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How Appetizing!

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Appetizers

We’re nearly through the Holidays! Hooray for us, we’ve almost made it! The endless party conga is about to call it quits.

And I have to tell you, I’m so darned tired of cooking. Tired of cleaning the kitchen and loading / unloading the dishwasher too. At present, I’m staring at a dried up, once-gorgeous-but-now-bordering-on-pathetic tree that needs to be taken down ASAP. My punks are all on each other’s last nerve and are currently whining loudly over how bored they are. Sheets and towels from my dearly departed company (they’re still among the living, they’ve just gone home) are piled high in the hallway upstairs, and the DamDog is standing at my feet, relentlessly tossing her gigantic new tennis ball at me, tail wagging in a total frenzy.

So, see how hard it would be to derive culinary inspiration from all of this chaos?

Of course, I realize that some of you will be hosting a New Year’s Eve gathering tomorrow evening, and who knows, you might be turning to FFF for recipe ideas. What kind of friend would I be to leave you all high and dry? That’s certainly no way to close out the year.

I decided to offer up a year-end review, round up, and recap of some of my favorite appetizers and finger foods from the past six months of blogging for Sendiks. Any of these would be perfectly suitable for an occasion such as New Years Eve! In fact, when I went through the archive, I was so pleasantly surprised by the recipes I found, it nearly made me want to call up a bunch of friends and host a party tomorrow night.

Nearly, I said.

However you choose to ring in 2010, I hope you’re surrounded by family and friends when the clock strikes twelve. I’ll see you all back here next year! For now, take a walk down memory lane with me, won’t you? Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order (I’ve noted ingredients that are currently on sale and you can click on the titles or pictures to read the complete recipe):

CITRUS SHRIMP

Served chilled, these delicious shrimp are marinated in a fabulous mixture of lemon and lime juices, fresh ginger, and garlic. Lemons and limes are on sale, as are several varieties of shrimp. Go for the biggest ones you can afford for this recipe.

ROASTED VEGETABLE QUESADILLAS

I usually serve these with my favorite black bean soup, but they make a yummy hot appetizer too. Try them with the sale Pepperjack, or Wisconsin Gouda. Fresh asparagus is also on sale!


Panko Shrimp Cakes

PANKO CRUSTED SHRIMP CAKES

Oh…my… THUNDER! I’ve made these three times in the past two weeks and they are ALWAYS a hit! Served hot with a yummy spicy dipping sauce, these will be the hit of your party. You can get away with using a smaller shrimp here, but I wouldn’t go smaller than 26-30 count.

SALSA BAKED GOAT CHEESE

Love. This. It’s so fabulous. Try it with the sale Chi-Chi’s salsa and any of the crackers that are on special!




ROASTED STUFFED MUSHROOMS WITH SPINACH & FETA

So, word has it that for good luck in the New Year, you should eat some sort of leafy green on New Year’s Eve. Here’s a terrific way to work your lucky spinach in. It’s symbolism, people.

SHRIMP PIZZETTAS WITH BELL PEPPERS & BASIL

If you want easy, this is for you. So simple, but really delicious! Feel free to use the 16-20 count for this one too.


ROASTED TOMATO BRUSCHETTA

I normally make these with Roma tomatoes, but I think you could get away with using the grape tomatoes that are on special. Just cut them in half, toss them in olive oil, and roast as directed. Just watch your roasting time – they probably won’t need as long as the Roma’s would.

BEST EVER TACO DIP

I had to throw it in. Every party needs a little junk food! Besides, scallions, limes, iceberg, sour cream, salsa AND corn chips are all on sale! What other excuse could you possibly need?


Now go forth and plan a fabulous party. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

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