Guest Author - Melissa Weise
I read somewhere recently that Americans love appetizers. What?! I thought to myself, Appetizers for Americans? You’ve gotta be kidding me! Appetizers are way too fancy for Americans! We love Cheetos, popcorn, cookies, cheese and crackers, and apples with peanut butter (well, maybe just I like the last one…).
Then I realized something.
Those yummylicious foods ARE appetizers.
And then I realized something else.
I love appetizers.
They are tasty, easy to pop into your mouth, and easy to make. Of course, you can settle for ripping open a bag or Doritos and placing a two liter on the table with paper cups, but you could put a little more time into it and be the coolest person in the room. There’s nothing like someone at a party saying, “This is the best food I ever had – who made it?”
So, I am here to share five of my favorite appetizer recipes with you. Each one is wonderful in its own way and every one is sure to be a hit at your next movie night, family get-together, DDR all-nighter, or holiday gathering. And, most wonderful of all, they are really really easy.
This amazingly simple cocktail can be served on crackers or as a regular cocktail in a small bowl. You can also add hot sauce if you like it spicier. This appetizer is great because it has loads of protein and no carbs (unless you serve it on crackers).
1 Bag of Tiny Salad Shrimp
1 Firm Tomato
1 White Onion
1 Bunch of Cilantro
¼ Cup Lime Juice
1 Cup Tomato Juice (can be V-8 or Clamato or just Tomato Juice)
Wash the shrimp and let drain. Dice (that means chop into tiny little pieces) the tomato and the onion. Snip the Cilanto into tiny little pieces. Then throw it all together in a bowl and mix. Chill. Serve with crackers and a spoon to put the cocktail onto the crackers. Enjoy the zippy yumminess!
LOW CAL CHEESECAKE MINI MUFFINS
This appetizer is fabulous because it is low fat, low sugar and totally tasty! You can also make it in the regular cheesecake pan.
1 package Neufchatel (you can find this in the cream cheese section, packaged just like the cream cheese. It is lower in fat but tastes just as good) or Low Fat Cream Cheese
3 Cups no fat Cool Whip
2 Cups Splenda
1 Package graham cracker crust mix
Mini muffin or muffin pan
Muffin cup papers
Make the crust as the package directs and put a tablespoon into the bottom of each muffin cup (lined with the papers). Mush in firmly. Mix the Neufchatel, Cool Whip and Splenda with a mixer or just really really well by hand. Pour this on top of the little crusts and place in the fridge until they are set. Serve cold.
VEGETABLE TRAY with HOMEADE DIP
Nothing is yummier, healthier, or easier than a veggie tray.
Any of your other favorite veggies…
Low fat sour cream
Ranch dip mix or onion soup mix
Wash and cut the veggies ahead of time and then put them into plastic bags and store in the fridge until you are ready to use them. Mix the sour cream and the mix of your choice and place in a nice serving bowl and chill. Pick your favorite party tray and arrange the veggies around the dip in the middle of the tray. Serve and enjoy!
PIZZA CRACKER TRAY
What’s better than pizza? Tiny little pizzas that you can eat over and over and over again…. May even be better if you have a microwave nearby so people can warm up their creations.
Bowl of spaghetti sauce with a spoon
Canned, sliced olives
Canadian bacon slices
Put all the topping ingredients in smaller bowls with spoons. Arrange the crackers on a tray and arrange the topping around the crackers neatly. Provide napkins and let people go at it.
BAGEL WITH HOMEMADE VEGGIE CREAM CHEESE
Who doesn’t love bagels, right? Nuff said.
Low fat cream cheese
Ranch dressing powder mix
Red bell pepper
Dice all the vegetables into teeny weeny pieces. Mix the veggies and the ranch dressing mix into the cream cheese. Mix well. Slice the bagels into coin-sized pieces and arrange around a bowl of cream cheese in the center of a tray. Provide a butter knife for spreading and enjoy!