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Published: Wednesday, 12/24/2008

Holiday Appetizers 101

(ARA) - When holiday entertaining has you scrambling for new ideas to make your guests feel jolly, think appetizers. A traditional menu like baked ham or smoked turkey, served with classic favorites, can be made into a more festive experience by easily selecting a variety of mouthwatering appetizers to complement the meal.

When deciding what appetizers to serve, consider the flow and arrangement of the party. Where will guests be eating? If there's limited seating, reconsider appetizers that require a knife and fork. Hand-held, bite-size appetizers are usually easier for guests if they'll be standing and mingling.

Variety is also important. Select appetizer recipes that have different flavors, textures and temperatures. A combination of hot and cold food items will please any palate. Offering different styles like bread or cracker options, toothpick or skewer bites and hand-held finger foods is a simple way to add variety.

Traditional recipes, such as rumaki, meatballs and deviled eggs, are still party favorites too. However, it's easy to give them a new flare. Try this new Pesto Deviled Eggs recipe when you're entertaining this holiday season.

Pesto Deviled Eggs

Serves: 12


6 hard-cooked eggs

3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. plain low-fat yogurt

1 tsp. basil leaves, crushed

1/2 tsp. garlic powder


Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks and set whites aside. Mash yolks with fork. Stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Refill whites, using about one tablespoon yolk mixture for each egg half. Chill to blend flavors. Courtesy of ARAcontent

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