Our suggestions for Appetizers, Party Food and Small Bites, cook and no-cook!.

Serves : depends on your party size, 2 - 40

What you need
When its too hot to cook and you're having company, you will want to review this list of No-cook appetizers!


How to
So you will need to keep a stock of fresh fruits and veggies around, some frozen mini-meatballs, and some bruschetta crackers.  Don't forget the toothpicks and skewers!  Many of these can be frozen without injury.  A nice thought on a hot day. 

As in the photo below, you have scooped out melon balls, rice crisps with roasted red pepper, compound cream cheese (or yogurt), maybe even a bit of domestic caviar or herring to balance the sweets.  Then all you need is a garnish, fresh mint or basil, and you're done. 

But we have put together a bunch of recipes for you, so go on and have fun

Serves 8 - 12 (as an appetizer

What you need
  I've been reduced to begging for this recipe, its been so long since I've had it.  And only my cousin RoseMarie can make it exactly right).  I even resorted to buying her a new tuna fish mold to encourage I found a similar recipe 
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 cans tuna drained.
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 hard cooked eggs chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced (not chopped) stuffed green olives


How to
  • Sprinkle gelatin onto cold water to soften.
  • Place over low heat stirring constantly until dissolved.
  • Combine all remaining ingredients with dissolved gelatin.
  • Put entire mixture in an oiled fish mold then chill in refrigerator overnight or until set.
  • When ready to serve, let sit at room temp. for about 1/2 hour, or dip the outside of the mold quickly into a bigger bowl of warm water, dry and un-mold onto a serving platter.
  • Decorate fish mold with sliced stuffed olives to form eyes and scales, and pimiento strips for a mouth if you wish.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and parsley, and serve as hors d’oeuvre with unpeeled cucumber slices or crackers.
  • (I have to admit to taking home the leftovers and making a sandwich for breakfast the next day, with wedges of tomato or avocado.  Its that good!
(Do not laugh when you see my photo here, taken from  anarchivistsarchives.typepad.com. It's clearly a very old recipe.  I'm still waiting for the photo because I haven't had a completed tuna mold in years.  I'm going to have to make it myself!)

Serves 8 - 10

What you need
3-4 large almost ripe pears
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. pineapple juice
1/3 c. sparkling wine or prosecco
1 8-10 oz log goat cheese
Good Sea salt
Fresh Arugula

Champagne Pears & Goat Cheese

How to
   Mix lemon juice, pineapple juice and sparkling wine together. 
   Slice pears crossways, from the bottom to the top, and pop out any seeds from the middle slices.  Put all the pear slices in the juice mixture, being sure each slice gets wet.  The acidity in the marinade will prevent the pears from turning brown.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.  
   When ready to serve, pat each slice dry and spread about 1/2 tbsp. on each pear slice, garnish with a small piece of torn arugula and sprinkle with sea salt. (we used a beautiful black Hawaiian sea salt which contrasted beautifully with the colors). 
    If you have extra pear slices, serve them in bowl w/ dip!  Its delicious.

Serves 4

What you need
As simple as marinating blocks of prepared mozzarella in a Mediterranean-inspired mixture of olive oil and seasonings, then top with tangy sun-dried tomatoes and fresh rosemary. Since it needs to marinate for at least 8 hours before serving, this appetizer is a great make-ahead choice. 
3 (8-oz.) blocks mozzarella cheese
1 (8.5-oz.) jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained and halved
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
Garnish: flat-leaf parsley sprigs or fresh rosemary stems

Marinated Mozzarella & Sun-dried Tomatoes

How to
   1. Cut blocks of cheese into 1-inch cubes. Arrange cheese cubes and tomato halves in an 8-inch square baking dish.
   2. Whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, chopped parsley, and next 6 ingredients; pour evenly over cheese cubes. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Transfer mixture to a serving plate. Garnish with fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, or spear tomato halves and cheese cubes with short rosemary stems, if desired. Drizzle with marinade, if desired.

Serves 6 - 10 as an appetizer

What you need
   To make these addictive snacks, Jason Travi at Food & Wine tosses canned chickpeas with flour, coriander, and cumin, then fries them.  We're going to spread them on a baking sheet and bake them instead - turning them into a healthy snack without losing any flavor!
  • 1/4 cup(s) olive oil
  • 3can(s) (15-ounces each) chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1 1/2tablespoon(s) ground coriander
  • 1tablespoon(s) ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Crispy Chickpeas

    How to

       1.  In a large bowl, toss the chickpeas with the coriander and cumin. Add the oil & flour and toss until the chickpeas are coated; transfer to a sieve and tap off the excess flour.

       2.  Place the chickpeas in one layer on a large flat cookie sheet (with sides) and bake until they are browned and crispy, about 10 - 20 minutes.  Shake the pan occasionally to move them around so the crisp on all sides. Transfer the chickpeas to the paper towels to drain and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let the chickpeas cool, then transfer them to a bowl and serve.

