This is the time of year I frantically search cookbooks for new and different appetizer recipes. Whether hosting my own Christmas party, or bringing a dish to a friends’ house, I always need lots of ideas. Here are some yummy ones I’ve come up with:



Artichoke Triangles


1 can (14oz) artichoke hearts, drained & chopped

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup shredded Swiss cheese

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/8 tsp freshly cracked pepper

1 package frozen puff pastry dough, thawed

2 Tbl. Half & Half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper; lightly spray foil or paper with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix all ingredients except pastry and Half & Half. On lightly floured surface, roll l sheet of pastry into a 12×9″ rectangle, trimming edges if necessary to make it straight. Cut into twelve 3″ squares. Place 1 Tbl. mixture on each square. Lightly brush edges with Half & Half. Fold pastry over filling to make triangles. Crimp edges with fork to seal. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry and artichoke mixture. Brush tops of triangles with Half & Half. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield 24 pieces


Apricot-Amaretto Delish


1-10oz. jar apricot preserves (or peach)

2 Tbsp. Amaretto (or 1 tsp. almond flavoring)

1-8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened


Mix Amaretto and preserves together. Pour over block of cream cheese on serving plate. Serve with Ritz or other crackers.



Crab-filled Veggie Bites


12 cherry tomatoes

12 fresh snow peas

1 can (6 ounces) crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed or 1 cup finely chopped imitation crabmeat

2 Tbl. reduced-fat cream cheese

1 Tbl. finely chopped green onion

2 tsp. reduced-fat sour cream

2 tsp. chili sauce

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish


Cut the top of each tomato; scoop out pulp with a small spoon and discard. Invert tomatoes on paper towels to drain; let stand for 1-3 hours. Place 1 inch of water in a saucepan and add snow peas. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and immediately place peas in ice water. Drain and pat dry; refrigerate. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Using a sharp knife, make a slit down the side of each pea pod. Fill peas and tomatoes with crab mixture. Arrange on a serving platter; cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.