LOOKING for: New exciting cocktail party appetizers

eileenlaunonenNovember 21, 2006

Im having my annual Christmas Cocktail party Dec 2nd. Problem is I have hit these people with my best over the last couple of years. Anyone have something new, exciting, and of course delicious. Its for aprrox 24 Adults

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Eileen, are you looking strictly for finger foods? Or is something requiring a fork and plate ok? That will determine the sorts of things we suggest.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You're probably after some more exotic types foods, but here's a greek salad dip that I think is good. The picture really doesn't look like the dip when I made it...I guesss I used more olives and tomatoes or something. Anyway, I thought it was good (I love Feta!) and you can serve with Pita chips if you're looking for an unusual dip. Taste just like a greek type salad without the lettuce.

Here is a link that might be useful: Greek Salad Dip

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 4:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you tried the mini-smoky link sausage, inexpensive hotdogs or meatballs, in a sweet/sour sauce.

Use 1 large jar grape jelly, 5-6 tbls yellow mustard, dash of wortershire sauce. Put into a large pot over low heat and stir until melted and mixed well. Add meat and simmer over low heat, turning meat up from the bottom to the top so that all pieces are covered, until cooked through.

These can be used with toothpicks but my family likes them with a fork on a plate. They get more that way!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 5:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I realize this seems like a strange combination of ingredients but these are addicting. I already have a batch in the freezer for the holiday season.


1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups walnuts, divided
4 oz. blue cheese, cut into cubes
48 pitted dates (about 12 oz.)
1 large egg white
1 tsp. water

In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Stir in flour and salt just until blended (or use mixer on low speed). Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten each into a disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse ½ cup walnuts until finely chopped; reserve in small bowl. In same food processor, pulse blue cheese and remaining 1 cup of walnuts 7 to 8 times or until a coarse mixture forms.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with foil; grease foil.

On floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll 1 disk of dough into a 10-inch round. Cut into 12 equal wedges. Beginning 1 inch from outside edge, sprinkle ½ cup blue cheese mixture in 2 Âinch wide ring on dough, leaving dough exposed in center. Place one whole date crosswise on wide end of each wedge. Starting at wide end, roll up each wedge, jelly-roll fashion.

Place rugelach, 1 inch apart, on cookie sheets, point side down. Repeat with remaining four dough disks. In small bowl, beat egg white and water. Brush rolls with egg white and sprinkle with reserved walnuts.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden, rotating sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking. Let stand for a minute or two and then transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature up to 3 days.

To make ahead: Arrange unbaked rugelach in single layer in jelly roll pan; cover and freeze until firm. Remove from pan and place in freezer containers with waxed paper in between each layer. Seal and freeze up to 3 months. About 45 minutes before serving, preheat oven to 350. Line 2 large cookie sheets with foil; grease foil. Arrange frozen rugelach on prepared cookie sheets and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 6:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's something I made Sat. when we had company over to watch a football game. Everyone remarked how good they were.

Hot Pepper Bites

1 8oz can of biscuits (I used puff pastry)
1/2 C hot pepper jelly (I used homemade peach pepper jam)
4 oz cream cheese or Brie (I used Brie)

Divide each biscuit into 3 layers (8 biscuits equals 24 rounds) press into 24 mini muffin cups.
Spoon a generous 1/2 tsp of pepper jelly into each muffin cup. Cut 24 cubes of Brie or cream cheese and place one in each muffin cup on top of the jelly.
Bake at 350° about 15 min or until pastey is golden and cheese is melted. Makes 24.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 9:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Eileen, here are some recipes that I've just come across. Some I've tried, some I haven't:
Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry Pockets

12 frozen puff pastry shells, unthawed
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (16-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/4 cups grated Fontina cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
3 to 5 green onions, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the frozen pastry shells on the baking sheet and bake until they puff and become golden brown, about 20 minutes. Using a small knife, cut out the center of the pastry shells.
Meanwhile, stir the cream, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the spinach, Fontina cheese, Parmesan, and green onions. Spoon the spinach mixture into the baked pastry shells. Bake until the pastries are golden brown and the filling is hot, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pastries to a platter and serve.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Scallops

