Appetizers and Picky Bits to Enjoy

Friday 31 December 2021



I have never been one to go out and cut up a rug on New Years Eve.  My parents always went out on New Years, but I have never enjoyed doing so. Instead I prefer to enjoy it in the comfort of my own home.

This may stem from the fact that when I was bringing up my family going out was not an option.  Most of the time my husband who was an MP was working, having exchanged the New Years shift for Christmas with the single guys who would rather have been out partying than working.

So NYE was usually a stay at home affair for me.  The children and I used to really enjoy our evening. We would watch movies, play games and enjoy lots of different picky bits and nibbles!  It was fun.

There is nothing more fun than spending an evening with the ones you love and an assortment of good food to enjoy.

Your nibbles can be as simple as a variety of chips and dips, frozen appetizers, mini pizzas, wings, pickles, olives, cheese, etc.  Nothing has to be or should be complicated!!   

shrimp cocktail


BACK TO THE 60'S SHRIMP COCKTAIL  This classic appetizer was the epitome of fine dining back in the day!  This Shrimp Cocktail Recipe is really a very simple dish to make as well!  


This easy recipe is a blend of simple things put together in a most delicious way!  

Easy Homemade Pizza Rolls

EASY HOMEMADE PIZZA ROLLS  These can be as simple as you like.  Puff pastry spread with your favorite pizza toppings, rolled up and sliced before baking. 

Delicious served with your favorite pizza sauce for dipping! 

Cheese and Mashed Potato Fritters

CHEESE AND MASHED POTATO FRITTERS  Exactly as described.  Little cheese, onion and potato pancakes. So simple to make and oh so tasty! 

Delicious served with a dollop of sour cream and some spring onions on top!

Jalapeno Pepper Jam Baked Brie

JALAPENO PEPPER JAM BAKED BRIE  Gloriously rich and creamy gooey brie mixed with that hot pepper jam . . . perfect for spreading onto soft slices of a fresh French loaf . . . and topped with a few leaves of rocket.

This puff pastry encased appetizer is actually very simple to make and is also incredibly delicious! It can be as plain or as ornate as you wish to make it! 

Smoked Salmon Spread

SMOKED SALMON SPREAD  This is actually an appetizer I used to make fairly often when I cooked at the Manor. You don't need to use your best smoked salmon to make it, you can often buy packages of smoked salmon ends and bits which are perfect for this purpose. 

It was one of the most popular appetizers with the dinner party guests and no small wonder there. It is delicious! 

Bagel Chips

BAGEL CHIPS  Not only are these very easy to make, but they are filled with flavor.  You can also use up some of the stale bagels you might have languishing in your bread bin.

Bagels cut into thin slices, spritzed with butter/oil and herbs, baked until crisp. Perfect for serving with some of the dips and spreads on the buffet table for New Years! 

Perfect Deviled Eggs

PERFECT DEVILED EGGS I used to make dozens of these every week when I cooked at the manor.  They were very popular.

Deviled eggs are a great dish for an appetizer buffet. Easy to make ahead and incredibly delicious, they always go down a real treat! 



MABEL'S HAM PATE  This is a recipe I got from my good friend Mabel many, many moons ago and it is quite simply delicious!  It is a tried and true. 

A food processor makes really short work of putting this delicious spread together.  You can adjust the coarseness or smoothness of your pate by the time you choose to process it.  Simple.  Delicious.   Food from a friend.   These types of recipes are the most special of all!

You can of course do it by hand, but it will take considerably longer.

Garden Herb Dip

GARDEN HERB DIP  One thing which is always popular on the buffet table is an assortment of raw vegetables and dip.  This is also a tried and true favorite! 

I always come home with an empty container. It is a simple make and tastes delicious and I don't know anyone who doesn't love vegetables or crackers and chips with a tasty dip! 


Spicy Chicken Wings and Blue Cheese Dip

SPICY CHICKEN WINGS WITH BLUE CHEESE DIP These tasty wings have just the right amount of spice without being over the top.  You can of course make these as spicy as you wish.

The blue cheese dip helps to tone the spice a bit and goes very well with the succulence of the wings.  Both together are an excellent option!  

Cheddar Cheese and Caraway Sables

CHEDDAR CHEESE AND CARAWAY SABLES   Not quite a cookie. Not quite a cracker, these crisp little morsels melt in the mouth. 

They are crisp and buttery little mouthful's of deliciousness. Quite moreish really. 

Sweet Chili Cheese Puffs

SWEET CHILI CHEESE PUFFS  A delicious little tidbit, that will whet everyone's appetites.  These are very similar to thumb print cookies.

