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The Value Guru Wants You...if You Want a Prize

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Are you a fan of The Whole Deal in-store value guide? If so, here's a sneak preview of the special December issue we're putting together. It will focus around giving and entertaining on a budget and feature several recipes for amazing "small bites" party food that cost less than 50 cents per piece-many much less than that!

I know, I know, it seems awfully early to be talking holiday parties, but to be ready to inspire and assist you when the time comes we have to start Christmas in July, so to speak. And this year we also want some help from you! Simply use the comments space below to share your own favorite value-focused "small bites" holiday appetizer recipe that costs less than 50 cents per piece. If your favorite is selected as our favorite of all the entries, we'll send you a $50 gift card and print your recipe in The Whole Deal. But, hurry up, the deadline is October 5th!

Good luck...I can't wait to get a taste of your ideas.

And, if you haven't already, be sure to sign up for The Whole Deal e-newsletter. You'll hear from us a few times each month about in-store specials and money-saving tips…and future contests, too.

Tune in to our Whole Story blog each Wednesday in October for a special value-focused weekly contest!

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585 comments

Comments

Barbara Bucknam says …

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms 2- 14oz cans artichoke bottoms, rinsed, drained, dried 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese 1/2 cup mayo 3 large cloves garlic-minced 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (1 lemon) 1 tsp grated lemon peel zest 1/4 cup pine nuts chopped fresh parsley-optional Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease 8-inch square baking dish. Place artichokes rounded side down in dish. Combine cheese, mayo, garlic, lemon juice and zest in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mound this mayo mixture into artichoke bottoms. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake until heated thru about 20 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve. Note-larger artichoke bottoms can be cut to bite size if needed. This recipe can be used as an appetizer or a side dish with the bigger artichoke bottoms.

Fiona Blasius says …

When company drops in unexpectedly I put together a few simple things that require no cooking and are not only tasty, but very healthy. Dates stuffed with almonds or cashew butter, celery stuffed with cashew butter or hummus, warmed brie served with apricot jam, candied nuts, olive tapenade and crackers/pita bread, and whatever fresh fruit I have on hand. I also put out whatever dark chocolate I have on hand. Folks think I went all out, but I didn't. :)

Stacy Reis says …

So good you can't stop! 4 Cups, sharp, shredded, cheddar cheese. 1 small bunch of scallions, whites and greens chopped. 3 TBS. Real Mayo and 1 small can of small size shrimp crushed with a fork. With a spoon, blend the contents together, make the day ahead so the flavors develop. Serve with your favorite crackers or baguette.

Hannah Wang says …

Ritz cookies topped with a mixture of imitation crab, mayonaise, and some sweet corn.

Thomas says …

WOW! This is easy. We like to take a pitted date and slip a walnut, or pecan inside. That's all! Enjoy!!

Andrea Register says …

I like to take a whole wheat cracker, add a dollop of spaghetti sauce and top it with a slice of pepperoni. Make a plate and microwave for 20 seconds to heat it up. YUM!

Kelly S says …

3 B's Turkey Dogs Always a holiday hit! Cut 2 packages turkey dogs into chunks and throw them in a crock pot. Add BBQ sauce (enough to cover the top of the cut dogs), some BEER(about 1/2 cup any kind) and 1/4 cup of BROWN SUGAR. Stir all ingredients and simmer in crock pot until sauce is thick and dogs are plump. Add more or less of ingredients based on your taste. Use toothpick or spoon to serve. YUM!

