6 Best Easy Appetizer Recipes


Pimiento-Cheese Spread Appetizers

Pimiento-Cheese Spread Appetizers
Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup small whole pimiento-stuffed green olives (from 10-ounce jar)
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened (3 ounces)
  • Dash ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 16 slices cocktail rye bread

Directions

  1. Reserve 16 whole olives for garnish. Chop remaining olives; place in medium bowl. Add Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, cream cheese and red pepper; beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
  2. Spread about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture on 8 of the bread slices. Top with remaining bread slices. Cut each sandwich diagonally in half.
  3. Garnish each appetizer with 1 whole olive secured with a toothpick or decorative pick.

Tip:

  1. High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 130, Fat, total (g) 8, chol. (mg) 15, sat. fat (g) 4, carb. (g) 9, fiber (g) 1, pro. (g) 3, vit. A (IU) 194, sodium (mg) 290, calcium (mg) 61, iron (mg) 1, Starch () 1, Fat () 2, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

 

Bacon Crisps

Bacon Crisps
Ingredients

  • 1 pound Smithfield Naturally Hickory Smoked Bacon, cut slices in half
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 sleeve buttery rectangular crackers (recommended: Waverly Wafers)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Place 1 teaspoon of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on each cracker and wrap tightly with a strip of bacon.
  3. Place the wrapped crackers on a baking sheet and put the baking sheet on the oven rack. Bake for 2 hours, or until the bacon is done. Do not turn. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Cook’s note:

  1. You can also bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes if you’re in a hurry! Serve with fresh sliced vegetables.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Serve with fresh sliced vegetables.

 

Sunset Dip

Sunset Dip
Ingredients

  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup Pace® Chunky Salsa
  • Tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Spread the cream cheese in a 9-inch microwaveable pie plate. Sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese.
  2. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes or until the Cheddar cheese is melted. Top with the salsa. Serve with the tortilla chips.
Sweet and Sassy Meatballs

Sweet and Sassy Meatballs
Ingredients

  • 1 16 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 18 ounce bottle barbecue sauce
  • 2 1 pound package frozen cooked meatballs, thawed (32 per pound)

Directions

  1. For sauce, in a large skillet stir together cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce. Cook over medium heat until cranberry sauce is melted, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add meatballs to sauce. Cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until meatballs are heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately or keep meatballs warm in a slow cooker on low setting to serve. Makes 16 servings.

Tips
Make Ahead Tip

  • Prepare as directed in Step 1. Stir in frozen or thawed meatballs. Place in an airtight container. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. To serve, heat meatballs and sauce in a large skillet over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Variation

  • Chipotle-Sauced Meatballs: Prepare as above, except substitute one 12-ounce bottle chili sauce for the barbecue sauce and stir in 3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.

Variation

  • Hawaiian-Sauced Meatballs: Prepare sauce as above, except substitute one 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained, for the cranberry sauce.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 60, Fat, total (g) 4, chol. (mg) 5, sat. fat (g) 2, carb. (g) 5, fiber (g) 1, sugar (g) 3, pro. (g) 2, vit. C (mg) 1, sodium (mg) 177, Potassium (mg) 15, calcium (mg) 10, iron (mg) 0, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Bruschetta with Two Toppers

Bruschetta with Two Toppers
Make this appetizer recipe two different ways. One way features arugula, artichokes, and Brie. The other showcases fennel, plum tomatoes, and capers.
Ingredients

  • 2 8 ounce loaves baguette-style French bread
  • Olive oil or butter-flavor nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 recipe Arugula and Artichoke Topper
  • 3 ounces Brie cheese (rind removed if desired), thinly sliced
  • 1 recipe Fennel and Tomato Topper
  • 3 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Fennel and Tomato Topper

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Arugula and Artichoke Topper

