5 easy (and cheap) appetizers in 5 minutes or less

The holiday season is in full swing and so are the back-to-back cocktail parties. Whether you're hosting or attending this year, the objective is to bring or serve swoon-worthy, easy and delicious finger foods that save time and money. Here are five, five minute (or less) appetizers that will impress and delight without breaking your bank or your back.

1. Pureed edamame
I ordered this at Poppy, a delicious new restaurant in Seattle, and I was hooked. Toss broiled edamame beans in a food processor, add a table spoon or two of olive oil, a little salt and black pepper and blend until smooth. Serve with crackers.

2. Gourmet mini pizzas
Warm thick Nann bread for a few minutes as you cut thin slices of baby tomatoes and slices fresh parm. Slice the warm bread into bite-sized pieces, brush with pre-made pesto, sprinkle with salt, add a layer of thinly sliced baby tomatoes and top with basil, fresh parmesan and fresh pepper.

3. To-die-for butter and garlic shrimp
Warm a pat of butter in a pan, add garlic and cook raw, de-veined shrimp. Sprinkle some thyme over them and serve warm.

4. A shot of soup (I'm loving Pacific Food's boxed creamy roasted carrot soup) Warm soup and serve on a tray in tiny shot glasses. Add shredded fresh basil and pepper to each glass.

5. Bacon-wrapped dates
Wrap each date in half a slice of bacon and bake at 350º for about 15 minutes or until bacon becomes crispy.

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10 party appetizers in one minute (or less!)

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