Anupa says …

Cranberry Chutney on Sliced Baguettes Pour *2-3 tsp cooking oil in a pan. Add * 1" peeled, shredded ginger * 1-2 cloves finely chopped garlic * 1/4 of a finely chopped onion (I prefer Vidalia) * 3-8 freshly sliced finger finger hot pepper (or 1-3 jalapeno) Stir till translucent. Add * 1.5 cups fresh whole cranberries * 1/4 cup raisins (golden or Thompson) * a splash of orange juice * upto 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or jaggery - Indian raw sugar) * a dash each of turmeric, cumin powder and chilli powder * salt to taste Stir and cook on low heat until the cranberries pop and the whole mixture is of spreading consistency. Add water by the teaspoonful if it starts to get dry and catch on the bottom of the pan. Adjust seasonings so you can taste subtle sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours in the chutney. Can serve warm or cooled on lightly toasted baguette slices or whole grain crackers of your choice. Cover tightly and store in fridge for upto 2 weeks. A wonderful addition to your sandwich for lunch if you have leftovers.

lisa says …

I love cranberry dishes this time of year...warm, sweet and a little tart...yum! Ok so here is the deal I dish out an orange infused cranberry quinoa with a pomegranite reduction....and it goes like this... 1. Follow the directions on your box of regular white quinoa and substitute orange juice for the water...make four cups cooked quinoa 2. Toast a half cup of slivered almonds and toss into the warm quinoa. 3. Pour one half cup of sweetened dried cranberries into a bowl and add boiling water to refresh the berries for five minutes. Drain water and toss into the quinoa. 4. Zest a tablespoon of orange rind and one of lemon rind directly into the mixture and toss. 5. In a small sauce pan bring one half cup of pomegranate juice and a few tbsp of refined white sugar to a boil and stir constantly to avoid burning. Once the sauce cooks down turn off the heat and leave on the stove to cool. Do not worry if it is a little liquidy...once it cools the reduction will thicken. Since this is a "small bites" recipe instead of plating in a large white bowl and drizzling over the reduction and sprinkling over a little more almonds, cinnamon and zest do the following... 6. Using any type of spoon you like...(toss the quinoa once more to incorporate everything) fill the spoons with a bite size portion and line up the spoons on a long white platter however you like. Drizzle the bites (and if you get it on the plate too it's ok... as a matter of fact it looks nice!) with the reduction, zest a little more orange onto the plate and dust the plate and bites with cinnamon...enjoy!!!

Dakota says …

Pumpkin Pie Dip: 1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin 8 oz Neufchatel or cream cheese, softened 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1/2 tsp cinnamon With a mixer, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve with any combination of sliced apples or bananas, pretzels, and toasted wheat or zucchini bread.

Mary C says …

Grill the awesome Habenero Sausage (seemingly only available at WF boulder) for 10-15. Grill hot, then move to the cooler part of the grill to cook through. Do not poach or it removes the heat of the chili. Make a dipping sauce by mixing dijon mustard 50-50 with honey or apricot jam. Slice into rounds and serve with dipping sauce. Hold on to your hat!

Marisa Horner says …

My mother has always made these delicate Guava Empanadas since I can remember. In fact, when my oldest daughter had her first Communion, my mother brought a pink box with these little tasty turnovers for after the church ceremony. I remember the look on my daughter's face when she opened the pretty pink box to reveal these family favorites. This year on her 21st birthday, my mother brought her another box of these for her to share with her friends and family after dinner. Mother makes the guava jam from fresh guavas her friends give her from their own guava trees of different varieties(used to be from her own trees in the Imperial Valley, but these trees did not survive a winter frost a few years back) She makes the pastry from pastry flour and cold butter. The guavas she peels, cooks over the stove with sugar and pectin as you would for jam. Then you roll out the chilled pastry dough, and use a very small buscuit cutter for each empanada. You fill with a little bit of jam, then bake at 350 for a few minutes until light brown. Of course, dust them with powdered sugar at the end but they are delicious naked as well. If you are fortunate enough to have friends that have guava trees, these little empanadas would not cost more than a few cents to make, as you would only spend money on pastry flour and butter. Of course, you will share these with those who gave you the guavas and they will be awaited with great anticipation in the years to come.

