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Easy-to-make Appetizers for Parties

Marian K Feb 16, 2020
Great appetizers set the mood as well as the guests' expectations from the main course. They should be delicious and easy to prepare.
Call them appetizers, starters, or hors d'oeuvres; they are a must at every party, and usually the best part of the meal. As a host your options are many, and you can decide what appetizers you want to serve.
One of the best aspects of appetizer recipes is that most can be prepared a day before the occasion, pulled out, and heated or baked before serving. Alternately, many can be served cold, so they can go straight from the fridge to the serving dish.

Spicy Meatballs

  • 1 pound, ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon, canola oil
  • 1 pound, ground pork
  • 1½ teaspoon, salt
  • 1 cup, plain bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup, milk
  • 1 chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons, adobe sauce (from can of chipotle peppers in adobo)
  • ½ cup, finely chopped onion
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, except for the canola oil. Take small amounts of the mixture and roll it between your palms to create 1-inch meatballs. It may be easier to make the balls, if your palms are coated with oil.
Warm a tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. You can sauté a few meatballs at a time, or one at a time, whatever you are comfortable with. Keep turning them till they are a deep brown and cooked through, which should take about 4-5 minutes. Use paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Serve with any dip.

Mini Crab Cakes

  • 1 (8 oz.) fresh lump crab meat (drained)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 whole grain white bread slices
  • 1 teaspoon, Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅓ cup, light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon, Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 green onions (thinly sliced)
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • lemon slices
Check the crab meat for bits of shell. Tear the bread slices into small pieces and put them into the blender/food processor, until you have 1½ cups of fine crumbs. Combine the mayonnaise, Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and onion in a bowl. Mix them. Then, add the breadcrumbs, crab meat and salt to it.
Separate the mixture into 16 portions, and form each portion into a cake. Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and cook a few cakes at a time, for about 4 minutes on each side. Cook on medium-low heat till the cakes are golden brown and cooked through. Garnish with lemon slices and serve.

Pineapple Shrimp

  • 12 jumbo shrimp (deveined)
  • 12 wooden toothpicks
  • ¼ fresh/canned pineapple (cut into bite-sized chunks)
Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat the skillet. Push a piece of pineapple into the natural curve of the shrimp, and pass a toothpick through them to secure. After getting all 12 shrimp ready, put them in batches on the hot pan, and cook both sides for about 3 minutes each. Your shrimp should turn opaque and firm. Remove and serve.

Chicken Caesar Salad Bites

  • 2 tablespoons, crushed Parmesan pita chips
  • 1 (5 oz.) package shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons, fresh lime juice
  • Parchment paper
  • ¼ cup, Caesar dressing
  • 2 cups, finely chopped cooked chicken
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup, chopped arugula
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and put teaspoonfuls of Parmesan cheese on it, 1-inch apart. Bake the cheese for 10-12 minutes or till it melts and turns golden brown.
While the cheese cools, combine the chicken, arugula, Caesar dressing, and lime juice. Add freshly ground pepper to taste. Top the cooled cheese rounds with the mixture and drizzle with crushed pita chips. Serve.