In search of easy appetizers

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SRL, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    My mom comes down Christmas Eve and is only here until midday Christmas. Last year I was so stressed trying to make a nice dinner when she's here, preparing food to take to in laws the next day, and the wrapping, etc. that I was feeling stressed (translation: downright mean) :sword:by the time we sat down to eat. I think I might like to try put out appetizers in the late afternoon/evening instead. A great meal with a mean me was no fun and I'm thinking something more relaxed might work better for us all.

    Any ideas for fast and easy appetizers?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't know how "quick" you need it to be, but we like sausage balls and cheese fondue. The cheese fondus can be bought at many grocery stores now (Kroger) ready to heat and serve. I make simple sausage balls- fry little balls of your favorite breakfast sausage until done (about the diamter of a nickle). Then, use pieces of canned biscuit dough to wrap around cooled sausage balls and bake per directions on biscuit can, or a little less time, until biscuit dough is brown. Dip in heated fondue and ENJOY!! Leftovers keep several days and can be frozen. One pack of sausage and can of biscuits make a lot, but they are usually eaten well.

    If you don't have time for this or it's not along the lines you're thinking, a variety of cheese and crackers or vegie tray with dip is the old favorite.
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I made Feta Crescent Triangles for a recent dinner party and they were a huge hit.

    They were easy to make since you start with Pillsbury crescent rolls. One eight pack can makes 24 triangular appetizers. They looked pretty, too.

  4. babybear

    babybear New Member

    We've done appetizers only for Christmas eve for many years.

    We have a couple of favorites. One is my sisters Reuben dip. I dont have her recipe, but I found one here...

    I do know that she uses the louis buddig packaged corned beef

    I like to bring no name brand wild rice meatballs cooked in jarred gravy in the crockpot. I have to travel so it is easiest for me.

    We also have veggis and cheese, and whatever else shows up!! It's alway good and nobody gets overly stressed

  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I wanted to try these this year, but did not get around to it.

    Get some frozen meatballs. Or if you feel adventerous, make them yourself.

    Mix a can of cranberry sauce and and a bottle of chili sauce. Simmer the meatballs in the mixture.

    Boom. You're done. I bet cocktail weenies or little smokies would be great in there too.
  6. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    i make a really good dip to have with nacho or taco chips. In a large pie pan or other similar shallow round dish, spread a carton of purchased guacamole. On top or that spread 8 ounces of sour cream. Then spoon on an 8 ounce jar of taco sauce or salsa (I especially like the raspberry chipotle kind but you can be creative with what you buy). Then sprinkle on some chopped green onion and a cup of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese or a Mexican blend. You can make this ahead and put it in the fridge and drag it out at the last minute.
    Also this year I bought Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cracker Spreads at Sam's. They come in a package of two and one is parmesan with garlic and herbs and the other is white cheddar with roasted red peppers. I spooned them out into fancy dishes and surrounded them with crackers.
    Also at Sam's I bought a large package of frozen brie snacks - they have cheese and pears or apples and a crust. You just pop them in the oven and heat them. I've also gotten (at Sam's) mini tartlets that are great appetizers - same thing: pop them in the oven, heat, and serve.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    We "graze" on Christmas Eve. Some favorites are spinach dip with fresh veggies and marinated mushrooms. The mushrooms are so easy.


    Package of whole, white mushrooms washed and cut into bite-size quarters
    1 bottle of Bernstein's marinade (the traditional if you can find it, Italian otherwise) or any other oil/vinegar-based salad dressing/marinade

    Put the mushrooms into an airtight container (I use old mayo jars), pour the marinade over it, let sit in fridge at least 4 hours but no more than 48. If you want to make it more "yours," add finely chopped parsley, basil (lemon basil is awesome in it!), rosemary or any other herbs (preferably fresh but dried is okay, too) to the marinade.

    I've had to make these mushrooms for Christmas forever. One friend won't even let me in the house if I don't bring some.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This isn't really an apetizer, but if your wanting "munchies" to take the place of dinner, you could try a couple of these listed, then just get tortillas, sandwich meat, condiments, and wrap them up, cut them in two, and lay them on a try or in the fridge. Have chips and/or cut fruit and your done.
  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    4 ingredients...

    Cream Cheese
    Shredded cheddar/colby jack cheese
    1 can hormel chili (I use the one without beans)

    Spread cream cheese into bottom of microwave-safe pie plate. Spread chili on top, then cheese.

    Put into the microwave for about 2 minutes and serve with tortillas.
  10. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    Here are three that I always fall back on if I can't come up with something else and the are scarfed up really quick.

