A table filled with tempting and tasty appetizers can draw kids to the food for an enjoyable feast. Simplify your preparation and serving by making appetizers in the slow cooker. Because you can set the slow cooker to keep the foods warm, your appetizers will stay just the perfect serving temperature. Incorporate a few slow cooker appetizers into your next spread and watch the kids come running.
Warm dips deserve center stage on a hors d'oeuvres table. Often dips have a cheese or sour cream base that helps create a smooth and savory texture and flavor. Make a creamy dip with either white cheddar or American cheese or sour cream and add assorted complementary ingredients such as artichoke hearts, broccoli, spinach, onion, roasted red peppers, diced tomatoes, dried beef, chili with beans or crab meat. Mix and stir the ingredients and warm everything up thoroughly in the slow cooker for about an hour before serving. Don't forget the ever-popular fondue -- a natural for appetizer tables. Serve crusty wedges of Italian bread, thin crackers or raw vegetables with any dip.
Fill a slow cooker with a variety of tempting meats for snacks with a punch. Tiny cocktail wieners, meatballs, chicken wings or sliced kielbasa make suitable appetizers served from a slow cooker. Add a sweet-savory sauce to the meat containing assorted ingredients such as honey, mustard and fruit preserves, or a combination of tomato sauce and creamy ranch dressing. Guests of all ages will gobble up the warm appetizers.
Nuts and Crunchies
A slow cooker can also hold a mixture of nuts or other crunchy snacks for a slightly different appetizer. Toss some pecans, cashews or peanuts into the slow cooker and add a sweet, buttery sauce or a spicy sauce with a bit of bite. Season a nut sauce with the contents of a package of dried seasoning mix. Try a cereal mix in the slow cooker using several different types of crunchy cereal, pretzels and peanuts. Toss the mix with Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and onion salt for a savory treat.
Make up warm fruit compote with canned apricots, peaches and pears. Add one or two cans of cherry or berry pie filling and a dash of vanilla and cinnamon. Let the fruit mixture bubble and simmer in the slow cooker and serve it with chunks of sweet pound cake or angel food cake for dipping.
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