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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
        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.

            1. Yum! I think what you've chosen is perfect. Though, I, too, would add a light & simple green salad. And perhaps some roasted peppers. The poached chicken might also be a nice addition (perhaps 2 sausages and poached chicken...rather than a third sausage).

              1. Thanks, all. The in-laws are only 51, so NOT old, and own restaurants and are big drinkers - in other words, they are always up for a feast - but I definitely got some good advice here. Got most of it made yesterday, and I should be in good shape for tonight. Thanks again!

                2 Replies
                1. re: katecm

                  Hmm...appreciate the "51, so NOT old" thing!

                  1. I'd add a bunch of skewers: chicken satays with peanut sauce, shrimp, etc. The nice thing is they can be served room temperature and, if not eaten in the evening, can easily be pulled out again for the next day's lunch; add to salad, quesadillas, etc.

                    1. I recently made Brie en croute as an appetizer and my friends really liked it. Bought puff pastry with a wheel of brie baked. Quite tasty and satisfying. Being 57 myself and not old, I think your inlaws would enjoy it.

                      1. This may seem odd, but it is delicious - we just call them "toasty things" You make a spread with mayonnaise, fresh finely grated Parmesan, spring onions, and beau monde spice. You can use any bread - but I prefer the very thin slices from Pepperidge farm cut into quarters. Then broil until browned and bubbly. The plate will empty as you fill it up. They will ask for it every time.