Party snacks should be small, affordable (so you can serve lots of them), easy and good to eat, and if possible, creative. I don't know how to make many fancy party snacks, so I just use regular old ideas and try to come up with creative, pretty ways to serve them. With the Super Bowl around the corner, now's a great time to brainstorm ways to make any simple party snacks look and taste just a little bit better and more special. Here's how:
1) Think of color and use it in unique ways. Pick red, for instance. Get a red platter, or use red paper or plastic plates, and use toothpicks make some delicious little skewers of small red tomatoes with fresh mozzarella. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle some fresh basil on and you have a pretty, festive, healthy and delicious little snack. You could do something similar with the color green, using beans, asparagus, cucumber, avocado or any number of other green vegetables. Drizzle with a little fresh pesto for an added kick, and you'll have a real pretty party pleaser. If you wanted to just serve up a big old platter of crunchy crudités like carrots sticks, celery and dip, just arrange the sticks in a pretty pattern and put the dip in a nice bowl, and your food will look fun and delicious too.
2) Get fruity. People often overlook or don't think to serve fresh fruit at parties in winter, I've noticed, but I think this is a mistake. Everyone loves fruit; it's fresh and delicious and juicy and so easy to serve because it's raw. Some of my favorite fruity party snacks are pear slices wrapped in prosciutto with crumbled blue cheese on top, strawberries dipped in chocolate (white and dark), apples dipped in caramel, berries on skewers with a yogurt dip, or mixed berries served in cups with ice cream or whipped cream on top. These all look pretty, take no time to make, and though there is nothing fancy about them, they seem special because they are so bright, beautiful and delicious.
3) Make it hot. Whether you buy par-baked or fully pre-made fresh bread like an Italian loaf or a baguette, or if you buy some form of bread dough or make your own, simply serving HOT bread or bread sticks at a party makes everything taste better and seem more special. You can make hot garlic bread, cheese bread, banana or apple or pumpkin bread, or any other bread you wish. Just make a note to warm up your oven as guests are arriving and serve it piping hot, and your guests will be delighted. You can also serve simple HOT party food like chilly easily in cups. Just prep the dish ahead and heat in the oven before serving. Hot beverages like cider or cocoa are a nice treat in cold months too, just make sure you make enough to go around and consider adding some special touches like a splash or rum for the grown-up cider or marshmallows and cinnamon sticks for the kids' cocoa.
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