    Serves 4 - 8

    What you need


    • 15 1/2 ounce(s) (can) pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 11 ounce(s) (can) corn kernels, drained
    • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
    • 3 green onions, minced
    • 1 large (or 2 small) avocado , diced
    • 1 cup(s) chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/2 cup(s) prepared salsa
    • 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) pepper

    Cowboy Caviar

    How to
    1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Gently toss to combine. Chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Serve over greens as a salad, or with chips for dipping.

    Serves 8 - 10

    What you need
    1 or 2 loaves french baguette
    2 tablespoons olive oil 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.
    Prepare one or more of the desired toppings. Spoon onto toasted bread just before serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
    Make-ahead directions: Cool toasts without topping. Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

    Fresh Tomato and Olive Topping, Shrimp Topping, Basil Pesto and White Bean Topping, or Dried Fig and Pistachio Topping: Recipes Below:

    NO COOK: Varieties of Bruschetta

    How to
        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. 
       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.
       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.
       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

    Serves 4 or more

    What you need
       Yes, Cucumber sandwiches! This recipe is going to have to start out with a little history lesson.  You can skip directy to the recipe if you want, but apparently Tea Sandwiches go back a very long time, all they way to the 1100's.  They are tasty, sweet, often prepared with onions, garlic, spicy mustard, pepper and hot sauce.  They can stand on their own for Lunch or a Light Dinner, or you can mix them with some of the many other recipes below for tea sandwich combination at "High Tea."  Since dinner was served much later than we serve it now, High Tea was very important.  Now, we prefer to serve them cut in quarters, mixed with other delightful treats, and served on beautiful platters or stacked trays for Luncheon (or just lunch for us commoners).  In fact, we'll just eat them anytime. 
    Gourmet Sandwich RecipesThe composition of the sandwiches and the creativity in making them continues to flourish and in 1936, a recipe book was published that contains 1000 recipes for a sandwich. Tea Sandwich recipes are unlimited in flavors, savory or sweet, onions, garlic, spicy mustard, pepper or hot sauces. Although generally seen as a snack, these delicious and satisfying recipes would be wonderful as a main course, or acting as an appetizer to the entrance to dinner.

    So, now to the Recipe for a basic Cucumber Sandwich:
    1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
    1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, quartered and seeded, if desired
    1 clove garlic, quartered
    2 tablespoons
    grated Parmesan cheese
    4 slices whole wheat or white bread
    2 tablespoons butter, softened
    4 1-ounce slices provolone cheese
    1/2 of a medium english (seedless) cucumber, thinly sliced (1 cup)

    NO COOK: Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

    How to
    1. In a food processor combine cilantro, mint, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, and garlic. Cover and process until finely chopped. (If you do not have a food processor, finely chop the herbs, jalapeno, and garlic; combine with the lime juice.) Stir in Parmesan cheese.
    2.  Remove crusts from bread. Spread one side of each bread slice with softened butter. Top 2 of the bread slices with half of the cheese. Top with all of the cucumber slices. Carefully top with all of the cilantro mixture, remaining cheese slices, and remaining bread slices, buttered side down. Cut sandwiches in quarters. 
    3.  Serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and pack with an ice pack or chill up to 4 hours before serving. Makes 4 sandwiches

    Serves Makes 12 small sandwiches

    What you need
       Simple and easy to make, but with a fresh and creamy taste, these crab sandwiches will be impossible to resist!  Serve them with the Cucumber Sandwiches above.
        3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped cooked fresh lump or jumbo crabmeat or drained pasteurized canned lump crabmeat, flaked and cartilage removed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Dash kosher salt or salt
  • 8 slices thinly sliced firm-textured white or wheat sandwich bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and sliced
  • loosely packed watercress (thick stems discarded), rinsed and dried
  • NO COOK: Crab Avocado & Watercress Sandwiches

    How to
    1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon chives, and lemon juice. Add crabmeat; stir with a fork to combine. Season with white pepper and salt.
    2.  Spread one side of each slice of bread with butter. Arrange avocado slices on half of the buttered bread slices. Top with crab mixture. Add watercress. Top with remaining bread slices; buttered-side down. Trim the crusts from bread. Cut each sandwich into 4 equal pieces. (Sandwiches can be filled and refrigerated, covered tightly with plastic wrap, for one hour before serving.) Garnish with additional chives before serving.

    These are wonderful served with the Cucumber Sandwiches above. 

    Serves 4 - 20

    What you need

       A lovely assortment of sandwiches to be served at Luncheon or High Tea, alongside the Cucumber and Crab sandwiches above.  Don't be shy, make lots of them!

    2 small slices white bread, ends trimmed
    1 hard boiled egg
    1.5 tablespoons mayonnaise
    1 teaspoon chopped green onion or chives
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    3 twists of a black pepper mill\Chop the hard boiled egg into small dice. Using a fork, mix in the mayonnaise salt, pepper, and chives or green onion. If a smoother consistency is desired, press with back of fork while mixing. Spread egg mixture on slice of bread and top with the other slice. Make a diagonal cut across sandwich to make two triangle tea sandwiches.


