Dips are always good for this; people love them and you can serve them cold from the fridge. Herb or caramelized onion dips with veggies, crackers, or chips are always a good choice and they get better as they sit. I also make these skewers that people go crazy for - little mozzarella boconcinni (sp?), a leaf of basil, either a cherry tomato or a slice of roasted pepper. I usually snap a regular sized skewer in half so they are easier to eat (and then I have more skewers!) I lay it all out on a tray and then drizzle with good balsamic (just lightly) and sprinkle with sea salt (again, lightly). You can make ahead and do the sprinkle/garnish right before serving.
Sounds elegant but very simple, thx so much!
These savory crackers are so easy to make. You can make these a few days in advance. If you don't have fig jam, don't sweat it. They are great with apple jam, apricot jam, pear, quince, or any late summer or fall combination. http://therunawayspoon.com/blog/2010/03/blue-cheese-and-fig-savouries/
I just so happen to LOVE anything fig and have a stash of fig jam in my pantry--will love this! Thx a bunch for responding!
Mix a block of cream cheese with 1 small jar of finely chopped dried beef and sliced green onions. Mix in some black pepper and 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Serve with crackers.
Another great idea--you all have been so helpful!
I was going to suggest the blue cheese and fig cookies. For my last party, i made a caponata that I served on crostini with ricotta and a drizzle of honey. I used a recipe from the site, which I found to have way too much vinegar, so hesitant to suggest even though it was a community pick. But a caponata would freeze really well. Another idea is to make palmiers (I did this too, using a barefoot contessa recipe), assemble, slice, freeze the slices on a cookie tray and once harderned throw into a zip top bag. Bake off day of. Finally, you can make sliced nuts, freeze, and defrost.
These fig and blue cheese savouries are fantastic! http://food52.com/recipes... You can make the dough ahead of time and then freeze it in log; when you're ready to bake, just slice the logs and proceed. They only take a few minutes to bake and you could put in several batches easily on a small baking sheet. Everyone loves them! I get so many requests for them that I usually keep a log or two of the dough on hand in my freezer. ;o)
Here is another savory idea, dough can be made ahead,frozen in logs until ready to bake: http://lapadia.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/one-bite-cheddar-prosciutto-shortbread-cookies/ (recipe can also be found on F52)
I go pretty easy on appetizers for Thanksgiving, given the enormity of the meal to follow. This year I have a fig salami (no meat) - a gift from Croatia; it's really good served with cheese (so far, have tried fresh goat, brie, manchego, stilton) on a toasted baguette slice, with maybe a tiny drizzle of honey. That, a couple of bowls of good olives (my addiction!) and some homemade spiced nuts (made a couple days ahead) and that probably it. Minimal prep - just nibbles to have with drink...though, if I feel nostalgic, I may add some smoked oysters, the way my mother always did them.
These Spinach Balls with Mustard Sauce http://food52.com/recipes... can be made now and frozen. Then just pop them on a baking sheet and finish them off just before serving. The mustard sauce can be made a day ahead, too.
Herb roasted olives. Buy assorted green and black olives. In a hot oven, toss olives on a baking sheet with minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and roast for till it sizzles, maybe 15 minutes. Place in a bowl and toss with orange zest and rosemary. Serve.