pretzel sticks with an interesting mustard to dip them in

~ two or three imported cheese wedges (sample at the shop if possible), set out to come to room temp, serve with cheese knives for cutting, garnish with some fresh grapes that have been washed well and dried.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:22PM
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An easy oldie is water chestnuts wrapped with bacon (no liver!). I use canned whole chestnuts, drained, & piece of bacon long enuf to wrap around and overlap by about 1/2-inch - placed close together, overlapped side down, on piece of foil to fit toaster oven tray (or rimmed cookie pan). This can be done early in day, stored in fridge, taken out an hour in advance. They then cook quickly from room temp,. about 10 min. at 400 F. Roll them off onto a ceramic serving plate with some toothpicks on the side. If you try to 'toothpick' 'em before cooking, some will split. I served these to a sophisticated crowd in the SF Bay area - golly, gone in a blink. Usual garnish - parsley.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:53PM
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Karen, this is one of the easiest and quickest disappearing appys ever!

Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies

1 lb package little smokies
1 lb bacon
3/4 c brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.

Wrap each little smokie in 1/2 strip of bacon and secure with toothpicks.
Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake until bacon is crisp and sugar is melted, 30-45 minutes.

If you want a couple more quick and easy appetizers.....


Shrimp cocktail meets everyone's favorite Sunday-morning drink. In other words, this is a vodka-infused shrimp cocktail in a spoon.

For shrimp
1 pound medium shrimp in shell, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery (3 to 4 ribs)
1 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 6)

For sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup vodka (preferably Absolut Peppar)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons bottled horseradish (not drained), or to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco

Prepare shrimp:
Bring a large saucepan of salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 2 quarts water) to a boil. Add shrimp, then remove from heat and let stand in water until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Cut shrimp into thirds and transfer to a large bowl with celery and scallions.

Make sauce:
Whisk together all sauce ingredients, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste.
Just before serving, stir sauce into shrimp mixture. Spoon 2 shrimp pieces with vegetables and sauce into individual Chinese soup spoons and arrange spoons on a platter.
Cooks' notes:
� Shrimp can be cooked and tossed with vegetables 4 hours ahead, then chilled in a sealed bag. Bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes, before tossing with sauce.
� Sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Mexican Stack\-up Dip 

16oz can refried beans   
1pkg dry taco seasoning mix   
1 avocado, mashed mixed with   
2c sour cream   
4oz can green chilies   
2 tomatoes, diced   
shredded cheddar cheese 

Layer ingredients in 9inch square pan and chill. Serve with tortilla chips. 

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 11:21PM
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Ditto on the curried chutney dip that Teresa posted. I have the recipe at home, but jotted a few things down that were in my brain.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 2:45AM
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Oh, you folks are wonderful. There are several I want to try if not all of them. I have a party to go to tomorrow night and I'm in charge of the appetizers. Now I don't have to bring my usually.

Keep them coming. This is the time of year we all need them. This is a thread I'll keep. Does anyone know if an entire thread can be pinned on Pinterest?


    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 5:46AM
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Yes to the Pinterest question if there is a picture in the thread. Pin the picture and then when you click on the pin later, it will take you back to this thread.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 7:19AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Easiest thing to do....slice up some veggies....carrot sticks, celery sticks, zucchini rounds, cuke rounds, etc. (or buy them already cut at the grocery store). Put a small dish in the center and fill it with either creamy ranch or creamy italian dressing (store bought or make your own) and place veggies attractively around the outside.

I find this Rachel Ray dip very easy and very tasty....

Here is a link that might be useful: Chick pea, roasted red pepper dip

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 7:48AM
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I just had my niece ask "Aunt Cathy you are bringing bourbon sausages to the Christmas Party aren't you?". So I thought I'd offer these up as it doesn't get easier:

Bourbon Sausages
-1 cup to 12 ounces bourbon
-1 12-ounce bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
-1 cup dark brown sugar
-1 3.5 pound package of Little Smokies sausage

In sauce pan, bring bourbon, chili sauce, sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens.
Put smokies on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until grease is rendered. Drain grease from smokies. Add smokies to bourbon sauce.
Serve in crock pot on low or chafing dish.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Another easy but big hit appetizer is kielbasa in the crock pot....slice it and put it in the crock pot with polish mustard and apple jelly. I usually serve it with sliced rye bread on the side....easy, delish and it will stay warm all through the party.

Here is a link that might be useful: Crockpot Kielbasa

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 12:31PM
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I love to serve an antipasto platter as part of my holiday offering. Super simple becasue I buy all the piece parts and then assemble the platter, roasted red peppers, mortadella, salami, prosciutto, hard Parmesan , fresh mozzarella slices, pickled peppers, etc. Served with sliced baguette.

Another favourite on mine is super simple...sliced smoked salmon, red onion rings and capers served on a cream cheese covered slice of rye or thin bagel slice.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 4:31PM
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These are a bit fussy to put together, but they are SOOO good. They were a huge hit at my Thanksgiving dinner. They can be served at room temperature, so they can be made ahead.

Dates with Blue Cheese Wrapped in Bacon
1 pound pitted dates
4 ounces blue cheese (or goat cheese)
1 pound bacon, cut in thirds

Preheat oven to 375.
Open dates and stuff with cheese. Wrap each date with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Place each wrapped date on a rack over a foil lined baking sheet with sides (to catch the bacon fat).