    • 2 small slices bread, one white, one brown, ends trimmed
    • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
    • 1 ounce softened cream cheese
    • 2 ounces smoked salmon
    • Spread one teaspoon of butter on one side of each slice of bread. Mix the dill into the cream cheese. Spread the cream cheese


    • 2 small slices brown bread, ends trimmed
    • 1/2 cup diced cooked chicken
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon chopped celery
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • Mix together the diced chicken and mayonnaise. Stir in the chopped celery and tarragon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread chicken salad on one slice of bread, top with the other slice and gently press together. Make a vertical and horizontal cut across sandwich to make four small square tea sandwiches on the buttered sides of bread. Layer the salmon on the cream cheese on one slice of bread, and cover with other bread slice. Cut the sandwich on the diagonals to create four triangles


    How to

    And a few more innovative tea sandwich delights, credit to Sandra Lee and The Food Network for these:

    Guacamole Chicken Tea Sandwiches:

    Take a piece of the bread and, using a butter knife, spread 1 side of it with guacamole. Spread 1 side of another piece of bread with mayonnaise. Top guacamole with chicken and then the mayonnaise-smeared bread.

    Chive Cream Cheese and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches:

    Mix chives into the softened cream cheese. Spread 1 side of 1 slice of bread with the chive cream cheese. Top with a few slices of cucumber and then with another slice of bread.

    Prosciutto Melon Tea Sandwiches:

    Place prosciutto on 1 slice of bread. Top with some melon and another slice of bread.

    Tomato Tea Sandwiches
    Spread 12 slices white and/or pumpernickel bread with mayonnaise. Top half of the bread with sliced tomato and cucumber or avocado. Season with salt and pepper and cover with the remaining bread. Trim off the crusts and slice the sandwiches in half. Pack in an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap.


    • 3/4 pound (12 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
    • Pinch kosher salt
    • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 loaf dense raisin-nut bread, unsliced
    • 8 thin slices fresh or smoked turkey breast
    • Fresh basil leaves

    For the scallion cream cheese, combine the cream cheese, scallions and the salt and pepper in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Do not whip.

    For the sandwiches, have the store slice the bread lengthwise on a meat slicer into 1/4-inch-thick slices. (If that isn't possible, you can slice it crosswise with a very sharp knife.)

    Serves makes 16 rounds

    What you need
          It has been a long day of sandwich recipe searching and posting and I was just about to stop after the Lobster Grilled Cheese, when I came across this little bitty. Onion Sandwiches. Now, I know that at least 1, and maybe more than 1, of my readers hates onions (you know who you are). But, these look too interesting to pass up.
    James Beard refers to these cocktail sandwiches in his book Beard on Food in 1974. He said, "I can easily make a whole meal of onion sandwiches." These sandwiches were very popular when Beard’s catering company introduced them on the New York social scene in 1938. These wonderful treats are excellent with wine and will disappear in no time and people, even the none onion lovers, were a bit shocked at how good they were. Give them a try and you will see what I mean!

    8 slices firm-textured white bread, cut into quarters
    8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 large sweet onion
    , peeled and sliced into paper-thin slices*
    Fleur de sel, coarse salt, or sea salt

    2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
    (preferably homemade)
    4 tablespoons of finely minced parsley

    * Choose from Vidalia, Walla Walla, Maui, Imperial, Carzalia, or Texas Spring sweet onions.

    Onion Sandwiches

    How to

       Arrange the quartered bread slices next to one another on a flat work surface. Using a glass or an 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut out two (2) small rounds from each sandwich; discard trimmings. 
    Spread each bread circle with 1 tablespoon butter. Place a thin layer of sliced onions over the butter. Lightly season the onions with salt. This is a great place to use your Fleur de sel l .     
    Assemble the sandwiches with remaining bread slices, pressing lightly to make them adhere.
    Spread some of the mayonnaise around the outside rim of each sandwich round. Roll the rim of each sandwich in the minced parsley to coat completely. 
    Serve immediately or cover and refrigerator for a few hours.

    Makes 16 sandwich rounds.

    Serves Makes about 2 cups spread

    What you need
       These spreads cost so much money in the Supermarket or Gourmet markets; however, with a few simple steps you can put your own together in no-time, and you know it will be fresh and not filled with preservatives. 

    3 ounces smoked trout (not my choice), cod, Arctic char, or whitefish fillets, skinned, boned, and flaked (about 1/2 cup)
    3 ounces smoked salmon or sturgeon, skinned, boned, and flaked (about 1/2 cup). Your local fishmonger can and should do the de-boning for you.  [Or, splurge on jumbo lump crab or a lobster tail chopped finely (but not minced) instead.
    1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened***
    1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoonsnipped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1 tablespoonsnipped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed
    1 tablespoonfinely chopped shallot
    1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    Dash kosher or sea salt (optional)
    Fresh dill (optional)
    Pita wedges, thinly sliced French bread and/or assorted vegetables and crackers

    ***For my family and friends with lactose intolerance, you do not have to miss this one.  Just use plain greek yogurt in place of the cream cheese, in equal amounts.  