12 jumbo raw peeled deveined shrimp, 16 to 20 count per pound
12 large sea scallops, trimmed and well drained
1 lime, juiced and zested
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon grill seasoning or coarse salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
12 slices center cut or applewood smoked bacon, cut in 1/2
3 scallions, very thinly sliced on an angle
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place shrimp and scallops in a shallow dish or bowl. Dress seafood with lime juice and zest, a generous drizzle of sesame oil, grill seasoning and hot pepper flakes. Wrap each shrimp and scallop with a half slice of bacon. Wrap each shrimp working from head to tail, pulling bacon snuggly around the shrimp. Wrap the bacon around the outside of each scallop. Fasten bacon in place as necessary with picks.
Arrange the shrimp and scallops on a slotted baking pan, such as a broiler pan, to allow draining while bacon crisps. Bake shrimp and scallops 10 to 14 minutes, until shrimp is pink and curled, scallops are opaque and bacon is crisp. Shrimps may finish before the scallops.
Arrange cooked seafood on platter and sprinkle with chopped scallions. (Excellent)

Instant Pesto Torta with Bread and Vegetables

Vegetable spray
4 pieces sun-dried tomatoes
4 leaves fresh basil
3 tubs, 6 ounces each, soft garlic and herb cheese (recommended: Alouette brand)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato tapenade
1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
1 baguette or whole grain baguette, pre-sliced at the bread counter
Handful baby carrots
Handful grape tomatoes
Line a small shallow dish or bowl with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Coat wrap with vegetable spray. Arrange a pattern in bottom of the dish using the sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Add 1 1/2 tubs of garlic and herb cheese (about half a pound) to the dish and smooth over, then layer in the sun-dried tomato spread and the pesto. Spread the remaining cheese on top of the pesto. Place a serving plate over the bowl and invert the bowl. Hold on to the edges of the waxed paper or wrap to release the cheese. Remove the waxed paper or plastic wrap. Arrange the sliced baguette along 1 side of the torta.
Arrange carrots and tomatoes along the opposite side of the torta. (Beautiful, festive presentation, very good flavor)

Charter House Inn Buffalo Shrimp
1 lb. of raw 31/40 peeled and deveined shrimp
2 C. golden dip all purpose breading
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. cayenne peppe
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 lb. butter
2 C. franks red hot sauce or Tobasco-like Hot Sauce
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 egg
1/3 C. water
Mix all dry ingredients. Prepare egg wash, by beating egg together with water. Melt 1/4 lb butter mix with red hot sauce and vinegar dip shrimp in egg wash,
bread with breading mixture. Fry in deep fryer at 350 degree's. place in container with hot sauce mixture shake well. Serve with celery and blue cheese.
This is excellent!

Spiced Mixed Nuts:
2-TBSP Butter
1-cp. pecan halves
1-cp. whole almonds
1-cp walnut halves
1=TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1-tsp. chili powder
1/2-tsp garlic salt
1/4-tsp. cayenne pepper
Prehat oven to 300 degrees. Add butter to a 13x9x2 baking pan. Set pan in the oven to melt butter, remove and stir in worcestershire sauce. Add nuts and gently stir until coated. Bake the nut mixture until toasted, about 30 mins. Stir nuts every 10 mins. Remove from oven. Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over nuts. And serve.( I make these almost weekly, they are a huge hit in my family!)

