Category Archives: Starters

Spicy Black Bean Tortilla Appetizer

Spicy Black Bean Tortilla Appetizer

Having friends over and want to serve something easy that can be made in advance?  Whip up this tortilla appetizer,  serve with our great margaritas, and watch the smiles on your guests grow.  Olè! 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened 1 c. sour cream 1 c. shredded Mexican cheese 1/2 c. chopped green olives…Continue Reading

Two Step Dip!

Two Step Dip!

Here’s a crowd pleasing dip that will have you two-stepping right out of the kitchen! 3 T sugar 1/4 c apple cider vinegar 1/4 c vegetable oil 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 (15 oz) can shoepeg corn (small, white kernels) 3 scallions, chopped 2 T minced cilantro 1/2 jalapeño pepper,…Continue Reading

Fresh Tomato Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

Fresh Tomato Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

Summertime means fresh tomatoes are in abundance (and they actually taste like tomatoes versus winter tomatoes that we’re not sure what they taste like sometimes).  Anyway, start by using our basic salsa recipe, then add some other ingredients to change it up.  We used avocado, chipotle, and fresh corn to create a salsa “bar.” Basic…Continue Reading

Smoked Salmon with Dill and Cucumber Dip

Smoked Salmon with Dill and Cucumber Dip

We love smoked salmon and wanted to develop a dip that was on the “lighter” side.  In order to do this, we used creme fraîche instead of the typical cream cheese.  The cucumber adds a fresh crunch to the other delicious flavors.  This dip turned out great.  We hope you enjoy it as much as…Continue Reading

Plum Crostini Appetizer

Plum Crostini Appetizer

Vicki’s daughter, Jennifer, was recently in California on business and had this appetizer while dining out.  She loved it so much, she got the recipe and wanted to share it with The Simple Celebration followers: Baguette (sourdough works great) Mascarpone cheese 4-5 plums, thinly sliced Fresh mint Parmesan cheese, grated Balsamic glaze (pictured) Cut the…Continue Reading

Ina Garten’s Spinach Puff Pastry

Ina Garten’s Spinach Puff Pastry

This recipe is not our own, but it is so wonderful, we had to share.  We are huge fans of Ina Garten.  She has excellent cookbooks (any one would make a great gift) and all of her recipes are delicious.  We made this dish for our mixology party and it turned out to be everyone’s…Continue Reading

Chutney, Prosciutto, and Mozzarella Bruschetta

Chutney, Prosciutto, and Mozzarella Bruschetta

This appetizer is delicious, simple, and full of flavor – just the way we like it!  The sweet and savory flavor of chutney combined with the salty and crispy prosciutto and creamy mozzarella on top of crunchy bread tastes fantastic. 8 slices sourdough baguette Fig chutney 8 slices fresh mozzarella 2-3 T fresh basil leaves…Continue Reading

Fig, Prosciutto & Arugula Appetizer

Fig, Prosciutto & Arugula Appetizer

We made this fig appetizer at a recent wine tasting party and it was a hit.  Everyone gobbled them up so quickly, we had nothing to nibble on while we cleaned up! 1 bag Arugula 4-5 Black Mission Figs, sliced in fourths 2 T. olive oil 1 T. balsamic vinegar 18 thin slices Prosciutto Baguette…Continue Reading

An Antipasto Feast!

An Antipasto Feast!

For our 200th blog party we decided on a simple, fun, no-cook menu.  We headed to our fantastic local Italian market, Mazzaro’s, and bought a wonderful assortment of meats, cheeses, and other goodies. Our first stop was to the cheese counter where we met Charlie.  We sampled many great Italian cheeses and settled on three –…Continue Reading

Simple Cold Shrimp Appetizer

Simple Cold Shrimp Appetizer

If you need an appetizer that requires no cooking, comes together in less than five minutes and is easy to transport, this shrimp dip is for you! 8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened 2 T. light mayonnaise 3 T. dried minced onions 1 T. minced fresh dill 4 1/2 oz. can deveined shrimp, rinsed…Continue Reading