    NO COOK: Smoked Fish Spread (**with Lobster or Crab)

    How to
       Although the directions say it, you do not need a food processor or blender for this, especially if you want to see and taste your fish.  Just put on a pair of rubber gloves and shred the fish, and chop finely or tear apart, then proceed as below adding the rest of the ingredients and mix well with a fork.

    In a food processor bowl or blender container, add smoked fish pieces, cream cheese, lemon peel, and juice. Cover; blend or
    process until almost smooth.
    Transfer fish mixture to a serving container. Stir in parsley, 1 tablespoon dill, shallot , black pepper, and salt, if you like. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
    To serve, let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. If you like, garnish with additional fresh dill . Serve with pita wedges, bread or assorted vegetables and crackers.

    Serves depends on how many guests you are serving

    What you need
       Sometimes, nothing can take the place of a warm or even hot appetizer, no matter what the weather.  So enjoy these:

    Hot Appetizers

    How to
    Be sure to do as much of the prep work in advance, so you are not heating your kitchen at the last minute.  And don't forget to use your grill as an oven when you can!

    Serves Makes about 12

    What you need
    1 lb. Back fin Lump Crabmeat
    1 Egg, beaten
    1 cup Ritz Crackers, crushed finely
    1 tsp. Yellow Mustard
    2 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
    2 tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
    1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning (less if you don't like spice)
    1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

    "CRAB BALLS" Crabmeat Ball-Shaped Appetizers

    How to
         Place crabmeat in a mixing bowl, picking any stray shell fragments out. Add crushed crackers, Old Bay Seasoning & parsley to the crab. In a separate bowl, combine egg, mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Whip with a whisk until smooth. Pour egg mixture over the crabmeat and crackers and gently mix careful not to break up large lumps of crabmeat. Mold into golfball sized balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Drizzle w/ melted butter and allow to cool.
            You might want to double or triple this recipe - they go fast!
    **Thanks to Prego & Mommy Chat on FB for this wonderful recipe and photo!

    Serves 8

    What you need
    This warm, creamy, decadent bleu cheese dip is terrific with vegetables or chips. It also makes an upscale addition to a tray of Buffalo Wings!

    16 ounces, cream cheese, softened
    1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper
    4 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
    3 green onions, dark and light parts, chopped

    Creamy Baked Blue Cheese Dip

    How to
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Place cream cheese, cream, garlic pepper into a Bowl and wisk or blend until smooth. Stir in bleu cheese and green onion and combine well. 
    3. Spread dip into a medium baking dish small tray or crock. Bake for 20 minutes until heated through.
    4. Serve warm.

    To make life a little easier on the day of a party, make the dip a day in advance, portion into the baking dish, cover and refrigerate. When you're ready to heat the dish, transfer it straight from the fridge into the oven and just bake it a few extra minutes.

    Serves 12

    What you need

    24 Chicken Wings (or about 3 lbs) separated into wings & drumettes, tips cut off
    1/2 c. bottled salsa
    2 tbsp plus 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
    1 tbsp lime juice   
    2 tbsp plus 3 tbsp soy sauce
    2 tbsp ground ginger
    1/4 c. sugar (or splenda)
    1 tbsp minced garlic.

    Thai Chicken Wings w/ Peanut Sauce

    How to
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    Mix salsa, salsa, 2 tbs peanut butter, lime juice, 2 tsps lime juice, 2 tsps soy sauce and ginger. 
    Pour over chicken wings. 
    Place on baking sheet in oven (or on rack on baking sheet if possible) and bake at 375 for approximately 35 - 45 minutes, until wings are cooked through.**
    Meanwhile, for Peanut Sauce, in a small saucepan, wisk together sugar/splenda, 1/4 c. peanut butter, remaining soy sauce, 3 tbsps water and the garlic.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or so, until mixture is smooth.  Mixture will thicken as it cools.  
    Drain excess fat off wings, put wings in bowl, and toss with peanut sauce.  

    **You can cook the wings in a slow cooker on high 2-3 hrs, or low 5 hrs.  Then drain chicken, make sauce and return to slow cooker.     We do not do this as we do not like our wings soft.   

    Serves 6 - 10

    What you need
    12 chicken wings (about 2 pounds
    2 tablespoons
    butter or margarine, melted3 tablespoons
    bottled hot pepper sauce
    2 teaspoons
    1/4 teaspoon
    1/4 teaspoon
    cayenne pepper

  • Blue Cheese Dip or Low-Fat Blue Cheese Dip
  • Celery sticks Celery 
  • Buffalo Wings

    How to
    1. Cut off and discard tips of chicken wings. Cut wings at joints to form 24 pieces. Place chicken wing pieces in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish.
    2.  For marinade, stir together melted butter, hot pepper sauce, paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper. Pour over chicken wings; seal bag. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain; discard marinade.
    3. Place the chicken wing pieces on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn chicken wings. Broil for 10 to 15 minutes more or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Serve with Blue Cheese Dip and, if desired, celery sticks.

