Appetizers

Appetizers are like tiny jewel boxes of flavor, small bites meant to stimulate the palate -- not fill your stomach. That's what makes looking for appetizer recipes so much fun - since you don't have to fill the plate, you can concentrate on putting together ingredients in ways that sing. And they don't have to be fancy to pack a punch - spicy wings, deviled eggs, easy bruschetta, or even a nicely presented dip can be a winner. The classic combination of melon and prosciutto is a perfect example: Just two ingredients that play off of each other perfectly, the salty richness of the ham contrasting with the tropical sweetness of the melon. Perfection. When you're planning for a holiday party, you want quick and easy appetizers that play nicely with what you're serving as a main course. You want to compliment the dish without repeating ingredients - serving marinated mozzarella before plating up a cheese-heavy lasagna is definitely overload. Try to keep things light, and remember - you're going for flavor, not quantity.

Nacho Potato Skins

Midwest Living

Set out the toppers for the potato skins and let guests create their own appetizers.

Total: 1 hr

Hot Artichoke Dip

Better Homes and Gardens

Spicy Sausage and Tomato Dip

Better Homes and Gardens

Chili Pecans

Midwest Living

Caramel Popcorn

Diabetic Living

This caramel popcorn recipe includes lower-fat margarine and light popcorn to make a sweet snack that kids and adults love.

Pick-a-Topper Appetizer Flatbreads

Midwest Living

Petite ovals of fresh-baked bread become blank canvases for a rainbow of colorful meat, vegetable, fruit and cheese options.

Roasted Summer Vegetable Pizzettes

Midwest Living

Heirloom tomatoes add color and flavor to these individual-size pizzas.

Three Cheese Loaf

Better Homes and Gardens

This savory nut loaf is similar to a cheese ball but the cheese mixture and nuts are layered into a loaf pan. Use strips of red pepper to add a festive splash of color.

Raisin-Spice Spread

Better Homes and Gardens

This fruit-and-spice spread makes a tasty snack or appetizer partnered with melba rounds, bagel chips, or toast.

Sarah's Baked Brie

Better Homes and Gardens

Melted brie--always a crowd-pleaser--is a hit on appetizer buffets during the Christmas season. Red pepper jelly adds a distinctively peppery-sweet taste.

Green Goddess Dip

Better Homes and Gardens

Herbs galore--tarragon, parsley, and chives--add fresh flavor to this quick and easy cream cheese veggie dip.

Total: 15 mins

Shrimp and Cucumber with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Diabetic Living

This is a great appetizer, salad or healthy lunch. Try serving individual portions in a martini glass for added flair.

Total: 20 mins

Creamy Cheese Fondue

Diabetic Living

Apple-Anise Pizza

Better Homes and Gardens

For sensational appetizers. slice this easy, savory pizza into small pizzas.

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