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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

Lillian says …

Everybody raves about this...Roasted Red Pepper & Feta dip Coarsely chop the following: - 1 jar, drained, Roasted Red Peppers (equivalent to 3 Roasted Red Peppers) - 1/2 package block feta (equivalent 4oz of cheese) Combine chopped ingredients in a bowl w/: - 2 dashes of cayenne pepper - tiny leaves from 10 3-in springs of fresh thyme - 5 grinds of coarse sea salt & whole peppercorns - 3 tablespoons olive oil Cover w/ airtight plastic wrap - chill for at least 1 hr to let flavors mingle. Serve chilled or at room temperature w/ Pita Chips.

Anna Lyn says …

Very easy, inexpensive and healthy: Take mini mozza balls, cherry tomatos and basil leaves and put them on toothpicks. If you like you can drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I find during the holidays I get too carb-loaded. These treats are very refreshing. Another bonus is that you keep your hands out of your mouth during a time where lots of hand shaking can occur.

Kristin Warner says …

The best appetizer ever is cucumber slices with dill cream cheese! Just slice the cucumber and mix together the cream cheese, fresh dill, a little lemon juice, salt and pepper and you have the perfect healthy appetizer.

Caroline O'Brien says …

This is a very popular appetizer in my family and culture. Very easy, no cooking--very yummy! Ingredients: -String Cheese (strung into pieces), I use the armenian string cheese that I can find at my Whole Foods. -Mini pita breads-I buy the really tiny ones-they are cuter for appetizers. -Pitted Black Kalamata olives soaked in a mixture of olive oil, rosemary, and oregano, and a little salt. -Fresh Mint Leaves Directions: Cut mini pita in half and stuff each half with a string of cheese, a mint leaf, and spoon in a couple pitted olives. Arrange the little half moon pitas on a tray and place a small bowl on it with some of the olive oil mixture that the olives were soaking in for people to dip their little pitas in and then serve!

kathy schklair-mims says …

Caprese Salad Appetizer Ingredients: Pint of cherry or grape tomatoes Balls of Mozzarella Fresh Basil 3 Tbs. Extra virgin olive oil 2 tbs.Balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper Toothpicks Cut tomatoes and mozzarella balls in half. Slice basil into strips. Mix together olive oil and vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. Take toothpick and then scewer one half of tomato and then half of mozzarella ball and then strip of basil then other half of tomato. Repeat with rest of ingredients. Put on platter and then drizzle with dressing.

Elaina Moran says …

I make a quick and easy yummy Cheesy toast with pears. Slice a baguette thinly and brush lightly with olive oil. Toast in toaster oven or 400 degree oven till just starting to brown. Combine 8 oz of cream cheese and 4 oz of gorgonzola or blue cheese. Spread on each toast and then top with a slice of canned pear in light syrup. Finish it off with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts or pecans. You can also do the same thing with Brie and fig jam (or raspberry jam). I use the delicious Fig jam from Whole Foods spread on the toast topped with a small cube of Brie. Try to do this while the toast is still hot from the oven so the Brie gets slightly soft.

Amey Nicoll says …

sun-dried tomato & goat cheese puffs ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil - drained and chopped 8 ounces cream cheese - room temperature 4 ounces goat cheese - room temperature 1 large egg 2 whole green onions – green & white parts dash kosher salt & freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons pine nuts - toasted 1 package puff pastry mini muffin pan well sprayed with olive oil cooking spray Puree first 5 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Stir pine nuts into mixture. Cut pastry into 2 inch squares and place them into the mini muffin pan holes. Add goat cheese mixture inside 3/4 to top. Bake at 325 degrees for 16 to 22 minutes until golden brown. Place on a tray with garnish and serve. yum.

Joanne Petersen says …

This is a quick & easy appetizer that's fresh, light and delicious! Slice fresh baguette in 1/2" bias cut slices and bake at 350 until lightly golden brown, 10 - 12 minutes. (You should be able to get 30 or more slices from one loaf of bread). Cover each slice with a thin layer of dried fig spread (I love Dalmatia Dried Fig Spread!), add a very thin slice of Golden Delicious apple, and top with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. Delicious!

