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appetizer

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Cranberry baked brie pull-apart bread bowl appetizer

If you’re looking for an appetizer to share, cranberry brie an easy go to combo — that’s because it’s insanely delicious! Creamy, melted brie smothered in rich, tart cranberry sauce can turn any holiday event into something special. Bring this cranberry brie bowl to any party and watch it disappear. To serve the best recipe you possibly can, make sure you scoop up a quality bread bowl. A rustic loaf from a bakery, or at the very least your grocer’s bakery, should do the trick. Also, opt for triple cream brie if you can find it. It melts more consistently and stays creamy without separating. And for the cranberries, only a whole cranberry sauce will really work. Ocean Spray, and a few other brands, carry whole cranberry sauce in a can, so you don’t have to make your own—unless you want to! If you love this recipe, you’ll also love…

Cranberry crockpot turkey meatballs

Looking for an easy way to feed a crowd this holiday? This delicious recipe makes for a fantastic appetizer or a tasty twist on your classic meatball sandwich. Turkey meatballs swimming in a sea of cranberry chili sauce is the new must-make recipe of the season. These meatballs are tangy, sweet, and oh-so-addictive! Guests can pick them with toothpicks or plate them for a fancier affair. And the best part? You — you fabulously smart and savvy holiday host — just dump three ingredients into the crock pot, walk away, and about two hours later, you have a hot and hearty snack everyone will love. Now that’s a happy holiday. Also try this Warm brie with cranberry jalapeño jam recipe.  Note: I use turkey meatballs since a lot of people shy away from red meat. Plus, the turkey and cranberry combo is obviously a classic. But feel free to use whatever kind…

Loaded Tater Tot Kabobs load Game Day with fun, flavor

Unless you’re a fan of two lucky teams this year, chances are you’re not that excited about the Big Game next Sunday. All the more reason to step up your food game! Everyone knows that Super Bowl parties are really just about the eats anyway. This year, take these loaded tater tots out of the oven right at game time. They’re crispy, hot, and full of flavor. Plus, kids practically go nuts for food on sticks. (Actually, I think we all secretly love snacks on sticks.) Serve them with any number of dipping sauces. I’m from Pittsburgh, so ketchup is a must, but you could also serve ranch dip, sour cream and chives, salsa, mayo, or even mayo ketchup — if you’re into that sort of thing. Of course, any type of skewer or kabob will do. But I fell in love with these adorable little wooden football picks and had to…

Smoked salmon crostini bites with mustard butter and dill

This elegant appetizer is easy enough to prepare, you’ll whip it up party after party. Pour your guests some Chardonnay and snack on these salmon bites to get the engagement going! Notes: Substitute Italian bread if that’s what you have on hand. Also, you can use goat cheese instead of butter, or chives or capers instead of dill — all delicious alternatives. Smoked salmon crostini bites with mustard butter and dill Ingredients 1 stick butter, softened  1 tbsp stone ground mustard 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp lemon juice 1/2 tsp lemon zest 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill + 1 tbsp chopped dill for garnish 1/8 tsp salt Freshly ground pepper 1 long, thin French baguette, sliced about 1/4-inch thick About 10 ounces of best quality smoked salmon, thinly sliced and cut into 1-to 2-inch pieces Lemon wedges (for serving) Directions Preheat oven to 375ºF. Position baguette slices in a…

Baked brie with cranberry jalapeño jam

I am, without a doubt, an appetizer person. It’s where all the best foods are found! They’re always so cheesy, gooey, warm, and dunkable — This spicy baked brie with cranberry jalapeño jam appetizer is no exception. This recipe is great around the holidays because you might already have fresh cranberries are your house. You can substitute a cup of homemade cranberry sauce for the fresh cranberries if you have leftovers. Plus, just look at those colors! They’re a perfect pop to any holiday table. This delicious sweet and spicy brie recipe comes together without a whole lot of work involved. Just warm the brie and top with a simple 10 minute cranberry jalapeño sauce. It’s so creamy and such an unusual combination, it will be gone in no time! Serve it with crackers, apple slices, and/or sliced baguettes. Baked brie with cranberry jalapeño jam Serves 8 as an appetizer…

