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Beyond chips and dip: Fun, crowd-pleasing appetizer ideas

Get creative with your opening act!

From SheKnows Canada
Appetizers are like your kitchen's business card; don't be stingy with them! These recipes will spice up any dinner party and are still easy to make.
guacamole and goat cheese appetizer

Goat cheese guacamole baguette bites

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 fresh baguette, sliced

Directions:

  1. Cut the avocados in half, scoop out the flesh, and put it in a bowl. Mash with a fork or a potato masher. Add 2 tablespoons of red onion, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper and goat cheese.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet, and toast them in the oven for about 5 minutes.
  3. Top the baguette slices with a teaspoon of the avocado mixture, tomatoes and the rest of the onions.

Zucchini cheese bites

Ingredients:

  • 5 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried or fresh basil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Cut the zucchini into 1-inch slices. Using a teaspoon, hollow them out, but keep the bottoms intact. Lay the little zucchini cups on a greased baking sheet.
  2. Place about half a teaspoon of blue cheese into each cup. Combine the Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Scoop the mixture on top of the blue cheese (leave a little bit for the final topping). Place a slice of the cherry tomato on every zucchini cup, and top with the remainder of the Parmesan mixture.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 7 minutes.

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Chinese dumplings

Ingredients:

  • Won ton wrappers
  • 1/2 cup lean ground turkey
  • 3 green onion stalks, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, the cornstarch and the ginger in a medium bowl. Add the cilantro, green onions and the ground turkey. Mix.
  2. Place the won ton wrappers on your work surface, and put a teaspoon of the mixture in the centres. Brush the edges with water, fold the wrappers, and pinch or pleat the edges to seal.
  3. Steam the dumplings in either a special dim sum container or by placing a heatproof plate on a cake rack in a skillet filled with water (home-improvised steamer!) for 5 minutes.
  4. For the sauce, combine the rest of the soy sauce, lime juice and sugar in a small saucer, and cook on low heat for 1 minute.

Smoked salmon asparagus pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup light cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1 cup smoked salmon
  • 3 slices of a bread loaf (sliced horizontally)
  • 3 asparagus spears, cooked

Directions:

  1. Trim the crust off the bread and, using a rolling pin, flatten the slices slightly. Mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise together. Spread the cheese mixture on the bread, and place the salmon on top.
  2. Put an asparagus spear at the edge of each, and roll up the bread. Cover with saran wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut in 1-inch slices.

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