    Cocktail sausages wrapped in biscuits brown and serve - thats the easiest

    Cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon, sprinkled with brown sugar and baked until the bacons done - not so easy but pretty dang good

    Cream cheese and ham roll ups - mix cream cheese with garlic salt, spread on ham slices and roll them up - pretty easy but can get messy making them - at least in my kitchen it does :rofl:
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Just recently I have discovered frozen (yes, I typed frozen)
    appetizers that are really great. They are a store brand called
    On the Go Bistro through the SweetBay chain. They have the
    coctail sausages wrapped in puff pastry, they have scallops wrapped in bacon, they have all kinds of stuff and as a long time
    cook I swear they look and taste homemade. I'm sure there are other brands that are as good or better. I don't shop the frozen
    food aisle so it was a shock to me to find them.

    I have taken them out of the boxes, wrapped them in foil and
    then done the "final preparation" when people were here. Hey, I
    never say they are from I just say "so glad you like them" when I get compliments. DDD
  12. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    My step-mom is a big one for lots of appetizers before her huge meals. **insert smiley snoozing in recliner with pants unbuttoned here**

    Her favorites are Chex mix (from the box), veggie tray, cheese and crackers as well as a cheese ball, meatballs in the crock pot, cheese cubes and sometimes she will make the cream cheese/onion/beef dip. Most of the stuff she has though are premade so all she has to do is either put them out as is, or transfer into nice plates/bowls. Granted, it can be pricey to buy it all but it is a huge time saver.

    I also make a cheese dip in the crock pot that is good for all types of occasions. You can use beef or sausage (or no meat at all if you prefer), just fry it up and drain, cube a brick of Velveeta and put in the crock pot along with 16 oz of taco sauce or salsa. (If you want something a bit hotter than mild but not "burn your tongue off" hot, you can use an 8oz bottle of mild and an 8oz bottle of medium or hot) Once it's all in the crock pot, all you need to do is stir occasionally and have the chips and some paper bowls at the ready. Easy peasy.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Sams has to die for appetizers. They have the scallops wrapped with bacon, filet wrapped with bacon, all kinds of crab tarts or other such tarts. We have tried most of the above and ~burp~ they are yummy!
  14. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Wow, ladies you are the best! I'm going to be fixed up for tomorrow as well as for the New Year's Eve party we go to every year.

    Thanks a bunch!
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    One more if you're interested!

    Flour tortillas, a container of cream cheese, a jar of salsa.

    Mix salsa and cream cheese together and spread onto flour tortillas. Roll up tortills and stick with toothpicks at 1" marks - cut between toothpicks.

    Tortilla Roll ups? Easy.

    Those meatballs sound delish
  16. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I recently tried the cocktail sausage/canned crescent roll route klmno mentioned. They were really easy and fast to make. But the mistake I made was only putting one "little smokie" in each crescent roll (then baked), so it kinda got lost (everyone thought they were plain crescent rolls, so I felt obligated to inform them of the treat inside!) It tasted great with Dijon mustard. I think if I make it again, I'll cut the crescent dough triangles in half for each sausage.

    Good luck, and bon apetit!
  17. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Sams is all over? I went there yesterday and bought spinach dip, I'll slice up a baguette roll, they also have these meals like shrimp scampi, I add more pasta and shrimp to it-too much sauce, but they taste really good. I bought lots of fruit, for a platter everyone can pick at. BBK, I'm making your artichoke dip. Any diet is forgotten at the moment.

    I'm thinking about starting a new tradition and ordering Chinese tomorrow. Although I'll never hear the end of it, so I'll most likely do the ham etc.....-Alyssa
  18. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I just got back from grocery shopping and found some of the Sam's Club appetizers at Walmart (smaller packages than Sam's) so I picked up a couple packages of those, some chips and crackers, and some fixin's for a few of the suggestions above. I made a few cheese balls last night but I lost my favorite recipe and couldn't get it quite right. I was still trying to come up with something more that difficult child would eat since he's so limited dietwise and there I saw the perfect thing: squeeze cheese in an aeresol can. Not my idea of the world's tastiest appetizer but he'll love it. :sushi:

    Thanks again, everyone! I feel so relieved not to have to be putting together a nice dinner tonight...which is good because I still have mega cleaning to do and I haven't done any wrapping yet. My mom is supposed to be driving in from one of the hard hit storm areas so I need to give her a call--I hope the interstates will be clear enough by mid morning.

    We'll have to keep this thread going through New Year's. I'm adding on some of our favorites. I always make this fruit slush for the party with our church camping friends and they usually down about 4 batches!

