I have changed the way I entertain friends over the past several years. I rarely have dinner parties and large groups to my house.

Many of my friends are on special diets or have certain health concerns, so I choose to entertain with a variety of appetizers. I still ask people ahead of time if they have any issues with different foods.

Suggested pantry and fridge items to have on hand:

  • several cans of garbanzo beans
  • a carton of sour cream
  • mayonnaise (made with olive oil)
  • a block of cheddar or pepper jack cheese
  • a small box of whole grain crackers
  • a large bag of grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
  • a small can of crab meat
  • green and black olives
  • red and white wine
  • a few cans of beer
  • flavored water (for non-drinking friends)

My Favorite Crunchy Baked Cheese

Simple Appetizer Recipes Retirement Dinner Party

This recipe is delicious and loved by almost everyone.

Ingredients

  • Grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
  • Black pepper/lemon spice (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a large cookie sheet with foil.
  3. Pour the cheese over the foil making sure it is as flat as possible.
  4. Bake in the oven until the top is totally brown and no longer bubbling.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  6. Break the cheese in small pieces.

Baked Almonds or Mixed Nuts

Simple Appetizer Recipes Retirement Dinner Party

Ingredients

  • Approximately 1/4 cup of olive oil, sesame seed oil or avocado oil.
  • Seasonings: curry powder, turmeric powder, black pepper, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, lemon pepper spice, Himalayan salt.
  • You can vary the amount of some or all of these spices to your particular taste.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Pour the oil in a small bowl.
  3. Add the seasonings of your choice to the oil and blend well.
  4. Pour the nuts in a separate bowl and slowly trickle in the oil.
  5. Stir the nut mixture until the nuts are fully covered.
  6. Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet.
  7. Bake the mixture for about 20 minutes.
  8. Turn off the oven and leave the nuts in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the nuts from the oven and allow to sit about 1 hour.
  10. Store the nuts in a container with a lid.

My Favorite Hummus Dip

Simple Appetizer Recipes Retirement Dinner Party

I often have a batch of this delicious Hummus in the fridge, as we love it. Occasionally, when I don’t feel like cooking dinner, this hummus – served with veggies and a glass of wine – does the trick for dinner. The dip keeps in the fridge for about 6 days.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium can of garbanzo beans
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder, oregano and garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to your taste

Directions

  1. Drain the beans and rinse.
  2. Pour all ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth.
  3. Serve with cut up celery, peppers, carrots and small crackers.

My Favorite Easy Crab Dip

Simple Appetizer Recipes Retirement Dinner Party

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of chopped green onions
  • 3 large green olives or 5 black olives, chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 small can of crab meat
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, oregano, marjoram, tarragon and cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Blend together the sour cream and mayonnaise.
  2. Add the chopped green onions.
  3. Add the seasonings.
  4. Drain the crab meat and add to the blend.
  5. Mix the dip thoroughly until everything is blended well.
  6. Serve with celery and small crackers.

Serving appetizers and finger food is an easy way to entertain. People love to pick and choose without feeling obligated to eat everything.

Do you have some favorite appetizers to share? Do you think this could be a new way to have a dinner party? Please share your thoughts below.

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