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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Chances are that you already have plans for New Year’s Eve. It may be to celebrate
quietly or maybe you have a big party in mind. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate,
make sure hors d’oeuvres are included in the plan.
Appetizers or hors d’oeuvres are one of the easiest ways to add excitement and stimulate
conversation among guests, as well as add a festive atmosphere. The varieties of savory
and innovative appetizers are endless. With careful planning and advanced preparation,
mouth-watering appetizers can be made with a minimal amount of time and effort.
When selecting appetizers, keep in mind the type of occasion, menu, number of guests,
and the time needed to prepare each course. Those that can be made ahead of time and frozen, then heated at the last minute, are
When appetizers appear as the main menu feature, plan a wide variety.You may experiment with some that suggest just a hint of foreign cuisine, but also
serve other more traditional ones and you’ll be sure to please practically all your
When deciding between hot and cold appetizers, consider the amount of space available
in the refrigerator and oven. It is best to make dips and spreads in advance; many times their flavor improves
if stored in the refrigerator two or three days before serving. If serving hot appetizers,
they need to be served in stages, so as the guests finish one batch, another piping
hot one is ready. Electric plates or chafing dishes also are convenient for keeping
hors d’oeuvres warm.
When serving more than one kind of appetizer, offer a variety of contrasting colors,
textures and flavors. A cool creamy yogurt dip with fresh vegetables, a rich cheese and crab fondue, a
dish of sweet and sour meatballs, and curried chicken spread is a multi-taste and
texture combination. Don’t be afraid to serve exotic or spicy appetizers. For calorie
conscious guests, try to provide a few lower-calorie options.
In general, the number of appetizers needed will depend upon the length of time the
guests will remain. For a four hour period, plan on approximately eight appetizers per person during
the first two hours and four appetizers per person for the remaining two hours.
If serving appetizers on one central table, dress it up. Let your imagination run wild and be creative. Use the traditional floral centerpiece
or decorate with top hats, confetti, tiara’s, and canes. It’s not the amount you spend
on decorations that counts, but that you make it memorable.
Appetizer presentation can be enhanced by using the food itself as decoration. Huge crackers make novel display platters for molded spreads or sliced meat and cheeses.
Festive containers for dips and spreads can be made by scooping out squash, eggplant,
tomatoes, green or red peppers, apples, pineapples, melons or avocados. Braided or
shaped bread loaves can also be hollowed out and filled with dips or spreads. For
elegant finger sandwiches, use cookie cutters to cut the bread. Also, instead of spreading
the filling on open-faced sandwiches, use a pastry bag to apply an attractive swirl.
No matter what appetizers you choose to serve at your New Year’s Eve party, remember
to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
As you prepare your menu, consider some of these appetizers. They are sure to be a
hit with your guests.
1 packet (1 oz.) Ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
6 pita pocket breads, separated into 12 rounds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
Combine dressing mix and butter. Spread 2 teaspoons of mixture on rough side of each
round; sprinkle with one-half teaspoon sesame seed. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes
or until crisp. Immediately cut each one into 6 wedges. Yield: 72 wedges.
Shrimp and Cheddar Snacks
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
6 ounces shrimp, chopped, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
42 slices snack rye brad, toasted
Combine cheese, mayonnaise, shrimp, onion, and garlic powder; mix well. Spread 1 tablespoon
over each slice of bread; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a 350 degrees
F oven for 7 - 9 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot. Yield: 3 ½ dozen.
8 ounces light cream cheese
3 tablespoons ground almonds
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon mustard
4 slices ham - sliced thin enough to roll
Combine the first eight ingredients and mix until thoroughly blended. Spread mix
evenly on the ham slices. Roll and slice into disks. Serve on crackers, bread or with
White Cheese Ball
2 (8 ounce) packages light cream cheese
1 package ranch salad dressing mix
1 cup chopped pecans or nuts (optional)
Bring cream cheese to room temperature. Mix cream cheese and dressing mix together
until ingredients are well blended. Shape mixture into a ball; sprinkle cheese ball
with parsley and oregano. Then gently pat chopped nuts into ball. Serve with crackers,
chops or bread slices cut with cookie cutters.
By Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.