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Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.
There are several good, simple ideas within this list: http://www.food52.com/blog...
I love having some spiced nuts out for the whole holiday season. That said, nuts are so filling! Veggies and dip or a small cheese plate (so people don't gorge)?
I like to put out nuts in the shell. They keep people busy and it's really hard to fill up on them!
QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.
You could serve shots of nice fall soup(s) -- butternut squash with apple, or spiced cauliflower, or pear and parsnip (there are so many to choose from, I don't even know where to start). It seems like a nice way to get your guests excited about what's to come without overloading them too much.
Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Our dinner is a day long event with many participants cooking. It's kind of a tradition that we serve melons wrapped in very special prosciutto that my mom purchases every year. We also set out an array of olives and nuts around the gathering areas which are the kitchen and game room where pool and football are happening. Easy and tasty.
amysarah is a trusted home cook.
I try to keep it light before the meal, given the gluttony to come. But last year I also did prosciutto, wrapped around pear slices and a sliver of parm - will do again. Also, I have a roll of goat cheese/thyme wafer dough in the freezer to slice thin and bake. Beyond that, just some olives, maybe some sweet/spicy pecans if I have time.
I've been tasked with the appetisers / pre-dinner snacks this year. So it's going to be chicken liver pate, butternut squash pate type thing, appropriate toasts, goat cheese tart, cranberry relish. My wife thinks it a lot of work. I just think of the turkey tetrazzini that's going to be served and want to make many more things.
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