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Make Ahead Appetizers

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Smoked Salmon Mini Pancake Rolls with Feta Cream Cheese

Now you could make this full size and make it into a main meal if you like but in this smaller size as we are using them here they make a delightful appetizer recipe. Many when they here crepes or think of them think of them as a dessert item but as you will see in the following recipe they can be teamed up with savor ingredients and used to make a delightful savory dish instead. The crepe is merely a deliver vessel in this recipe mainly the true stars of the show are the wonderful smoked salmon and the combination of the feta and cream cheese blended into one which give each other a bit more savory taste then the cream cheese would have on its own. To further enhance this I add a bit of fresh chive and dill to the mixture and it makes for one well balanced filling for our crepes.

As smoked salmon can be a bit pricy I would suggest reserving this recipe for when you are having a special dinner with someone or a smaller group as this would get kind of expensive for a large crowd. Now feel free if money is of no question this surely will make a statement as it is not the normal pigs in a blanket kind of appetizer. It will also more likely go over with a more mature crowd then with the kids most kids are not too keen on fish as where a more mature pallet will adore them and truly appreciate what you have served up.

Also as I mention somewhere in this post I get lost as to where I am about this point in the writing process sorry if I am repeating but it deserves a second mention that these can be made ahead of time and then just covered loosely with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator just take them out a bit ahead of your serving time so they can come to about room temperature is best so the cheese is soft instead of real hard. Because the fish is smoked they will do ok out without ice well for a normal day you don’t want to put them out in the sun for like a cookout though would be pushing it. But for a nice regular day inside they will do well at room temp for a decent amount of time. Continue reading

Buttery Garlic Breadsticks Stuffed with Cheese

Normally I would go into a food rant about this time in the recipe process believe it or not the last part of the post to be constructed is the intro. It may lead into the recipe but from a creation point of view it is the recipe which is my starting point. I mean I need to be able to deliver you a recipe that will downright have to wow you I can talk about it this or that but bottom-line is I need a killer recipe to make it all work.

Sure the intro gets you in the mood so that you hopeful end your search and want to head to the kitchen and give it a try but if the recipe fails then I have failed at delivering the many reason you came here in the first place which is for something great tasting to eat. Now I could go into a whole bunch of superlatives about how this recipe is one thing or another but with this one I think I am going to leave it at this and let that picture sell you on it.

I mean if you can honestly take a long look at those fresh hot breadsticks and walk away not even remotely a bit curious to see how good they actually taste then you are a better woman than I. I know when the team sent me this I was all there I mean breadsticks, melted butter, and garlic top it off there is cheese in them there breadsticks come on you must have super human will power if you are not at least the least bit interested in them. I know to me there is nothing better than fresh out of the oven bread I know my oldest son makes fresh bread every night before bed and we wake to the whole house with that fresh baked bread smell I must gain a few pound every night in my sleep. Continue reading

Deep Fried Mac and Cheese Bites with Dipping Sauce

Seems in America we’ll deep fry just about anything, I mean we do it to almost every imaginable thing from broccoli and cauliflower to Oreos. It seems no food is sacred when it comes to being tossed into the fry and offered up like a sacrifice to the fry god’s, like some sort of ancient volcano. I mean we fry snickers and even turkeys and almost no food is safe from someone trying to deep fry it at one point in time or another.

Well I am going to be just as guilty as every other recipe guru out there and I make my sacrifice in the form of that perennial kid’s favorite mac and cheese and not just that stuff in the box but good homemade mac and cheese. Even if you have no interest in throwing it into a fryer you may want to check out the first part of the recipe where I give you a recipe for homemade mac and cheese that will make you forget the boxed stuff for ever and it really is no harder to make so making the boxed (yuck) stuff I mean will hopefully become a thing of the past.

I mean really powdered cheese what cow does that come from? Exactly! So when you find out how easy real mac and cheese is to make you can at least forget that and stop before violating some fryer ritual. But if you have kids and if you are brave enough go ahead and try these just once they really are so good even if you will not want to admit to liking them in fear of offending some food critics. See there is a reason we deep fry anything and everything it is so darn good tasting just don’t do it right before a doctor’s appointment, he’ll end up putting you on some sort of pills. lol. Continue reading

Mixed Fresh Fruit Kebab Appetizers

This appetizer can be made ahead of time which is always appreciated when hosting a get together where you want as much time as possible to spend with your guest instead of stuck in the kitchen all night making appetizers. It is also a very visually appealing appetizer that is great no matter what age your guest are so this is as good for adults as kids and they will enjoy it too.

You can very up the fruit depending on what is in season just try and very your colors so you end up with a mixture of color for visual appeal reasons. It could easily be switched for any other fruits you like. I used wild strawberries as they need no preparation as they are already bite sized and also pack superior flavor in my opinion.

Some variations on this theme are also possible you could easily add in some cubed Monterey jack or Colby cheese. Also if you like look at our dip section this would be nice with a nice marshmallow dip or even a caramel dip would be nice but is purely optional as the fruit is all sweet enough on its own. I would steer away from using bit sized pieces of meat if having a summer party as these are troublesome on keeping cool so you don’t get anyone sick. So if you are looking for an appetizer that will work with any age group, be refreshing on a hot day, and can be made ahead of time this would be a great choice. Continue reading

Herbed Cheese and Egg Stuffed Tomatoes Appetizer

I wanted to make for you an appetizer that would look attractive and was simple to make. I know when I have guest I like to put a bit of the wow factor into my appetizers so they are already impressed before they even take a bit and then when they do I drive it home with flavor. We all love deviled eggs but they are kind of predictable and a close cousin to the deviled egg is egg salad which is easy to dress up and make a big statement with something so otherwise ordinary.

Well how do you dress up egg salad to appear to be more then it is? How about giving it a new coat I mean anyone can put it on or between a slice of bread or two but what if we give it a shiny bright red coat and serve it in a tomato bowl. An edible serving vessel is always a good way to go with appetizers it makes serving so much easier and often elevates the dish from the plain to the sublime.

Now I used vine ripened tomatoes for mine as I love the garden grown flavor of them more than other tomatoes but you could easily adjust this recipe to use cherry tomatoes if you wanted to make little bite sized poppers so to speak they would be a bit more finicky on the hollowing out part but with a bit of care could be pulled off nicely. If doing this I would suggest making the egg mixture a bit finer and not quite as big of white pieces of the egg maybe even go as far as to use just the yoke part. If doing that you could even do it with grape tomatoes for kid sized bites. But you decide what works best for your party application. Continue reading

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