More Appetizers Picks
Breakfast might not be a typical time to eat appetizers, but getting your kids to eat a full breakfast is not always easy. Whether you are looking for light breakfast ideas or organizing a breakfast party for your kids and their friends, there are many morning appetizer ideas out there that will tickle their tummies and satisfy their taste buds.
If you want to excite your children's taste buds, serve strange appetizers sure to pique your little ones' curiosities. Plan a fun dinner party for friends and family, starting with an unusual appetizer to impress the guests and encourage them to try something new. Skip on the usual chips or vegetables and dip, and go crazy for your next meal. You can always serve something a bit more expected for dinner, just to make sure your kids don't get hungry if the appetizers scare them away.
Easy hot hors d'oeuvres are a great way to start a meal or feed your guests at a party without spending too much time in the kitchen. Make the most of your time by combining these hot appetizer ideas with some cold appetizers you can prepare the day before to make a wide array of small bites that will please everyone.
Frozen meatballs are a kid-favored staple in many kitchens. Make your favorite meatball recipe in advance and then freeze so that you only need to thaw, heat and serve when you're in a rush. Another choice is to stock your fridge with store-bought precooked meatballs that are ready at a moment's notice. These morsels of meat can be heated and served in many tantalizing sauces or enjoyed as they are without any fancy dressings. Appetizers using frozen meatballs are ideal choices for family movie nights, holiday parties and potlucks.
Serving up appetizers that are delicious is probably your first priority, but cute designs make those tasty treats even more fun to eat. Dressed up appetizers are ideal for your child's birthday party or kindergarten graduation, but even adults appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into creating an eye-pleasing appetizer display. No need to spend hours in the kitchen creating perfect plates -- cute appetizers utilize simple ingredients and techniques without skimping on flavor.
Appetizers that don't have to be kept cold or heated before serving are typically timesavers because they require less preparation. If you're hosting a party, you can set them out and not worry about spoilage. Some are also healthy snacks, so you can keep them in a jar on the counter for the kids to munch on when they get hungry.
Fresh, steamed clams take little time to prepare and lend a savory seafood flavor to any dish, including appetizers. As long as you possess the basic skills for steaming clams, making them part of an appetizer dish is a breeze. Whip up a spicy sauce, steam them with other meats or even make a clear soup featuring steamed clams.
A farm-themed party is an opportunity to combine playful, child-friendly appetizers with more adult-oriented starters that celebrate the variety of flavors of farm life. When you're building a farm-themed appetizer menu, fresh ingredients, playful takes on classic options and clever presentations elevate your dishes.
Seafood not only provides guests with a delicious appetizer but a nutritional one as well. Seafood is a source of protein full of vital nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. For best cooking results and to avoid contaminated or spoiled seafood, choose high quality, fresh seafood. Prepare your appetizers as soon as possible after purchase. After two days in the refrigerator, be sure to freeze seafood until ready to use. Always thaw seafood in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.
Even though fiber is essential to healthy digestion, it's easy to have a diet that lacks the critical nutrient. Incorporating high fiber foods into your family's favorite starters is a simple way to increase their fiber intake for better nutrition. Fiber has a reputation for being a code word for bland, but clever preparations and a little imagination will turn your fiber appetizers into the hit of the whole meal with even your pickiest eaters.
When guests arrive at a party, they're likely to be hungry. Setting out satisfying and tasty appetizers will put both adults and children in a happy mood, and if you provide healthy appetizers guests won't ruin their appetites by filling up on junk food. Choose low fat and high-protein ingredients and add vegetables whenever possible.
American kids are gaining too much weight, becoming obese and are at high risk for diseases related to excess weight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smart moms balance the types of nutrients kids eat throughout the day for good nutrition and weight control. Breakfast and lunch tend to favor healthy carbs, so start dinner with a "carb-free" appetizer that's satisfying and delivers the other important macronutrients, like fats and proteins, to your family.
Refreshing vegetable appetizers are a welcome respite from the hot, heavy and fried appetizers that make the rounds at most get-togethers. Serving cold appetizers spares you the pressure of making sure items hit the buffet table hot, and guests don't feel pressure to scoop up items while they're still at temperature. Modern spins on traditional vegetable appetizers impress your guests with your ingenuity but don't bog you down in complicated recipes or ingredients.
Springform pans feature side walls with clasps that tighten and loosen around a bottom plate, allowing you to remove the sides from delicate dishes, showing decorative or colorful layers of food. Though usually used for desserts such as cheesecake, you can also use springform pans to cook certain appetizers.