Chorizo and Shrimp Quesadillas with Smoky Guacamole

2 ripe Haas avocados
1 lime, juiced
A couple pinches salt
1/4 cup sour cream, 3 rounded tablespoonfuls
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, available in cans on specialty food aisle in Mexican section
1/2 pound chorizo sausage, sliced thin on an angle
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
1 clove garlic, cracked away from skin and crushed
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed, ask for easy-peels at fish counter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (12- inch) flour tortillas
1/2 pound, 2 cups, shredded pepper Jack cheese
Cut avocados all the way around with a sharp knife. Scoop out the pit, then spoon avocado flesh away from skin into a food processor. Add the juice of 1 lime, a couple of pinches salt, sour cream and chipotles in adobo. Pulse guacamole until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Brown chorizo 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from pan. Add oil, garlic, then shrimp. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and cook shrimp until pink, 2 or 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
Add a drizzle of oil to the pan and a large tortilla. Cook tortilla 30 seconds, then turn. Cover 1/2 of the tortilla with a couple of handfuls of cheese. Arrange a layer of chorizo and shrimp over the cheese and fold tortilla over. Press down gently with a spatula and cook tortilla a minute or so on each side to melt cheese and crisp. Remove quesadilla to large cutting board and repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut each quesadilla into 5 wedges and transfer to plates with your spatula. Top wedges of quesadillas with liberal amounts of smoky guacamole.(This is delicious, I have cut corners and served store bought guac!)

1-(16INCH)French bread baguette, cut in 24 slices
1/4-cp. melted butter
2-TBSP olive oil
3/4 cp. shredded mozzarella cheese
1- medium tomatoe chopped (I use roma)
1/4- cup olive oil
2-TBSPs. chopped fresh basil
2-TBSPS. chopped sun-dried tomatoes, soaked and drained
1-TBSP minced garlic
1/8- tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush both sides of the bread with a mixture of butter and 2 TBSP olive oil. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 5-8 mins. or until light brown. Combine the mozzarella cheese, chopped tomato, Romano cheese, 1/4 cp. olive oil, basil, sun dried tomato, garlic and pepper in a bowl, mix well. Top bread slices with about a tablespoon of the mixture. Return to oven till cheese melts, just a few minutes. (This is th emost requested app. in my family. I serve it winter and summer. Brunches and dinners!)
I hope these are a little help! Gina

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 5:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks everyone ..im basically looking for finger foods but I do set out dishware and cocktail forks so those type recipes are welcome. I will be definately having Clams Casino, Mini Italian Rice Balls an Brushetta w/Crostini so I guess im into a Italian flair.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Eileen I'm making these for a get together in December. I think they fit perfectly with your menu.

Roasted Red Pepper Bocconcini Pops

200 g tub of mini bocconcini (about 30-36 pieces)
2 TBSP prepared pesto
pinch pepper
2 roasted red peppers , patted dry
aged balsamic vinegar

Drain bocconcini and pat dry
Whisk together pesto and pepper. Add bocconcini and toss to coat evenly.
Slice peppers into 1/4 inch wide strips. Wrap each around a bocconcini and skewer onto a toothpick.
Drizzel with balsamic before serving.

Another presentation option is to skewer a pepper strip at one end then the coated boccancini, then bring the pepper strip up and skewer again then add another boccancini and bring the red pepper down over the second ball (making an S shape of the pepper around two boccancinis). This method sounds fiddly to me and you only get half the poppers.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 1:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Most of my Italian is on the rustic side. But here's one that might appeal:

Herb Marinated Mozzarella

1 pound mozzarella, chilled and sliced 1/4 inch thick.
3 tbls EVOO
3 tbls vegetable oil
1 tbls minced and drained sun dreied tomatoes in oil, plu 1 tsp of the oil.
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbls minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tsp minced fresh basil leaves
1 tsp snipped fresh chives
1/4 tsp minced garlic
Fresh herbs for garnish

In a wide shallow serving dish arrange overlapping slices of the mozzarella.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vegetable oil, tomatoes with the tomato oil, red pepper flakes, parsley, basil, chives and garlic. Drizzle the mixture over the mozzarella.