    Fruit Slush

    6 cups boiling water
    3 cups sugar (more or less to taste)
    1 – 12 ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
    1 – 12 ounce can frozen pineapple juice concentrate
    1 – 12 ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
    2 - 16 ounces frozen strawberries (may substitute fresh)
    4 bananas

    Dissolve sugar in boiling water. Puree bananas and strawberries in a blender or food processor (add a little water if needed). Combine sugar water, fruit and concentrates together in large container. Pour in to quart containers and freeze. Take out 30 minutes before serving and mash slush (may need to cut with a knife first). Add ginger ale or lemon-lime soda to desired consistency. Serve with a spoon and a straw.

    Brie with Kahlua Pecan Topping
    3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
    1/4 cup Kahlua
    3 Tbsp. brown sugar
    1 (14 oz) mini Brie

    Spread pecans in a 9" pie plate. Microwave on high 4-6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes until toasted. Add Kahlua and sugar; stir well.
    Remove rind from top of Brie and discard rind. Place Brie on microwave safe plate.
    Spoon pecan mixture over top of Brie. Microwave, uncovered, at high for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes or until soft, turning halfway through cooking.
    Serve with Melba rounds or crackers.

    Chipped Beef Dip

    This makes a large quantity so I usually cut the recipe in half but use 2 full packages of cream cheese.

    ½ cup mayonnaise
    3- 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
    8 ounces sour cream
    5 teaspoons horseradish (optional, I don’t use)
    3 Tablespoons sweet pickle juice
    6 packages Budig chipped beef, diced

    Soften cream cheese. Add mayo, sour cream, and pickle juice and mix well. Stir in beef and spread on crackers.
  19. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    Oysters Rockefeller

    raw oysters on the half shell (don't worry ~ we're going to cook them)

    two sticks real butter
    four cloves minced garlic
    two packages frozen spinach: thaw the spinach in the microwave and drain, squeezing out all the juice
    dash cayenne pepper
    scant 1/8 t coarsely ground black pepper
    1 T dried minced onion
    Lawry's Garlic salt to taste
    Parmesan cheese ~ about a quarter cup
    bread crumbs ~ about a quarter to half a cup

    Melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a frying pan. Add the spinach, garlic, cayenne, garlic salt, black pepper and minced onions. Cook uncovered until spinach is done. Remove from heat. Stir in bread crumbs. (Crumbs will absorb the butter, which is now flavored with garlic, spinach, etc ~ this is why it is so important to squeeze every bit of moisture from the spinach. You don't want the crumbs to absorb spinach juice. You want them to be filled with the flavors you have added to the spinach, and the butter.)

    Stir in parmesan.

    Place a dab of butter on each oyster. Cover each with about a tablespoon of the spinach mixture, being sure to seal the oyster beneath the spinach so it doesn't dry out.

    Top with another dab of butter, sprinkle lightly with cayenne and parmesan.

    Bake at 450 for five to seven minutes.

    The spinach can be made ahead of time. The oysters can be prepared an hour or two ahead of time, and then baked when you are ready for them.

    We do this every year with a champagne toast and white candles that we light just before the oysters are done.

    What we say during the toast is less important than that each guest clink glasses with every other guest (children included). Children have sparkling apple cider instead of champagne ~ but they have it in a champagne glass.

    Eye contact is required.

    When I began the tradition, everyone was uncomfortable with the eye contact part.


    Those who do not make eye contact while they are clinking glasses are called on it immediately.

    It's funny how we don't make eye contact with one another without a reason to do so, sometimes.

    That's the whole purpose of the oysters and the toast, really.

    The eye contact part.

    Then, we eat our oysters. :smile:

    This year it will be only husband and I down here all by ourselves.

    We are doing the oysters, the champagne, and the toast.

    It has become our favorite holiday thing.

    Then, we are going to do the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

    Other easy appetizers you can do and cook at the same time that the oysters are cooking: Whole, bacon wrapped water chestnuts (called angels on horseback), sausage stuffed mushroom caps (just make the stuffing from the package and add cooked sausage), bacon wrapped oysters (these are called devils on horseback). Fresh, globe grapes with asiago cheese counters all the spicy stuff and makes a pretty platter.

    BBK? I have had those meatballs ~ they're delicious!

    Sam's Club has jarred marinated olives and peppers that are really so good, too.


  20. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I have to tell you all that appetizers were a big hit with us. I missed the yummy homemade roast beef sandwiches we always have but I sure didn't miss the work or the mess that went along with those and the fixings. I think my family actually enjoyed this more than a regular meal--it seemed special whereas they get a sit down dinner all the time.

    At the last minute I added the easy punch with Sprite and rasberry sherbet in a pretty pitcher. Everyone hung around and munched for awhile then they took plates down and watched The Nativity Story. I still had a mountain of dishes yesterday by the time all was said and done but I wasn't nearly as stressed this way. Thanks a bunch!

    Armed and ready with appetizer ideas for New Year's...