Focus more of your time on the main course by making quick appetizers to serve during your next lunch or dinner event. Whether it’s a formal dinner reception, a kid’s birthday party or a Sunday football get-together, find an appetizer option that you can whip up in less than 30 minutes.
Dips are a quintessential party appetizer to serve with potato chips and corn tortilla chips. Don't neglect healthier dipping alternatives, such as celery sticks, carrot sticks, multigrain crackers and baked kale chips. Some quick and delicious dips include spinach dip, made with chopped spinach, sauteed onions and yogurt; lemon-yogurt dip, which incorporates lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and yogurt; and ranch dip made from a packaged mix and fat-free sour cream.
Impress your guests with crunchy snacks that didn't come out of a bag. Make parsnip ribbons by frying parsnip roots in a skillet with extra virgin olive oil until they get crispy. Or coat pecans in sugar, falafel mix and a bit of cayenne pepper; spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they attain a golden color. Apply the spicing and toasting procedure to other nuts, such as almonds and walnuts.
The easiest cheese appetizer is an array of cheeses -- such as Gouda, blue and brie -- on a platter. More adventurous -- but no less quick -- options include baked goat cheese or fondue. Bake marinated goat cheese in an oven-safe dish, then garnish with olive oil and thyme. Make a simple fondue by melting a mixture of Swiss cheese and wine in a pot. Guests can dip toasted bread and cut-up vegetables into the fondue.
Show off your sophisticated side without wasting time in the kitchen with quick -- but decadent -- appetizers. Make stuffed, wrapped dates by filling dates with chorizo, wrapping them in bacon and sauteing them in a skillet. Equally impressive is mushroom and fontina crostini, which you can make by sauteing mushrooms, garlic, thyme and shallots, spooning the mixture on to small pieces of toast and topping the mixture with fontina cheese.
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