Ann Sharma says …

Tuscan Fig & Gorgonzola Bruschetta 1 ½ C. of chopped fresh figs (¼ inch) and variety. 1 C. Crumbled Gorgonzola ½ C. toasted chopped walnuts ¼ C. balsamic vinegar 1/3 C. XV olive oil 1 T. Honey ½ Tsp. Salt Black pepper to taste Baguette of your choice cut into ½ slices. Chop figs and crumble Gorgonzola, place in bowl. In a mixing bowl add honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oils. Mix well, add salt and pepper. Pour over the figs and cheese, lightly mix. Spoon into a shallow bowl. Top with chopped walnuts. Serve with toasted baguettes brushed with XV olive oil or good crackers.

Dawn Simpson says …

I love making (and eating!) appetizers. One of my go-to appetizers is corn tortillas - cut in quarters and brushed w/olive oil. Lightly sprinkle on your favorite seasonings. I typically use dry parsley and cumin. Form each piece of tortilla into a small cup in a mini muffin tin. Fill each cup with homemade spinach hummus and top with a little piece of grape tomato. Bake until tortillas are lightly browned and crispy.

Paul Winans says …

I buy a bag of small sweet peppers, red, yellow, orange. Split them in half, clean out seeds, purchase one container of flavored cream cheese your choice and fill peppers and you have a quick inexpensive snack bite.

Nikki says …

This recipe combines 2 of my favorite fall fruits. I have a habit of just eating the fruit mixture out of the bowl rather than preparing to share it with others in the phyllo cups... Pear & Pomegranate Bites: 45 mini phyllo cups (3 packages) 3 pears, cut into small chunks Arils (seeds) from 1 pomegranate 2 tbsp light brown sugar 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/3 cup of your favorite chopped nuts: pecans, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts (optional) To prevent browning, toss the pear chunks with 1 tbsp of pineapple juice. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In a larger bowl, combine the pears, pomegranate arils, nuts, and sugar mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. Prepare the phyllo cups as directed on the package. For a hot appetizer, scoop the pear and pomegranate mixture into the cups during the last 5 minutes of baking. For a cold appetizer, allow the cups to cool before filling.

Nikki says …

Cheesy Bacon Balls: 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or any other favorite cheese) 2/3 cup flour 1/3 cup butter, softened 1/3 cup crumbled turkey bacon 1/4 tsp pepper (or other favorite seasoning) Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients and form into bite-size balls. Place on greased cookie sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes. You can also add diced vegetables to the balls for added nutrition and flavor.

Anna Rubin says …

My daughter loves these tasty little roll-ups she learned to make at her after school program. They make a perfect little appetizer--lovely to look at, healthy and inexpensive. After School Party Roll-Ups 1 package whole-wheat tortilla (8) 1-2 bunches watercress (washed, trimmed and dried) 1 8-oz tub light cream cheese 1 package instant vegetable soup mix (Whole Foods/365 or Knorr brand recommended) Directions: Mix soup mix and light cream cheese together. Let sit for 20 minutes. Spread 1/8th cream cheese mix to cover one tortilla. Add 1/8 watercress. Roll up. Slice roll into 6-8 pieces (depending on size of tortilla). Repeat steps until desired number of appetizer slices is prepared. Recipe makes approx. 48-64 pieces. Can be doubled for larger parties.

Susan Kreusch says …

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms 1 package button mushrooms or baby bellas 1-2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, all moisture squeezed out Feta Cheese 1 Medium Onion, diced Olive oil In a frying pan heat olive oil, add diced onion and the diced stems of the mushrooms sauteeing until onions are clear. Add to chopped spinach and mix well. Add crumbled feta cheese to spinace mixture and mix well. Place mushroom tops on cookie sheet, stuff with spinach mix, drizzle with olive oil and bake 350 degrees 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms start to sweat. This can also be made casserole style by layering sliced mushrooms and spinach mix. Top with buttered bread crumbs.