    4.Blue Cheese Dip: In a blender or food processor combine 1/2 cup dairy sour cream,1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing, 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese,1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white vinegar, and 1 clove garlic, minced. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Cover and chill for up to 1 week. If desired, top with additional crumbled blue cheese before serving. Makes 1-1/4 cups.
    5. Low-Fat Blue Cheese Dip: Prepare as above, except substitute fat-free dairy sour cream and fat-free mayonnaise dressing or salad dressing for the regular sour cream and mayonnaise.

    Serves 16

    What you need
    Ladies and Gentlemen, Fondue is back in style with a vengance!!  Here is one of my favorites: 

    *  4 slices bacon, halved crosswise
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red or yellow sweet pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (16 ounces)
  • 2 8-ounce cartons dairy sour cream
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • French or Italian bread, cut into bite-size cubes
  • Tortilla chips or tortilla chip cups
  • ....or vegetables, or any other thing you can imagine dipping in this wonderful fondue.  Breadsticks come to mind, as does chocolate covered pretzle sticks.  Be imaginative. 

  • Jack Cheese & Smoky Chipotle Fondue

    How to
    1. In a heavy, medium saucepan, cook bacon till crisp. Remove bacon; reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble bacon and set aside.  (Definitely cook in a pan and not the microwave because you need the bacon fat!)
    2.  Add green onions, 1/4 cup sweet pepper and garlic to saucepan. Cook and stir onion mixture over medium heat about 5 minutes or till vegetables are tender. Stir in flour. Stir in cheese, sour cream and chipotle peppers. Cook and stir over medium-low heat till cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
    3.  Transfer cheese mixture to fondue pot. Top with crumbled bacon. Place over a fondue burner; keep warm up to 2 hours. Spear bread cubes with fondue fork; dip in fondue, swirling to coat. Or, dip tortilla chips in fondue. Makes 16 (1/4 cup) servings.

    Serves 64 Meatballs

    What you need
        You can make this appetizer in a pot on the stove, or in a slow-cooker (it only takes a couple of hours) so they will stay warm until your guests arrive.  It is as simple as it looks, and reminds me of the "sweedish" meatballs we used to make with the grape jelly!  I know some of you remember those. 

    2 16 ouncepackagefrozen cooked plain meatballs, thawed (32 meatballs each

    1 16 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce

    cup barbecue sauce (your favorite)

    Cranberry/Barbeque Meatballs

    How to

    1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker place meatballs. In a medium bowl combine cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce. Pour over meatballs in cooker; stir to coat.

    2. Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Serve meatballs on a large tray (or a few smaller trays) with toothpicks. If desired, keep warm on low-heat setting for up to 2 hours. Makes 64 meatballs.

    NOW FOR THE FUN PART:  You can do almost anything you like to these meatballs, depending on your taste and your crowd:

    • Cranberry-Chipotle Meatballs : If you like them spicy, add 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce to the cranberry-barbeque sauce mixture.
    • Mexi-Meatballs :S ubstitute one 16-ounce jar of salsa and one 10-ounce can of enchilada sauce for the cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce.
    • Equipment Variation:   As noted above, You can use a large saucepan combine thawed meatballs and desired sauce. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally

    Serves 12

    What you need
       This is the classic Deviled Eggs recipe.  If you would like to kick them up a bit, add a tbsp of horseradish sauce to the mixture of the yolks.  If you really like the heat, add a tsp (or more) of Siracha sauce to the yolk mixture. 

    1 dozen large eggs
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    Salt & pepper to taste
    6 pieces bacon, cooked crisp

    Deviled Eggs

    How to
        Place eggs in medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil stirring occasionally so yolks form centered.  Immediately remove from heat and leave eggs covered for 20 minutes, stir once or twice.  The eggs will continue to cook in the hot water.
       Remove boiled eggs from the pot and immerse in cold water. Crack the eggs while cooling in the water, this helps to make the peeling much easier.
    Peel the eggs and cut eggs in half length wise, reserve the whites of the eggs for filling.  Place yolks into a mixing bowl. Use fork or back of spoon to make yolks smooth.
    Add mayonnaise, mustard and 4 tablespoons cooked and finely crumbled bacon, mix until smooth. (this is where you would add your additional spices like horserdish sauce or siracha)
       Fill the empty egg whites with the egg mixture by teaspoonfuls.
    Garnish with chopped bacon pieces.

    Serves 12

    What you need

       Now, all of you must know by now that I DON'T BAKE. But this recipe looks so delicious, light and airy, and I know my kids will love it.  It seems fairly simple. One of you has to try it and let me know how it comes out!

