So You're Assigned an Appetizer? Don't Panic!

Here are Some Ideas!

Written by Gayle

I am just coming out of my Christmas coma (yes, I cleaned up the clutter today!) and realized that I need to start thinking about New Year’s celebrations.  What am I going to make? 
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Appetizers are one of my favorite things.  Sweet or savory, crunchy or soft–there are so many possibilities!  I just went to my refrigerator and cupboards this afternoon and pulled out a little of of this and some of that, and came up with some fun appetizers that you could make for your next party.  New Year’s Eve is coming up, and any of these would be fun to bring along!

Cucumber Based

I have two appetizers on the tray that start with a cucumber.  First, on the right side of the photo, I have a thick, peeled cucumber slice.  I hollowed out the center a bit.
quick+appetizers, healthy+appetizers
I then added some plain hummus, half of a cherry tomato, and a kalamata olive.  Simple!
quick+appetizers, healthy+appetizers
I also made some vegetable sushi, using a thin slice of cucumber as the base.
quick+appetizers, healthy+appetizers
I started with a thin slice of cucumber about 5-6 inches long.  Spread some hummus or cream-cheese spread (if you prefer) along the cucumber, then add some matchstick carrots and green onion.  You could use peppers, jicama, or asparagus, too! Roll them up and skewer with a toothpick.  Voila!

Tomato Based

I made three fun appetizers with cherry tomatoes.  For the first two, I cut them in half, and then added cheese (fresh mozzarella or feta).  I added a basil leaf and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the mozzarella variety.
quick+appetizers, healthy+appetizers
To the other I added a very thin slice of cucumber, a chunk of feta cheese, and a kalamata olive.
quick+appetizers, healthy+appetizers

For the third one, I just cut the cherry tomato in half, scooped out some of the inside, added some hummus and half of a kalamata olive.  A taste of Greece in one little bite!

Lettuce Based

I had some Romaine leaves in my fridge, so I made a couple of appetizers that were almost like little salads.  

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This one is a Caesar Salad!  Chopped tomato, cucumber, green onions, a couple of slivers almonds, and a few drops of dressing.  They would be so pretty all lined up on a plate.  If you had some seasoned bread crumbs, you could sprinkle that over the top for a crouton crunch.
I also made these combinations on small Romaine leaves (Endive would be great, too):
  • A slice of mango, a slice of feta cheese, tied with a long chive or a strip of green onion leaf
  • Gorgonzola cheese (I blended a little sour cream in with it to make it more spreadable) and sprinkled with fresh blueberries
  • Hummus, sprinkled with dried cranberries

Odds and Ends

  • Crackers, feta cheese (get the soft kind for spreadability), sprinkled with fresh or dried blueberries
  • Medjool date halves, filled with gorgonzola cheese
  • A slice of a mango, arugula leaves, wrapped with a thin slice of ham or proscuitto.
  • A thin pear slice, a slice of gorgonzola, and a few leaves of baby spinach–skewer with a toothpick

Let Your Imagination Fly!

There are so many yummy options for appetizers!  See what you can come up with and delight your guests–or your hosts!  Enjoy!

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