Quick and Easy Hors D’oeuvres

Hors D’oeuvres are often the hit of the party – if they’re prepared properly. But many hostesses fret too much over the Hors D’oeuvres when they really don’t need to worry. Expensive Hors D’oeuvres are usually no more impressive than less costly recipes. Of course, as any good hostess knows, not all hors d’oeuvres are suitable for all guests so having a variety of hors d’oeuvres is the best plan.

One quick and easy hors d’oeuvres that you can make is, of course, cheese crackers. Plain cheese crackers won’t do, though. Try various crackers with assorted cheeses. For a different take on that same hors d’oeuvres add things like pepperoni, olives, pickles, or other meats. Or try different meat salads on the crackers, such as chicken salad.

Use English muffins to make another great hors d’oeuvres. Spread pizza sauce on each bagel and top with pepperoni bits and cheese. Bake until golden brown. Slice the tiny pizzas into four equal size pieces and serve.

Cook cocktail wieners in barbecue sauce with a spoon full of grape jelly. The jelly and barbecue sauce together gives the wieners a sweet-and-sour taste that is divine. Serve by placing one wiener on a slice of cheddar cheese held together with a toothpick. You can also boil the cocktail wieners in beer with hot sauce until the liquid has almost evaporated. Stab with a toothpick and serve.

Use “scoop”-type chips and fill with different goodies. The chips are shaped like a mini bowl and are perfect for holding chili and cheese, taco-flavored meat with cheese, or even crab salad. Or, just put a dab of salsa and a dollop of sour cream in the scoop then sprinkle with cheese.

Use mini pastry shells to make any number of hors d’oeuvres. Bake the shells until golden brown and fill with deli salads or meat mixtures. Or mix up a tuna salad at home and place it in the browned shells.

Choose small, but not tiny, tomatoes at the grocery store. Cut off the top and use a melon ball scoop to remove seeds. Fill with cottage cheese and serve. Or, fill the tomatoes with a warm mix of hamburger, onions and cheese.

Use thinly sliced ham or other luncheon meats to make various hors d’oeuvres. Stack three pieces of the meat together and spread cream cheese on the stack. Lay a green onion at one end and roll shut. Cut in half and secure with toothpicks. Or, replace the onion with a chili pepper instead.

Deviled eggs are always a great hors d’oeuvres and are easy to make. After boiling the eggs and cutting them in half scoop out the hard boiled yolk. Put all the yolks into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in mayonnaise until creamy but still thick and add mustard until very creamy. Add the tiniest pinch of sugar to eliminate the sour taste of the mustard. Arrange the eggs on a tray and sprinkle with paprika.

Serve fruits or veggies on a toothpick and your guests will love them. Place a cherry on a toothpick followed by a small slice of pineapple. Or a slice of cucumber topped with cottage cheese is great. Use your imagination and keep in mind that hors d’oeuvres should be as pleasant to see as to taste.

If you’re not serving dinner you may wish to have a round or two of assorted meat, fruit and vegetable hors d’oeuvres followed by some dessert hors d’oeuvres. Dip banana chunks in melted chocolate and insert toothpick. To hold the chocolate to the banana try dropping a small chunk of paraffin into the chocolate. Or make it more attractive by skewering a strawberry then the banana. There are many hors d’oeuvres that can be made using inexpensive ingredients and little time.

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