Bake until bacon is crisp - about 20 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 6:57PM
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Rather than using a small dish to hold the dip, try using a large colorful pepper or cabbage. You can also hollow out a small boule of sourdough if the dip isn't too runny. All of these ideas make lovely presentations and there's no dish to collect at the end of the evening!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 7:30PM
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The biggest hit from my last holiday party was an appetizer from Martha...I think she calls them Devils on Horseback....a date, filled with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon...broil until bacon is done....they were a huge hit.

Also, I made some crepes, adding some green onion to the batter, then spread a layer of cream cheese, layer on some smoked salmon, roll, chill, cut into rounds and top with caviar and a sprig of dill.

I've found that things that can be rolled and cut makes for fast and easy appetizer prep!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Fill store-bought phyllo cups (I use Athena brand) with a bit of cheese (blue, brie, feta, and chevre all work well). Run it in a 350 degree oven until the cheese begins to melt (appx 10 min in my oven). Remove from the oven. Top each cup with a tiny bit of jam or fruit preserves (fig, pear, or strawberry are all good choices) or chutney.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 3:40PM
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These stuffed Mushrooms are always a big hit. This is a pic of the mushrooms in the front and Ann's Gougere in the background.

Stuffed Mushrooms

20 large white mushrooms
1/3 Cup butter (maybe a bit more)
4 or 5 green onions, chopped fine
2 - 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar
1/3 Cup bread crumbs

Clean mushrooms and carefully remove stems. Chop stems finely (I use the food processor). Melt butter in a saute pan. Saute mushroom stems and onions over medium heat until soft but not browned and the stems have given up their juices. Mixture should be quite moist. Add the bread crumbs, only enough to absorb the liquid. Add the grated cheese and stir just until it has melted. Don't worry if the oil separates from the cheese.
Stuff the mixture into the caps and sprinkle with a bit of salt (or you can salt after they come out of the oven...which is what I usually do). Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until the caps are nice and soft.

Here is another one that everyone loves. It can be made a few hours ahead. Ignore the name! This is always gone in a flash! Penzey's even featured this recipe of mine in their magazine a few years back...my 15 moinutes1 LOL

Stacked Pizza

7 sheets phyllo pastry
1/2 Cup butter melted
7 Tbl freshly grated parmesan
1 1/2 Cup grated mozarella
1 sweet onion sliced thinly, And Separated Into Rings
5 -6 roma tomatoes, sliced
1 Tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste ( I don't use
-any I find the parm salty enough and I
forget about the pepper!!!)
fresh herbs sprigs thyme, oregano or rosemary

Preheat oven to 375. Follow package instructions to thaw phyllo. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on baking sheet, brush with butter and sprinkle with 1 TBSP of the parmesan cheese. Repeat until all layers are used. Press down firmly so layers stick together. Sprinkle top sheet with mozerella. Place onions on top then place tomatoes on top. Season with oregano. Bake for 20-25 minutes until edges are golden, and the bottom is cooked. Decorate with fresh herbs and cut into squares (squares can be cut in half to make two bite trinagles)

Notes: I slice the onions and then cut the circles in half to arrange on top. I also try and line the tomatoes up in a diagonal pattern, I don't place them randomly, and then when I cut it I cut the squares so each piece has 1 roma slice. I also don't measure anything anymore I just sprinkle the cheese. I use rosemary but I cut the leaves off the stems. I've often cooked it with the rosemary on it. I also line my baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:37PM
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Karen, I made the dates stuffed like the previous poster said they were gone in minutes, mine were stuffed with a mixture of goat cheese and cream cheese and wrapped in bacon.

Chase, that stocked pizza looks great! When you said that it can be made ahead, can it be baked and then reheated or just assembled and cook later? Thank you.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 12:34PM
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All of these recipes are wonderful. I have saved for another time.

For Saturday night I made, Linda's (doucanoe's) bacon wrapped little smokies (except I used turkey dogs because I had them on hand) turned out great. I would have added the whisky that Mustang's suggested but I didn't have any. I also made the cheese truffles that Olychick posted on another thread that Denise attached. They turned out great. I had some meatballs in the freezer and I made those with Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet Vadalia Onion Bar-B-Q sauce mixed with a little honey. Everything went fast. Especially the turkey dogs and meatballs. We had people stop by all day so I didn't have a chance to get to the store so I had to use what I had on hand.

Thanks to everyone. I love appetizers. I don't even need a meal! Happy Holidays!!!


    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:20PM
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Silvia, I have only assembled it and cooked later....as much as 4 to 5 hours.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 3:24PM
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Chase, did your recipe for the tomato pizza also get published in Sunset? I've made one for years that sounds identical- or maybe they lifted it from Penzey's? You should get credit!!! It is so easy and delicious!

Here is a link that might be useful: Filo Tomato Tart

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:53PM
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I don't know that publication but it surely is almost the identical recipe...thyme instead of Rosemary. Penzeys printed it maybe 4 or 5 years ago, maybe even longer. I can't recall where I first found the recipe. I've been making it a long, long time .

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:00PM
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My curiosity got the best of me so I went looking through my old recipe software for the Stacked Pizza recipe and it is from the Best of Bridge series...."Aces" published 1994.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:35PM
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Chase, Sunset is a popular magazine in the West. Kind of like Southern Living, maybe? I see the recipe was submitted to them by Sandy McKee, Omaha, NE, Sunset JULY 2007; maybe SHE lifted yours from Penzey's catalog as her own!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:32PM
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