Enjoy happy hour appetizers at home

Enjoy happy hour appetizers at home

Put on some great music and dim the lights. Reflect and be grateful for all that you have, as you relax and enjoy the cooler weather.

Put on some great music and dim the lights. Reflect and be grateful for all that you have, as you relax and enjoy the cooler weather.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

Happy hour appetizers can be fun and easy to serve at home. Also, they can be quick to prepare when you want a light meal. Just add some crusty bread or crackers and a tray of assorted cheeses with some of the recipes below. Couple this with a great glass of organic wine, sparkling cider or a bottle of San Pelegrino, and you do not have to worry about it being safe to drive home.

Put on some great music and dim the lights. Reflect and be grateful for all that you have, as you relax and enjoy the cooler weather.

 

Adrienne’s Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 6 small-to-medium ripe avocados, peeled and mashed
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Few drops of hot sauce, to taste

Preparation:

Mash avocados in a bowl with a fork and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Keep one of the pits in mixture for freshness. Chill before serving with your favorite chips.

 

Honey Spice Apple Butter

Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 12 slices
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Kosher salt, pinch

Preparation:

Prepare apples, add to a small saucepan, add cider and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, breaking up apples with a wire whisk. Add the remaining ingredients and slow simmer for 40 minutes or until very thick. Be careful not to burn. Cool at room temperature and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature to serve with fresh bread. Yield: 1 quart or 4 cups.

 

Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 loaf crusty bread, such as ciabatta, sliced very thin
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, optional

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Brush the bread on both sides with the olive oil; season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet, and bake until crusty and brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Turn once about halfway through cooking, and dust with Parmesan, if using. Serve hot, warm or room temperature. Yield: 6 servings.

 

Warm Olives with Rosemary

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces green olives
  • 4 ounces black olives
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper

Preparation:

Heat all ingredients in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté and toss until mixture starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 1 cup (serving size: 2 tablespoons).

 

Red-Lentil Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for finishing
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 garlic clove, smashed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sweet paprika, pinch
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • Greek yogurt, optional

Preparation:

Place lentils in a 2-quart pot; cover with 2 cups water. Boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender (about 20 minutes). Combine lentils, salt, tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and coriander in a food processor and blend until smooth. To serve, spoon hummus into a shallow bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Top with Greek yogurt, if desired. Yield: 3 cups (serving size: 2 tablespoons).

 

Melon, Mozzarella and Prosciutto Skewers

Ingredients:

  • 20 (1-inch) cantaloupe or honeydew cubes (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 20 thin slices prosciutto (about 1/2 pound)
  • 20 fresh small mozzarella cheese balls (about one 8-oz. tub)
  • 20 (4-inch) wooden skewers
  • Freshly cracked pepper

 

Preparation:

Thread 1 melon cube, 1 prosciutto slice and 1 mozzarella ball onto each of the wooden skewers. Sprinkle with cracked pepper.

 

Sources: bonappetit.com, gourmet.com and Joanne’s recipe box.

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

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