An appetizer buffet is a perfect way to get a party off to a good start. Set up a large, easily accessible table with a seasonal center piece. Choose some hot and some cold appetizers and some that are crisp and some that are soft. Keep foods hot over candle warmers or on hot trays. Have small plates and cocktail size napkins on hand.

Fancy Franks

Fancy FranksCredit: google images


   In a small skillet or saucepan, combine 1/2 cup chili sauce, 1/2 cup currant jelly, 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1-1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard. Add two 7 ounce packages cocktail franks and one 13-1/2 ounce can pineapple chucks, drained. Simmer together 15 minutes. Serve warm with cocktail picks.

Deviled Dip

Deviled Ham DipCredit: google images


1- 5 ounce jar process cheese spread pimento
1- 4-1/2 ounce can deviled ham
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon minced onion
4 drops hot pepper sauce
   With an electric mixer, thoroughly combine cheese spread, deviled ham, mayonnaise, parsley, onion, and hot sauce. Chill. Serve with assorted crackers, potato chips and cocktail breads.
   Makes about 1-3/4 cups.

Artichoke Ham Bites
   Drain one 15 ounce can artichoke hearts. Cut the hearts in half. Marinate in 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing for several hours; drain. Cut one 6 ounce package fully cooked smoked sliced ham in 1-1/2 inch strips. Wrap 1 strip around each artichoke half. Spear with a cocktail pick. Bake in a slow oven (300 degrees) for about 10 minutes, or til heated through.

Clam Cocktail Dunk

Clam Cocktail DipCredit: google images


2-3 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 drops onion juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 drops hot sauce
1-7-1/2 ounce can minced clams, chilled and drained
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
   With an electric mixer, combine first 5 ingredients. Beat until fluffy. Stir in clams and parsley. Serve with assorted crackers and crisp vegetables.
   Makes about 1-1/4 cups.

Polka-Dot Pinwheels

Pinwheel SandwichesCredit: google images


  Cut 1 loaf of unsliced white bread into lengthwise slices about 1/4 inch thick. Trim off crusts from 4 slices of bread. Spread with softened butter. Combine one 4-3/4 ounce can chicken spread, 2 tablespoons mashed pimento and 1/4 teaspoon curry powder. Spread each slice of buttered bread with about 3 tablespoons filling. Place 5 thin green pepper strips, equal distance apart on filling, crosswise on each slice.
   Roll up beginning at narrow end. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap; chill. Slice into 3/8 inch slices to make about 20 pinwheels.
Tip; to use the whole loaf of bread, double filling.

Spicy Beef Dip

Spicy Beef DipCredit: google images


1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic, minced
1-8 ounce can (1 cup) tomato sauce
1/4 cup catsup
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
   Cook first 3 ingredients in a skillet until meat is lightly browned and onion is tender, drain off fat. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add cream cheese, return to heat and stir til cheese is melted and well combined. Keep warm in a chafing dish. Serve with assorted crackers.
   Makes about 3 cups.

Shrimp in Jackets

Bacon Wrapped ShrimpCredit: google images


   Thaw 1 pound frozen medium, shelled shrimp. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon garlic or onion salt. Cut 3/4 pound of bacon (about 15 slices) in thirds. Wrap each shrimp in 1/3 slice of bacon. Arrange on broiler rack. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat just until bacon is crisp and browned, 8 to 10 minutes, turn occasionally. Serve on cocktail picks.

Edam Sage Spread

Edam Cheese BallCredit: google images


1 whole Edam cheese, about 16 ounces
2 cups sour cream
2 teaspoons ground sage
dash of onion powder

   Have cheese at room temperature. Cut off about 1 inch of the top of the whole cheese. Carefully scoop out the cheese, leaving a thin shell.
   Finely chop the cheese, mix with sour cream, sage and onion powder. Spoon into cheese shell and chill. Arrange on tray with assorted crackers and cocktail breads.
   Makes about 2 cups.