Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Appetizing Appetizers

How do you start off a meal? Serve appetizers to whet the appetite as well as to quell any hunger pains. What's great about them is that you can make them as simple or as elaborate as the occasion calls for. Sometimes all it requires is just fancy cheese on crackers , sometimes it's more complicated and involves ingredients used in making a meal. Either way you can be creative and have fun with them.

Appetizers have been around since Roman and Greek times. The ancient Athenians loved to have them served in a buffet where everyone could taste and sample delicacies and favorites. Today's restaurants offer this wide range. You can choose everything from jalapeno poppers to shrimp kabobs along with today's most popular , bruschetta. Restaurants can make any appetizer in large quantities and they are easy to serve. If you're having a large party or affair then ask your caterer to create your favorite restaurant appetizers. After all no one can make 300 bruschetta , fried zucchini or deviled eggs in their kitchen. Let the professionals do the big quantities.

If you're having a small , cozy party then think about just having an appetizer bar. This cuts out the time and hassle of having full courses and lets you have more time with your guests. You can create platters of mini quesadillas and tacos for a Mexican themed one. Tartlets, whether they be filled with Gruyere cheese, spinach or shredded chicken and turkey are also good starters. I love mini quiches in a variety of flavors. These are not only fun to eat but also go well with a host of wines and champagnes. Bruschetta is another favorite of mine but I prefer a vegetable one that also has minced artichoke hearts, cauliflower and broccoli in it. Serve this on slightly oiled and toasted Italian bread and it's a superb hors d' ouevre. You can also add salami to give it more oomph if it's the only appetizer being served.

Appetizers are a fun way to start any meal whether it be in your favorite restaurant or at home. Enjoy them. They make any party more fun and are a great introduction to a good meal.

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