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Tantalizing tidbits and mouthwatering morsels

titillating the taste buds and whetting the appetite

in anticipation of what’s to come.

Tempting pieces of dazzling delicacies

mingling with sparkling conversation, while rising to reign

over the advancement of the meal – preparing guests for further culinary achievements!

The appetizer may be served as an enticement to further the meal, or in some cases, as the meal itself. When serving to entice, do not allow your guests to over-indulge. It will leave them devoid of desire to pursue what’s to follow – the main work of the meal!

Since the appetizer is the first impression of what’s to come, thus setting the tone for the remainder of the occasion, it is important that you give the appetizer the same meticulous attention that you give to your other courses. When creating the appetizers for this section, I wanted your guests to ooh and ahh for you. Each of these appetizers, when properly prepared will produce that response.

In conclusion, if you are going to entertain, do it happily. A happy host makes for happy guests and everybody enjoys! ♥


AVOCADO WITH FENNEL DRESSING Sliced avocado halves drizzled with fennel seasoned oil and vinegar! A special treat! Serves 2

AVOCADO WITH GRAPEFRUIT VINAIGRETTE A light, zesty grapefruit vinaigrette with dill that goes especially well drizzled over avocado! Makes enough for 4-5 servings

BAKED STUFFED ARTICHOKES  Artichokes stuffed till bursting with an aromatic Kalamata olive, garlic, pine nut and lemon bread stuffing, then baked till steaming hot! Makes 2

BAKED STUFFED ARTICHOKES WITH COUSCOUS  Fresh cooked artichokes stuffed with a sweet onion and fresh garlic couscous, flavored with extra virgin olive oil and poultry seasoning. Baked till piping hot! Serves 2

BLACK & WHITE BAKED STUFFED ARTICHOKES Black and white fresh breadcrumbs mixed with cashew crumbles, garlic and lemon. Stuffed in pre-cooked fresh, whole artichokes and baked till steaming hot! Makes 2

BLACKENED CAULIFLOWER BUDS Steamed cauliflower buds coated with a dry batter mix, then pan-fried with garlic till blackened. Served with a sweet onion mustard sauce! Perfect for restaurant or home! Serves 2-4 as a first course (sit down to eat) appetizer

BOILED PISTACHIO NUTS Ever hear of boiled peanuts? Well, I had only pistachios on hand and I just decided to boil them, and WOWE! Thank you to whomever put that boiled peanut bug in my ear – long ago. If not for that, I never would have known this other pleasure! These are my mussels! Makes as many as you want

BREAD STUFFING FOR ARTICHOKES  A fresh lemon, garlic and dill seasoned bread stuffing with sautéed mushroom, onion and celery! Makes enough to stuff 5-6 artichokes

SHARON’S ‘PEARL OYSTER’ STUFFED MUSHROOMS  Gourmet Pearl Oyster mushrooms combined with sauteed onion, celery, garlic and steamed eggplant. Mixed with fresh potato breadcrumbs, fine cashew crumbles, white wine and saffron. Stuffed into crimini and white button mushroom caps, baked till hot, then served with a saffron remoulade sauce! Makes approx. 42 stuffed mushrooms – approx. 6 servings


AMERICAN TERIYAKI CHOP A teriyaki flavored almond, pecan, walnut paste. Served on toasted potato bread mini sandwiches with ketchup or mustard. Great for a party. No one will believe there’s no meat in it! Makes 3 cups for 48 hors d’oeuvre sandwiches

ANTIPASTO RELISH FOR CRACKERS  Sweet pickled peppers, corn, Kalamata olives and sliced scallion mixed with a garlic and red cayenne pepper vinaigrette. Serve with Ritz crackers. Hot, sweet and spicy! At every cookbook signing I ever went to this was one of the hors d’oeuvres I served and everybody loved it! It’s simple, easy to make and can be made up ahead of time! Makes 2-1/2 cups

APPLE TAPENADE Hot, spicy, salty, sweet, sour, acrid, tart means powerful. Serve as appetizer with toast points or French baguette, or with your favorite pasta and marinara sauce on the same dish so the juices can mingle. Heaven on a plate! Makes 7 cups

ARTICHOKE ANTIPASTO HORS D’OEUVRE Eggplant appetizer (caponata) mixed with marinated artichoke hearts and sweet red roasted peppers. Served with slices of fresh French baguette! Makes 1-1/2 cups