Miriam says …

My favorite "small bites" recipe is my Bruschetta Ingredients: 1 Large Onion 2 Tb Butter 1/2 cup Oil cured Olives w/o pits chopped 1 Tb Dried Oregano Brie Cheese Large Baguette Olive Oil 1. Cut the Baguette into thin slices, brush olive oil on both sides, and bake in oven on cookie sheet in single layers for 5 minutes at 350 2. Thinly slice the onion. Melt butter in a pan on medium-low heat and add onions. Cook till caramelized. 3. After onions are caramelized, place evenly on top of baguette slices. 4. Sprinkle chopped olives evenly over baguette slices. 5. Slice thin slices of the brie cheese, about the length of the baguette slices, and 1/4'' thick, and place on baguettes. 6. Top with sprinkled oregano.

Kim says …

Marshmellow Bites Ingredients 1 bag of large or small marshmellows (your preference) 1 box of honey graham crackers 1 cup of semi-sweet baking chocolate chips 1 cup of chopped nuts of your choice (walnuts, pecans, etc.) First, melt your chocoate chips according to the directions on your bag and set aside. Preheat your broiler on HI. On a large baking sheet, layout as many graham crackers that will fit (if your grahma crackers are long, break them in half so they are square). On each graham cracker, place one larger or several mini-marshmellows in the center. Place the baking sheet on the first rack in your oven (should be about 5-6 inches from the flame) and let sit for 2-4 minutes. Leave the oven door open so that you can watch them closely. As soon as the marshmellows start to brown, take them out of the oven. Now, sprinkle nuts on each marshmellow (optional). Grab a spoon or fork an drizzle the chocolate onto each marshmellow. Fast, easy, low cost, and yummy!

Katie S says …

I've gotten many people hooked on bacon-wrapped dates. I cut the bacon in half crosswise and then wrap half around a dried, pitted date. The dates can be stuffed with cheese (cheddar, blue, goat, etc), if desired. Secure bacon with a toothpick and bake at 350° for about 15 min. Serve out of the oven or else the bacon gets chewy!

Meghann says …

My favorite small bits appetizer is a twist on eggplant parmesan. I cut the eggplant in small cubes then give them an eggwhite/ milk bath before coating in a mix of whole wheat bread crumbs, ground flaxseed and grated paresan cheese. I bake at 415 for 10 minutes. I then serve the cubes with toothpicks and homemade tomato sauce for dipping. Couldn't be easier! Light on the waistline and on the pocket book!

Lisa Gauger says …

Best dip on the planet - can be made with lower-fat ingredients to lighten up, too. Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip 1 jar roasted red peppers in water (usually ~2 peppers) 1/2 block cream cheese (4oz) 1/4 cup sour cream 4oz feta 1 clove garlic, smashed/chopped Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon (optional) Oregano, salt, pepper to taste EVOO (optional) Drain peppers & discard water. Toss everything except EVOO in the food processor (garlic last). Blend till smooth. Drizzle oil while blending in to desired consistency. Chill at least 2 hours (overnight is best) to allow flavors to blend. Serve with pita chips & veggies. Recipe doubles wonderfully if you have a big food processor. If you make it, don't be put off if it turns a shocking shade of orange when blending (red peppers+white) - it's so good.

Jennifer R. says …

An easy appetizer that I like to make that is easy and inexpensive is goat cheese stuffed tomatoes. Here is what you need: Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes halved and hollowed out 4 oz flavored goat cheese chopped fresh basil sun dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers minced panko bread crumbs Olive oil Combine the goat cheese, basil and sun dried tomatoes/peppers and fill each tomato half. Top with panko bread crumbs, drizzle with oil and broil until brown. The perfect fresh and tasty bite!

Kathy says …

Take a roll of polenta ( very inexpensive). Slice in rounds, then in half rounds and saute. Take the half rounds and put a small slice of tomato, then piece of basil or spinach on top. ( whatever you happen to have), put a small piece of fresh mozzarella on top. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 or until cheese gets melty. Very cheap and delicious and also gluten free ! You can even use Follow Your Heart dairy free mozzarella if you would like these to be gluten and dairy free !