Lori Megginson says …

One of my favorite appetizers for holidays is to take a block of cream cheese, put it on a colorful plate and pour a jar of the Fischer-Weiser Raspberry Chipotle sauce over it. Serve it with one of Whole Foods yummy crackers and its an instant hit. It not only looks beautiful but serves a lot of people for less than 50 cents per serving, and it tastes delicious.

Stacee Green says …

GAZPACHO IN CUCUMBER CUPS Makes 4 dozen 1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 1 medium jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped 1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 1 English cucumber, peel on, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 1/2 cup tomato juice, or more if needed 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 48 Cucumber Cups Directions In a medium bowl, combine 1/3 cup bell pepper, 1 teaspoon jalapeño, 1/3 cup red onion, 1/3 cup tomatoes, 1/3 cup cucumber, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro; set aside. Set aside 1/2 cup cucumber for garnish. In the bowl of a food processor, combine remaining bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro. Add tomato juice, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; process until smooth. Stir into reserved mixed ingredients in medium bowl (not the 1/2 cup cucumber). Transfer gazpacho to an airtight container. Chill gazpacho for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Thin soup by adding more tomato juice, if desired; season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon about 1 tablespoon gazpacho into each cucumber cup. Top each cup with reserved cucumber. CUCUMBER CUPS Makes 2 dozen 5 English cucumbers, each about 10 ounces and 11 inches long, ends trimmed Directions If cucumbers are waxed, peel them. Cut each crosswise into five 1 3/4-inch pieces. With a small melon baller, carefully scoop out the insides of each piece, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edge and a 1/2-inch border on the bottom. The cucumber cups may be prepared up to 4 hours in advance, arranged on damp paper towels, tightly covered, and refrigerated.

Elizabeth Emery says …

place 1/2 dried apricot outside face down, put a dab of blue, gorgozola type cheese on it, top wth toasted pecan 1/2. bite-sized mix of tastes.

Elizabeth says …

This is my all-time favorite appetizer. It's easy to make and everyone loves them. Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes (makes at least 36) INGREDIENTS: ~36 cherry tomatoes ~1 8 oz package of Neufchatel cheese (or low-fat cream cheese) ~1 Tablespoon dry Italian salad dressing mix ~2-3 Tablespoons of skim milk ~Garnish (see directions below for ideas) DIRECTIONS: 1. Place washed tomatoes stem-side down; make an "X" cut down to about 1/4 inch from the bottom of each tomato. Spread carefully to open and let sit on a paper towel. 2. In a small bowl combine: cheese, dressing mix, and milk. Blend well. You can add more or less milk until it reaches the desired consistency. 3. Fill each tomato with about 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Lightly sprinkle tops with desired garnish. In the fall I use paprika for a red and orange look. For Christmas I use chopped, fresh dill or parsley for a red and green look.

Becky says …

For a sweet treat, I like to cut a pound cake in half (the long way - like you were cutting it to make a pound cake sandwich), spread 1 side of the sliced cake with Nutella and the otherside with a berry-based jelly. I then put them back together and slice, so that you get both Nutella and berry togehter. I also roast pumpkin seeds with olive oil, cumin and kosher salt.

Lelia Yin says …

Cool blog, loved it!

Aneah Epshteyn says …

Here's a way to make smoked salmon go a lot longer. 1/4 lb. smoked salmon (peppered is nice) 2 long cucumbers 1 tbsp. prepared mustard 1 tbsp. lemon juice 1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley 1 green onion, diced. - Peel the cucumbers, slice in half and scoop out seeds. - Mix all the rest and divide between 4 halves, press down until tightly compacted. - slice into 1" sections, serve and enjoy! See more recipes and tips on www.essentialgrain.com.

Colette says …

Baked brie with pecans and brown sugar. A sheet of puff pastry and a wheel of brie you place the wheel of brie in the center of the sheet of pastry and place a 1/4 cup diced pecans and 8 whole becans on the top of the briepull the corners up around the wheel until the wheel is completely covered. use egg white to seal the pastry togeter. Bake at 350 till golden brown.

