APPETIZERS, SNACKS AND STARTERS
From nibbles and spreads to hearty hors d'oeuvres - these recipes deliver on taste, beauty and versatility - we give you some great ideas for how to Love Your Leftovers. So party down and don't worry about cooking for the next few days - you'll be happily sorted there!
Need something warming, welcoming and filling for your guests? Shot glasses filled with soup are a great trick, and they are so lovely and unexpected. Your guests will look for another shot!
A green soup is fun for the holiday season but you can use any soup you fancy. Click through the slides for more inspiration.
TIP: for a 'clean pour', ladle soup into a measuring cup or pitcher, and then pour through a funnel into the shot glasses.
SALMON (LOX) ROLLS
Salmon lox/gravlax filled with a cream cheese, red onion & dill mixture
So good, and so easy!
Mix cream cheese with diced red onion, dried dill, black pepper and lemon juice. Spread onto smoked salmon pieces, add a piece of sliced cucumber, roll up and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, remove from fridge, slice into bite-size pieces and top with capers and fresh dill.
CRAYFISH LETTUCE CUPS
Crayfish (kreeft) with cilantro (coriander), red onion, avocado and lime juice.
This is as yummy as it is beautiful. Serve in lettuce cups for an alternative to starchy toasts to give your guests a 'lighter' option.
DRIED FRUIT BITES
With cheese, nuts and aged balsamic vinegar.
So easy, this doesn't even need a recipe page. Here's what you do:
DRIED APRICOTS: spread with a bit of blue cheese and top with a hazelnut.
DRIED DATES (pitted): fill with soft goats cheese (chèvre) top with a pecan.
Set on a platter and tiny drizzle a tiny bit of aged balsamic vinegar over each bite.
TIP: Aged balsamic is thicker and sweeter than the standard balsamic you use in salad dressings. if you can't find it, skip that bit just in case your balsamic is too tart. These can stand on their own!
Dried Fruit Bites
Dried apricots with blue cheese, topped with a hazelnut and a tiny drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
Dried dates with goats cheese (chèvre) topped with a pecan and a tiny drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
BLACK BEAN BURRITO BOATS
Black beans and rice cooked with tomatoes & chiles
Mexican food is an easy crowd pleaser, and these fun tortilla cones make for an eye-popping platter that is sure to impress – both in taste and looks!
The filling is also perfect for making burritos when you’ve got a lot of people to feed, and need a time-saving, no-stress meal.
Either way, happy taste buds, nourished bodies!
PICO DE GALLO
with a twist!
Classic Pico de Gallo doesn’t include corn, but I just love the taste, color and sweetness it lends, as it balances the heat of the garlic and the acidity of the lime juice.
For parties I make a double batch of the below portions just to make sure I have enough left over for the week – I serve it next to grilled salmon, chicken or flank steak, in omelets, in tacos or burritos, fresh wraps…the list goes on!
So make it once, enjoy it all week.
Fresh pesto mixed with yogurt & cream cheese
Fill the bottom of a few 'high-ball' glasses with your dip, and add the veggie sticks.
This saves your guests as step, and avoids the double dipping...and it just looks cool...and it takes less space than a platter...so you can scatter them around the room!
So many positives!
AISAN CHICKEN DRUMETTES
Small chicken legs slow-cooked in a teriyaki-style sauce
Most people go for the ‘wings’ when serving party food, but I find they are just a bit too messy and take two hands to eat, so I opt for the tiny little drumsticks (drumettes) you can eat with one hand, without getting sauce all over the sides of your mouth.
That said, my family loves it when I make these for dinner, so they’re not just party food!
CLASSIC ITALIAN MEATBALS
Cooked in a homemade tomato sauce.
This is a great option for the 'heavy hors d'oeuvres' solution when you need something substantial for you guests.
Make a big batch, set around the room in shallow serving bowls with toothpicks.
And pray for leftovers as these are so good over pasta or in a sub-sandwich!
SPICY CHICKEN DRUMMETTES
With TASTE OF SANTA FE spice blend
Another perfect 'heavy hors d'oeuvres' recipes that is a hit with kids and grownups!
With dill pickle and tomato
So easy you don't need a recipe page.
Here's what you do:
Shape hamburger meat into bite-sized balls, flatten a little (so they stand up nicely) and fry in a pan as you would a normal hamburger.
Skewer each with a toothpick and top with 1 dill slice and 1/2 of a cherry tomato.
Make a dipping sauce of greek yogurt, dijon mustard, diced red onion and dried dill - just mix to your desired taste.
Pan-fry or Cook in the Oven...
Pan-fry or place on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes at 350F/ 180C (or until cooked through).
PULLED PORK SLIDERS
Cooked in a homemade BBQ sauce.
This is really 2 recipes in 1 shot - slow cooked pulled pork AND a homemade BBQ sauce. Each step or process is quite simple and straight forward – it just takes a bit of planning. And it’s sooooo worth it!!
Recipe coming soon
SUNDRIED TOMATO TAPENADE
Sundried tomatoes with olives, capers, pine nuts & garlic
One of my family's favourites...I'm often asked to make this one when I have visitors!
But it's versatility will amaze you - it's great over pasta, and makes a superb filling for chicken roulade, or just a simple chicken parmesan. you will WANT leftovers!
Recipe coming soon
EASY TO MAKE
Pulse black olives, fresh garlic cloves, walnuts and basil in a food processor. stir in olive oil to desired 'moistness'.
BLACK OLIVE TAPENADE
Black olives with walnuts, basil & garlic
Many olive tapenades are made from kalamata olives, which are lovely, but have a sharper taste. Black olives are a little 'softer' on the palette and blend nicely with the nuttiness of the walnuts and the heat of the garlic.
Recipe coming soon
EASY, CLASSIC HUMMUS
Chickpeas blended with garlic, tahini, cumin, paprika and fresh lemon juice.
So easy, so healthy, so delicious.
Place a few small bowls of this around the room with glass of breadsticks, or fresh carrots, cucumber and red bell peppers for dipping.
It's a great snack to fill and nourish you and your guests!
Click through slide show (RIGHT) for recipe
1 can of chickpeas, 2-3 cloves garlic (to your taste), 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 cup tahini paste, 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice, 1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt (to your taste), 1/3 cup olive oil.
TIP: reserve a few chickpeas for garnishing as shown in serving photo.
Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, top with a few whole chickpeas and garnish with fresh chives.
GOATS CHEESE WITH ITALIAN HERBS
Homemade goats cheese or store bought for ease...
Buy some nice, soft chèvre and mix with dried Italian herbs and you've got a winner.
If you want to have some fun with it, make your own chèvre (goats cheese) - it's easier than you think, and a great project with kids!
Recipe coming soon
From leftover Bulgur Risotto Recipe
Sometimes I make this risotto JUST so I can have the leftovers for these beautiful risotto cakes. Makes a great lunch or beautiful starter/appetizer.
Simply mix cooled leftover risotto with a beaten egg, pack tightly into rounds, cover and refrigerate 3 hours (or overnight). Fry in a bit of sunflower oil on both sides until golden brown. Top with parmesan and garnish with fresh basil. Done!