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Any brilliant heavy appetizer suggestions?

Brilliant Chowers, I need you! The in-laws arrive late tomorrow night for a visit. It's too late for dinner, but they may not have had a meal, so I'm going to do some heavy appetizers. Here's what I have planned; do I need more, or do you think this will cut it? Are there any other ideas that would fit nicely with the theme?

olive/eggplant tapenade with crackersticks and grape tomatoes
homemade parmesan crackers (Ina Garten's excellent recipe)
onion toasts
2-3 types sausage, sliced and served with dipping sauce (curry? herb?)

What else? I'll also make a sorbet of some kind for a sweet finisher. Thanks for your help!

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  1. It may be just me, but at the end of the day (especially if I've been travelling and am at all tired) I'm less interested in spicy or oily foods and more interested in stuff that's lighter. Based on what you've listed, and my preferences, I'd suggest:
    - A fresh green salad
    - Grilled veggies
    - Crudettes and a light dip
    - Fruit salad (or fruit on skewers and a yogurt-based dip)

    Enjoy your visit!

    1. You might want to go easy on the fattiness and the spices if its late in the evening. Older stomachs are prone to heartburn in bed after rich food. A poached chicken dish might be a good bet.

      1. Hey kate!
        I think your menu sounds good, here's my 2 cents...
        serve a cheeseplate with grapes
        serve a couple types of crackers (like yours above)
        maybe keep the toppings separate...so
        tapenade
        onion dip
        sausage (just plain maybe lighter?)
        tomatoes slices with s&p drizzle of oil?

        1. I am probably old enough to be your M-I-L. When traveling and arriving someplace late I really appreciate soup and some hot buttered toast slices from good and interesting bread. It is soothing and helps me settle down and relax.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Candy

            yup, i think Candy hit it. . . followed by some non caffiene tea and some good homemade cookies or shortbread, liquers or brandy, good conversation. . . bed. i agree with Gin and It that fatty and spicy might not be what the in laws want after a long trek--

          2. I love to pick after a late arrival, so I'm inclined to offer an antipaso platter: prosciutto, salami, fresh mozzarella, a good hard cheese maybe a smoked one, cherry toms, olives, artichokes, grilled veg, etc with some crostini that are rubbed w/ garlic, olive oil and sea salt.