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Appetizers in Eichlerville
Hors Doeuvres
Hors d'oeuvres are finger morsels that are varied in size and shape – they may be plain, stuffed or decorated, served on wooden picks or passed on a tray. Keep them colorful and varied in size and shape. If you are serving hors d'oeuvres on toothpicks poke the ends into something like an eggplant to add more dimension to your presentation.

Mix and Match
Many of the same ingredients used to make the mix and match canapés above also apply to the breadless hors d'oeuvre. The difference is that instead of building toppings on flat slices of bread, toothpicks can accommodate interesting spheres and cubes. If you're really short on time, this is a great way of serving store-bought assorted pickled vegetables. Combining a pearl onion, gherkin and carrot cube on a toothpick is much more fun than a bowl filled with all these items in a jumble. Use your imagination and combine interesting combinations of different colors, textures and flavors.

Olives are a perfect example of a simple but tasty hors d'oeuvre. Most markets today sell a wide variety of delicious imported olives which can either be served as is or heated with additional spices (try adding orange and lemon peels, red pepper flakes or a mix of fresh herbs).

Preparation is the key!
What would a ‘50s cocktail party be without Swedish meatballs? The classic version of these is still pretty tasty today but I like to go to the other end of the globe and introduce a slightly Asian flair. Mix 1  pound ground pork, 1 cup chopped water chestnuts, ¼ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger, 1 egg, and 1 tspn. salt. Shape the mixture into small bite-size balls and dust lightly with cornstarch. Heat enough peanut oil for frying to 375°F. Deep-fry the pork balls until they are cooked through. You can make these ahead and reheat at the last minute. Serve hot on toothpicks and provide soy sauce (mixed with a little hot pepper oil for extra zest!) for dipping.

Flaming Cabbage
It would be a shame to have a 1950s-inspired cocktail party without including at least one can of Sterno and Vienna sausages --- this recipe includes both with incredible flair! Clean a large cabbage. Curl outer leaves back from top. Cut out the center and hollow it out about 6" deep. Place a Sterno can in the cavity (can hidden, but the flame should come almost to the top of the cabbage). Place the cabbage on a serving plate. Thrust wooden picks through cocktail sausages and stick into the cabbage. If you can't appreciate the camp value of Vienna sausages then skewer slices of your favorite grilled gourmet sausages. Stick an olive onto the end of each pick to protect fingers from the flame. Guests can then broil their own sausages!

For a large gathering you could easily prepare all of the recipes listed above, but for a smaller get-together pick one from each category. Remember to vary temperature, color, texture and flavor and to incorporate presentation into your plan. Serve with classic cocktails (like Martinis or Manhattans) and the right blend of music. Now you have the recipe for entertaining success: Good food + good drinks + music = fun!

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Appetizer Spreads


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