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Easy-to-Make Appetizers

by Leigh Good

Simple appetizers make an impressive starter for a family-friendly dinner party. You don't have to spend much time to create healthy and tasty appetizers for your friends and family. Keep it simple and rely on certain prepared ingredients to lighten the work. From birthday parties to dinner parties, easy appetizers will please guests and free you up to socialize.

Cheese Plate

Purchase a variety of cheeses for an elegant cheese-plate appetizer. Choose a soft cheese flavored with herbs, a chunk of hard, aged cheese and a wedge of strong blue cheese. Serve the cheese on a platter along with wedges of sliced French bread and crackers. Set out a few cheese knives so your guests can do their own slicing and spreading. To enhance this appetizer, add a bowl of mixed nuts and a bowl of finger-friendly fruits, such as grapes and strawberries.

Veggies and Dip

Pick up presliced vegetables, such as carrot sticks, celery spears and cherry tomatoes. Wash thoroughly and place them on a decorative plate. Set out a bowl of creamy salad dressing, yogurt or hummus so guests can dip the veggies. Even if your kids don't clean their plates at dinner, you'll know they filled up on your fresh vegetable appetizer.

Deviled Eggs

Get a little help from the grocery store to whip up a platter of tasty deviled eggs. Look for hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerated section of the store. At home, peel the eggs and slice them in half. Scoop out yolks and mash them in a large bowl with mayonnaise or creamy dressing and a dash of cumin or paprika. Stir in some lemon juice and mustard. Spoon the yolk mixture back into the halved egg whites and refrigerate until you are ready to serve them. Lay the deviled eggs out on a decorative platter with a few sprigs of parsley.

Shrimp Cocktail

Make healthy shrimp cocktails for an easy appetizer. Buy boiled shrimp at the grocery store, or quickly boil peeled fresh shrimp in hot water until they turn opaque and begin to curl. Place the cooled shrimp along the rim of plastic martini glasses filled with ice for a restaurant-style presentation. Serve the shrimp cocktail with purchased shrimp dipping sauce in small crystal bowls.

About the Author

Leigh Good has been writing for magazines and newspapers for more than 10 years. Her work has been published in numerous print and online publications. Good has a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Georgia State University.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images