BROILED CHEESE CRACKER CANAPES When you want something easy but spectacular to serve your guests, give these cracker canapes a try! Soft, melty tangy bites with a perfect cracker crunch! Makes about 30 cracker canapes

BROILED TOMATO CHEESE TRISCUITS Hot cheese melting over fresh Roma tomato with the essence of herb permeating your senses making it feel like you’re eating a bite-size crispy mini pizza will delight your guests!  Even when these morsels are no longer hot, your enjoyment won’t diminish! Don’t forget the napkins! Makes 36 canapes

COCKTAIL HORS D’OEUVRE SANDWICHES A quick, easy, delicious, satisfying hors d’oeuvre sandwich. Made with Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, veggie salami, scallion and garlic. Spread on rye cocktail bread, cut into triangles! Makes  a little more than 1-½ cups spread, enough for 1 sleeve of cocktail bread

CRAZY PIEROGI CRACKER  A blend of sauerkraut, soy cream cheese, mustard, garlic, paprika. Served cold on crackers with assorted toppers: chopped Kalamata olive, chopped cucumber, chopped tomato and chopped dill pickle! Makes about 3 cups spread.

EGGPLANT AND PEPPER ANTIPASTO APPETIZER  Sweet onion and green peppers sauteed with fresh eggplant, then  simmered with garlic, basil, thyme and diced tomatoes with a dash of red wine vinegar, and a  shadow of sweet and heat. Served with hot pita bread triangles brushed with extra virgin olive oil.  An impressive hot appetizer! Makes 9 cups antipasto

HOMEMADE CAPONATA  Sauteed eggplant, peppers and onion with capers, olives and fresh tomato. Seasoned with garlic, celery seed, a touch of sweet and a touch of heat. Use for bruschetta! Makes 2 cups

OLIVE WALNUT TAPENADE Simple, easy to make. Textures, flavors all good. Serve with crackers, bagel, French baguette, flatbread. Use as a topper for marinara and pasta, green salad, coleslaw, or in scrambled tofu! Makes 2-1/2 cups

PAN-FRIED VEGGIE SAUSAGE CANAPES Served with spicy barbecue sauce and horseradish maple mustard sauce! Makes 32 or 64 depending on size you prefer

ROASTED PEPPER AND HORSERADISH CANAPES  These delicious little canapés are impressively easy to make, especially when you have unexpected guests or don’t have the time to invest in something more intricate. I love them! Makes as many as you want

ROASTED RATATOUILLE ANTIPASTO A really easy, flavorful antipasto that requires little effort or time! Makes about 4 cups

SHARON’S BRUSCHETTA Your guests will be talking about this one tomorrow! Now that’s Italian! Makes 17 individual bruschetta slices

SUN-DRIED TOMATO CANAPES  Succulent home-marinated sun-dried tomatoes served atop tender/crisp rounds of French baguette brushed with olive oil and garlic, then topped with capers, Kalamata olives and cornichon pickles. Sprinkled with freshly chopped Italian/flat leaf parsley! Makes 24

TRULY TOMATO BRUSCHETTA  Dei Fratelli’s Truly Tomatoes cooked with caramelized onion, garlic and Kalamata olives. Seasoned with fennel, smoke and allspice. Spread on Artisan baguette slices. Broiled, then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil! Sauce makes 2 cups

VEGGIE SALAMI SLIDERS  Sauteed sweet cabbage and onion piled onto miniature potato rolls spread with spicy brown mustard and animal-free mayonnaise, with sweet red roasted peppers and pan-fried Veggie Salami Slices. A simple and delicious hors d’oeuvre sandwich! Makes 12 sliders

MUSHROOM AND BREAD PATE  A unique way of making, presenting and enjoying mushroom pate! By adding fresh Italian breadcrumbs to the mix, the glutenous nature of the bread, when left to set in the refrigerator overnight creates a pate you can slice with no detraction from the pate or its mushroom flavor! Makes 2 small or 1 larger pate

MUSHROOM MARSALA PATE  Finely diced mushroom sauteed with roasted eggplant, sweet onion, garlic and Marsala wine. Served cold with French baguette slices, Marsala spicy brown mustard and sliced dill gherkin pickles. Makes 2-1/4 cups


AFC ASIAN PINEAPPLE SNOWBALL A creamy Asian-Style Pineapple Mousse frosted with an Asian cream. Sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds and sliced scallion rings. Served with sesame crackers. If you want to impress your Asian guests, this will do it! Lots of Asians are lactose intolerant, but they still like creamy. Again, this will impress! Serves a crowd

