"My boyfriend's mother gave me the idea for this classy appetizer that I serve for Sunday brunch and special occasions like New Year's Eve," says Tristin Crenshaw, Tucson, Arizona. "The textures are flavors of the dill, cream cheese and smoked salmon are scrumptious together." Spread on cocktail rye bread, it's sure to be the toast of your buffet!"
I've made this recipe by toasting the bread on a grill at cookouts, but any way I serve it, I never have any leftovers. The bruschetta is sweet instead of savory as is often expected, and visitors enjoy that change. -Patricia Nieh of Portola Valley, California
No one ever suspects that Peggy Grieme's addictive pinwheels and cranberry dipping relish are light. "People are always surprised by how easy this recipe is to prepare," she explains. "It's the tasty combination of ingredients that keep guests reaching for more."
"Here's a smooth fluffy spread that couldn't be easier to make—it has only four ingredients," reports Lois Gelzer of Standish, Maine. "Try it as a topper on oven-fresh muffins or pumpkin bread. It lends a zingy orange taste to toast and bagels at breakfast, too."
“These tasty appetizers look and taste gourmet, but they're easy to make and have loads of blue cheese flavor," writes Trisha Kruse from Eagle, Idaho. "The phyllo shells and filling can be made in advance-just fill the cups and warm them in the oven before serving.”
Cafe Mocha Mini Muffins are a good choice, assures Tina Sawchuk of Ardmore, Alberta. "These mini muffins freeze will, so it's always easy to keep some on hand," she says. "And they're just the right size for snacking."
I look for recipes that are deceptively easy. These fancy-but-quick crab and cucumber appetizers are heavenly, and the stand-out colors light up any gathering or holiday table, no matter the season. —Nancy Czarnick, Desert Hills, Arizona
Feel guilty dipping into guacamole? This lower-fat version is a yummy alternative. It has chunky bits of tomato and is well seasoned with jalapeno peppers, cumin and cilantro. "I've made and enjoyed this recipe many, many times over the years," says Marlene Tokarski of Mesa, Arizona.
It's surprising what a quick substitution or two will do. By simply switching from full-fat products to reduced- or low-fat, you can often save lots of fat and calories while keeping flavor and texture.
This is certainly the case with Leigh Thomas' Makeover Mexican Roll-Ups. The cook from Hahira, Georgia uses fat-free cream cheese and reduced-fat sour cream; this cuts nearly 70% of the fat and a whopping 75% of the cholesterol.