Fresh Pork and Shrimp Spring Rolls

Fresh Pork and Shrimp Spring Rolls

These were a lot of fun to make (as you can see from the video link below).   The rice paper rolls look like a plastic disc when you open the package.  Once you thoroughly soak them, either by wiping them with a wet towel or dipping them into water, they become much more pliable…Continue Reading

Ginger, Pork & Shrimp Dumplings

Ginger, Pork & Shrimp Dumplings

Are you getting tired of us telling you that our recipes are delicious and simple?  Sorry, but you are about to hear it again!  Wow your friends and family the next time you serve an appetizer or need to bring a pot luck dish with these, yes, delicious, and yes, simple dumplings. This Asian recipe…Continue Reading

Two Elegant Deviled Egg Recipes

Two Elegant Deviled Egg Recipes

Another great way to use hard boiled eggs.  Vicki and I made these today and, honestly, they are delicious.  A tip for success – use creme frâiche instead mayonnaise, it allows the wonderful flavors of salmon, crab and herbs shine through.  The recipes are simple.  You can even make them a couple of days ahead…Continue Reading

Mexi-Corn Salsa Appetizer

Mexi-Corn Salsa Appetizer

  Another simple recipe from The Simple Celebration!  This appetizer goes together very quickly, can be made well ahead of your get-together, and looks and tastes great. Five ears fresh yellow corn (or use frozen if fresh is unavailable) One medium tomato, diced One small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced One clove garlic, crushed One…Continue Reading

Potato & Smoked Salmon Starter

Potato & Smoked Salmon Starter

Instead of serving salad as a first course, try this potato and smoked salmon dish.  Jumbo cooked shrimp easily substitutes for the salmon if one of your guests does not care for smoked salmon. 1 pound fingerling potatoes – variety of colors 8 oz. smoked salmon, sliced thin 8 ounces creme fraîche 1 tablespoon minced…Continue Reading

Mom’s Party Mix

Mom’s Party Mix

Vicki writes … For as long as I can remember, the holidays always included my Mom’s party mix.  She makes this in November and hides many tins in the closet until we beg her to please bring out more.  It is one of those holiday memories that will always stay with me.  What is watching…Continue Reading

Mexican Cheesecake – NOT a Dessert

Mexican Cheesecake – NOT a Dessert

Mary-Ellen writes: This recipe originated from my sister, Kathleen.  Because of the size of our family,  holidays always were, and still are, a group effort filled with “assignments.”  One year Kathy was assigned appetizers and she said she would bring something she had recently at a party called Mexican Cheesecake.   I thought it sounded…Continue Reading

Hot ‘N Spicy Shrimp Dip

Hot ‘N Spicy Shrimp Dip

It’s Friday night.  We’ve been eating (mostly) healthy for the month so far.  Let’s reward ourselves with a simple appetizer and a glass of wine.  This recipe’s ingredients have been adjusted to make it a healthier version: 1 can artichoke hearts (14 oz.), drained and diced 1 can medium deveined shrimp (4 oz.) or fresh…Continue Reading

Elegant Smoked Salmon Appetizer

Elegant Smoked Salmon Appetizer

By having a few ingredients on hand, you can put this appetizer together in no time!  Purchase smoked salmon in the package and it will last several months before opening.   Purchase a baguette, slice it, and freeze the slices in a freezer bag – it will last for about a month.  Capers come jarred…Continue Reading

Southwest Black Bean & Avocado Dip

Southwest Black Bean & Avocado Dip

This dip is a real “simple” party pleaser.  Mary-Ellen made it recently for a group of us to have with our wine before we went out to dinner.  We enjoyed it so much, we barely had room for the main course! This recipe is so simple …  no cooking involved! 1 (15 ounce) can of…Continue Reading

Foolproof Deviled Eggs

Foolproof Deviled Eggs

This deviled egg recipe is not only a foolproof appetizer, it is also used as an accompaniment to our Perfect Dinner Salad (separate blog).   The method of boiling the eggs is what makes this recipe foolproof.  By turning off the heat after one minute of boiling, you get a perfect boiled egg every time.  Throw…Continue Reading