  • 1/2 cup finely shredded arugula
  • 1 6 ounce jar marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Diagonally cut each baguette into 20 slices. Lightly coat both sides of each slice with nonstick cooking spray. Place on two large baking sheets. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned, turning once.
  2. Place Arugula and Artichoke Topper on half of the toasted baguette slices. Arrange on large baking sheet. Top each with a small slice of Brie. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese begins to melt.
  3. Place Fennel and Tomato Topper on remaining bread slices. Arrange on another large baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Makes 40 bruschetta pieces.
  4. Nutrition Facts per appetizer with Arugulula and Artichoke Topper: 59 cal., 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 4 mg chol., 121 mg sodium, 7 g carbo., 1 g dietary fiber, 2 g protein. Exchanges: .5 starch, .5 fat

Fennel and Tomato Topper

  1. Coarsely chop fennel bulb. In a small skillet, cook chopped fennel in hot olive oil until tender. Remove from heat. Finely chop tomato; stir into fennel mixture along with drained capers and cracked black pepper.

Arugula and Artichoke Topper

  1. In a small bowl, combine arugula; artichokes, drained and chopped; and green onion. Add white balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Toss lightly to evenly coat.

Tips
Make Ahead Tip

  • Make Ahead Hints: Baguette slices may be toasted up to 48 hours ahead. Toppers may be made and chilled up to 24 hours ahead.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 46, Fat, total (g) 1, chol. (mg) 1, sat. fat (g) 0, carb. (g) 7, fiber (g) 1, pro. (g) 2, sodium (mg) 100, Starch () 0.5, Carb Choice () 0.5, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Easy Bruschetta

Easy Bruschetta
Ingredients

  • 1 8 ounce loaf baguette-style French bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh Tomato and Olive Topping, Shrimp Topping, Basil Pesto and White Bean Topping, or Dried Fig and Pistachio Topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. For crostini, bias-slice the bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Lightly brush one side of each bread slice with the olive oil. Lightly sprinkle oiled side of bread with pepper. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated over for 4 minutes. Turn slices over and bake for 3 to 4 minutes more or until crisp and light brown.
  2. Prepare one or more of the desired toppings. Spoon onto toasted bread just before serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Tips
Make Ahead Tip

  • Cool toasts. Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

Variation

  • Fresh Tomato and Olive Topping: In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup seeded and finely chopped tomato (2 medium): 1 cup coarsely chopped assorted pitted ripe olives (such as kalamata, Greek, or Mission); 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion; 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro or parsley; 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar; and 2 cloves garlic, minced.

Variation

  • Shrimp Topping: In a medium bowl stir together 8 ounces peeled and deveined cooked shrimp, chopped; 1 tablespoon olive oil; 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside. Halve 2 large cloves of garlic and rub toasts with cut sides before topping with shrimp mixture.

Variation

  • Basil Pesto and White Bean Topping: In a small bowl stir together a 9-ounce container (1 cup) basil pesto; 1 finely chopped hard-cooked egg; and 1 teaspoon lemon juice, sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar. In another small bowl stir together 1/2 of a 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans or 1/2 of a 15-ounce can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained (1 cup); 1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion or chopped shallot; 1 tablespoon olive oil; and 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper.

Variation

  • Dried Fig and Pistachio Topping: In a medium bowl place 3-ounces cream cheese, 2 ounces fontina or provolone cheese, and 3 ounces goat cheese (chevre) ; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a small bowl stir together 1/4 cup snipped dried figs and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Beat cheese with an electric mixer on low speed until well combined; stir in figs. Serve with 1/4 cup chopped pistachios.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 282, Fat, total (g) 18, chol. (mg) 36, sat. fat (g) 4, carb. (g) 24, Monounsaturated fat (g) 3, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1, fiber (g) 3, sugar (g) 2, pro. (g) 9, vit. A (IU) 243, vit. C (mg) 1, Thiamin (mg) 0, Riboflavin (mg) 0, Niacin (mg) 1, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, Folate (µg) 44, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 0, sodium (mg) 503, Potassium (mg) 96, calcium (mg) 131, iron (mg) 1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


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