Simple Appetizer Ideas

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Life is busy, and often we don't make time to just relax and truly savor good conversation and tasty food. When entertaining, it's easy to get caught up in making new unique recipes that will impress your guests, but sometimes simple selections with little prep time are all you need. We have some simple appetizer recipes that will make your guests think that you spent all day preparing, when really it took less an hour. Focus on a couple of main appetizers, and then complement with basic fruit and vegetables to cleanse the palate.

Asian Meatballs
Meatballs are an easy dish to serve, and can be adapted in many ways for different preferences. These Asian Meatballs are one of our favorite combinations that burst with flavor. Although very simple to make, they will be a hit among your guests.

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp Spicy Szechwan Five Spice Seasoning
1 large egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Sesame seeds

Hoisin Sauce:
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Spicy Szechwan Five Spice Seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine meatball ingredients and roll into desired meatball size. Bake meatballs for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and cooked thoroughly.

Mix sauce ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour over cooked meatballs and serve immediately. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Recipe inspiration: DamnDelicious

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Brie Cheese + Jalapeno Jelly
Brie Cheese is a great go-to for an appetizer. You can serve it baked, or just fresh. On our latest trip to New Mexico, we came upon many different Jalapeno jelly's, including raspberry and peach, that complement the brie perfectly. The creamy texture and taste of the cheese tames the spice of the jalapeno, making it the perfect combination. Look at your local grocery store or craft fairs to find some of your own!

Brie cheese wedge
Jalapeño-Raspberry jelly

Remove wax from Brie cheese and top with your favorite Jalapeño jelly.

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Cheese + Meat Board
Cut up a selection of cheeses and cold meats. We did a mix of cheddar and swiss cheese with thinly sliced salami. Watch for our Charcuterie Board post coming soon for more tips!


Double Strawberry Ice Cream Tart
24 Oreo Cookies
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 pints of Double Strawberry Frozen yogurt (or your favorite ice cream)

Coarsely chop 6 cookies; set aside.

Crust: Process 10 cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add butter, and process until combined. Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and press crust firmly into pan. Top with a circle of 8 cookies around outside edge.

Dollop ice cream by the cup all over crust, and spread. Sprinkle edge of ice cream with chopped cookies, forming a border. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and freeze, up to 1 week.

Recipe inspiration: Martha Stewart