A girls' nights in gives busy women a chance to reconnect and relax in the lounging-friendly environment of home. Whether you are hosting a girls' night in to celebrate a promotion, commemorate a birthday or engagement, or simply to spend time with your friends, focus on flavor-rich foods that require little preparation to minimize the amount of time you spend fixing appetizers.
Pique the appetites of your guests with fresh fruits and vegetables. Such a spread is particularly appropriate if some of your girlfriends are watching their calorie intake or if you want your girls' night in to have an emphasis on healthy food. Some quick, easy produce-based appetizers include fruit cocktails in actual cocktail glasses, big bowls of plain berries, and a platter of crunchy sliced vegetables with low-calorie dressing, dip or hummus in a bowl in the middle. Buy pre-cut veggies for nearly effortless preparation.
Make roll-ups for an easy, savory appetizer that will take the edge off of everyone's hunger. Start with flour tortillas, or use whole-wheat or high-fiber tortillas if available. Slather them with a spread, such as fat-free cream cheese, sour cream, Greek tzatziki sauce, or hummus. Add a topping or two, such as spinach, salmon, tuna, roasted chicken, or smoked deli turkey, then roll into a tube and slice. Make multiple varieties of rolls.
Cater to girls' night attendees who like munchies with salt by serving an appetizer array spiked with salty snacks. Some easy, tasty, salty appetizers include air-popped popcorn, toasted nuts with flavors like barbecue or salt and vinegar, pretzel sticks, and mini rice cakes. For help with portion control, serve calorie-dense snacks like nuts in truffle-size confection papers.
Tantalize your dessert-loving female friends with sweet appetizers. Pick sumptuous-looking recipes that rely on natural sweetness and limited sugar to avoid sabotaging anyone's healthy diets. For example, you could set out a "pudding bar" with dishes of vanilla pudding and mix-ins like berries, granola, sprinkles, sliced banana, and low-calorie caramel and chocolate syrups. Or make a batch of black bean brownies or blueberry oat bars and serve bite-size slices in colorful cupcake liners.
First published at age 17, Kim Durant is an experienced writer with numerous published articles under her belt. A former tutor and community education teacher, she writes primarily about decorating, crafts and other creative pursuits.