Looking like tiny cabbage heads, Brussels sprouts have traditionally been served boiled as a side dish. This member of the brassica family --- which includes collard greens, kale and broccoli --- is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. With these health benefits in mind, many chefs are devising clever, delicious ways to serve this vegetable, particularly as an appetizer.
Served at parties, before meals or at snack times, meatless appetizers fill a party menu when vegetarians are on the guest list or make a simple between-meal snacks for kids. There are plenty of options to choose from that will cater to a wide range of tastes.
From kids' parties to holiday gatherings, the fillings for finger sandwich appetizers can be tailored to suit any event. No-cook finger sandwiches slash the preparation time for busy moms who have little party planning time to spare. The easy preparation also provides an opportunity for the kids to help. With the available varieties of breads and fillings, the options are almost endless. Add a kid-friendly presentation and make-ahead capability, and finger sandwiches may just be the best appetizer idea since sliced bread.
"Cookie" was the universal nickname for the cook on an old West trail drive, and he had almost as much authority as the trail boss. He had to make sure his cowboys were well fed, even though the menu was often monotonous. Luckily, you have more ingredients available to liven up your cowboy appetizers. Let the kids help you prepare them as a party activity, using cookie cutters shaped like cowboy hats to make biscuits and arranging appetizers on cowboy-style tin plates.
Appetizers, whether served as a first course or as finger foods at a cocktail party, are a colorful and enticing way to say "welcome" when you're entertaining. If you're hosting a retro-themed party or want to accommodate mature tastes, put some old-fashioned recipes on your appetizer menu. Classic appetizers like dips, canapés and bite-sized meat dishes will add a sense of vintage style to your next get-together or event. Because they rely on time-honored, basic flavor profiles, most of these tasty bites please kids' palates as well.
Puff pastry is one of the most versatile ingredients available for making appetizers. It is often shaped into small, hollow pastry shells, called patty shells or vol-au-vents. The French name, which translates as "puff of wind," accurately conveys their light and airy nature. The shells can be purchased baked or unbaked, or you can make enough in one afternoon for several months' entertaining.
When feeding a crowd, it's hard to please everyone, especially if that crowd includes children. Please the majority of guests when you stick with the tried-and-true appetizers traditionally served at parties --- many of which also happen to be kid-friendly. The special occasion and bite-sized portions afford the opportunity for a bit of indulgence.
The truffle is a type of underground mushroom that is prized by chefs and foodies for its rich flavor and pungent aroma. Although there are hundreds of types of truffles, only a few are eaten by humans as a rare and expensive delicacy. Due to its powerful taste, a little truffle goes a long way, and this delightful form of fungi is typically used to enhance or flavor a dish.
At first, you may think that avoiding dairy products in appetizers is tricky. After all, you can't use cheese, and your guests might wish they had something with a creamy texture to eat. Luckily, there are other ways to create a creamy texture -- some of which are quite healthy. For example, hummus is made primarily of chickpeas and olive oil, and is packed with creamy, delicious non-dairy protein.
There are more -- and healthier -- options for potato appetizers than loaded, fried potato skins. However, if you scrub them well, potato skins can be a great source of vitamins and minerals for your family and guests. Your family may find that they like the added texture and flavor of the skins, especially in recipes where roasting potatoes is a crucial step.
A container of plain yogurt has possibilities far beyond mixing with fruit and honey. Sweet yogurt treats as snacks are a hit with kids and adults alike, but this tangy dairy product works just as well in savory appetizers and creamy soups. Use it anywhere you'd cook with sour cream; like its more caloric cousin, plain yogurt's creamy but astringent texture adds piquancy to mild dishes and calms the heat in spicy ones.
Whether you and your family follow a raw food diet or you just enjoy the crunch and health benefits of raw nibbles, raw appetizers can be both delicious and nutritious. Prepare a spread featuring an assortment of raw treats to satisfy people of all ages, or keep some refrigerated for quick after school snacks.
The next time it's Halloween, April Fool's Day or perhaps just a day when you're feeling a bit mischievous, plan a party with exotic foods. Though some may be a hard sell with your kids, you can surprise your guests and family with some rather unusual appetizers.
If you and your family love pumpkin, it doesn't have to be restricted to pies and cookies. Appetizers are a great way to showcase the versatile appeal of this autumnal squash. Best of all, pumpkin tamales and empanadas are a fun project your kids can help assemble before you cook and serve them. Delicious appetizers and family togetherness -- there's nothing better.
