Entertaining with Appetizers and What to do with the Leftovers

With all the upcoming events like the Superbowl and the Oscars, many plan fun nights in with friends to watch the festivities. Appetizers can be a great way to entertain. I have posted before on a dinner of appetizers, so check that post out for some ideas and keep reading for some new ones! [Having photo issues so they will be back up next week! If I find the cord for the camera :)]

One of my favorite appetizers is a cheese plate. This can take any form you want (and as little or as much work!). Whether it is a few different wedges of cheese, some fruit and crackers or just a block of cream cheese with a little salsa poured on top, cheese is always a big hit! I love this old recipe I found in Cooking Light years ago. Mix 1 part goat cheese with 1 part cream cheese in a small oven proof dish and bake it for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm with tortilla chips. If you have the energy or time make your own tortilla chips. Mix a couple of tablespoons of olive oil with 1 tsp of chili powder. Brush that mixture onto flour tortillas that have been cut into triangles (stack and cut in half and keep cutting like a pizza until the pieces are the size you would like) and place them in a single layer on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 5-7 minutes. They will continue to crisp as they cool.

If there is any dip leftover add it to your scrambled eggs with some chives the next morning or use it as a spread for a roast beef sandwich with some tomatoes and lettuce.

Keeping a more substantial appetizer or meal in the slow cooker is always a good idea when everyone is grazing. I usually make chili or a pot of soup.

If there is a lot left over, since you made way too much food like I usually do, freeze it. It will make a great easy weeknight dinner the next week. If not too much is left of the chili, mix it in with some pasta and cheese for a chili mac n cheese dinner. 

Having a fruit and veggie tray helps bring a light break from all the heavy (but yummy!) appetizers. Even a bowl of grapes will work. No need to be fancy unless that is your thing. For the veggie tray, buy a bag of small carrots, pint of cherry tomatoes and some celery (that you can clean and chop in 5 minutes). Arrange on your own platter. Buy chive cottage cheese or mix in some chopped chives with plain cottage cheese, for a refreshing and tasty dip. This will cost you much less than buying fruit or veggie trays in the store and won't take much time at all.

Use leftover veggies to make an omelet or quiche the next morning. Especially good if you also have some leftover potato skins to add in as well :) I made very simple quiche the other day in my muffin tins using won ton wrappers for the crust. Place 2 wonton wrappers overlapping in muffin tin and push down to form the shape of the tin. In a large bowl mix eggs, leftover cottage cheese dip, chopped up leftover veggies, chopped up leftover potato, salt and pepper. Pour into wonton lined muffin tins and bake at 375 for about 15-25 minutes, depending on your oven.  Freeze what you don't eat and you already have breakfast for another morning!

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