Kathie Wilson says …

#1: Perfect colors for Christmas entertaining. Make triangular tea sandwiches using Thomas's Cranberry Bread which is found only from November through December. For filling mix together cream cheese, tsp. vanilla, scant tsp. sugar and one can crushed pineapple well-drained in colander and pressed with paper towels. Spread one slice of bread with pineapple mixture, top with second slice, cut off crusts and cut into four rectangles. Very pretty and tasty sandwiches. #2: One loaf sliced French bread, toasted lightly in oven. Top with sundried tomato cream cheese spread, one sprig of fresh basil and a slice of cherry tomato. I seed the tomatoes, then slice them into thin "quater moon" strips. Again, perfect colors for the season.

Charmaine says …

I love making phyllo chocolate raspberry morsels Use either the phyllo cups premade or layer phllo square in mini muffin cups. Put a Lindt chocolate truffle square in each, bake till softening and top with a raspberry. Decadent mouthfuls!!!!!!!!!

Esther says …

5 ingredients and most of the work can be done in advance! My son love mini pizzas: 1 Frozen defrosted pizza dough; sometime they are already defrosted in the store 1/2 pound gorgonzola cheese Mixed shredded Italian cheeses (usually mozzerella,provolone,asiago) or shredded mozzerella 20-25 dried figs soaked in boiling water, squeezed and chopped 6-8 onions caramelized (saute slowly in a large saute pan in butter or olive oil till brown) The pizza dough can be divided in 30 mini pizzas and half-baked in advanced, best baked on a bakestone but can be done on a cookie sheet in a 500 degree oven for 3-5 minutes or when just beginning to brown lightly. They should hold their shape and not be doughy, but they will be cooked again so don't sweat it! Place the the mini rounds on a cookie sheet and top with shredded cheeses ,onions, gorgonzola, and some chopped figs, place in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes until toppings melt and bubble. Enjoy, get the second batch ready but wait tilll the first few are gone so that they mey be served hot!

Celia Spivack says …

One of my favorite inexpensive party staples is hummos. It is great whether you use the basic recipe or add extras like roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, or kalamata olives. You can serve it with pita bread or crudites. For the holidays you can make a red alternative such as a pepper or tomato version and serve it with green pepper slices, broccoli florets, celery sticks, and peel-on cucumber spears. Hummos dip 1 15 1/2 ounce can of garbanzo beans (Drain and reserve the liquid. You may use only some or all of the liquid depending on the texture you like and the power of your blender or food processor.) 1 - 2 cloves of garlic (Start with one and increase if you are a real garlic lover.) juice from 1 lemon (or more to taste) 2 - 3 tablespoons of tahini (ground sesame seed paste) Pinch of cumin Salt and pepper to taste 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Put all of the ingredients in the blender or food processor and process until smooth. Serve on a flat plate or wide bowl with extra olive oil drizzled on top. Use wedges of warmed pita bread or vegetables to scoop the dip and oil and enjoy.

Chelsea says …

Here's my quick and easy holiday recipe: 1 package of refrigerated puff pastry 1 jar olive tapenade Preheat oven to 375F. Unroll 1 sheet of the puff pastry. Dust it with a little flour and use a rolling pin to slightly stretch out the dough, maybe 2 or 3 passes with the rolling pin. Prick the dough with a fork. Then spread a layer of olive tapendade over the surface of the dough, not too thick or it will ooze out when you bake it. Starting at each end, roll the dough tightly towards the center leaving about 1/2" space between the 2 rolls. Slightly flatten each roll and then fold 1 roll on top of the other, like closing a book. Let this chill in the refrigerator or freezer for about 20-30 minutes. Using a sharp knife cut the roll in 1/2" slices. You may need to slightly reform them if they get a little squished. Lay them flat side down on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden/medium brown colored. 1 roll makes approx. 20-24 pieces. You can make the roll and then freeze it a week or two ahead of time and just pull it out the day you need it.