Except they are savory cookies, nice and cheesy and filled with sweet hot pepper jams. Short and savory with a bit of a bite.


Stilton and Walnut Shortbreads

STILTON AND WALNUT SHORTBREADS, WITH AN INDIAN TWIST   You will really enjoy these. You can bake the little shortbreads well ahead of time and keep them in the freezer, warming them up and topping them with the cream cheese and chutney just prior to serving. 

Short textured cookie/cracker/biscuits topped with some whipped cream cheese, mango chutney and toasted walnut halves. Nothing could be easier. 

Crispy Smashed baby potatoes

CRISPY SMASHED BABY POTATOES  Served with a variety of dips and spreads, these simple potatoes always go down a real treat! 

Drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with some seasoning and then baked in a hot oven until crisp and golden brown . . . I like to sprinkle them with a tiny bit of cheese at the end as well. Betcha can't eat just one! 

Crispy Spiced Chicken Wings with Dip

CRISPY SPICED CHICKEN WINGS Crisp chicken wings with a lovely and crispy spiced coating served along with a cooling sweet chili dip for dipping.  

The sweet chili sauce gives it a bit of a punch but also a cooling effect.  You can adjust the spice according to your tastes. These are addictive. 

Simple Taco Dip

SIMPLE TACO DIP  At its very simplest it is quick, easy and delicious . . .  but it is also very easily amped up to something more by making a few tweaks, none of them very complicated.  This is one recipe you can very easily adapt to individual family tastes. 

We like it with crisp tortilla chips, but it goes well with a variety of chips and dippers.

Spicy Bean Dip

SPICY BEAN DIP WITH PITA CRISPS This dip is fabulous to make for those occasions when you are wanting something simple and easy to serve your guests that is delicious and that they will love.  

This is probably my favourite all time bean dip.  Its very simple to make and uses things that I usually have in my cupboard and refrigerator.  It also goes together very quickly and tastes delicious!  

I also tell you how to make the crisps. 

Gruyere and Mustard Sticks

GRUYERE AND MUSTARD STICKS  Little puff pastry bread sticks that are very easy to make and incredibly moreish. 

Making them is as simple as spreading some puff pastry with mustard, folding it over and cutting the pastry into sticks . . .  glazing it with an egg yolk wash, sprinkling with some coarse sea salt and sprinkling with grated gruyere cheese.  


All Dressed Hummus

ALL DRESSED HUMMUS This is  the Cinderella of Hummus all dressed up and ready to go to the ball, glass slippers and all.  

Topped with crispy chick peas and a variety of crunchy vegetables, this is fresh and delicious. 


cheese tray 

A SIMPLE CHEESE TRAY  I did a tutorial on how to put together a simple cheese tray along with suggestions on what kinds of cheeses to choose, etc.  

Its a lot easier to do than people might suppose. All you need are a few different cheeses, some fruit and some crackers. 

Add some sliced deli meats and pickles and you have a simple chacuterie board!! 


So you see, it can be as simple as you wish, or as complicated as you wish.  The important thing is to have fun and to spend some time with the ones that you love.  

I wish for each of you a very Happy New Year!  May 2022 bring only good things to our tables! 


  1. Happy New Year, Marie. These all look delicious. That's what we're having, too, bits and bobs of this and that. I'm making up a charcuterie/cheese board and then we have torpedo shrimp, coconut shrimp and spring rolls to add to the festivities. We will be toasting the new year with Bailey's salted caramel - so good! We like to stay home, too. Then you don't have to worry about other drivers drinking and driving or spot checks or bad weather. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. Happy New Year Elaine! You are right about not wanting to be on the roads on New Years Eve! So many people drink and drive. I am having supper at Cindy's and then coming home. Will probably be in bed by 9! haha that's me! Love and hugs, xoxo PS - I wish you and Larry the best 2022 ever!

  2. I'm bringing appetizers to a friend's tonight and I might change my plan and see if I can include some of these! We'll see -- they look great!

  3. These are great ideas! I may try the taco dip. Happy New Year, Marie and may you stay healthy.

    1. Thanks very much Elaine! You stay healthy as well. Happy New Year! xoxo

  4. Your selection looks great. We kept it really simple this year and just had Chicken Tikka Masala, rice and naan for an early dinner and then cheese fondue with champagne cocktails for midnight. Happy new year!!!

    1. Thanks so much Jeannine! I love a good curry! Your New Years Eve celebrations sound lovely! Happy New Year!


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