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Mmmmmm bruchettas!

Five Easy Appetizers to Start the Year Off Right!

Five Easy Appetizers to Start the Year Off Right!

Do you have a party coming up and need some quick, fast, and easy appetizers? I usually whip these up quickly: Bruchetta Melts Whenever I need a fast, easy, elegant appetizer, I whip this one up. I buy the ingredients from Trader Joe’s to save time, but you can make it from scratch as well. …

Mmmmmm bruchettas!
Mmmmmm bruchettas!

Do you have a party coming up and need some quick, fast, and easy appetizers? I usually whip these up quickly:

Bruchetta Melts

Whenever I need a fast, easy, elegant appetizer, I whip this one up. I buy the ingredients from Trader Joe’s to save time, but you can make it from scratch as well.

1 loaf of French bread

1/2 cup of pesto (fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil, sea salt)

2 cups of bruchetta (plum tomatoes cut up, olive oil, garlic salt, basil)

Sliced provolone cheese

Cut the French bread into 1/4 inch thick slices. Spread pesto on each slice. Top with bruchetta. Cut the provolone cheese into quarters and place one on each slice.

Set oven broiler to 500 degrees. Broil 30 seconds or until cheese is melted. Caution: watch the oven carefully as this stuff melts FAST!

Brie Rounds

Spray a pan with olive oil and place two rounds of Brie cheese in the pan. (Be sure to remove the paper wrapping.) Top with sliced almonds. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Scoop melted cheese on to a rice cracker or Triscuit. Optional topping: raspberry jam.

Double Chocolate Pretzels

You can use either rods (break in half) or twist pretzels for this.

I use Ghirardelli  dark chocolate for this. You can buy this in bulk rounds for easy melting.  One cup of chocolate will cover about 20-25 pretzels.  Place the chocolate in a pan and place it on top of a pan of boiling water. Take care that none of the water or steam gets to the chocolate. You can melt this in the microwave for one minute as an alternative way to melt the chocolate.

Dip the pretzels into the chocolate and place it on parchment paper.

Here are some ways to dress up the pretzels:

Sprinkle mini chocolate chips, mini MnMs,  or crushed toffee on top.

Sprinkle cookie toppings on top.

Or…

Melt additional dark chocolate or white chocolate and drizzle on top of pretzels after they’re completely set.

Tortilla Roll Ups

Use flour or gluten-free tortillas.

To make the spread:

Goat cheese (room temperature), chopped red, orange, and yellow peppers, chopped green onion, cilantro–mix together.

Spread the mixture on to the tortilla. Roll up each tortilla and cut into bite-sized pieces.  You can substitute cream cheese and add taco seasoning as well.

Mini Quiche

These are also great for breakfast, too!

Spray a mini muffin pan with olive oil. You can fill each cup with pretty much anything you want: red/orange/green/yellow peppers chopped up, green onions (This is best. If you use regular onions, saute them first), roasted broccoli or zucchini, grated carrots, roasted garlic (go easy on this), chopped kale, or whatever veggie you really like.

Beat together eggs (three eggs per 12 muffins), milk or plain almond/rice/hemp, salt, pepper, and fresh basil, cilantro, or parsley.

You can add grated cheese of any kind. Fill each muffin to about 3/4 full with all of the ingredients.

Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. The quiches will puff up. Cool slightly before inverting them on to a plate.

Smoked Salmon on Spinach Leaves

This is a family favorite–I will occasionally make it for lunch or a snack.

1 slab of smoked salmon

Fresh spinach leaves

A tube of goat cheese (You can flavor this further with roasted garlic, green onions, or peppers)

Your favorite crackers (I use rice crackers.)

Cut the salmon and goat cheese in bite-sized pieces.  Place a piece of spinach on the cracker, top with salmon, and then goat cheese.

I always try to keep these ingredients on hand so that I can whip up appetizers quickly if someone comes over.

Enjoy!


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