Tony Theil says …

Sweet Potato Polenta 1 cup polenta grade corn meal 1 medium sweet potato coarsely grated 1/2 tsp salt 1 TB butter 6 TB maple syrup 3 cups of water Optional topping: chopped pecans and/or dried cranberries Boil water. Slowly add corn meal and stir for about 30 minutes over medium flame until mixture separates from bottom of pot. Add sweet potato, salt, butter and maple syrup. Continue for another 5 to 10 minutes. Scoop mixture into an 8" or 9" square pan. Let it cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into individual portions. Add topping. Serves 4.

kristen keegan says …

Spinach Puffs 2 10oz boxes of frozen spinach ¾ T cayenne pepper 2C herb bread crumbs or stuffing mix 1 ½ t garlic salt 1 lg onion diced 1-2 t cajun seasoning 6 eggs ½ C shredded parmesan ¾ C melted butter Cook spinach in microwave and drain. Combine all ingredients with your hands. Rolls into small balls. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 325. Makes about 4 dozen. Kids LOVE them!

Valerie Rinta Santos says …

This recipe is from my mother. It was always a favorite among her guests. Duc de Richelieu Canapes SHOPPING LIST Mayonnaise ($3.99 365 Brand 32 oz) 1 T / 64 Servings Parmesan cheese ($4.99 365 Brand 8 oz) 1 T / 45 Servings 6-8 shallots ($2.50 @ 4.99/lb) 1 french baguette- small diameter ($2.29) COST Total cost of items: $13.79 Servings: 120 Cost per serving: 12 cents PREPARATION 24 ounces mayonnaise (45 Tablespoons) 8 ounces parmesan cheese (45 Tablespoons) 4-6 shallots cut into thin diagonal slices. baguette- slice into 1/4 inch slices and then cut slices in half. Heat broiler oven. Mix mayonnaise and parmesan cheese in a bowl until well blended. Place slice of shallot on each slice of baguette and top with 2 teaspoons mayonnaise and parmesan mixture. Place in broiler until golden brown. Watch carefully. Serve immediately. Veganize recipe by replacing mayonnaise and parmesan with vegan versions.

Rita Segelman-Noguera says …

Prunes stuffed with walnuts: Boil prunes for couple minutes in boiling 50% water 50% dry wine. Once the prunes have cooled, stuff each with a quarter of a walnut. Serve on a platter with a sour cream dip (sour cream whipped with sugar to taste). Yummy.

Mallory says …

Easy Carmel Apple Slices: Thinly slice a Granny Smith apple vertically (so you can see the shape of the apple) Top with half a date Tada! Amazingly delicious, super simple, and luxury on the cheap!

Maria says …

Make a slit in a pitted date. Stuff with a smoked almond. Voila!

Jean Ross says …

What could be easier or more delicious than the following 4 ingredient appetizer which always wows them at holiday time? Purchase a container of smoked salmon bits at Whole Foods, a large baguette or two, a small package of fresh chives from the produce section and a container of whipped cream cheese. Cut the bread into thin rounds. Coat each round with a layer of cream cheese. Fold a piece or two of the salmon bits over the cream cheese. Gently tie each chive into a small bow and place the bow on top of the salmon. (Be aware you will lose almost as many chive bows as you make as they are a bit hard to tie, but the look is worth the trouble). Done!

