I want almost instant appetizers for casual entertaining for the holidays; something better than just chips and salsa or cheese and crackers. Help!

Asked 10/09/2012 by Kitchen Insider

  • Warmed Olives and Roasted Almonds with Lemon-Olive Oil: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In shallow baking dish, mix equal amounts of your favorite mixture of olives (drained) and lightly salted roasted whole almonds. Drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with grated lemon peel and toss. Heat briefly to warm olives. Serve with sliced crusty bread of crackers.
  • Basil-Mascarpone Spread: Onto a shallow serving dish, spread about 8 ounces of mascarpone cheese or softened cream cheese; spoon purchased basil pesto or olive tapenade over the top and sprinkle with chopped red bell pepper. Serve with baguette slices or crackers.
  • Blue Cheese-Bacon Waffle Fries: Heat frozen waffle fries or cottage fries in oven as directed on package. About 2 to 5 minutes before they’re done, remove from the oven and sprinkle with crumbled blue or Gorgonzola cheese and purchased pre-cooked bacon bits. Continue baking just until the cheese begins to melt. Have a bottle of Buffalo wings hot sauce handy for those who like things spicy!
  • Pepperoni Pizza Nachos: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. On a foil-line cookie sheet, arrange tortilla chips. Top with sliced pepperoni, pizza sauce and shredded mozzarella or pizza cheese blend. Bake 4 to 6 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.
  • Graham Cracker Nachos: On a serving plate, arrange graham crackers. Drizzle melted peanut butter or almond butter over crackers; top as desired with ingredients like mini marshmallows, mini candies, sliced fresh fruit, dried fruit, cereal or trail mix.

Answered 10/10/2012 by Kitchen Expert

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