    1 Envelope Fleishmans Active Dry Yeast
    1 1/4 c. warm water (100 degrees)
    1 tbs sugar
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
    2 3/4 c. all purpose flour
    1/2 c. finely chopped pepperoni
    1/2 c. shredded provolone chese

    Pepperoni Batter Bread

    How to

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

    Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixer bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Add sugar, salt, oregano, butter and 2 cups flour.  Beat 2 minutes on medium speed with electric mixer.

    STIR in remaining 3/4 cup flour, pepperoni and cheese to make a stiff batter. Spoon into greased 1-1/2 to 2-quart round casserole. Cover.

    LET RISE in warm, draft-free area about 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

    BAKE in preheated 375°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Remove from casserole dish and cool on wire rack.

    Serving Suggestion: Cut into cubes and serve with marinara sauce for dipping

    **Recipe ACH Foods, Fleichman's Yeast
      Photo below taken from recipe.com

    Serves 4

    What you need
    2 lb. boneless, skinless turkey breast
    1 bun. sage leaves, washed and dried, removed from stem
    6 each bacon strips, raw
    1/2 c. vinaigrette dressing (your choice)
    6 each toothpicks, soaked in water 4 hours minimum

    Turkey Wrapped Bacon

    How to
    Trim the turkey breast, and cut it into six pieces as evenly as possible with the grain of the meat. Shape each piece of turkey into a round with the cut flat sides bottom and top.  *Or, my preference is to get a nice boneless breast and cut it into about 1 1/2  inch cubes.

    Press two sage leaves on the outside of each turkey piece and hold them in place by wrapping one strip of bacon around the outside of the turkey.  (if you don't like sage, leave it out. If you don't have fresh sage, ground is fne.)
    Repeat this step for each turkey cube. Secure each strip of bacon with a toothpick.

    Dip the wrapped turkey mignons into the dressing, and cook in a pre-heated grill unit with indirect medium heat, adding wood chips if desired, for 15 to 20 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.  You can also do this on the grill.  In fact, I suggest it, as it will give you crispy bacon and tender turkey.  The turkey will becomes golden brown and the bacon will brown lightly. Checking for doneness: a meat thermometer will register 160°F at the thickest part of each mignon

    *this part adapted from Penn State College of Technology.   * Photo credit to "a taste of home" 

    Now for the shooter part:  TURKEY CARROT SOUP 
    2 tablespoons vegetable OIL 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 pounds carrots, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water, or as needed
  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion until tender and translucent. Stir in the curry powder. Add the chopped carrots, and stir until the carrots are coated. Pour in the vegetable broth, and simmer until the carrots are soft, about 20 minutes.

    1. Transfer the carrots and broth to a blender, and puree until smooth. Pour back into the pot, and thin with water to your preferred consistency.

    Now, fill your shooter glasses, about haf full, pierce each crabcake wit a decorative toothpick, and lay it across the back.



    Serves 8 - 28

    What you need
    We're going to get into the realm of appetizer shooters here.  For some of them you will cook the shooter base (soup or other lukewarm liquid), and leave the top raw.  Some will be no cook entirely, like the veggie dip, and served cold.  Others, will just involve shellfish, liquid (alcholic or not) and a martini glass, and others will involve an uncooked base, but a cooked top. The rest are served cold entirely.  Regardless of the way you prepare them, they will all be impressive and irresistable.  Try one at your next get-together, and see what your guests think!

    APPETIZER SHOOTERS, Cook and No-Cook

    How to
    Thank you to Jay's Appetizers at 
    for the photo and some beautiful appetizer examples.  For more, see below: 

    Serves 12 - 24

    What you need

    Although this one appears to be complicated, once you have all the ingredients chopped and pureed (only a small food processer or blender is necessary) all that’s left is to fill your cups! Bear in mind that all the party stores sell individual shot or shooter glasses that can be filled, eaten and thrown away for your next party. No mess, no cleanup!

    Spinach Layer : 7 cups baby spinach, 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 1/ 4 cup olive oil and salt , to taste

    Ricotta Layer : 2 cups ricotta cheese, 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 pinch nutmeg, salt , to taste

    Roasted Pepper Layer : 2 Yellow Peppers

    Sun-Dried Tomato Layer : 1/2 cup store bought sun-dried tomato pesto

    Garnish : 1/4 cup chopped black olives or 1/4 cup fresh basil(to garnish) and a breadstick (the skinny ones work well)

    Individual Layered Dips

    How to
    1. In a blender, puree spinach, garlic, oil and salt until smooth. Place in a bowl and set aside. (Make sure your spinach is completely dry to avoid having the puree become too liquidy).
    2. In a bowl, stir together ricotta, lemon rind, oil, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
    3. Char the 2 whole peppers on the barbecue or under broiler until black on all sides. (I put them on top of the stove burners). When cooled, peel off skin, take out the seeds and stem and discard. Rinse the roasted pepper then puree in blender until smooth. Salt to taste and set aside.
    4. Shooter glasses work best to layer the dips. Begin layering by starting with the spinach puree, followed by the ricotta mix, sun-dried tomato, ricotta mix, pepper puree and finish off with the ricotta mix on top.
    5. You can use plastic baggies to hold each of the ingredients. Just cut a hole in one of the bottom corners and use it to pour the mixtures into the glass, like you would use a piping bag.
    6. Garnish each glass with either chopped olives or fresh basil and serve with breadsticks
    Read more: http://www.food.com

    Serves 12

    What you need

          Now this is a simple and easy recipe to make for a crowd on a warm summer day.  Remember to buy the shrimp peeled, deveined and cooked.  Then all that's left is the salsa!