AFC HORSERADISH SWEET POTATO SPREAD When you have AFC Coral Horseradish Sauce on hand, this is a great appetizer to make with it. Pretty to look at, ultra creamy and perfectly balanced flavors. This can also be used as a sandwich spread for your veggie or burger sandwiches. Makes about 1-1/2 cups

AFC RED TURKEY CHEESE TOFU SPREAD – AFC RED TURKEY CHEESE SAUCE mixed with tiny diced green pepper and Silken extra-firm tofu. Topped with chopped roasted pepper and served with whole wheat crackers. An eggy-white soft boiled texture with smokey high garlic overtones. Crisp lines meet sweet expressions of rightness! You are God after all! Makes 2 cups

AFC SCOTTISH PLAID DIP When there’s no one thread or color that dominates the fabric we call it a plaid! The Animal-Free Chef feels free to extend that designation to food. There’s no one flavor that dominates the dip. Enjoy this Scottish plaid! Makes 5 cups

APPLE CRANBERRY BLACK BEAN SALSA It’s Thanksgiving or any other holiday, so why not ratchet up your old favorites with a twist of new? Cranberry and apple in salsa?  Why not? Take this dip with you to any gathering. Volunteer for the dip detail. You will change people’s taste buds forever. From now on they will expect the cranberries and apple in their salsa. They will, in fact, demand it. Where’re the cranberries? They don’t have them in the summer. Yes, they do. All year round in every grocery. Where’s the apple? Didn’t know you wanted apple. What??!! Everybody wants apple in their salsa. Where have you BEEN? Serve with any tortilla chips that strike you as appropriate; we’ll take care of everything else! The only fat is in the chips. Makes 5-1/2 cups

AVOCADO DIP FOR POTATO CHIPS  Fresh avocado combined with extra virgin olive oil, lemon, garlic, curry and horseradish, blended till creamy with non-dairy creamer. Served with potato chips! Makes 1 cup

BAKED CREAMY REFRIED BEAN SPREAD with seasoned greens, soy sour cream and pickled Serrano peppers. Topped with chopped tomato, cilantro and soy sour cream. Served with fresh flour tortilla wedges! Makes 3-1/3 cups.

BLACK BEAN SALSA DIP Black beans, salsa and cilantro. Served with tortilla chips. Can’t get much simple than that for a special occasion hors d’oeuvre! Makes a little over 2 cups

BLACK OLIVE MOUSSE   Soy cream cheese combined with black olive paste, basil and garlic. Hand-whipped till light and creamy! Served with assorted chopped pickles, mustard, assorted crackers and bread! Makes 1-2/ cups

BUTTER BEAN HUMMUS Butter Bean and tofu are the base which increase the protein content in this nutritious snack food dip/spread aka mayo substitute. Roasted red peppers, tarragon, garlic, vegan yeast and extra virgin olive oil (not much) enhances flavor and texture worthy of a celebratory event. Makes 6 cups

CAPONATA BABAGANOUSH Roasted eggplant combined with a mushroom, red wine and garlic reduction. Finished with toasted sesame seed, tomato and Gia Russa Balsamic glaze! Served with grilled pita bread and/or sliced French baguette and sides of capers and/or chopped Kalamata olive! Makes 3-1/2 cups

COLLARD GREEN, OLIVE AND CAPER SPREAD Tired of the same old spinach dips and spreads? Want something new, something different, that tastes like it came out of a Five Star Kitchen? You came to the right place – the only place! Makes 2-2/3 cups

CRANBERRY BLACK BEAN SALSA  Whole cranberry sauce, black beans and sweet mini peppers combined with chunky salsa, fresh cilantro and lemon. Served with white corn tortilla chips. Wow! My new favorite salsa! Makes 4 cups

CREAMY BEAN AND SALSA DIP  Pinto beans, tofu, picante sauce, fresh cilantro, garlic and basil blended till creamy. Garnished with additional fresh cilantro and served with tortilla chips. Low fat! Makes 4 cups

CREAMY CAPONATA SPREAD (GF) Already made to order this special eggplant appetizer takes a creamy leap into never-never land to land on top of the heap! Mix with Tofutti gluten-free, dairy free cream cheese, and serve with gluten-free Blue Diamond Nut-Thins! Off the planet delicious!! A perfect spread with a perfect cracker. Add a few toppers and the celebration has already begun! Happy New Year to the world! Makes 1-1/2 cups

CREAMY GUACAMOLE with tomato, soy sour cream, fresh garlic, cilantro and pickled Serrano peppers! Makes 1-1/3 cups

