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Spring Celebrations


If you're looking for a way to jazz up a bridal shower or graduation party without spending a lot of money, give your guests a fun spread of finger foods. Appetizers that are easy to make and easy to eat can pack a lot of flavor - and fun - into any gathering.

Set out some colorful bowls, trays and baskets and have fun filling them with things such as:

Olives - There are a lot of flavorful olive varieties you can offer just on their own. You can also get them marinated or stuffed with garlic, almonds or cheese.
Cheese - Move beyond the basic cheddar or Swiss, and try something new. You can find small blocks of artisan cheeses that you can cut into chunks and wow your guests with surprising new flavors.
Fruit Kabobs - Strawberries, pineapples and grapes are good for basic kabobs. Up the fun factor with mango, papaya and star fruit, too.
Dip Shots - To make serving dip more fun, put it in shot glasses. Guests can carry them around, dipping their veggie sticks at will - and avoid double-dipping, too.

Appetizer wraps also make fun finger foods. PBS TV Chef Jim Coleman, host of the "Healthy Flavors" cooking show, recommends using Nasoya fresh pasta wraps. "Won ton wraps are extremely versatile and easy to work with," he says. "They really feed a cook's creativity!" The all-natural wraps do not contain MSG or trans fats, are a good source of iron, and contain six to eight grams of protein per serving. They can be prepared in a variety of ways such as baked, steamed, boiled or fried.

Chef Jim says you can use wraps to make Crab Rangoon, Herb and Lime Chicken Cups, Mini Quiches, and Spinach and Feta Cheese Purses.

"Shrimp poppers with Hawaiian dipping sauce are the perfect finger food," he adds. "They're light and festive party appetizers. If you like, you can substitute ham or tofu for the shrimp."

Don't let your party food be boring. Fingers foods are a great way to play around with flavors and let your guests play with their food.

Shrimp Poppers
Makes 50

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 scallion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and chopped
1 egg white
1 package Won Ton wraps
4 cup corn oil for frying

Hawaiian Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup pineapple fruit spread
2 tablespoons Dijon-style Vegi-Spread or any Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ginger spice blend

In bowl, combine cream cheese, scallion, garlic, hot pepper sauce and salt. Add shrimp. Beat egg white and brush edges of won ton wraps with egg white.

Place 1 teaspoon filling into center of won ton wrap. Pull corners toward the center to make a point. Repeat with remaining filling and wraps.
In a heavy saucepan, heat corn oil to 375 degrees F. In batches, fry won tons for 1 minute, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.

In a bowl, combine fruit spread, Dijon-style spread and ginger spice. Serve with poppers.


Categories: Food & Recipes, MomShare, Newsletter,

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