Quick Party Eats

Today, our lives are all about instant gratification. From digital pictures to IMs, we want it now! The same goes for feeding hungry families and dinner guests. Here, we show you five easy appetizers that you can whip together in no time. The best part? Everyone from your hungry teen and his 10 friends to your book club gals will love these simple snacks.

Pita chips and hummus

Asparagus roll-ups

Ingredients:
1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
3/4 pound prosciutto ham, thinly sliced
4 to 6 ounces onion and chive cream cheese (or plain, if you prefer)

    Directions:

    1. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, so they are slightly tender, but still crisp. Pull them out of the water with tongs and pat dry with paper towels.
    2. Spread a layer of cream cheese on each strip of prosciutto and roll one piece around each piece of asparagus.
    3. Stand them upright in a clear tumbler to serve.

    Jalapeño hummus and lime pita chips

    Ingredients:
    1 tub of plain, store-bought hummus
    1 small can of diced jalapeños
    Few springs of cilantro (to taste)
    Juice of 1 to 2 limes
    Store-bought pita bread

      Directions:

      1. In a food processor, blend hummus and jalapeños, adding jalapeños 1 tablespoon at a time so you can make it to your desired heat. Some jalapeños are super hot!
      2. Add in the cilantro and 1 tablespoon of lime juice once you've established the desired taste with the jalapeños.
      3. Put oven on broil. Cut pita bread rounds into triangles and arrange on a baking sheet covered with non-stick cooking spray. Spritz pita triangles with lime juice and broil just until they turn golden brown, about 1-1/2 minutes.

      Cheesy chili dip and lit'l smokies

      Ingredients:

      1 block Velveeta cheese
      1 can chili
      1 package Lil Smokies sausages
      Tortilla chips

        Directions:

        1. Toss sausages in a pot of boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes.
        2. Meanwhile, chop Velveeta cheese into cubes and microwave in a large bowl until it just starts to melt.
        3. Blend in one can of chili of your choice, and microwave for another 2 minutes, or until hot.
        4. Serve with chips and salsa, and sausages on toothpicks.

        Classy crackers

        Ingredients:
        1 box crackers of your choice
        1 container spreadable brie cheese
        2 to 3 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
        1/2 cup walnuts, chopped very finely

          Directions:

          1. Mix walnuts into the spreadable brie cheese. Spread a little on each cracker.
          2. Top with a slice or two of apple.

           

          Chicken salad pinwheels

          Ingredients:

          1 container store-bought chicken salad
          1/2 cup grapes, quartered
          1/2 cup apples, diced
          1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
          1 package tortillas
          Shredded lettuce

            Directions:

            1. Spread chicken salad on each tortilla and top with a sprinkle of grapes, apples, walnuts and lettuce.
            2. Roll up the tortillas, wrap in foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
            3. When serving, slice into "pinwheels."

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