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Appetizer Puzzle- Want to Play?

Here's a weird one: My husband called to let me know that a few friends are going to come by tonight, they're bringing pumpkins and we'll have an impromptu carving party. He suggested we order some food, but my silly hostess-pride said "of course not, I'll just make a few nice heavy appetizers and we can all munch on that while we work!"

Well, I just realized that I do not have a car as I forgot, it's getting serviced. I also do not have my wallet (long story).

So now I'm looking at a fairly barren cupboard and trying to figure out if there are 3 or 4 desperation dishes I might be able to whip up out of a sad lot of ingredients. As I'm banging my head against a wall, I thought maybe a fellow chow-hounder would find this fun, like a foodie logic problem. I'm currently facing the cooking equivalent of writers' block.

Here's what I have on hand, assuming I also have most common dried spices, olive oil, vinegar:

Flour
Panko
Sugar
Butter
Whole milk
Sour Cream
Parmigean
Provolone
Cheddar

Sliced Bread
Flour Tortillas
Quinoa
Israeli Cous Cous
Penne

Bananas
Celery
Carrots
Red Pepper
Arugala
Zucchini
Fresh Mint
Onion
Garlic
Jalapenos
Lemon
Lime

Chicken breast
Sausage patties

Almonds
Pine nuts

Canned broth
Canned black beans
Canned tomatos
Tahini

Right now all I can really think is making chips out of the tortillas and making nachos?
Or mac&cheese made with penne? Although that's not really a finger food, which is what I'd prefer to have...

Sigh, might just have to tell my husband to order something!

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  1. Chicken quesadillas
    Sausage quesadillas
    Toasted cheese sandwiches
    Fried zucchini sticks with sour cream dip
    Toasted almonds and pine nuts, salted well
    Fried onion rings with a sour cream dip
    Crudite (celery, carrot, red pepper sticks)
    Grilled red pepper
    I can think of more, but it's not finger food

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gail

      I just thought of quesadillas when I hit send!
      FRIED ZUCCHINI STICKS! Love that! I'm not used to making sour cream dips, would you suggest any particular added seasoning?

      1. re: hyacinthgirl

        I'd do the quesadillas, season the sour cream dip with cayenne, chili powder and cumin, and then make a quick black bean soup with the tomatoes, broth, jalapenos, and red pepper, and serve that in mugs. You've got a southwest theme!

    2. Off the bat I can see possibly a couscous salad with mint and cucumbers, panko crusted chicken fingers, and quinoa patties.

      3 Replies
      1. re: DarthEater

        Awesome! How would you make the quinoa patties?

          1. re: DarthEater

            Just read you didn't have eggs. NYTimes has a vegan version or you can type in Vegan Quinoa Cakes in the search engine. There are many ways to get around it!

            http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/27/hea...

      2. How about chicken fingers using the Panko and the Parmesan? Do you have honey and mustard for a dipping sauce? Or maybe make a red pepper dipping sauce?

        1 Reply
        1. re: dmjordan

          I do have honey and mustard! Sounds delicious! Thank you, sometimes you can just stare in the fridge and see nothing!

        2. Ha! You call that a bare cupboard?
          Tortilla soup, homemade pizza, a number of dips and some fun mocktails too. If you have cinnamon on hand a crumb coffee cake. Any eggs, if so you've got loads more.

          4 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            No eggs, that was my biggest obstacle when I was trying to figure out what to do. How would you do a homemade pizza with that?
            I might make myself tortilla soup for lunch : )

            1. re: HillJ

              Also, how much to just fly you here to cook : )

              1. re: hyacinthgirl

                depends where you live...I might just come for free under the right circumstances!!

                re pizza, tortilla pizza!

                1. re: HillJ

                  with penne pasta you've got cold or hot pasta options.
                  almonds, bananas, sugar & butter you have a dessert
                  bread, parm, provolone you have cheese toast
                  zukes stuffed with veg, cheese & sausage

                  you got it made!!

            2. Stuffed Jalapenos
              What? No eggs or white win? I was going to suggest Cannoli
              Chicken Fajitas

              1. make up some popovers...cut them in half lengthwise...fill will the cooked sausage, onion and zuchinni that has been cut in /12 in cubes.....top with shredded cheese and melt that

                A Chicken Penne soup with the tomatoes thrown in .add some cooked Chicken breast if you want

                But.take the breasts and bake.slice thin and serve on the tortillas with jalapenos and onions and cheese.add in some diced red pepper if you want... sort of pizza style

                1. You could also make a variety of wraps with the tortillas (easy finger food and filling). Chicken salad wraps, sausage cheese wraps, black bean tomato wraps, etc.

                  Black bean salsa and veggie tray would go with wraps well too.

                  Although not finger food, a big pot of homemade soup and bread on a chilly pumpkin carving evening would be welcomed with my friends too!

                  1. I would make grilled cheese sandwich triangles with add-ons like carmelized onion, roasted red peppers, etc. Btw, when I'm making a lot of grilled cheese, I pop them in the oven and broil. Have fun!!

                    1. Sorry if this has been mentioned, but how about cheese crisps? I think you can do it with different cheeses. Also, do you have what you need for goodhealthgourmet's awesome black bean dip? (I'll try to find recipes)--be right back.

                      THere are a million variations on these:

                      http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/snac...

                      Hmmm...you're missing cilantro and chipotle peppers, so I'm not sure you can make the black bean dip, but maybe you can do a modified version? What does it take to turn jalapenos into chipotles in adobo? Can you roast them yourself and add the adobo seasoning if you have it?

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4844...

                      ~TDQ

                      1. A tempura could be fin.

                        1. Can you do a modified florentines with the almonds?

                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

                          ~TDQ

                          1. I think you might also be able to do larb with the argula and chicken breast, but I'm not sure how appetizer-y that would be. Normally you could serve it in lettuce cups to make it a finger food, but maybe you could carve out the celery sticks? The problem is that larb is kind of loose and would fall out of the celery boat.

                            http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaisnac...

                            ~TDQ

                            1. hyacinthgirl, I'm looking forward to hearing how the pumpkin carving party food turns out!