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Apps in a Snap

Need budget-friendly appetizer ideas? These party bites are festive, easy, and delish!

Strawberry-Goat Cheese Bites

Brush thin slices of French baguette bread with olive oil; place on baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until toasted. Top toasts with a blend of equal parts goat cheese and softened cream cheese. Top each toast with two strawberry slices. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Top with fresh basil.


Chocolate Mandarins

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel and section six mandarin oranges. In a small microwave-safe bowl, warm ⅔ cup dark chocolate chips on 50% power at 20-second intervals until melted, stirring occasionally. Dip one end of each mandarin section in chocolate; shake off excess. Set on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and cayenne pepper. Chill for 10 minutes.


Cucumber-Salmon Rolls

Use a vegetable peeler to slice lengthwise strips from a seedless cucumber. Spread slices with softened cream cheese; top with chopped smoked salmon. Sprinkle with fresh dill.  Roll up and secure each roll with a toothpick. Garnish with additional fresh dill, if desired.


Budget Tips

Stick to a limited number of ingredients that deliver bold flavor. For example, add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to chocolate-dipped mandarins. Extend the flavor of more expensive cheeses with budget-friendly ones, such as combining cream cheese and goat cheese. Treat more costly ingredients, such as meats and seafood, as garnishes. A few pieces of smoked salmon or crumbled bacon go a long way.