Angela L. says …

Southwest Corn & Black Bean Scoopers 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed & drained 2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained 1/2 cup chopped red onion 1/2 cup chopped green onions 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped Bag scoopable tortilla chips (such as Tostitos) Dressing: 1/2 c. fresh lime juice (about 3 limes) 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 3 T. olive oil 1 teaspoons salt 1 1/2 t. ground cumin 2 t. honey 3 large garlic cloves, minced 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, onions, bell pepper, cilantro & tomatoes. Wisk all dressing ingredients together. Pour over bean and corn mixture. Toss gently to combine. Use fork to fill scoopables (so dressing drains and doesn’t make scoopable bottoms soggy. Alternatively you could add a small, thin slice of cheddar on the bottom of the scoopable chip and place bean & corn mixture on top. Chopped avocado is optional as it costs a bit more but really makes this dish.

margaret kent says …

MOCK CHICKEN LIVER 1 cup dry brown lentils, cooked in water according to package directions 1 cup chopped walnuts 1 very large onion fried in olive oil Put all in blender with salt and pepper until smooth. Add more olive oil as needed. (1/2 cup to 1cup olive oil)

Rebecca Bockow says …

No holiday party is complete without desert! I like fondue bars at parties because they are beautiful in presentation and are fun to enjoy! It can also be quite inexpensive provided you choose the right dipping items Milk Chocolate Fondue: 8 oz high quality organic milk chocolate 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream heat cream in small heavy duty saucepan over medium-high heat until almost boiling, then remove and add chocolate. stir chocolate in until smooth. Transfer to fondue pot and keep warm over low heat. dark chocolate orange fondue 2/3rd cup heavy whippinf cream 8 oz high quality organic dark chocolate baking bar, finely chopped 1 Tbs organge liqueur (optional) 1 tsp grated orange peel see instructions above Decorate table with small bowls of pretzels, angel food cake or pound cake, cut up fresh fruit, marshmallows. Serve with small forks or skewers.

Cathy Benedetto says …

Stuffed mushrooms make nice bites. Use 1 pound of cremini mushrooms (about 30). Saute 2 T finely chopped shallots, 1T each finely chopped green pepper and celery (with leaves), and the chopped stems of the mushrooms. Remove 1 link of smoky andouille sausage from its casing and add to sauteing veggies. When sausage is mostly cooked, remove from heat and add 2 oz. gorgonzola, mashing it into the mix. Add 3 T bread crumbs. Cool and use to stuff the mushrooms. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes. (Can be stuffed ahead of time and baked just before serving.)

Jayne Weaver says …

I like to serve cherry tomatoes stuffed with either egg salad, chicken salad or tuna salad. They always look pretty and are eaten really fast.

Julie Lynn says …

Holiday Polenta Pizza Bites Cook polenta according to package directions using low sodium vegetable broth. Cool on cookie sheets and use a round cookie cutter to cut out discs of polenta. Top with; creamy white sauce (purchased or homemade) sage, chopped mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, black olive and arugula (or any combination of those) and a little rice cheese. Pop under the broiler to melt cheese and voila!

Margaret says …

Strawberry-Cheese Ring (Fabulous holiday appetizer!) 2 (8 oz) packages sharp cheddar cheese¼ teaspoon garlic salt 1 small onion, peeled and cut in half¼ teaspoon pepper 1 cup pecansDash of red pepper 2/3 cup mayonnaiseStrawberry preserves •Position shredding disc in food processor bowl, and top with cover. Cut cheese to fit food chute, if necessary. Place cheese in food chute; shred, applying firm pressure with food pusher •Position onion in food chute; grate, applying firm pressure with food pusher. Remove shredded cheese and onion from processor bowl; set aside •Position knife blade in processor bowl. Add pecans, and process until pecans are finely chopped. Add mayonnaise and seasonings; pulse 5 or 6 times or until ingredients are blended. Stir mayonnaise mixture into cheese and onion, mixing well. Shape mixture into a ring on a serving platter. Chill mixture several hours •At serving time, fill center of ring with strawberry preserves and serve with crackers

paul alvarez says …

I love Futters Nut Butters in Chicago area Wholefoods. The Hazelnut butter on bananas is to die for......Also, the Walnut butter in waffles is awesome. The Nutbutters are Gluten and dairy free with no added preservatives. I must have for the holidays! Curl up the fire place and enjoy!