CREAMY HOT ONION CAPONATA SPREAD High flavors and taste sensations. Whoa!  Like that. Makes 2 cups

CURRY REFRIED BEAN AND ROASTED PEPPER DIP  Vegetarian refried beans combined with salsa, sweet red roasted peppers and curry. Served with tortilla chips! Makes 3 cups

EGGPLANT TOMATO CREAM  SPREAD Looks rustic, tastes elegant, feels luxurious! Makes 2 cups

FRIED PEPPER SOY SOUR CREAM DIP I made this dip to have as we watched the super bowl. A special dip for a special party of two–but any party will do! Makes 2 cups

GLUTEN-FREE SAFFRON SUN-DRIED TOMATO DIP  Sun-dried tomatoes, celery, raw onion and garlic, fresh lime, orange zest and saffron. Mixed with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream. Garnished with celery leaves and paprika. Served with potato chips! Makes 2 cups

GLUTEN-FREE VEGGIE ‘SMOKED SALMON’ SPREAD   Made with Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, Greek olives, sun-dried tomatoes, soy bacon bits, capers, roasted peppers and horseradish. Yes, it takes and textures like smoked salmon! Makes 1-1/4 cups

HORS D’OEUVRE PLATTER Caponata Babaganoush and hummus spreads served with grilled pita triangles. Kalamata olives, capers and Pickled Roasted Yellow Peppers serve as accompaniments. Garnish it all with chopped fresh parsley, serve and listen to the raves! Serves 6

HOT ARTICHOKE ANTIPASTO DIP Today we’re offering a heated dip, either broiled or microwaved, of marinated artichoke, sun-dried tomato, Kalamata olive, garlic and oregano in a dairy free cream cheese by Tofutti. Served with a gluten-free smokehouse almond NUT-THIN cracker! Makes approx. 1-3/4 cup

HOT PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY DIPPING SAUCE Peanut butter, jelly and mustard, served hot as a dipping sauce, for your favorite toasted bread strips. A casual hors d’oeurve to serve when friends drop by unexpectedly. A delicious combination! Serves 1, or as many as you’d like


MEATLESS PEPPERONI SOY CREAM CHEESE SPREAD  with green scallion and fresh sweet red pepper! Served with Caramelized Onion Ritz Crackers! Makes 1-3/4 cups

MULTI-PURPOSE PINE NUT CILANTRO PESTO Fresh cilantro, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil and white Balsamic vinegar blended with fresh lemon and garlic! Makes 1-3/4 cups

MUSHROOM AND GARLIC HUMMUS MOUSSE   with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil spread, soy sour cream, basil and tarragon. Superb! Makes 2-1/4 cups

PINEAPPLE BEAN SALSA SOUP – or dip This is my gazpacho – upticked all the way to the moon and back. The longer it marinates, the more subtle the flavors. Some like the old, some like the new! Serve as a cold appetizer soup or a dip with tortilla chips! Makes 9 cups

ROASTED PEPPER CASHEW CHEESE HORS D’OEUVRES  A cheesy mousse-like spread made from cashews, sweet red roasted peppers, sweet onion, garlic and nutritional yeast. Spooned onto lightly broiled potato bread rounds. Half topped with strips of roasted pepper and the other half topped with Kalamata olive strips. An elegant, melt in your mouth hors d’oeuvre! Makes 3-1/2 cups spread

SMOKY BEAN AND PEA DIP A quick easy dip that can be made a couple days in advance of a special event – like a holiday? These potent flavors go well with crackers or tortilla chips. Low fat considering the yield!  Makes 3 cups

SPICY INDIAN SALSA   Indian flavors meld with the traditional flavors of Mexican salsa. Chili beans, scallions and Garam Masala spice. Exciting and different!  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips! Makes 4 cups GF

SUN-DRIED TOMATO PINE NUT SPREAD Soy cream cheese combined with pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and cilantro. Spread onto toasted rye bread squares and topped with fresh cilantro! Makes 1-1/2 cups spread

SWEET RED ROASTED PEPPER SPREAD  Sweet red roasted peppers, almond crumbles, avocado, black olive and capers. Flavored with coriander, fresh lemon and garlic. A surprise ingredient: grape jelly! Salty, hot and sweet! Serve topped with additional chopped roasted pepper and capers with pan-fried flour tortilla wedges as dippers, or use as a sandwich spread on Sharon’s Roasted Pepper and Tomato Grinder aka Sharon’s “Meatball” SUB!  Makes 2-½ cups

