3 Elegant Appetizers, No Cooking Required

By Erin Phraner, Refinery29

Now that the turkey coma has worn off, we’re about ready to get our holiday-cocktail party on. Too soon? Well, whether you’re planning to play hostess or not, it’s smart to keep a few quickie appetizer ideas in mind this time of year - you never know when the mood will strike. All three of our easy, no-cook dishes are ready in five minutes and require only five (or fewer) ingredients. So, dust off your sparkly skirt, and pop open some bubbly - you’ve got a party to throw!

Apple and Blue-Cheese-Butter Crostini 
 Give cheese and crackers a party-worthy twist by mixing crumbled blue cheese into saltybutter and spreading it on crostini and topping it with apples and honey. Lots of grocery stores sell premade crostini rounds this time of year. Can’t find any? Un-toasted baguette slices work just as well. 


Serves: 12 
1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, softened 
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese 
24 pieces crostini or sliced baguette 
1 to 2 apples, thinly sliced 
Honey, for drizzling

1. Mix the butter and blue cheese in a bowl until combined.

2. Spread blue-cheese butter on crostini. Top each with two apple slices. Drizzle with honey.

Note: Planning to make the crostini ahead of time? Dunk apple slices in lemon juice to keep them from browning!

Bacon-Stuffed Celery 
 The star ingredient in this stuffed-celery recipe is a lazy-girl’s dream: Boursin. It’s a soft, spreadable cheese loaded with herbs and garlic - it has tons of flavor and is far less expensive than fancy artisan cheese. Another topping idea: crumbled cooked bacon (or bacon bits!) over the celery. 

Serves: 12 
1 large shallot, minced 
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
1 (5-ounce) container soft garlic-herb cheese (such as Boursin) 
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
10 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

1. Stir together the shallot and red wine vinegar in a small bowl; set aside.

2. Mix the garlic-herb cheese and lemon juice in another bowl until smooth.

3. Transfer cheese mixture to a resealable plastic bag; snip the tip and pipe into the celery pieces. Drain the shallot; spoon onto the celery.

Cheater’s Smoked-Salmon Blinis 
 We’re all for blinis and Champagne, but who has time to make little buckwheat pancakes from scratch? And, the store-bought options are pretty disappointing. Our solution: Top thick-cut potato chips with smoked salmon, sour cream, and dill. It’s completely addictive.

Serves: 12 
1 (4-ounce) package thinly sliced smoked salmon 
1 (5-ounce) bag good-quality, thick-cut potato chips 
Sour cream, for topping 
Fresh dill, for topping

1. Trim smoked salmon slices into small pieces.

2. Top each potato chip with one piece of smoked salmon, a small dollop of sour cream, and one fresh dill leaf. Serve immediately.

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