Appetizers are designed to tempt the palates of your dinner guests, but clever and playful presentations delight the eyes of children and adults before anyone takes a single bite. Whether you play with color or opt for unexpected designs, fun presentations elevate your appetizers from simple finger foods to the highlight of your party meals. If it's for your child's birthday, your anniversary or just an enjoyable night with friends, be creative with the look of your appetizers.
Fruit and dip is a refreshing Easter appetizer and is a healthy alternative to chips and other fatty carbohydrate snacks. The colorful produce echoes the joyous nature of Easter and the bright hues of spring. Easy to carve and not too filling, fruit keeps guests hydrated and satisfied while they wait for the feast to start.
Many carbohydrate foods can be empty calories, full of processed wheat and sugar. If carbohydrates have fallen out of favor with you, look for protein substitutes when serving meals or entertaining. High-protein appetizers are more satisfying and heartier than carb-based foods; a little protein before a meal can help curb the appetite so you don't overindulge. The next time you're preparing a meal - be it for yourself, your family or guests - start the evening off right with a few protein-rich appetizers.
Appetizers with meat as a primary ingredient offer a hearty way to start a meal; the protein helps keep guests' blood sugar even to tide them over to dinner. By choosing appetizers that don't require cooking or that can be made on the grill, you can create easy, quick food for a summer party or dinner without having to turn on the stove.
For a flavor-packed appetizer, make bite-sized portions inspired by the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. The small pieces of bacon make the vegetables much more attractive to people, including your kids. Serve them at a party or just make them with your family as a special appetizer for dinner one night.
If you've ever had a caprese salad with tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella, you've had fresh mozzarella and you know that its texture is much different from sliced deli mozzarella. Fresh mozzarella makers offer it in various shapes and sizes, some of which are small balls. Look for these at any grocery store or a specialty Italian deli. Tempt your children to try mozzarella by creating eyeball appetizers.
Famous appetizers tend to be classic dishes that have stood the test of time. Some have gone out of style, so you rarely see them on restaurant menus. Others lost their national appeal but still appear as regional favorites. Cooks who make these appetizers from scratch can control how much fat or sodium they contain without veering too far from the original recipe.
Pita bread, a round flat bread central to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, has a hollow pocket in the middle. Because it lends itself so well to stuffing with delicious fillings, you can use it to make a number of appetizers. Cut into sections and toasted flat, whole-grain pita bread yields crunchy, healthful chips.
It's hard to imagine Italian or Indian food without tomatoes, but until this New World fruit went abroad, only American cuisines knew about this savory delight. Tomatoes enliven any course of a meal, but their varied sizes, tastes and textures make them especially well suited to creative appetizers. For picky eaters, tomatoes in the form of sauce or ketchup supply vitamin C and fiber in a tasty form.
Congratulate the graduates in a big way by serving some grade-A treats at a party to celebrate their accomplishments. The grads will be busy hugging family members and comparing notes with other grads, so serve bite-size goodies that they can easily carry around the party. After the excitement of seeing their favorite graduate and sitting in the sun listening to names, your party guests will also be anxious to relax and dive into some delicious appetizers. Go with the theme of the day and create a few foods with a clever twist.
Pirate-themed parties invite guests to embrace their inner swashbuckler, and pirate-approved appetizers set the stage for a festive day of walking the party plank. Whether you're hosting a soiree for grown-ups or your child's tenth birthday party, provide the buccaneers with a treasure trove of tempting treats to whet their appetites for party adventure. Simple adaptations, playful food displays and clever ingredients ensure that your appetizers are as easy to make as they are fun to eat.
Whether for family dinner fun, a society event or a college class, you may find the need to create appetizers for a theme event. If the theme is related to scary objects, there are certainly things such as spiders and snakes that result in fear for many people. In fact, insects, ghosts, blood, snakes and germs are some of the top fear-inducing phobias. Create a platter of fear-inducing appetizers in the shape of, for example, snakes or insects to keep guests hungry and involved in the theme.
Whet your guests' appetites with tempting appetizers that won't leave them too full for the main course. When appetizers are small, it's easy to overindulge and break the fat and calorie bank, but fat-free appetizers deliver high scores on flavor without the unnecessary and unhealthy excess fat. Whether you revamp your favorite recipes or try something new, nonfat appetizers will be a hit for your next gathering.
A summer barbecue should be easy and entertaining, whether you're a guest or the host. Start your day or night off right with delicious appetizers prepped ahead of time or right on the grill. Serve up a variety of kid-friendly starters or opt to include some appetizers that appeal to a more sophisticated palate.
Fig spread is a sweet and tasty variety of jam made from figs. Figs are a great source of healthy dietary fiber and they're high in potassium. Create a few impressive appetizers using a prepared jar of fig spread. Your kids may love the sweet taste of the fruity preserves, allowing you to get them a healthy boost of fiber at the start of a meal.
