Memorial Day. It commemorates patriotic Americans who have loyally served their country and given it their best. It is a pause for reflection, a reminder of what we have — and it is the beginning of summer, of long, ripe days, bare arms and legs, sunburns, long pleasant evenings, and the scent of barbeque and fresh-cut grass.
Summer should be about ease and relaxation, about simple pleasures and delights, so celebrate the unofficial grand opening of the season with simple, easy fare, and quick appetizers that will leave you free to enjoy the weather outdoors, and liberate you from the kitchen.
Sweet Potato Fries
An original twist on the well-known favorite, these crispy, flavorful sweet potato fries require little preparation and offer great reward for your effort. Sweet and savory, they are a welcome addition to any festive event.
Simply peel and slice the sweet potatoes, toss in a bowl with olive oil and spices of choice, and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
Mushroom Pizza Bites
Fun and ingenious, these bite-sized snacks are delicious and delightfully creative – plus, they come together in a matter of minutes, are healthy and gluten-free. The topping options are endless, and you can devise an equally endless array of variations to suit the finicky preferences of your guests – or, let them choose for themselves and save yourself the trouble!
The creation of these miniature people-pleasures is minimal: remove the stems from the heads of the mushrooms, fill the caps with tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese and preferred toppings, and pop in the oven until the cheese is melting and gooey. Done.
These snacks look deceptively sophisticated and indulgent, but are simple to produce: whip up the filling composed of goat cheese and spices. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the inner pulp with a spoon. Fill the tomato shells with the cheese filling, and they’re ready to serve.
Plump, juicy strawberries stuffed with cheese-cake filling – what could be better?
Remove the top of the strawberries, and hollow out the centers. Prepare cream cheese filling, and pipe into the hollow strawberries. Dip in graham cracker crumb “crust”, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Chocolate-Covered Potato Chips
Crunchy and addictive, these treats are simple and indulgent, a tantalizing combination of sweet and salty and covered in creamy chocolate – what’s not to like?
Melt chocolate, dip chips, and leave to set until chocolate cools. Could it get any simpler?