You get the call: Hey, we're feeling spontaneous…having a few friends and neighbors over to watch the game... Can you make it? Great! What can you bring…well how about an appetizer?
Sounds like an easy assignment, until you realize you are out of your "go-to" appetizer, a bag of chips and a jar of salsa. Ok, so quick run to the grocery store, now what to get? Here are 10 simple solutions. Notice I say solutions, not recipes, as all of these ideas are just too easy to be called a recipe.
- Fruit Skewers
Crazy easy, you can buy a fruit tray and use those already cleaned and cut pieces of fruit or prepare them yourself. Some fruit that skewers well: strawberries, pineapple, grapes, honeydew, and watermelon.
- Bacon Wrapped…almost anything.
Favorites include water chestnuts, dates, and pineapple. Wrap your desired choice with bacon and skewer it together. Place on cookie sheet in 400 degree oven. After about 5 minutes start checking and cook until bacon is at desired doneness, times will vary based on thickness of the bacon.
- Chilled Asparagus with Wasabi Sauce
Wash and snap bottom end off asparagus. Blanch in boiling water for about 2.5 minutes, then quickly cool under running cold water or submerge in ice water. Place chilled and dried spears on a nice plate, and add a side dish of wasabi sauce. They sell it in the condiments section, labeled "Wasabi Sauce." I've also purchased strong wasabi and mixed it with mayo…you want a flavorful sauce in which to dip the spears, but not too spicy.
- Cocktail Wieners
Everyone loves to see a crockpot when apps ARE the menu for the evening! Start by heating 6 oz yellow mustard with 10 oz of grape jelly on the stovetop. When bubbly, add no more than 1 lb of cocktail wieners, heat through and pour into crockpot. Easy peasy, but something everyone loves!
- Skewered cherry tomatoes, with basil and fresh mozzarella
You can purchase the buffalo mozzarella and cube it up yourself, or buy the little balls that are in water…either way, so good! Decide whether your tomatoes should be halved, or if they are bite sized the way they are. Skewer tomato, a fresh basil leaf, and bite of mozzarella, perhaps followed by another tomato. Serve as is or with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
- Pepper Jack Crescent Roll Wrap
This insanely delicious combo is so easy. On a cookie sheet, unroll a can of crescent rolls, leaving it in the rectangle shape. Place an 8 oz block of pepper jack cheese (helps if cheese is close to room temp) in the center of crescent roll dough. Place a few spoonfuls of jam on top of cheese. Apricot-pineapple flavor works well but something like raspberry would also be a good choice. Bundle the dough up around the cheese and pinch shut, fully encasing the cheese as best as possible. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 min or until dough is golden brown and a table knife inserts into center easily. Serve with crackers.
- Ham Sandwiches
You'll need a little more time for this one, but it's definitely worth it. Grocery list: Spiral ham, slider buns, bottle of mustard. Fully cook the ham, timing it to be done just before you leave. Place on a big platter and cover with foil. When you arrive, ask your hostess for a sharp carving knife and lay beside the ham, letting guests cut their own slices as they prepare their sandwiches. This is another big favorite…would even work with cold ham in the summer for picnics!
- Shrimp Cocktail…or a Variation
Shrimp cocktail needs no explanation, serve on green lettuce leaves with lemon for garnish. Another similar idea is to take a nice plate and spread about 1/4" of cream cheese on it. Then spread a layer of cocktail sauce, and top with a layer of the small salad shrimp. Serve with a spreader and a side of crackers.
- Pickle Rolls
At the deli, order 8-10 slices of nice roast beef, not too rare. Also pick up about a half pound of horseradish cheddar cheese slices, or just plain cheddar if they don't have the other. Also grab a jar of small dill pickles. At home, pull out about a dozen pickles and dry them on a paper towel. Lay out a slice of the roast beef, then place a slice of cheddar on top. Try to make each about the same size, and not more than 4" or so long. Take a pickle and roll it in the roast beef/cheddar. Trim up and secure with a toothpick. This may sound bizarre, but the flavor combination is addicting, you won't be taking any of these home.
- Onion Dip
Chop and sauté about 2 cups of onion, I like to use a sweet onion like a Vidallia onion. I also add in about 1 clove of diced garlic. When onions are reaching a carmel color, remove from heat, cool, and drain any excessive liquid. Add sautéed onions to a bar of softened cream cheese, mix and chill. Serve with potato chips, crackers or veggies.
PS - Don't forget your hostess gift… May we suggest a set of 6 of our Swarovski Crystal Magnetic Wine Glass charms?