Quick & Tasty Appetizers

‘Tis the season for impromptu entertaining, meaning that we should all stock up on our favorite wines and easy appetizers for drop-in guests. Here are some easy ideas for instant hors d’oeuvres:

Tapenades: Savory tapenades made from peppers, olives and other tasty items are increasingly available in grocery stores and specialty shops. You can simply pop open the jar and invite guests to spread the tapenades on crackers, but we prefer to present tapenades in pretty bowls, maybe garnished with freshly chopped parsley or other herbs. You can also use tapenades as a topping for goat cheese or cream cheese.

Baked Brie: Everybody loves Brie, but this rich and creamy cheese tastes even better when warmed up a bit. You can simply place a wheel of Brie in an oven (or microwave) until it softens slightly. Then drizzle with a flavored honey before serving with crackers or toasted baguette slices. For more dazzle, try wrapping the Brie in a sheet of thawed puff pastry before baking until puff pastry turns golden.

Mini meatballs: Everybody loves meatballs – whether they’re made from beef, turkey or even a vegetarian mixture. You could make your own meatballs, but when time is short, try using frozen meatballs instead. Heat them according to package directions and then toss them with your favorite sauces – barbecue, teriyaki, marinara, etc. Offer guests toothpicks and additional sauces for dipping.

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