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message 1: by Happyreader (new)

Happyreader Does anyone have any favorite easy-to-prepare starters that don't involve dips? I like to serve my guests something to nibble on while they're waiting for dinner but I'm always serving some sort of dip with veggies. Any other ideas? Nothing too fatty since I don't want them to load up on too many calories prior to dinner. Any favorite cookbooks for starters?

message 2: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Hi Happyreader,

I'm responding with some really simple, light options (and some store-bought). I generally put out really simple appetizers, because I like to focus more of my time on the actual dinner. Some really quick ideas include:

Bowls of lightly salted edamame

Pita chips and snap peas with hummus (I know, it's kind of dip-py, but easy and healthy)

Stuffed grape leaves

Melon wrapped in prosciutto

Another idea I've been thinking about lately is picking up vegetable sushi from the market and serving it as a finger food. My local large grocery store's sushi doesn't look very good, but our Whole Foods actually does a pretty nice job. I think I'm going to try to put out their avocado sushi rolls soon.

Also, you could do a fruit platter with "yogurt" dip. Our grocery carries a vanilla "yogurt" fruit dip - which I'm putting in quotes because I have no idea why they call it yogurt dip - it's more like frosting with the consistency of yogurt. Anyway, it's delicious if you like things on the sweet side, and it works well with strawberries, pineapple, grapes and melon. And it's kid-friendly, too, if that's ever a concern.

You could always make your usual veggie plate, and add a side bowl of something different, like wasabi peas or yogurt-covered pretzels (again with the "yogurt" - it seems like white chocolate to me...)

I hope this helps. I know none of these appetizers are too involved, but that's how I like them when I'm entertaining.

I don't really have any cookbooks for starters. I'd also be interested to see if anyone has any recommendations.

message 3: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Hickman (Bkread2) I like to serve crakers with a bit of tomato sliced on it, maybe some ham and then put some cheese with dill in it and then heat in the microwave or oven just long enough to melt the cheese a bit! Yummm!

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