I’ve been working on this list for a while and I’m super-excited about it! I was actually working on it last night when a squirrel jumped out of our fireplace on our Christmas tree. So I put a hold on publishing this post because, hello, a squirrel jumped out of our fireplace onto our tree!
But back the appetizers.
If I were having my last meal, I’d have appetizers. Which would be sort of like cheating, because you would get to have so many meals at once! Appetizers are pretty much my favorite thing about parties these days. That, and getting to wear real shoes, as opposed to slippers, which I normally wear.
And ’tis the season for these tasty little bites! We’ve already had them for Christmas Eve, we’ll have them again for New Year’s Eve, and then again for the Super Bowl!
*Disclaimer. Appetizer parties are the one basic exception to The Diet Everyone Should Be On. I try greatly to avoid processed foods, but appetizers are my every-once-in-a-while occasion. So don’t judge me by a stray hydrogenated oil today. The one thing I do avoid consuming at all costs is MSG (because it gives me a horrible headache), and food dyes (because they make my kids crazy).
**Another disclaimer. Some of these are pretty basic. So don’t judge me. Actually, go ahead…I know I’m not Giada! (Although…one time someone told me I looked like her. Which I treasured up in my heart forever.)
Anyways, without further ado, The Appetizers! Except for a few exceptions, if I haven’t made it, I’ve tasted it (or something similar). Which is kind of embarrassing, now that I think about it. That’s a lot of appetizers for a 31-year-old.
Allergy-Friendly (no egg, dairy, wheat, and nuts)
- Paula Deen’s Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps
- Zucchini Fries – I use coconut milk instead of the egg white
- Black Bean Hummus – serve with corn chips, red peppers, or carrots
- Sweet and Sour Meatballs – I make the meatballs from here, which are allergy-friendly (making sure they are smaller than normal), and the sauce from here.
- Restaurant-Style Salsa
- Braised White Beans – I serve with corn chips or pitas.
- Smashed Baby Red Potatoes – serve alongside bacon crumbles, and sour cream for those who’d prefer
- Black Bean and Avocado Salsa
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Guacamole - year-round deliciousness!
- Roasted Garbanzo Beans.
- Pioneer Woman’s Perfect French Fries
- Pineapple Mango Salsa
- Veggie Skewers
- Maple Sweet Bacon . Give me one good reason not to have bacon for an appetizer. Oh, that’s right…there isn’t one.
- Homemade Sweet Potato Chips
What A Man Wants
- The Banshee’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- Paula Deen’s Macho Nachos – I would do homemade chili only, or simply plain ground beef
- Pimento Cheese Toasts
- Bacon Cheddar Beef Sliders
- Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins
- Meatball Sliders – use the Banshee’s recipe for meatballs, jarred spaghetti sauce, and small dinner rolls
- Banshee’s Queso Dip – if my husband did not think this dish was DIVINE, I would not include it. Velveeta is much too processed, but once a year, I’ll let him have it…:)
- Buffalo Chicken Dip (please use a ranch dressing without MSG, like Annie’s Natural)
- Texas Chicken Quesadillas
- Pepperoni Stromboli – although I do not use this exact recipe…I’d make my own dough!
- Mini Pigs in a Blanket (make sure you cut in really small pieces for kids!)
- Mini Corn Dog Bites (to make these dairy and egg-free, I adapt the recipe making a “buttermilk” from coconut milk and vinegar. It comes out just the same!)
- Fruit Skewers
- Crispy Ravioli with Marinara
- Ham and Cheese Party Rolls
- Paula Deen’s Sausage Balls
- Bean and Chicken Quesadillas
- Bruschetta, traditional
- White Bean Bruschetta
- Sweet and Spicy Summer Sausage
- Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Pita Chips
- Mexican Layered Dip
- Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
- Caprese Skewers
- Crostini with Thyme-Roasted Tomatoes
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Zucchini Roll-ups with Goat Cheese
- Deviled Eggs
- Cheese-topped Cornbread
- Southwestern Egg Rolls (My sister made these and just wowed a whole party!)
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Loaded Potato Skins
- Creamy Chicken Taco Cups
- Fried Green Tomatoes (I make these allergy-friendly by dipping in seasoned flour/cornmeal and then frying)
- Fried Chicken Skewers (These also can be allergy-friendly by using coconut milk instead of eggs. The coconut adds a nice tang, too!)