Let the mozzarella marinate, covered, at room temperature for 2 hours and wserve it at room temperature, garnished with sprigs of fresh herbs.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 5:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

These would have to be served with toothpicks. A friend made these for New Year's a couple years back and now my family begs me to make them. The recipe sounds a bit bizarre I grant you but once you taste them you will fall in love! I do these in the crockpot and let them simmer for several hours to really develope the flavors. I also use store bought,frozen, already cooked meatballs. It's a really simple and no fuss recipe. All you do is combine:

equal parts grape jelly with
equal parts chili sauce.
Add your meatballs and simmer.

If you use a crockpot, just add the frozen meatballs to the mix of jelly and sauce and let them cook on high for about 3-4 hours or until hot all the way through and you want to give them time for the meatballs to really soak up the flavor. I took these to our Christmas get together last year and they were gone right away! It truely is one of the simplest appetizers you can make and believe me you will never know there is grape jelly in them!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I went to an apres ski party a couple years ago sponsored by the ski broker and his wife. The most popular item was a huge wheel of brie that was topped with a layer of hot raspberry pepper jelly and warmed in the oven until soft. I'm sure a whole jar of the jelly was poured on top and it trickled down the sides. It was served with thinly sliced and toasted baguet and crackers. Next to it was a bowl of fresh chopped tomato and basil for bruschetta. People just hovered over that table!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 3:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I got this recipe several years ago out of Southern Living Magazine. It was a huge hit at every party I've served them. Even people that hate blue cheese loved them. My neighbor said they were addicting -- she practically made herself sick eating these. There were several great recipes in this particular issue, but this was the best. When I find the magazine, I'll put the rest here for you.

Ham & Asparagus Roll-ups

24 fresh asparagus spears
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (4 ounce) package crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
12 slices bread, crusts trimmed off
12 slices thinly sliced deli ham
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
green onions, curl
red bell peppers

Snap off tough ends of asparagus, and remove scales from stalks with a vegetable peeler, if desired.
Arrange asparagus in a steamer basket over boiling water.
Cover and steam 4 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Remove from steamer, and cool on paper towels.
Stir together cream cheese and next 3 ingredients.
Roll each bread slice with a rolling pin to flatten.
Spread 1 side of each slice with 2 tablespoons cream cheese mixture; top each with 1 ham slice.
Place 2 asparagus spears, tips pointed toward opposite ends, on one end of each bread slice; roll up, and place, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet.
Brush with butter; sprinkle with paprika.
Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
Serve immediately.
Garnish, if desired.
Note: Freeze unbaked rollups up to 1 month in an airtight container.
Thaw in refrigerator, and bake as directed.
Yield: 12 appetizer servings.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 2:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's more from that same issue (Nov. 2001) of Southern Living. I had a party and used all of these at once. It turned out wonderful. I don't get Southern Living but my MIL does. She saw these and called me and told me to get this issue because it sounded like it was full of recipes I would like, and she was right. There is one more recipe in the magazine that I used at the party, but I couldn't find it online to cut and paste. I'll have to type it in the morning.

Southwestern Cheese Appetizer
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 (7.5-ounce) jar roasted sweet red peppers, drained and diced
3 green onions, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (8-ounce) block sharp Cheddar cheese, chilled
1 (8-ounce) block Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, chilled
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, chilled

Whisk together first 3 ingredients until mixture is blended; stir in diced red peppers and next 6 ingredients. Set marinade aside.
Cut block of Cheddar cheese in half lengthwise. Cut halves crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Repeat procedure with Monterey Jack cheese and cream cheese.

Arrange cheese slices alternately in a shallow baking dish, standing slices on edge. Pour marinade over cheeses. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Transfer cheese to a serving plate, and spoon remaining marinade over top. Serve with assorted crackers. (This is very Christmas looking --- lots of red and green).

Curry-Almond Cheese Spread

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (9-ounce) jar mango chutney
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Toasted slivered almonds
Garnishes: thinly sliced Granny Smith apple, fresh parsley sprigs, fresh cranberries
Assorted crackers

Process first 5 ingredients in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Shape mixture into a round. Chill until ready to serve. Sprinkle with almonds. Garnish, if desired. Serve with assorted crackers.