Manny says …

Shrimp ceviche sweet,sour and spicy Miami mango salsa, I live in Miami and while most everyone is freezing we still go to the beach in the middle of winder, Therefore this fresh recipe is well served all year round. 1 lbs cooked cleaned shelled,headless, shrimp, or you boil some water and boil shrimp for three minutes clean and remove shell cut shrimp into 1/4 pieces In a non reactive glass bowl mix the following and let it sit in the fridge for 1 hour, served on a bowl on top of some ice. With your favorite healthy conscious chips,crackers,tortilla chips 1 cup of red minced onions 4 cups of minced Roma tomato's 1/2 lime juice your choice of heat from a finely minced chili 1 ripped Haas avocado 1/2 minced cucumber 1 cup of a sweet ripened diced mango dash of cumin dash of oregano 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil sea salt to your taste pepper to your taste hot sauce if desired a shot silver/blanco tequila if desired.

H.B. Kronen says …

Spanish Spread--excellent on fresh bread or crackers. 1 1/2 cups shredded Manchego cheese 1/2 block cream cheese 1/2 cup almonds 2 cloves garlic 1 Fresno pepper, seeded 1 1/2 T olive oil (365 Spanish Olive Oil) 2 tsp. smoked paprika Blend in food processor until smooth, pack into crock and serve.

Jocelin E says …

I make beet and goat cheese bites. I buy crackers/crips/pitas, whatever looks delicious and is a good price. If they aren't already sized to be bite size, I cut or break them into pieces. I buy a log of goat cheese and a can of beets. I smooth a dollop of goat cheese onto each cracker. I chop up the beets into little bits and sprinkle them on top of the goat cheese, which holds them in place. If the goat cheese isn't already seasoned, I will sprinkle some pepper over the top.

Joyce says …

I like to buy the small graham cracker crusts (8 in a pkg). Take 8 oz cream cheese, add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and stir well. Add a medium cool whip and put into each pie shell. Open a can of cherry pie filling and put on top of the cream cheese. It's easy for everyone to take their own and it's a really pretty Christmas presentation.

Joseph Hayes says …

Speaking of phylo, I do a "deconstructed" tandoori app that is killer. Saute thinly sliced onion until translucent (don't brown it!), and mix with lime juice. In another pan, cook ground turkey with cumin. Lightly saute a tablespoon of your fave tandoori mix for a few seconds (paprika, red pepper, ginger and coriander in a pinch) and mix with Greek-style yogurt (or drain regular yogurt in cheesecloth until it's thick). Then arrange on a circle of baked phylo: onions on the left, turkey down the center, yogurt on the right. It looks different, smells wonderful, and becomes a classic tandoori in the mouth.

Poorna says …

1 lb of Whole Food's Mock Chicken Salad (found in deli area) 15 slices of Whole Food's bread 1/4 cup Fat-free Whole Food mayonnaise 1 tsp chipotle or chili powder Salt to taste Remove crust and cut bread crosswise into 4 triangular pieces. Mix mayonnaise with chipotle/chili powder. Add salt to taste. Spread a thin layer of mayo-chipotle mixture on bread slices. Top off with Whole Food Mock Chicken Salad. This will amount to less than 35 cents per piece. Healthy, delicious and very accommodating to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike!

peggy p says …

I always pick up the in- store value coupon booklet - who wouldn't want to save money??? Thanks

Manny says …

To the recipe above forget to add 1/2 cup of cilantro

Amy Adamson says …

I created a dip that my family and friends LOVE! Amy's Dip: 1 8 oz sour cream (regular, lite, fat free, organic...whatever suites you) 2 8 oz cream cheese 1.5 - 2 cup chunky salsa (again, any kind) 1 cup shredded cheese Sprinkle in some garlic powder and onion powder A dash of juice from the jalapeno jar Mix well, service with tortilla chips. They will want to lick the bowl!