    • 12 store-bought cooked shrimp
    • Juice of 2 limes, divided
    • 1 jar good quality tomatillo salsa
    • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 12 shot glasses

    Shrimp and Tomatillo Appetizers

    How to
    In a medium mixing bowl, toss shrimp and juice of 1 lime together.
    In another mixing bowl combine the tomatillo salsa with cilantro, parsley, lime juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    Fill the shot glasses with the tomatillo salsa mixture and stick one shrimp in or off the side of each shot glass.

    Keep in mind that if you think your guests aren't up to a kicked up tomatillo salsa (though I can't imagine why not), you can make this dish with a store bought bruschetta, kicked up with the lime, cilantro, etc....

    Serves 12

    What you need

    Tomato soup and grilled cheese brings us back to childhood when we'd come inside from playing out in the snow and mom would warm us up with some hearty tomato soup and a perfectly grilled cheese sandwich.  Give this cl assic pairing a sophisticated make over to transform it into an elegant, yet familiar appetizer.  All you need to give it that grown-up look?  Some shot glasses and embellished toothpicks.  Get those clear plastic ones they sell at Party City!

    32 ounces of Campell's Chicken Broth
    1 --28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes--Italian style
    1 cup cream or half and half
    kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
    chopped fresh basil
    freshly grated parmesan cheese
    2 slices of sourdough bread
    2 tablespoons of softened butter
    2 slices of sharp cheddar cheese

    Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Shooters

    How to

    Combine the broth and crushed tomatoes in a large pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then stir in the cream and reduce heat to low. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Let cool a bit and Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
    Meanwhile, prepare the croutons: Layer the cheese between the 2 slices of sourdough bread. Butter the top and bottom of the bread and grill each side until golden. Set aside.
    Pour the soup into a large pitcher to make it easier to fill the shot glasses. Fill each shot glass half to 3/4''s full, garnish with chopped basil and Parmesan cheese.
    Cut the grilled cheese sandwich into about 3/4 inch cubes. Pierce each cube with a decorative toothpick and lay across the top of the shot glass.

    Serve and enjoy!

    Serves 4

    What you need

    I know, just because these are my favorite doesn't mean they are everybody's.  But they're certainly worth a try. You can make these non-alcoholic without affecting the taste - just leave out the vodka. 

    • 6 cups Bloody Mary Mix
    • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 3/4 cup vodka
    • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
    • 2 dozen small to medium fresh oysters in the shell, shucked  (oryou can by them shucked at your local fish market.

    Oyster Shooters

    How to
    1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large pitcher. Place 1 oyster in a cordial or shot glass. Top with Bloody Mary mixture.

    Serves 8-16 depending on the size of your crabcakes

    What you need
    1 pound fresh crabmeat, the lumpier the better, well drained
    8 saltine crackers
    1 egg beaten
    2 tbsp mayonnaise
    1/2 tsp mustard
    1/4 tsp Worcestershire
    1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
    salt to taste
    cayenne pepper, optional
    butter for frying

    Authentic Maryland Crabcakes w/ not so authentic pina colada shooters

    How to
    Mix all the wet ingredients from egg through cayenne pepper in a separate bowl, to be sure the egg is well incorporated in the mixture. 
    Add the crab meat, fresh jumbo lump with claw meat is the best.  Pick through to make sure there are no bones or cartilage.  Form into egg shapes about 1 1/2 inches long. 
    Crumble saltines crackers until fine crumbs, then roll each crab cake in the saltines. 
    Bring butter to a light simmer and fry crabcakes on all sides, about 4 - 5 minutes.  Add oil if your butter begins to brown

    1 scoop of vanilla ice cream
    SPLASH OF: (add more or less to your taste)
    Pineapple juice
    Bacardi white rum (make this virgin by leaving out the rum)
    Sweetened cream of coconut (Coco Lopez - * excellent brand)
    Add one scoop of ice cream in a bowl.
    Mix ice cream until melted to a cream consistency.
    Add pineapple juice, Coco Lopez and rum. Stir.
    Taste and adjust the ratio of ingredients to your liking

    Now:  The trick is to pierce the crabcake just right through the middle and suspend it over the pina colada, so your guestes can either dunk and eat, or eat and drink.  You are going to have a blast with this one   

    *photo below from Vinoco Wine & Tapas Bar.  This recipe is not theirs but I tried to recreate the special taste they had there.  I'm not sure I came close, but I'd bet it tastes good anyway!

