Whenever there's a cocktail party in my future, I always ask my husband, "Do you think there will be food?" And he always answers, "I hope so." Not to sound like an utter freeloader, but certain obligatory occasions -- engagement parties, post-work events, openings of obscure art galleries -- go down a bit easier with savory bites. Yet all too often we're faced with the same old standbys: the cheese cubes, the veggie platter, the frozen mushroom turnovers. At BHG.com, we're all about expanding your culinary horizons, and in this spirit, we suggest retiring the following 8 appetizers (send them off to the Hors d'Oeuvre Hall of Fame, if you will) and let a new generation of party snacks take the spotlight.
Here's a list of tried-and-true but perhaps a bit tired apps - and suggestions for new mouth-watering party bites that you can whip up for your next soiree. Do you have any favorite apps you can't let go of? Or any fresh ideas? Share with us!
Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl
Yes, it's delicious. And this addictive preparation is guaranteed to motivate at least one guest to begin methodically tearing apart the bread bowl to reach the irresistible spinach-dip-soaked underside. But the next time you host, resist the urge to gouge out a bread round and reach for the mayo, and instead consider alternate, yet still crave-able, party dip options.
Impress your guests with the sophisticated flavors of this Hot Fennel Cheese Dip
Pigs in a Blanket
This traditional appetizer experienced a surge in hipster popularity during the great pork renaissance of 2008 -- and is still going strong today. All in good ironic fun, but perhaps its time to move on from these lil' smoky treats and try something just as indulgent but not as predictable.
Why not take a culinary trip to the south with these authentic Pork and Slaw Barbecue Rolls
Mini Crab Cakes
There's nothing quite as dispiriting as a tray of lukewarm crab cakes. You'll eat them, sure, but where's the joy? Instead of deferring to this cocktail hour standard, step outside the frozen-app box and surprise your guests with more inventive shellfish-based fare.
These light and flaky Crab Cake Tartlets are easy to prepare when scooped into phyllo dough shells
Brie and Crackers
Brie had its moment in the sun during the mid-to-late '80s - call it the Thirtysomething years - when any upscale cocktail party called for glasses of Chardonnay and a wheel of brie. But considering all the amazing specialty cheeses worth exploring - at similar price points - it might be time to branch out from this basic fromage.
Discover rare and different cheeses, tasty pairings and serving tips in BHG.com's 37 Ways To Serve Cheese
Hummus and Pita
We've all been there: Guests are coming over, break out the hummus! While generally healthier than many dips and, when made from scratch, a true Middle Eastern delicacy, there's something intrinsically underwhelming about a bowl of store-bought hummus with some torn pieces of pita strewn around. It even looks bland.
For a similar texture with a nuanced nutty flavor, try your hand at White Bean and Pine Nut Dip
Whether BBQ grilled or infused with a vague Tandoori spiciness, the chicken skewer leaves many guests cold - not only do these small bites often dry out over the course of the cocktail hour but it's always a bit awkward standing around with spent skewers in your hand.
Fry up these light, flaky and user-friendly Chicken and Peach Wontons ahead of time, freeze them, and reheat in the oven for crispness
Veggies and Ranch Dip
Another less-than-rapturous appetizer, a veggie and ranch dip platter adds insult to injury: Sure, it seems healthy (veggies!) but double- and triple-dipping in fatty Ranch dip tends to cancel out any benefit. Why not get creative with your veggie-based apps and give your guests something to rave about (as opposed to mildly regret).
Fresh cherry tomatoes are filled with a flavorful mixture of avocado, cream cheese, and pesto in these Avocado-Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes
I admit it. I am a quiche-aholic. Whether it's a classic Quiche Lorraine or zesty zucchini and swiss; hot from the oven or cool and just a bit congealed, I can't get enough. But you know what they say - when you love something, you've got to let it go! And so, I resolve to kick my mini quiche habit and expand my repertoire of egg-based appetizers -- ham-asparagus strata, deviled egg bruschetta, and mediterranean frittata, here I come.
New potatoes, asparagus, and rosemary makes this Spring-Fresh Frittata a luxe alternative
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