Hraven says …

This is easy and impressive. Wash and separate Belgian endive leaves. Mix your favorite bleu cheese with chopped walnuts. Spoon cheese/nut mixture into endive leaves, arrange on plate. Drizzle with honey.

Tim says …

Ok, this is super simple, but each time I do it, people love it and ask how to make it and ask for it over and over. Just get some Gruyere cheese (cave aged if you can), put a medium slice on a piece of lightly buttered banquette slice, a few grains of grey salt, and a 1/2 turn from your pepper grinder. It goes a long way, its not cheap on fat or calories, but fast and inexpensive for a group and awesome with the wine too. :)

Devon Hernandez says …

My simple appetizer can one of two ways: 1. Box(es) of phyllo appetizer cups, fill with a teaspoon or two of a marinara sauce (I like to add a little sugar to mine to sweeten slightly, first), then a few crumbles of goat cheese on top. Bake at 350 F until cheese melts, serve hot. 2. Take an oven-proof dish, like a souffle dish, pour in a jar of marinara. Slice a log of goat cheese and lay the slices across the top of the marinara sauce. Bake at 350 F until cheese is melting. Serve as a hot dip with toasted pieces of bread.

Jocelyn says …

This is easy, but elegant: buy a slice of brie. Then, put it on a big plate on top of the stove while you warm up some bread in the oven. The brie will get warm and soft from the heat of the oven. Spoon some apricot preserves over the brie, slice the bread, and serve. It was a huge hit with my family and friends and now they all make it too.

Danielle says …

Warm party foods are great for the holidays when guests are coming in out of the cold. Hot and Spicy Cheesy Spinach Salsa Verde 2, 8 oz blocks of cream cheese 12 oz jar of Tomatillo Salsa 12 oz frozen spinach, chopped 2.25 oz can of jalapeno peppers, drained and diced salt and pepper to taste Mix all the ingredients in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Stir until well combined and bubbly. Transfer into serving dish, fondue pot, or baking dish to serve. Can be made in advance, frozen, then reheated in the oven. Serve with chips, veggie sticks, bread cubes, or pitas. This recipe is cheap if you buy name brands. It's even cheaper with 365 organics.

thomas weems says …

PIGS IN A BLANKET Cut each crescent roll square into 4 pieces, wrap around sausage, cook according to crescent roll package directions. Serve with dipping sauces such as mustard, ketchup, sweet & sour sauce or whatever you like.

B Sorrow says …

Small bites: Package small portabello Mushroom cube stale bread-dry in oven-stirfry with small amount of olive oil until toasty, add salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste, add enough chichen broth or water to moisten Stirfry finely chopped celery, green onion Mix all together - stuff mushroom caps Bake 350 for 12 minutes Sprinkle with parmesan cheese

Erika says …

My favorite party nibble is a "dipping buffet:" endless adaptable and so variable that I can make it over and over again and never serve the same thing twice. Making my own dips and spreads, cutting and arranging my own veggie and fruit and pita platters saves tons of money over purchasing prepared items. Easy, healthy, and fun, too! Good recipes for hummus, yogurt-based tzakiki and ranch dips, and other dipping options abound. A less-typical offering I like is a spicy homemade barbeque sauce. Here is my favorite recipe. To save time, I make up a big batch, then freeze small quantities to have on-hand at short notice. ¼ c minced onion 1 ½ tbsp Worchester sauce 2 tbsp brown sugar ½ tsp paprika ½ -1 tsp ground chipotle (more to taste) ½ tsp ground allspice ¼ c lemon juice ½ c water 1 c ketchup Saute onion, stirring frequently, until soft (about 10 min.) Add remaining ingredients, starting with the lesser amount of chile. Simmer at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded. Add more water if needed to maintain pourable consistency. Taste and add more chile as desired, keeping in mind that the spices will intensify over time. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

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