One of the countless tips I’ve learned from Mia is to always have a tasty treat to offer friends who stop by for a visit. Of Mia’s many talents, the Lord gave her the gift of Hospitality (x2!). She is the most gracious hostess I have ever known.
Since this is clearly the season for friends to drop-in & pop-in, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite savory snacks to have on hand. These are easy appetizers to make ahead and tasty enough that you might just find your friends coming ’round more often.
Make a double batch of these yummy cheese wafers and keep ’em in your freezer. Ten minutes in a 410 degree oven and you’ll have a warm bite with a kick to offer friends.
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper (I like more for a kick!)
1 stick margarine (do not use butter)
Sift the flour, salt, and pepper. Combine with cheese and margarine. Form long rolls, wrap in wax paper and chill over night, or freeze. When ready to serve, slice frozen dough into 1/2 inch thick wafers and bake for 10 minutes at 410 degrees.
These rosemary infused nuts are just perfect. I make them often! If you are lucky enough to end up with a few extra, toss them in a salad for a yummy crunch.
1 lb roasted, unsalted cashews
2 Tbs minced, fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp light brown sugar (I use a bit more)
1 Tbs kosher salt (I use less)
2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the cashews out on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven until warm, 5 – 10 minutes.
Add melted butter to large bowl and stir in sugar and spices. Toss warm cashews and stir to coat.
These nuts are great served right out of the oven, but they keep for a week in a sealed container. Let me know if they last that long in your house!
This is one of my very favorite prepared ‘tizers. I know what you are thinking. Dried okra? No way. Trust me they are out of this world yummy and every.single.person who has tasted them at our house has been pleasantly surprised. I serve them in a fun tall glass, then step back to watch for the ah-ha moment to appear on happy faces.
I pick up my stash of dried okra at Central Market. And I spied a similar version at Trader Joe’s last summer in California. My HEB has a packaged brand, although I have not tried it.
Keep your eyes peeled and if you stumble upon dried okra, grab it! You’ll be thrilled and your friends will be too.