    Serves 10

    What you need

         Soup shooters are one of the most popular appetizers to serve at formal events and cocktail parties, simply for the beautiful presentation and easy serve! Why not serve them at your next Barbeque.  For a creamy, savory and unique shooter, try these delicious butternut squash shooters with homemade grilled brie croutons. The creaminess of the soup with the crunchy exterior of the grilled cheese make for a truly remarkable taste. Serve luke warm.  (or use one of the chilled soups above like Gazpacho or Chilled Avocado & Cucumber. 

    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
    • 2 russet potatoes, cubed and peeled
    • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
    • 10 ounces frozen butternut squash, defrosted
    • 1 (32-ounce) container chicken stock
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
    • 2 pieces whole wheat bread
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 4 ounces brie

    Butternut Squash Soup/Grilled Cheese Shooters

    How to
    1. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a pot. Add celery, onion, potatoes, carrot and frozen squash, cooking until browned and soft, about six minutes.
    2. Pour the chicken stock in pot to completely cover vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
    3. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree.
    4. While soup is cooling, butter the bread with remaining one tablespoon of butter. Add brie to one slice and then place butter side down into a pan. Carefully place other slice of bread on top. Grill until cheese is melty and bread is browned, about three minutes.
    5. Pour soup into 2-ounce vodka shooters. Cut the grilled cheese into small cubes and place over the shooters with a large toothpick.

    Serves 12 - 24

    What you need

         I find that these are one of the most popular dishes for the diet conscious, and are the first to disappear: before all the rest of the heavier appetizers!  If you want to keep it light and tasty, use a yogurt, cucumber and dill dip, or a light honey mustard or ranch.  If you're going all the way, go with regular ranch.  Don't use blue cheese - the chunks get in the way!

    Baby Carrots
    Red peppers, sliced lengthwise
    Blanched Asparagus Tips
    Maybe a sliced endive leaf
    (use your imagination here, just about anything will work if it fits!)

    Crudites (Veggie & Dip) “Shooters”

    How to
     If you are into finding new uses for rarely used serving pieces and glassware, use your shot glasses to serve individual servings of crudites.  But I would go to Party City and pick up a bunch of disposable shooters or shot glasses.  So, I'm not eco-friendly.  But the clean-up is easy.   To make these cute shooters: Place a few tablespoons of creamy dip in the bottom of a shot glass; next add a few cut veggies, such as baby carrots, red pepper slices and blanched asparagus tips. Prepare these up to 4 hours in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Serves 4

    What you need

    1 can (14.5 oz)  fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
                          (do get the fire-roasted, it makes a difference)
    1/2 cup tomato juice
    1 slice (1/4 inch thick) red onion
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 drops red pepper sauce
    1 small cucumber, peeled, diced (3/4 cup)
    1 can (6 1/2 oz) special white crabmeat, drained (about 1 cup)
    2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh dill weed

    Fire Roasted Crab Shooter

    How to
    1. In food processor, place all ingredients except cucumber, crabmeat and dill weed. Cover; process with on-and-off pulses until mixture is coarsely pureed. Stir in cucumber.

    2. Spoon about 1/3 cup tomato mixture into each of 8 martini or wine glasses. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon crabmeat onto center of each cocktail. Sprinkle dill weed over top.

    Serves 16

    What you need
    For this particular appetizer, low sitting martini glasses make dramatic containers for spicy crabmeat and bell pepper "shooters", which do not contain any alcohol.

  • 2 cups Clamato (tomato-clam cocktail)
  • 1/2 cup tomato or vegetable juice
  • 1/2 red bell pepper , finely chopped
  • 1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 poblano or green bell pepper , finely chopped
  • 1/2 firm-ripe Hass avocado , finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic , crushed through a press
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce , or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
  • Chopped cucumber , for garnish
  • Crabmeat Shooters Quintana

    How to
    In a large pitcher or bowl, combine all ingredients except crab and cucumber. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, place chunks of crabmeat in small cocktail or juice glasses. Top with tomato mixture and garnish with cucumber, if desired.

    Read more: http://www.oprah.com/food/Crabmeat-Shooters-Quintana#ixzz1yeqQX1IE

    Serves 20

    What you need
    Similar to the carrot soup recipes in the Soups section, however these have a very special litle touch, making them "appetizer special."  
    • 2 cups chopped carrots
    • 2 onions, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
    • Salt & pepper
    • 3 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
    • 1 cup low-fat milk
    • 12 ounces lump crab  (fpr this recipe, don't skimp, get the best jumbo lump crab you can find and be sure to pick through it gently to remove any bones or cartilage. 
    • Arugula leaves for garnish

    Roasted Carrot & Crab Bisque Shooters

    How to
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put carrots, onions, olive oil and spice powder in roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    2. In a large pot, add carrot mixture, broth and milk. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
    3. Puree soup in blender in batches.
    4. To assemble shooters, pour 3 tablespoons in a shot glass. Top with a spoonful of crab meat. Add a few arugula leaves to the glass.