Sam says …

Ingredients 1 small baking pumpkin or 1 butternut squash or 2 acorn squash, split in half and seeded 4 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt and ground black pepper 2 links cured chorizo, casing removed and finely chopped (about 1/2 cup) 5 to 6 sprigs thyme, leaves picked A few dashes hot sauce 2 teaspoons (about 2/3 palmful) regular or sweet smoked paprika A pinch ground cinnamon All-purpose flour, as needed for rolling out crust 2 packs prepared pie crusts, such as Pillsbury (the ones that aren't pressed into a pie plate) 2 eggs, beaten Preparation Preheat oven to 400ºF. Season cut side of pumpkin or squash with 1 tablespoon EVOO, salt and pepper. Place cut-side down onto a baking sheet and drizzle with another tablespoon EVOO. Transfer to the oven and roast until tender, 45-50 minutes and let cool. While the squash is roasting, place a medium skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Sauté chorizo until golden brown and crispy, 6-7 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and cool. When cool enough to handle, scoop the pumpkin or squash flesh out of the skin and puree it in a food processor. Turn the puree out into a medium-size mixing bowl and combine it with the chorizo, thyme leaves, hot sauce, paprika, and cinnamon. Season lightly with salt and pepper and reserve. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and lay out one pie crust. Roll it out slightly so it's the thickness of a nickel. Cut into eight evenly sized triangles, just like you’d cut a pie. Transfer triangles to a baking sheet and repeat the rolling and cutting with the remaining pie crust. You should have 16 bottoms on a baking sheet and 16 tops when you're all done. Divide the filling among the triangles on the baking sheet leaving a little room at the edges to seal the pockets. Brush the edges of each triangle with egg wash then top each triangle with the remaining wedges of dough, pressing lightly around the perimeter to seal the filling inside. If you like, take a fork and lightly press the very ends of the tines into the border of each pocket to give it a fancy finish. Lightly brush each turnover with egg wash. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.

Gail Schoppert says …

Simple. Inexpensive. Go like wildfire at any seasonal party: Grandpa's Sausage Balls: One package (roll) of pork sausage (spicy if you like) One cup of baking mix. One cup of grated cheddar cheese. Mix by hand, using a little extra baking mix to keep the sausage from sticking. Form into 1 inch balls. Bake 10-12 minutes in a 425 degree oven. Drain on paper towels. THEN (or beforehand) make a simple dip of 1/2 apricot jam and 1/2 dijon mustard. Sounds crazy, but it is delicious. You can play with the proportions to get it to taste. Serve the sausage balls hot, using party toothpicks. I guarantee these will go over big. I make a double or triple batch for Thanksgiving or other holiday events and never bring any home.

Maxyne Rose says …

French Bread or dinner rolls Whole Foods (free range, hormone free) sausage (spicy optional) Garlic Whole Food (hormone free) mozzarella cheese (shredded) Marinara sauce Cook & Brown sausage Core out the top and inside of the french bread roll Place cooked sausage inside of the french roll Crush two or three cloves of garlic & sprinkle over sausage Place shredded mozzarella cheese on top Place in oven until the cheese is melted Cut 2 inch slices of sausage roll Place one slice onto a small dessert dish and ladle marinara sauce over top

Cindy says …

Goat Cheese with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto ~ Spread layer of goat cheese and then layer of sun-dried tomato pesto on serving tray. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with crackers. Delicious and simple to make too!

Marena says …

My favorite appetizers bites are super yummy. Goat Cheese Toasts: Take a baguette slice diagonally, spread goat cheese on bread slices and put under broiler unill cheese just turns golden. Add some finely chopped walnuts and rosemary, heat some honey on the stove and drizzle on top of the toasts. Seems so fancy and really is incredible simple, tasty and relatively inexpensive.

Michelle says …

Vegetable Pizza PREP TIME - 30 Min COOK TIME - 30 Min READY IN - 1 Hr Original recipe yield 1 pizza INGREDIENTS (Nutrition) * 2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls * 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened * 1 cup mayonnaise * 1 (1 ounce) package dry Ranch-style dressing mix * 1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped * 1 cup chopped tomatoes * 1 cup chopped green bell pepper * 1 cup chopped cauliflower * 1 cup shredded carrots * 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese What to Drink? Sauvignon Blanc DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 2. Roll out the crescent roll dough onto a 9x13 inch baking sheet, and pinch together edges to form the pizza crust. 3. Bake crust for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Once finished cooking, remove crust from oven and let cool 15 minutes without removing it from the baking sheet. 4. In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and dry Ranch dressing. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust. Arrange broccoli, tomato, green bell pepper, cauliflower, shredded carrots, and Cheddar cheese over the cream cheese layer. Chill for one hour, slice and serve.

