When people walk through the door for a party, you're busy taking their coats, their gifts, and getting them a usually much-needed glass of wine. The last thing you want to be doing is hanging out in the kitchen fiddling with appetizers.
Lots of consideration needs to go into those little bites: Hot or cold? Cheese or cheese-free? Can I make it ahead? Will I need to continually replenish? Will everyone like it?
The most important consideration, I think though, is: is an oven required and/or available?
If you need an oven, you'll need to do a little more last minute work with the appetizer, but it may also interfere with the main course. If you don't need an oven, you can probably do most of it ahead. The best parties I have been to, have a balance of both -- good for the guests and the host!
Here are some great options for both that are in my own recipe file and some from around the web for your next holiday get together.
- Spinach Parmesan Balls
- Baked Pita Triangles
- Bacon Rollups
- Double Tomato Bruschetta
- Salmon Cakes
- Herbed Stuffed Mushroom Caps by The Family Kitchen
- Spinach Artichoke Dip by Annie's Eats
- White Bean Dip by Our Best Bites