When you plan a party, no matter how many guests you’re hosting, food is bound to take center stage. When you are hosting a themed party, the food you serve should coordinate with the theme. The good news is that it’s easy to translate most of your favorite appetizers into theme-specific versions, especially when you’re hosting a beach party.
A party is a good time to show off your creativity and culinary prowess by offering a trip around the world through appetizers. And if you have little-to-no culinary prowess, use your creativity to carry the gathering by incorporating store-bought items or by making easier versions of more complicated appetizers. If, however, you are a kitchen goddess, enjoy the days leading up to your party and create appetizers that can be frozen or stored until the party. As you're cooking, take the opportunity to teach your children a little geography and cultural tidbits about the countries you are showcasing.
If you have standby appetizer recipes featuring ground beef, substitute ground pork for a change a pace at your next family gathering. Or mix the ground beef and pork, if you think your family might not like the full substitution. No matter how you prepare it, the USDA recommends cooking all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit as measured with a food thermometer.
Hot appetizers let a creative chef serve small portions of many delectable foods instead of a single big plate of chow. If your dinner or party were a concert, appetizers would be your opening act; they tell guests what they can expect from the rest of the meal. Spicy Indian samosas suggest a curry to come, while warm bruschetta whets your family's appetite for an Italian feast. Serve vegetarian appetizers to combine sound nutrition with flavorful fun.
If you're hosting an elegant dinner party or reception, make a favorable first impression by serving crab appetizers. Guests won't be able to resist tasty treats made with succulent seafood and other fresh ingredients. Many crab-based appetizers are simple to make, so it will only appear as though you spent hours in the kitchen.
Penguin-shaped appetizers are the perfect complement to a New Year's Eve or other winter party. They also enhance any formal occasion, as penguins, of course, wear tuxes. Or, prepare a platter full of healthy penguin appetizers for a party in your child's classroom -- the kids will be so delighted at the tiny birds that they won't even realize they are eating something healthy.
Warm-weather entertaining is a breeze when you cook outdoors. A barbecue featuring burgers or your famous chicken legs basted with a bodacious sauce provide an anchor for a fun evening with good food. If you’ve invited family, neighbors and children, create an array of appetizers that appeal to a variety of palates and age groups and that don’t require hours slaving in the kitchen.
In anticipation of the ghoulish holiday, you bought costumes when they were discounted after last Halloween, and you’ve occasionally picked up candy on sale for the past month, because preparation is your middle name. But now you've decided to host a party for little costumed goblins, and you need a menu that will please even the witchiest of palates. Make it easy on yourself and go with a sweet theme that requires only a little advance preparation and the recruitment of a few familiar goblins.
Whether you are looking to incorporate more seafood into your family's diet or you want to impress your friends, making crab back appetizers for your next lunch, dinner or special event can be a rewarding experience. Known scientifically as the "carapace," the back of the crab is full of tasty, tender meat. Crab back meat also is a source of several vitamins and minerals, including selenium, copper, zinc, vitamin B12 and protein.
Perhaps you were talked into hosting a get-together for the PTA planning meeting, or you volunteered to hostess the mother-daughter holiday lunch for your daughter’s preschool class. Even with your life on full-time status, you still want to pull together a flawless party, with part-time availability. The easiest way to pull off a fun party with good food is to make as many appetizers as you can ahead of time, reheat them right before the party and keep them warm in chafing dishes.
Any gathering is ripe for fun and good conversation, but a themed party adds flair to an evening, and it provides your guests with the opportunity to play along. A 1950s-themed party allows your guests the chance to put on their favorite poodle skirts, grandmother’s brocade shift and swing jacket or their father’s letterman sweaters. Watch 1950s-era movies with your kids to garner excitement for the party. Crank up a mix of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Bill Haley and the Comets and Nat King Cole, and enlist your kids' aid in creating an array of classic 1950s appetizers, which you should call canapés to be perfectly era-appropriate.
Entertaining is often put on the back burner, as it can easily blow your budget. Cut costs for your family by inviting friends over after mealtimes. Serve a variety of delicious and cheap appetizers instead of a meal. With smart planning and good food, no one has to know you pulled off a party on a budget.
Prepping for a big family dinner or a barbecue with friends requires a lot of work. You can take care of some of this prep work ahead of time by opting for chilled or refrigerated appetizers in place of hot ones. Whether you go with casual and kid-friendly choices or something more dressed up, chilled appetizers make party prep easy.