Jennifer Yuan says …

Mom's Mushroom Pate ingredients: 4 T unsalted butter (room temperature) 8 ounces chopped white button mushrooms 1 1/2 t chopped garlic 1/4 C chopped scallions (white part only) 1/3 chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version) 4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature) salt and pepper to taste crackers 1. Melt 2 T butter in a saute pan. Add mushrooms and saute 2-3 minutes. 2. Add garlic and scallions and saute. 3. Add stock and cook 4-5 minutes on high heat until liquid has evaporated. Cool to room temp. 4. Combine remaining 2 T butter + cream cheese in a medium bowl. 5. Add mushroom mix, salt and pepper to butter/cream cheese mixture and stir to combine. 6. Chill, or serve at room temperature with crackers. Can be made 1 day in advance.

Gina W says …

Take as many hearts of romaine lettuce as you wish and spread them out nicely on a serving platter. Using a pastry bag or teaspoon, add a dollop of herbed goat or other herbed soft cheese in the "spoon" end of the lettuce leaf. Then sprinkle a little chopped roasted pistachio nuts on top of the cheese. It's an inexpensive, simple, yet elegant and very tasty small bite that can be taken to a casual dinner or a fancy holiday party.

Karen Pearl says …

Stuffed mushrooms needed: -one container of white mushroom caps or baby bellas (about 15 mushrooms) -one tablespoon lemon juice (I like 365 Organic) - @ 3 tablespoons Panko Japanese style organic bread crumbs -1 tablespoon 365 grated cheese -1 tablespoons of diced organic sweet onion -fresh garlic minced to prepare: carefully de stem mushrooms in a pyrex dish that has been sprayed with Spectrum Organic Olive Spray oil-spinkle a pinch of coarse kosher salt line the de stemmed mushroom caps. rinse all of the stems and chop finely along with sweet onion and minced garlic. mix in bread crumbs and parmesean cheese. then add lemon juice and add a small amount of melted 365 organic butter or olive oil-just enough to make the mixture meld together. add salt and pepper and if desired a tiny pinch of cayenne if you like spice, mix well and spoon generously into mushroom caps making sure each one is mounded high. sprinkle with dusting of Parmesean cheese and bake at 350 degrees until done.

Cassandra King says …

Hi simple and affordable small and sweet bite - peel one banana, leave whole - slice top of banana, lengthwise so that it creates a 'V" for entire length of banana, so do not slice all the way down - fill the "V" with organic raisins or dates, just dot them on - over the dates/raisins fill top the "V" with organic cashew or almond butter - now you have a whole banana filled w/raisins/butter mix - place filled banana in freezer for a few hours or overnight until the filling hardens - take out of fridge and slice banana into bite size pieces - for big group, fill and slice lots of pre-filled, frozen bananas - serve in a cool bowl! yummy

Mackenzie says …

Heres a yummy fav. That I always make when its freakishly cold. Little Bruchettas! ( with multiple flavors! ) Needed: Olive oil 1 yummy baguette A head of garlic ( peeled and chopped ) 2 Large tomatoes ( you can pretty much go diy on the kinds and style of tomato ) Fresh basil 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese Dried or fresh Oregano/Basil for seasoning Also fresh parmigiana for taste ( A good quality aged parmi. gives the best results. Step 1: Slice baguette into 1/4-1/2 in. round disks. Brush sliced baguettes with olive oil, cover with garlic, tomatoes and mozzarella. Step 2: Turn oven on broiler or 450. Place baguettes on a large baking pan or pizza stone; remove when cheese is melted. Top with fresh basil, dried spices and fresh parmigiana. This is so yummy, I always eat this when I'm freezing and hungry!