TAPENADE MOUSSE  Kalamata olives, fresh garlic and onion processed till mealy, then combined with dairy-free cream cheese till smooth and mousse-like. Served with a ‘cutting board’ whole grain bread cut into chunks! Rustic and elegant – a perfect match! Makes 2 cups

THE BIG GAME DIP This is a big dip for a big day. It makes a lot so you won’t run out. Bold and subtle flavors – crunchy, meaty and smooth textures – make this a perfect party dip for all tastes! Makes 3-1/2 cups

TOMATO NUT HUMMUS A wonderful hummus. Yes, a tomato nut hummus. I make the rules in my kitchen. No beans in this dip. This is the most unfamiliar tasting recipe. The only things familiar are the flatbread and the fact that it’s a dip. Flavors, textures all new! Except that you won’t miss the lamb. Best to serve it hot though, or at least warm. Your guests will be returning for more, and more and… Makes 4-3/4 cups

TOMATO WALNUT TAPENADE Sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and Kalamata olives are the center of this tomato based tapenade. Rich. Smooth but textured. Potent and subtle at the same time.  A great tapenade for home entertainment or restaurant appetizer! Makes 4-1/2 cups

WALNUT HUMMUS with garlic, rosemary and tarragon! Topped with cracked pepper drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and served with pan-fried flour tortillas! Makes 1-¾ cups

VEG SCRAMBLED EGG AND GARBANZO BEAN SALSA Not your ordinary salsa! I like this so much that I eat it plain as a snack. Also can be used in a sandwich or as a salad served on a lettuce leaf. Multipurpose is what I like and I love this chewy texture, multi flavor, varied color, high protein content – everything good salsa! And so will you! Makes almost 5 cups


BOILED PISTACHIO NUTS Ever hear of boiled peanuts? Well, I had only pistachios on hand and I just decided to boil them, and WOWE! Thank you to whomever put that boiled peanut bug in my ear – long ago. If not for that, I never would have known this other pleasure! These are my mussels! Makes as many as you want

CHARRED BRUSSELS SPROUTS Fresh steamed brussel sprouts charred in a little extra virgin olive oil. Tossed with garlic, smoked paprika, fresh grind sea salt and black pepper. Served with Ball Park Mustard mixed with a little veggie mayo! Serve as hors d’oeuvre or side dish vegetable. Low fat! Serves 6

FAT-FREE ROASTED RED SKIN POTATOES Cubes of red skinned potatoes tossed with a dry rub and roasted to achieve crispy outsides and soft insides. Smoky Sweet Savory bite delights! The Versatile Almighty Red Skin Potato!Makes about 7 cups roasted cubes

OVEN-ROASTED SPICED PEANUTS  Brown sugar, soy bacon bits, curry and extra virgin olive. A perfect snack or light hors d’oeuvre for any holiday or event. Delicious and easy! Makes about 9 cups after cooked

ROASTED CARROT SNACK A soft chip that satisfies. If serving guests, sprinkle with fresh grind sea salt and black pepper, smoked paprika and maple sugar. If serving yourself, as a mid-day or evening snack, eat plain. They’re delicious either way! Makes 1 heaping cup – enough for 1-4 guests or for yourself as a snack that could last 3 days, or use as a salad topper

ROASTED CHICK PEAS Seasoned chick peas baked till dry on the outside and creamy on the inside. Serve as a snack or as a topper on your favorite salad! Makes about 1-1/2 cups

Smoky Candied Walnuts make a great host/hostess gift! Pack in a recycled jar with no print on the lid. Wrap it in a ribbon or whatever. Slide it into a gift bag with a thank you note in advance!


ASPARAGUS AF SHRIMP TOAST Okay, okay. I know there are no actual shrimp animals on this toast. Still, it is the finest shrimp toast you will ever encounter! Popcorn shrimp? Well, this delicacy pops all over your buds and palate! Once you taste it, you’ll never forget the experience! Serves 1 or as many as you like

CLEVELAND CAULIFLOWER SHRIMP COCKTAIL Flavors and textures of the sea without the sea. Nothing fishy here. Ever miss shrimp cocktail? This will do ya’ good!! Serves 6-8

PLANT MEAT PATE You can say it tastes like any animal you like. It’s still plant meat, and that’s the way hundreds of millions of people all over the globe prefer their meat – from a plant! Enjoy the brilliance of plants that provide what they were intended to provide – nourishment and pleasure! Makes 2-1/4 cups



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