Yield: 3 cups

Artichoke-Stuffed Mushrooms

1 1/2 pounds large fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup soft breadcrumbs
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Rinse and pat mushrooms dry. Remove stems, and chop; reserve mushroom caps.
Sauté mushroom stems, onion, and garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender.

Add wine, and cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Stir in breadcrumbs. Remove from heat, and let cool.

Combine onion mixture, artichoke, and next 5 ingredients. Spoon 1 teaspoonful into each mushroom cap. Place on a lightly greased rack in a roasting pan.

Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 2:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Eileen, here is one of my favorites, given to me by Readinglady. I fill them with my homemade habanero gold jelly but any hot pepper jelly would be nice. They remind me of a cheese cracker, but good.

Savory Cheddar and Jalapeño Jelly Cookies from Rick Rodgers

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen

8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup jalapeno jelly, or sub apple butter or chutney

Place cheese and butter in a food processor (could be creamed by hand or mixer); add flour and process until the mixture forms a soft dough. Gather up the dough and divide into two flat disks. Wrap in wax paper and freeze until chilled, about 45 minutes.

Position two racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 400°. Line two baking sheets with parchment or use nonstick sheets.

Using 1 teaspoon dough for each, roll the dough into small balls and place 1 inch apart on the sheets. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Using the handle of a wooden spoon or 1/2-inch-thick dowel, poke an indentation in each cookie. Place the jelly in a small plastic bag and force it down into one corner. Snip off the corner of the bag to make a small hole. Pipe the jelly into the indentations.

Return to the oven and bake, switching the positions of the sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking, until the tops are very lightly browned, about 10 minutes. (Cookies will continue to crisp as they cool.) Transfer to racks and cool completely.

Can be baked up to two days ahead. Store at room temperature in an airtight container and separate layers with wax paper.

I also make small sandwiches using cream puff dough, make them about two bites big and fill with whatever suits me at the moment, chicken or ham or seafood salad, and I make these rye ones with a corned beef filling.

Rye Party Puffs

1 c water
1/2 c butter OR margarine
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c rye flour
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
Caraway seeds

Corned Beef filling:

2 pkg (8 oz ea) cream cheese, softened
2 pkg (2 1/2 oz ea) cooked corned beef, finely chopped
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/4 c sour cream
2 TBL minced chives
2 TBL finely chopped onion
1 tsp spicy brown OR horseradish mustard
1/8 tsp garlic powder
10 small stuffed olives, chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring water and butter to a boil. Add both flours, parsley, garlic powder and salt all at once. Stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat until smooth.

Drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in apart onto greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with caraway seeds. Bake for 18-20 min or until golden. Remove to wire racks. Immediately cut a slit in each puff to allow steam to escape, cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine the first EIGHT filling ingredients. Mix well. Stir in olives. Split puffs. Add filling. Refrigerate until serving.

Yield: 4 1/2 dozen.

Have fun, I'm sure the food will be great.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 2:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That really sounds great, Annie. Gougerres, whether made with rye or not, always serve as a great base for appetizers. I'd have posted my recipe for filled gougerre, but I thought Eileen was looking for Italian specifically.

Back to your recipe. I'm wondering.....if you mixed some shredded Swiss into the batter, then substituted well-drained sourkraut for the olives, you'd sort of wind up with miniature Reubens.

I'm gonna have to try that.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 3:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mmm, miniature Reubens, that sounds really good right now, GL.

As for Italian, I thought cheese and peppers WAS Italian. LOL Of course, I'm Irish and Native American so my version of Italian could be a bit..well...skewed. LOL

Actually, I knew Eileen was a "bit Irish", so I threw the corned beef thing in just for that reason.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 9:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

>I thought cheese and peppers WAS ItalianDifferent cheeses, different peppers. But what the heck; it's the thought that counts. ;>)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here are a few that can be made a head and frozen and baked just before you need them.

