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Easy party appetizer recipes

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Food is important. Not only does it give your guests something to keep their hands busy while mingling, some dishes can actually be conversation pieces. Appetizer recipes take minimal ingredients and most are simple to make. Here are a few recipes to get you started.

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Caprese bites
Caprese bites Heather Alongi

Caprese bites

The best thing about this recipe is that there is no baking required.  It is also a great recipe for the kiddos to help with!

What you will need:

2 pints grape tomatoes
1 to 1 1/2 rolls of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tbsp fresh, finely chopped basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Party toothpicks
How to prepare:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, cover tightly and shake gently for 20-30 seconds.  This will evenly coat the tomatoes and cheese with the oil and seasoning.
On each toothpick, place a cheese square and a tomato.
Arrange on a serving platter.

Bacon cheddar potato rounds
Bacon cheddar potato rounds Smashing Tops

Bacon cheddar potato rounds

These potatoes are very tasty and will definitely go fast, so make plenty!

What you will need:

1 lb russet potatoes
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 green onions, chopped
How to prepare:

Slice potatoes about 1/8 inch thick and lay a single layer across foil lined cookie sheets - the foil makes cleanup super easy!  Drizzle butter across, then sprinkle shredded cheese over the top, followed by the bacon.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until potato slices have started to soften.  Sprinkle with green onions.  Allow to cool, then place on a serving platter.

Pie chips
Pie chips Heather Alongi

Pie chips

Your taste buds will explode with pleasure with this combination of sweet, creamy, tart dip along with the flakiness of the chips!

What you will need:

2 rolls refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
1 qt fresh strawberries
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 8oz container mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp honey
3/4 tsp vanilla
How to prepare chips:

Pre-heat oven to 450.  Lay out dough and cut into chip-size triangles (a pizza cutter works really well).  Press extra pieces together, roll out and cut to use all of the dough.  Lay flat on parchment paper and bake for 8 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool completely.

How to prepare dip:

Crush strawberries with sugar in a bowl and refrigerate.

In a separate bowl, mix together mascarpone cheese, honey and vanilla, then refrigerate.

Presentation:

In a bowl in the center of the serving platter, spread all of the mascarpone cheese dip thickly around the edges, then pour the strawberry mixture in the center of the bowl. Place chips on the platter around the dip bowl.

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