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Please help -- need tasty appetizer to bring to holiday party

I'm a decent cook but drawing a blank on what to bring to my holiday book club party. I need to bring an appetizer that does not require any cooking and minimal assembly upon arriving. Ideally it's pre-plated before we leave for the event. I live in Northern California and have Trader Joe's and Whole Foods at my disposal. The appetizer can be of any ethnicity -- just looking for something that isn't too difficult and will impress.

Thanks in advance!!

~DB

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  1. For my '60's cocktails party: celery sticks w/pb, cheeseball, stuffed mushrooms (julia child recipe), stuffed eggs, jumbo shrimp w/cocktail sauce, meatballs (TJ's) w/teri dip, among other things...

    1. Crostini and a selection of spreads: black olive tapenade; green olive tapenade; sundried tomato spread, chevre, etc.

      1. Trader Joe's has Mini Meatballs in the freezer section, and a "Chinese Five Spice Chef's Sauce" (8 oz jar) in the jarred sauce section. 1 bag of Mini Meatballs + 1 jar of sauce + 1 microwavable covered casserole dish and you can microwave it right before you walk out the door. Then you can either serve it warm or zap it again when you get there. Remember to bring toothpicks!

        1. how about stuffed dried figs?

          fillings:

          mascarpone & chopped hazelnuts or almonds
          or
          bleu cheese or gorgonzola with chopped walnuts or pecans

          mix in a bit of maple syrup before stuffing for a hint of sweetness.

          3 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            A really simple but elegant appetizer - devilled eggs with a tiny slice of ginger and some black or red roe sprinkled on top. Looks great and tastes even better! P.s. Love your handle, thats my hubby 's nickname :)

            1. re: millygirl

              Deviled Eggs with Caviar are fabulous -- no cooking, ready-to-go. I've never had deviled eggs with ginger, however. I'm assuming pickled "sushi" ginger?

              What a small world, millygirl. My wife's pet name for me is "little dog" in Mandarin: xiao gou.

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I do a variation of this- a mix of halved fig and dried apricots, each filled with a mix of neufchatel and blue cheese (usually gorgonzola dolce), and a toasted pecan half pressed into the middle of each piece.

            3. Pecan and Parsley Cheese Balls

              Yield: 2 balls, 3 inches in diameter

              Ingredients:

              • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
              • 1 clove garlic
              • 8 ounces cream cheese
              • 4 ounces blue cheese
              • ¼ cup butter or margarine
              • ¾ cup pecans or
              • ¾ cup parsley

              Method:

              1. Use shredding disc on food processor to shred cheddar cheese. Set cheese aside.
              2. Use metal blade to chop garlic.
              3. Cut cream cheese, blue cheese and butter into chunks.
              4. With processor running, drop chunks down feed tube and process until smooth.
              5. Add shredded cheddar and process until mixture is creamy.
              6. Cover and chill cheese mixture for about 3 hours or until firm enough to shape.
              7. Divide mixture in half and shape each half into a smooth ball.
              8. Wrap airtight in clear plastic and refrigerate or freeze.
              9. To serve, let cold cheese balls stand at room temperature, unwrapped, for 3 or 4 hours.
              10. For pecan ball: Using the metal blade process the nuts until coarsely chopped. Roll ball in nuts, pressing lightly.
              11. For parsley ball: Using the metal blade process the parsley until coarsely chopped. Roll ball in parsley, pressing lightly.
              12. Serve with assorted crackers or wafers.