I made Sharon's Spanikopita last year for Christmas along with Alexa's Lobster triangles and they are wonderful.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

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.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Sharon's Spanikopita

These are very easy to make, don't be fussed about the phylo just keep a tea towel over it while you are working. I promise you these will be a huge hit, with a bit of "Wow" factor.

16 oz Phyllo Dough,thawed in the fridge for 24 hours
10 oz Frozen Spinach,thawed and drained of all liquid
3/4 lb Feta Cheese, 375 Grams
1/2 lb Cottage Cheese,pressed and drained about 1 cup
1/4 lb Cream Cheese,softened
3 Eggs
1/4 cup Fresh Dill,Chopped Fine
3/4 cup Butter,melted
In large bowl combine all ingredients except phylo and butter. Working with one sheet of phylo at a time, brush with melted butter and cut in 5 strips lengthwise. Place 1 spoonful of mixture at the bottom of each strip about 1 inch from the bottom, fold the bottom piece up over the filling and then fold up in a triangle shape. Fold like you fold a flag, to the left, up , to the right ,up etc. Brush tops with more melted butter.
Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm
NOTE: To freeze, place the uncooked spanikopita on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen place in bags or containers. When ready to serve place frozen spanikopita on a cookie sheet and bake.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Phyllo Triangles with Lobster Filling
Posted by caliloo (My Page) on Mon, Dec 19, 05 at 16:04

Phyllo Triangles with Lobster Filling
Martha Stewart Entertaining
Makes about 50

1 Steamed Lobster
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 scallions finely chopped
¼ cup white wine or vodka
1 ½ tbsp all purpose flour
¼ cup heavy cream
pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 lb Phyllo
1 lb unsalted butter, melted

Remove meat from lobster and chop. Set aside
Melt 2 tbsp butter in a small skillet and sauté the scallions for 2 or 3 min. Add lobster meat and wine or vodka and stir quickly to combine over high heat. Drain the mixture reserving the liquid.

Melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter in another skillet. Add the flour and cook slowly without coloring the flour for 5 minutes. Add the reserved liquid and cream and stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir the lobster meat back into the cream mixture, add cayenne and season to taste. Cool completely before filling the triangles.

Prepare the triangles as you would sharons Spanikopita. If you need those directions, I can copy them over.

I do not know if these freeze, but I am not going to need all 50 for Xmas Eve, so I am going to give it a shot with the leftovers.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Some good ones in the posting from 2 years ago!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 8:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My gang always requests these:
Mini Reubens
1 loaf of rye party size bread squares
thinly shaved corned beef from the deli
saurkraut (drained)
Thousand Island dressing
squares of Swiss cheese (the size of the bread squares)

** Put kraut in a saucepan, add 1/2 can of water & simmer for 10 min. Drain well.

Spread 1000 Island dressing on all of the bread slices. Place some corned beef on it, then kraut, then top w/the Swiss. Place on a foil covered cookie sheet & bake at 350 until cheese is melted. These are 'open faced'-one slice per appetizer. They can be made early the day of the party, wrap tightly & remove from fridge an hour before baking.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 5:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Eileen! Hi all !

Wow, this stuff looks great...I've been cutting and pasting since the top of the thread.

I've copied some of my new rcipes, and some old favorites... pick and chose at your pleasure. They're all tried and true and are delicious...

Don't know if you're planning to hire help, but I find that for a party of this size it makes a huge difference if I have someone serving and someone pacing the dishes and doing last minute prep and plating - and clean up!

It's very affordable too - usually around $25 per hour per person. I usually have them for 4 hours, and give them an hour's gratuity.

Ok, here goes...

Ceasar Dip (this is best when made a day or two in advance)- Cooks Illustrated

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon minced parsley
2 medium garlic cloves -- minced
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
Fresh ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth and creamy.
Transfer dip to serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate until flavors blend (at least 1 hour)
Serve cold with crudite

Adapted from: "Bon Appétit October 2002"

I just served this on Thanksgiving with toasted baguette and carrot dippers (cut carrots on severed diagonal) and endive. They loved it.