Jennifer says …

My favorite holiday small bite to make is Bacon Wrapped Dates. So simple to make! 1 pkg dates, pitted 1 pkg bacon 1 bottle Maple Syrup. Toothpicks (soaked first) Pit the dates, wrap each one with a strip of bacon, I usually add a soaked toothpick to each to keep them from unraveling. Place on a cookie sheet, and drizzle with Maple Syrup. Cook in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15- 20 mins, or until bacon is done. So delicious!!!

ben stern says …

My idea of the perfect cheap small bite is the traditional "Pig in a blanket". It does not get any cheaper, tastier, or easier to prepare and clean than this, not to mention that this is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, and oh, so traditional for the holidays and entertaining. All you do is buy a package of your favorite hot dogs, cut them into about 1.5 inch pieces, and wrap them in ready made croissant dough (or biscuit dough, if you like a less sweet taste), place on a sheet of tin foil on a cookie sheet in the oven, and bake according to package instructions. In about 15 minutes from start to finish (including clean up), you have the ultimate cheap small bite. Serve with a variety of mustards for dipping. You can also substitute the hot dogs with ham, cheeses, or ham and cheese. No muss, no fuss, and no leftovers!

Robin says …

My easy shortcut appetizer is bruchetta. I buy one of the fresh baguettes. I cut the baguette into small rounds. Brush with olive oil and place on baking sheet to toast it. Meanwhile I open a can of diced tomatoes that have basil and garlic in it (often marked as "italian recipe" tomatoes). When the bread is slightly brown and crunchy, I spoon some of the tomatoes on the top and garnish with parmesean cheese. I can make it in 10 minutes, it is incredibly inexpensive, and everyone loves it.

Catherine says …

I take a spinach tortilla & toast it over the gas flame Then spread thinly with goat cheese Top it off with a skim layer of fig jam Cut it like a pizza into bite size pieces Each tortilla goes a long way Happy Eating!

Kim says …

I am a fan of spicy and simple. An appetizer that is a big hit at parties and always the first to go is the following: Take Jalapenos and cut them in half and remove the seeds. Mix together cream cheese and a bleu cheese (or a gorgonzola) and fill each half with the cheese, then wrap each jalapeno in a bacon strip and bake on 350 for about 20 minutes. They can be served on a platter with toothpicks.

Kathy Skou says …

This is one of my favorite app for guests, and it's SO EASY!! I use a jar of cranberry pepper jelly (available in the Cheese section), an 8oz bar of cream cheese and assorted 365 crackers. Soften the cream cheese a bit, then top with the cranberry pepper jelly, spreading all over the top and sides of the cream cheese. Put a spreading knife in and voila! Guests can spread it on their crackers. I always have to make 2, it goes that fast. Enjoy!

Nancy Jonas says …

My small bite offering is a new favorite: Sliced Prosciuto spread with boisin herb flavored cheese wrapped around approximately three blanched aspergus spears.

Kelly Wells says …

I like to make a very easy, inexpensive pretzel recipe when I have friends and family over. Simply take the following: - One 15 oz. bag of pretzels (I like regular, braided ones, but you can also use sticks) - One envelope dry ranch dressing - 2 tsp garlic salt - 1 tsp cayenne pepper - 1 tsp lemon pepper - 1/3 cup vegetable oil First place pretzels in a sealable plastic bag, then mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. After they are well mixed add them to the pretzels in the plastic bag, seal-up and shake (this is a great time to ask the kids to shake it up for you, as long as you have it well sealed up). Let this marinate at least an hour (the flavors get better the longer it sits, so overnight is perfect). Place in a festive bowl and serve!

Denise Swayne says …

Slice a very thin tip off of a cherry tomato so it will stand up. Scoop out a little of the inside then replace that with any kind of herbed cream cheese. People gobble these up and they are pretty arranged on greens.

Judy says …

3 oz of cream cheese covered with (green) jalopena jelly and 3 oz of cream cheese covered with red pepper jelly artfully arranged on a plate with crackers makes a festive holiday appetizer "bite."

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