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Party Time

Small bites, big flavours

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Party Time

'Tis the season for parties. The best ones have people hovering around a table decked with delicious little bites. Our little bites are simple and elegant, requiring a minimum of prep and cleanup time.

’Tis the season for parties. The best ones have people hovering around a table decked with delicious little bites. But little bites often mean mounds of big work and plenty of cleanup in the kitchen when the party’s over.

With a little organization up front, though, you can sit back and enjoy the festivities. Just follow our five quick and easy hints. Then choose a minimum of six easy-to-make three-ingredient recipes from the collection that follows. They can all be made ahead with little or no fuss without scrimping on quality or flavour.

We suggest you serve a mixture of both hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, including meatless options for the vegetarians in your midst. Keep in mind colours and shapes when you choose your menu. A good spread should have lots of variety and be appealing to the eye as well as the taste buds.

Once your guests arrive, place a couple of cold platters on the buffet table and let the grazing begin. About 30 minutes into the party top up your buffet with a selection of hot hors d’oeuvres. Be sure they’re ready to go so you can just slide them into the oven to bake.

5 Hints

1: Keep your selection simple. Offer six to 12 variations depending on the crowd.

2: Choose tastes that will cater to both vegetarians and carnivores.

3: Expand on cold appetizers and limit quantities of hot hors d’oeuvres.

4: Count on about eight pieces per guest for a simple two-hour open house.

5: Remember to keep hot things hot and cold things cold.

Glazed Squash BrochettesGlazed Squash Brochettes

Cut peeled butternut squash into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Toss with oil and bake uncovered in 425 F (220 C) oven for 20 minutes. Heat marmalade until slightly melted and drizzle over baked squash cubes to coat. Thread two cubes onto each skewer and serve at room temperature.

51 calories; 0 g protein; 1.8 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 8 g carbohydrates; 0.5 g fibre; 3.5 mg sodium

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus SpearsProsciutto Wrapped Asparagus Spears

Brush asparagus spears with a little oil and bake in 375 F (190 C) oven until crisp but not soft. Cool spears. Wrap slice of prosciutto around each. Chill before serving.

20 calories; 5.3 g protein; 2.7 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 0.6 g carbohydrates; 0.3 g fibre; 550 mg sodium

Chilled Spicy Crab ShootersChilled Spicy Crab Shooters

Stir tomato vegetable cocktail with a little whipping cream. Stir in snow crab meat. Serve chilled in little shooter glasses.

50 calories; 0 g protein; 3.5 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 7 g carbohydrates; 0 g fibre; 107 mg sodium

Warmed Olives with Rosemary and LemonWarmed Olives with Rosemary and Lemon

Combine mixed imported-style olives with a little sprig of rosemary and wedge of lemon in small baking dish. Bake uncovered in 375 F (190 C) oven for 15 minutes or until piping hot. Serve immediately in small bowl with wooden cocktail skewers.

45 calories; 0 g protein; 2.5 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 0 g carbohydrates; 0 g fibre; 115 mg sodium

Endive BoatsEndive Boats

Whip herbed or smoked salmon cream cheese with a little plain yogourt until smooth enough to pipe with a piping bag. Fill endive leaves with piped cheese mixture and serve cold.

122 calories; 2 g protein; 10.2 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 3 g carbohydrates; 0.8 g fibre; 195 mg sodium

Camebert Canape MeltsCamembert Canapé melts

Toast thin slices of brioche. Spread with fig preserves and top with camembert slice. Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for a few minutes to slightly melt the cheese. Serve warm on platter.

97 calories; 2.5 g protein; 4.4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 0.5 g fibre; 227 mg sodium

Tomato Bocconcini StacksTomato Bocconcini Stacks

Choose ripe cherry or grape tomatoes and use rosemary twigs to skewer a tomato and bocconcini ball together. Serve chilled.

48 calories; 3 g protein; 2 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 0 g carbohydrates; 0.7 g fibre; 115 mg sodium

Tuscan WafersTuscan Wafers

Slice Italian salami; sprinkle each with 1 tsp (5 mL) shredded Parmesan-Reggiano. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in 450 F (230 C) oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until they begin to crisp. Cool slightly; sprinkle with finely chopped fresh basil or oregano. Serve warm.

60 calories; 5 g protein; 4.4 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 0 g carbohydrates; 0 g fibre; 230 mg sodium

Chicken and Cucumber Canapes with Onion MarmaladeChicken and Cucumber Canape' with Onion Marmalade

Cut cooked boneless chicken breasts into large cubes. Cut cucumber into 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) rounds. Place a dollop of prepared onion marmalade on each cucumber slice. Top each with cube of chicken. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

45 calories; 4 g protein; 1 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 4 g carbohydrates; 0 g fibre; 3.2 mg sodium

Broiled Smoked Paprika PrawnsBroiled Smoked Paprika Prawns

Toss peeled prawns with a light dusting of smoked paprika and ground cumin. Spread on oiled baking sheet and bake at 500 F (260 C) for 5 to 7 minutes until pink. Serve in shallow bowl with wooden cocktail skewers.

30 calories; 5.7 g protein; 0.5 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 0.3 g carbohydrates; 0 g fibre; 42 mg sodium

Tapenade CrostinisTapenade Crostinis

Thinly slice whole wheat baguette and toast. Spoon prepared green olive tapenade on crostinis and sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese. Serve at room temperature.

69 calories; 2.5 g protein; 3.3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 6 g carbohydrates; 0.5 g fibre; 173 mg sodium

Seared ScallopsSeared Scallops

Sprinkle scallops with a little chili powder and sear in lightly oiled pan for about 1 minute per side or until opaque. Serve each scallop hot in a little Chinese soup spoon with a dollop of prepared salsa.

52 calories; 8 g protein; 0.4 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 1.4 g carbohydrates; 0 g fibre; 150 mg sodium

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