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cans artichoke hearts -- (14 ounce) drained, chopped
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto -- chopped
4 ounces Mild Blue Cheese
10 ounces Goat Cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Chopped walnuts -- toasted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage

Toss together chopped artichoke hearts and prosciutto.
Mix in Blue and Goat cheeses.
Pour cream over.
Sprinkle pecans, Parmesan, and sage.
Bake at 350 until gratin is bubbling and sauce thickens, about 30 minutes.

This year we had a platter of the following on Thanksgiving:
Grilled artichoke hearts (our favorite Italian store has them - they're still on the stem and delicious)

Fresh salted mozzarella - sliced thick
Fresh tomato slices
Fresh basil
Dried sweet salami
Hot and sweet stuffed cherry peppers
Mixed olives
Roasted peppers
Asiago cheese

Served alongside a basket of bread sticks and toasted baguette

LionsHead Meatballs

I love, love, love these...and serve them in a beautiful chaffing dish or crock...they're a nice alternative to Swedish meatballs.

You can prepare the meatballs ahead (don't cook them) and freeze them on a cookie sheet. When frozen, place them in a zip lock bag until ready to use. When ready to use, DO NOT DEFROST, just saute them in a oiled pan and continue with prep as written.

1 cup "lite"* coconut milk
2 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 pound lean ground pork or beef
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup minced leek -- white and pale green part only
1 small head Chinese cabbage - diced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger -- optional (I leave it out)
2 teaspoons seeded and minced fresh chile pepper -- optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
*If you can't find 'lite', use regular, diluting with 1/2 water.

1. Combine coconut milk, soy sauce and curry powder in a large saucepan. Set aside.
2. Place pork (or beef), scallions, leek, cabbage, cornstarch, flour, sesame oil, ginger, chile, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
3. Knead by hand until thoroughly combined and the mixture becomes sticky.
4. Shape into small (golf-ball size) meatballs
5. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the sides. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until
browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes.
6. Transfer to a plate lined with
paper towels.
7. Bring the coconut-milk mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs; cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 30 - 45 meatballs (this long cooking tenderizes them)

Adapted from: "Eating Well Magazine eatingwell.com"

As an alternative to the Lionshead, and in keeping with the Italian theme, you can make mini Italian meatballs and serve them in a crock alongside small dinner rolls, so folks can make their own mini meatball heros.

I serve these with varying sauces, but they're great with just a squeeze of lemon

Sue's Crab Cakes with Mustard Mayo Sauce
Yield: 24ish

Lots of crab and just enough bread to hold it all together.
I have made these ahead of time and just reheated before serving.

2 lbs. Backfin or lump crab meat (Costco has 1 lb cans)
2 C. Fresh breadcrumbs
4 large eggs
1 C. Heavy cream
1 T. Dijon mustard
4 t. lemon juice
4 t. Tarragon - dried
4 t. onion - grated
1 C. Panko plus 3 cups for coating (Janpanese
6 T. Unsalted butter
Mustard Mayonnaise Sauce (for crab cakes)

In bowl, combine crab meat, breadcrumbs, an 1 C. panko.
In small bowl, whisk eggs well and add cream, whisking.
Add cream mixture, mustard, lemon juice, tarragon, onion, and salt/pepper to crab mixture and combine well.

In a large skillet heat 1 T. of butter over moderate heat until foam subsides.

Take mounded tablespoon full of crab mixture in hand, and pat panko onto the crab cake to coat (don't try to dip it in the panko as the cake will fall apart).

Drop cake into pan and sauté for 2 - 3 minutes - until deep golden.

Carefully turn over and cook 2 - 3 minutes more.

The cakes may be cooked a few hours ahead. Place on a cookie sheet and cover.

When ready to serve, reheat in 350° oven for 10 - 15 minutes.

