Simple & Delicious Appetizers for a party

Super Easy Party Nibbles

First Things First

Everyone loves good nibbles at a party -- and the more interesting they are, the better.

You can serve three simple appetizers and still get raves from your guests.

How? Read on for the details.

How Can "Variety" Not Mean "Mixed"?

Provide a variety of nuts -- bowls of pecans here, bowls of walnuts there, and a container of cashews nearby.

Buy the large bags of pecans, cashews, peanuts (already shelled, of course), walnuts, and any other nuts you would like to serve.

Imagine the room where the party will be held as divided into sections. For example, there's the "pecan" section, the "cashew" section and so on. Put out the bowls of those nuts in those sections, and put the bags for refilling the bowls underneath a table, or in a cupboard that is near that section.

Dividing the room into separate areas makes it easier to keep the bowls filled -- never let them run out. Full to the top is always best.

This also makes it easier when you clean-up -- no worrying about mixing types, or wondering where this or that bag is located. You'll be glad you kept this part organized when the party is over.

Who doesn't love M&Ms?

Marvelous M&Ms!

Personalized M&Ms are a wonderful addition to any party. Who doesn't like to see their name, or a significant date (like the wedding date for an anniversary party, or the birthdate for a birthday party) printed on them?

Go to www.mymms.com to order. Be warned -- they aren't cheap. Which is why I think it's wise to only provide a few bowls near the front door.

What about the rest of the party?

Buy many large bags of M&Ms -- plain, those with peanuts inside, with almonds inside, with peanut butter inside, etc. These are the kinds you'll display around the party area.

Putting out lots of bowls of M&Ms looks incredibly colorful and festive... and of course it's incredibly easy.

Don't forget -- like with the nuts, don't mix the types. Have bowls for plain M&Ms, separate bowls for peanut M&Ms and so on.

Quick and Easy Cheesy Nibbles

The following hot nibbles look like a million bucks, come together really fast, and people always clamor for more!

The ingredient list couldn't be simpler:

  • sliced sandwich bread
  • mayonnaise
  • One or more of the following cheeses: bleu cheese, Parmesan cheese and/or Monterrey jack.

If you use all three cheeses, then you'll have three different sorts of appetizers, even though they all are made and baked the same.

Mix the cheese with the mayo. (If you're using bleu cheese, then fold it in carefully -- you don't want blue mayo.) If you use the three different types, then you'll have a bowl of mayo/bleu cheese, a bowl of parmesan and mayo, and a bowl of mayo and Monterrey jack cheese.

Cut off the crusts from the bread, then cut each slice into four small squares. This can be done ahead of time -- simply put the small bread squares into Tupperware to keep them from drying out.

Spread the squares of bread with the mayo/cheese mixture -- fully cover the square of breada -- then lay them on a baking sheet. You can usually get about 24 of these appetizers on a single baking sheet.

Slide them under the broiler until the tops become browned and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, arrange on platters and serve.

They look fantastic -- and your guests will rave! Best of all, you can prepare multiple baking sheets and line them up to go into the oven, so that as soon as one comes out, another one can go in.

Wrapping It Up

These ideas can make for a wonderful appetizer selection, and it's very little work for the hostess.

If you're throwing a large party, why not ask friends to take over a duty? Have one person responsible for keeping the bowls of nuts restocked, someone else assumes responsibility for the M&M restocking, and two people to handle the hot nibbles.

Guests enjoy parties where they can relax -- and where they see the hosts and hostesses are relaxed and unhurried.

Having three simple approaches to nibbles means your guests are happy, and you get to enjoy the party.

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