Spur Of The Moment Get Together? No Problem With These Quick And Delicious Appetizers!Spur Of The Moment Get Together? No Problem With These Quick And Delicious Appetizers! by by Mary Mechler
This happens to all of us. It's Friday afternoon, and your colleagues are talking about getting together for a drink after work. You volunteer to have everyone over, but have no thoughts for a few quick appetizers.
Not to worry. If you keep a few staples on hand, I have a couple of great ideas for quick and delicious appetizers your guests will love! No matter what the season, these appetizers works well.
I always have a jar of artichokes, on hand -- the main ingredient of this recipe. I have made it so many times, that I just keep all the ingredients around now because you never know when friends or family will drop in for a visit. Here we go:
Artichoke Cheese Bake
1 can or jar of artichokes (if you have them marinated, that's fine - it makes no difference)
1 cup grated cheese (Romano or parmesan work well)
1 small can diced chilies
1 cup mayonnaise
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
(Optional - at the holidays, I like to add about 1/2 cup of crab meat. Fold it into the mixture after you have pulsed the previous ingredients in the food processor. I omit the chilies when using crabmeat in order to not overpower the flavor of the crab.)
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Butter or spray a 1 qt. casserole or baking dish.
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until there are small chunks of artichokes visible, about the size of a pea.
Put into prepared baking dish and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a bit brown on top and bubbly.
This is a great dip with water crackers because they allow the flavors to really come through. I also like to use broccoli, cauliflower and red bell peppers to dip into it. Everyone always loves it, and are amazed that it's so simple to make. This one is an easy hit!
1 French Bread Baguette, cut into 1/2" slices
1/3 cup pesto - any type
Roasted red peppers, thinly sliced, enough for 2 pieces on each slice of bread
1/2 cup grated or shaved parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush one side of bread with a bit of oil. Put on baking sheet, oiled side up, and bake until top is barely brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and cool until you can handle them.
Flip the bread slices over. Spread pesto on each slice. Top with roasted red pepper slices and cheese.
Return to the oven for another 6 minutes, or until cheese begins to melt. Serve warm.
This is a great flavor combination with traditional basil pesto, or, any other flavor you may choose. I've used a sundried tomato based version in this recipe as well.
So, there here are a couple of ideas to help you out in a pinch. Maybe you'll end up keeping these items on hand so that you can accommodate that last minute get together as well. They're homemade, quick and delicious. Your guests will love them.
These are just a couple of my "old reliables". Send us your thoughts on whether they work for you, and if you have ideas for other articles.
Mary Mechler has been cooking and baking since she was 5 years old. Mary is excited to share her love of cooking and great cooking tools with others who are cooking enthusiasts, through the website, http://cookprostore.com which offers kitchen cookware, chefs knives and kitchen cutlery. If you find something you like, and place an order, we'll include a free copy of Amy Coleman's cookbook while supplies last!
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