Mustard Mayonnaise Sauce (for crab cakes)

1/4 C. Mayonnaise
2 1/2 t. Stone ground mustard
1/4 t. fresh lemon juice
2 t. capers (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days ahead.

Shrimp Salad (Chunks of shrimp with garlic, celery, lemon, and olive oil)- can be made a day in advance.

We serve this on Christmas Eve as a nice light appetizer. Mom made this for years, and it never goes out of style. It;s a nice departure from Shrimp Cocktail.

2 lbs Shrimp (we buy the large shrimp sold at the seafood counter in Costo (4 lbs for 38.99 her on LI) - they're sweet like sugar
3 stalks celery (I like to slice it about an 1/8 inch thick - if they're too wide, cut stalk lengthwise before slicing)
2 Garlic cloves - sliced very thin or minced through a press
Olive oil

Cut shrimp into 3 pieces, toss with celery and garlic.
Drizzle with Olive oil (not a lot, just enough to coat) and juice of lemon (until mixture is balanced). Season with salt and pepper.

Chill for several hours or overnight.


Grilled scallops with Bacon


Wrap bacon around each scallop, secure with long metal skewer you can line these up on a skewer, just allow some space in between so they cook evenly).

Grilled baby lamb chops with mint sauce on the side

Prep these ahead of time and finish right before serving.

4 racks of lamb (Costco has nice ones)
Rub roasts with a mixture of rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper.

Roast at 400 until about 125 degrees. let cool.
Cut alongside each bone to make individual chops.
Place on flat roasting rack, cover, and set aside.

Right before passing (these should be passed so folks get them hot), give them a quick cook under the broiler, turning once...serve immediately.


Hope this helps...

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 2:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sue I have waitress's that work for me when I cater jobs I pay them exactly what you said 25 for 4 and an extra 25. I totally agree that its worth every penny

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 8:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great and timely ideas...cutting and pasting

A favorite, because it is easy and very tasty:

Bourbon Sausages

- 12 ounces bourbon
- 1 12-ounce bottle Heinz® Chili Sauce
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large package of Little Smokies sausage (Costco size)

In sauce pan, bring bourbon, chili sauce, sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickens.

Put smokies on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until grease is rendered. Drain smokies and add to bourbon sauce.

Serve in crock pot on low or chafing dish.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 12:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

These were a huge hit at a ladies appetizer get-together last year.

Mini Sausage Quiches
Prep time: 45 min (plus 1 hr chilling)
Cook time: 20 min

½ cup butter or margarine, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ lb. Bob Evans Italian Sausage Roll
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 tbsp. snipped fresh chives
2 eggs
1 cup milk
¼ tsp. salt
Dash cayenne pepper

Beat butter and cream cheese in medium bowl until creamy. Blend in flour; refrigerate 1 hour. Roll into 24 1-inch balls; press each into ungreased mini-muffin cup to form pastry shell. Preheat oven to 375F. To prepare filling, crumble and cook sausage in small skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain off any drippings. Sprinkle evenly into pastry shells in muffin cups; sprinkle with Swiss cheese and chives. Whisk eggs, milk, salt and cayenne until blended; pour into pastry shells. Bake 20-30 minutes or until set. Remove from pans. Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers.

Makes 24 appetizers

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This has some great appetizers thought this might help!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 8:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow - I've just copied and pasted all of these recipes - they are wonderful! I've been looking for a recipe for an appetizer I had years ago that sounds like spinach spanikopita so this is a banner recipe day for me :) Ann

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 4:13PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
RECIPE: Quick Red Thai Curry Noodle Soup
Ingredients: 1tbsp oil 300g mixed stir-fry vegetables...
LOOKING for: Christmas Cookies
Is it time to start posting Christmas Cookies yet???...
RECIPE: Christmas Cookies
Think we are late getting this one started this year...
RECIPE: Green Tomato Cake
This was really good! Green Tomato Cake 199 reviews...
LOOKING for: Easy Everyday Cooking Recipe Cards
Hi, I am looking for anyone that might have the "Easy...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™