If you're hosting a party on a sultry summer afternoon, or if you want a healthy appetizer for a family picnic, keep it cool by serving refreshing melon-inspired appetizers. Fruit-based appetizers are the ideal way to spark appetites. Use melons such as watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe at the peak of ripeness for the best flavor.
Sweet, tropical guava may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when you picture appetizers, but when mixed with cheese, this fruit perfectly complements your Latin-inspired meals. Not only can you purchase fresh guava, you can also buy sweetened, condensed guava paste in the Latin foods aisle of your grocery store.
Wraps are a simple way to make party-pleasing appetizers, and with an unlimited combination of spreads, vegetables, meats, cheese and spices, the list of possibilities is nearly endless. Wraps are a good opportunity to have fun and exercise creativity in the kitchen. Because wraps are so forgiving, mistakes are unlikely.
Appetizers, also sometimes called hors d'oeuvre and starters, provide a quick snack at the beginning of a meal or finger foods for a social gathering. They come in all manner of shapes and configurations, but making all your appetizers one shape can add a festive elegance to the theme of a party or other social event. Tradition has it that the circle is a symbol of perfection, but whether that's true or not, you can serve round appetizers that are perfectly delicious.
Spiral appetizers are more than just tasty morsels to kick off a meal -- they also make creative, distinctive displays on your buffet table. Spiral-shaped appetizers range from kid-friendly birthday party platters to the more elegant and elevated dishes you might pass around on shiny platters. A spiral shape makes any appetizer seems complex and intricate, even if you whipped it up in just five minutes.
If you're hosting a brunch for your friends and family, plan on serving appetizers during the first hour of the party. Because many brunch dishes can be heavy -- a potential problem for guests who need to keep moving throughout the day -- brunch appetizers should be light. This allows everyone to save room for the main course.
When you are choosing appetizers for a picnic, select foods that are easy to transport and that will stay fresh without refrigeration. Use foods that can be eaten by hand to minimize the number of utensils you will need to bring along, and keep in mind the taste preferences of kids in attendance.
Avocados are a healthy source of fat, and make a rich, creamy addition to an appetizer. By using avocados in your hors d'oeuvres, you can add a pop of color to the plate and make a snack that helps keep guests satisfied. For the smoothest taste, choose ripe avocados. If you need pieces that can be skewered easily, choose a firmer avocado.
Put on a special spread when you're expecting guests. Appetizers might be the star of the show or they might just be whetting people's appetites. When you're serving a guests in different age groups, from youngsters to oldsters, your elegant and classy appetizers should feature basic ingredients that appeal to everyone.
Nothing is scarier than a theme party with boring food, so make your Halloween party memorable with spooky and gross appetizers. Of course, the food doesn't taste gross -- you can use everyday ingredients to make a delicious appetizer look like something not even the hungriest zombie or werewolf would touch. Turn your guests' stomachs and ignite their imagination by embracing the spirit of Halloween with these horrifying hors d'oeuvres.
When you are in a rush to prepare for a party or a dinner, no-bake appetizers can cut down on prep time and free up the oven for cooking the main course. To reduce stress, choose appetizers you can prepare ahead of time and refrigerate to save time and energy on the day of your event.
Unless you’re a Rockefeller, buying enough shrimp and lobster to feed a crowd may not be in your budget. Serve appetizers that include local ingredients that are in season. They may be more affordable than packaged foods, and the fresh taste means you won’t have to include tons of elements in each appetizer.
When you serve lasagna to friends or family, keep the other menu items similar, so your meal has a suitable theme. Because lasagna is an Italian dish with tomato sauce and pasta, add a few similar appetizers that complement your main dish. Kids appreciate simple and tasty fare, so draw them to the table with good appetizers that work well with your theme.
The next time you must bring an appetizer to a church function or company picnic, consider choosing a dish that smells as good as it tastes. Anyone who has ever suffered from a bad cold knows that smell and taste are inextricably linked. If your appetizer smells good, more people will want to eat it and you won't be stuck going home with an expensive cold cut tray that no one sampled.
Appetizers serve an important purpose when you entertain, taking the edge off your guests' appetite and giving them a taste of the rest of the menu. Less is more for an appetizer menu, especially when you entertain kids. Prepare savory appetizers and present the finger foods attractively on a serving table.
A smart way to plan for a large party is by making and freezing appetizers ahead of time. Preparing the appetizers in advance will give you one less thing to worry about as the big day approaches. Make sure the appetizers are properly sealed in airtight packaging and stored at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below to ensure freshness and quality. Make sure at least half of the appetizers you serve have kid appeal; the rest can be aimed more squarely at the adults.