Healthy baked coconut shrimp

Something happens when you learn to cook at home. You realize that all those tasty items you order out at restaurants are overpriced, and you can usually make them healthier at home. Healthier means you get to eat them more often — an obvious win. Coconut shrimp was one of those appetizers for me. If it was on the menu, I was ordering it. But coconut is naturally high in fat, and who knows what other unspeakable ingredients get mixed in the batter — and fry oil is always frightening. Enter: my healthy version of coconut shrimp. It’s baked, so right away you’re eliminating the scary fats from frying. The crispy coconut will still give that craveable crunch. Plus, the sauce is often the star of the show anyway. Thai chili sauce with a hint of apricot and brown sugar can make pretty much anything better. So try this easy appetizer when…

Switch things up with strawberry caprese skewers

So you’ve had tomatoes with basil and mozzarella before (the classic caprese), but have you ever thought about swapping out for strawberries? The sweet summer fruit pairs perfectly with the creamy mozzarella balls and the fragrant basil. These easy-to-eat skewers will quickly become your new favorite picnic or poolside appetizer. They’re so good, you might even eat them for dessert! I like to stick with local berries. If you don’t have any available, stay with smaller varieties. They have a sweeter flavor and they’re easier to eat. I like to hull them too, so no bitter parts the berry have a chance to ruin the sweet and savory experience. The basil was fresh and ready from the garden (finally!), so I just had to pick up the buffalo mozzarella balls from the grocery store — again, they’re just the right size of bite for an outdoor skewer. And like any good caprese salad, it needed a drizzle…

Kale pesto pizza is delicious, healthy option for pizza lovers

We’re never too old for a simple slice of cheese pizza, but the best part of being an adult might actually be the whole new world of pizza toppings we open ourselves up to. Seriously — you probably started to order veggies, and even things like pears, on your pizza somewhere around the time you got excited you could pay all your bills on time. Since then, you’ve never looked back. The great pizza awakening also means you no longer need red sauce to consider it a proper pie, so I don’t need to tell you that pesto can go on pizza. But wait! What if I said that this pesto can be made of kale — the ultimate adult vegetable — and you’re going to love it! My friends (adults when they want to be) were shocked to find out my pesto sauce was made with kale instead of the basic basil they…

Grapefruit, avocado, capers, a flavorful salad for all seasons

Discounts can lead you to make some questionable choices. In one of those “I’m totally saving money” moments, I purchased an enormous jar of capers for two bucks at the market a few months ago. (It was 150 servings!) My love of the little briny flower buds is strong, but how many cups of capers can one person honestly eat? Since my excessive purchase, I’ve let them be my muse. You’d think a recipe like the one below would have started with the citrus at its center. But actually, it was the salty capers that lead me in. But no matter where you start in a recipe, it’s the final product that matters most. This recipe works all year round. Make it in the winter when citrus is in peak season. Or whip it up in summer when we have an endless appetite for all things fruity. The sour to semi-sweet grapefruit pairs perfectly with the smooth,…

Citrus, pistachio, pomegranate salad

This time of year, the citrus brought in from across the southern states is at its peak. And wow, is it good. It’s the perfect balance between tart and sweet, and it helps brings a bright pop of color and flavor to those of us living under grey winter skies. An orange at anytime is a pretty good snack, but sometimes you want something a little more special, or something fun you can share. This unique citrus salad checks both those boxes. Make it as a side dish to dinner or prepare a platter for your next party. Either way, it will be a big hit, and it will most certainly be something different. * Feel free to mix up the citrus. The salad works great with anything from tangerines, blood oranges or even limes. Citrus, pistachio, pomegranate salad Ingredients 2 grapefruits 2 oranges 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (arils) 2 tbsp water 1…