Sunday, December 7, 2014

Easy Appetizer Trays

Appetizer trays are easy and well loved by snackers the world over.
There are three main types: savory (usually sliced meats and cheeses), vegetable (celery, carrots, broccoli, etc) and fruit (apple, orange, etc).
When doing the shopping for the rest of your ingredients, make sure and grab some extra ingredients for snack trays. Snacks keep guests entertained, lower blood sugar levels and soak up early alcohol ingestion. In short, snack trays keep antsy guests busy, hungry guests sane and help the festivities on into the night.

Savory Trays:
Savory trays can be made up of all your favorite lunch meats and cheeses. Visit the deli section and choose at least 3 different meats and 2 types of cheeses. I like to pick a bird (chicken or turkey), a salami and a ham or roast beef. Bacon can also be a fun and popular option. As for cheese I usually get one yellow, one white and some sort of cheese spread. To assemble the tray, cut the meats and cheeses into manageable bite size pieces (usually 1x1 in). Of course you'll need to get some crackers to go with this tray!

Vegetable Trays:
Choose at least 3 different vegetables. Slice into bite sizes and layer onto tray. If you want to add a dip, place it in the middle of the tray with the veggies around it to minimize dip mess and the ever-looming problem of gravity and the floor. I personally like cucumber slices, celery and broccoli for mine. The celery is fun because you can "stuff" the slices with cream cheese or peanut butter. I usually do half the celery slices with cream cheese and the other half with peanut butter and the broccoli and cucumber slices are served with a ranch dip. Most of the time, people need to be bribed to eat vegetables...

Fruit Trays:

Fruit is a good substitute for snacks, particularly for children, because they are sweet but also have a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals. Any fruit is acceptable: grapes, apple slices, orange slices (I prefer tangerines as they have little to no seeds), mango slices, etc. I don't suggest bananas; they turn brown very quickly and are a bit messy. Of all the fruits I have served, bananas usually get left on the plate. For an interesting change try eating a slice of cheese with your piece of fruit. Apples and grapes are very tasty with a sharp cheddar and oranges are good with a salty white cheese.

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