Sunday, January 15, 2012

10 fun appetizer ideas for kiddies that’ll make the grown ups wanna sit at the kids table!

Hey, appetizers aren’t just for adults! Let the kids in on the action with snacks and giggles made with them in mind. Here are 10 apps that’ll ward off the hunger pangs with fun foods made just for the li’l folks.

1. Mini Corn on the Cob Bites (featured recipe)

An all-new Tablespoon exclusive recipe! Turn a box of Kix cereal and Fruit-Roll Ups into these ridiculously easy and totally adorable one-bite corn-on-the-cob treats.
15 large marshmallows
4 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups KIX cereal
6 Fruit Roll-Ups (green & blue)
1 Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut the Fruit Roll-Ups into 1 1/2" triangles. The triangles should be tall, long, and skinny. They're going to become the "husks" of your corn, so you'll want to unroll them (leaving the plastic on one side of the Fruit Roll-Up) and slice them into leaf-like pieces. They don't have to be perfect!
2 In a large, nonstick skillet, melt the butter and add the marshmallows. Stir over medium heat until melted. Add the KIX cereal. Allow to cool just slightly.
3 Wet your fingers with just a bit of cold water.
4 Working quickly, press together a golf-ball sized amount of KIX together, the roll them into cob-shaped ovals.
5 Remove the plastic from the backs of two of your pieces of Fruit Roll-Up, gentle press the triangles on to the bottom sides of the corn "cob." Continue until all corn cobs have been assembled. Serve and enjoy!

2. Peanut Butter Turkey Bites

An all-new Tablespoon exclusive recipe! Peanut butter balls become tasty truffles in these easy as can be kiddie apps!
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 packets Gushers fruit snacks
1 Fruit Roll-Up (red and yellow)
1 Fruit Roll-Up (blue and green)
1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles
8 almond slices (cut just the 1/4" tip of each almond off to make the "beak)
16 dried wild blueberries OR mini chocolate chips
1 In a small bowl, use a fork or electric beater to mix the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together. The mixture should resemble a soft clay. You want to be able to mold it and have it stay in place without melting. To firm up the mixture, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time until the perfect consistency is reached. To soften the mixture, add a half-tablespoon of peanut butter until the perfect consistency is reached.
2 Using 3/4 of the mixture, roll 8 balls the size of large grapes, then roll them into the chocolate sprinkles. Place these balls into a small candy wrapper. Roll the remaining mixture into 8 mini balls, about the size of a large blueberry. Gently press the blueberries for eyes and a small piece of sliced almond into the center for the beak. Place these small balls on top of the larger, chocolate spinkled balls.
3 Gently set two Gushers into the two sides of the candy wrapper to form "wings."
4 Open and unroll the Fruit Roll-Ups. Cut them in half lengthwise, then press the red/yellow and green/blue pieces together to create a seam. With a pair of sharp scissors, cut this large, multi-colored piece of fruit roll-up into 3-4" by 2" squares. Gather them into "fans" then gently set these fans into the back of each candy wrapper to create tails.
5 Refrigerate your sweet little turkeys until ready to serve.

3. Penguin Appetizers

Everyone at the table will want more of these teeny-tiny penguins! All you need are olives, carrots, and a bit of cream cheese to get the party started!
2 5.75 ounce cans small, jumbo pitted black olives
2 5.75 ounce cans large, jumbo pitted black olives
1 8 ounce pkg. cream cheese
2 large carrots
box tooth
1 Start by slicing a carrot to create a small, round circle. Cut out a small “slice” from the carrot round and set aside.
2 Using a large pitted black olive and a knife, slice from top to bottom to open the olive up. Use a small spoon or teaspoon scoop to fill the inside of the black olive with slightly softened cream cheese. Try using a cheese knife to smooth out the cream cheese and a napkin to clean off the black olive.
3 Place the cream cheese-filled black olive on top of the carrot round and use a toothpick down the center to secure.
4 Place the small carrot slice (from step 1) into the hole of a small pitted black olive. Slide the small black olive onto the toothpick to finish your penguin!

4. Pizza Deviled Eggs

Got a picky eater who would rather have pizza than a homecooked Thanksgiving feast? Now they can have their pizza and eat it too with these scrumptious Pizza Devilled Eggs.
12 hardboiled eggs, peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Italian cheese blend
1/4 cup mini pepperoni pieces
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Slip out yolks into small bowl; mash with fork.
2 Stir mayonnaise and cheese into yolks until smooth and creamy. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Fill whites with egg yolk mixture, heaping it lightly. Press several mini pepperoni slices onto the top of each egg. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
3 Just before serving, garnish with green onions.

5. Fruit Dip

Serve up something light and healthy before all of those hearty mashed potatoes and gravy and marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes stick to your kiddos ribs! This simple and fresh fruit dip is as kid-friendly as appetizers come.
4 oz (from 8-oz package) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
1 cup marshmallow crème
1 container (6 oz) Yoplait® Greek Fat Free strawberry yogurt
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
15 fresh strawberries, stems removed, cut lengthwise in half
30 pieces cut-up melon
30 grapes
1 In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, marshmallow crème, yogurt and strawberries with electric mixer on high speed until smooth.
2 Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serve dip with fruit. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.

6. Meatball Pops

What’s more fun than eating stuff stuffed with stuff? Well, these mini meatball pops, that’s what! This recipe is easy to pull together, and kids of all ages will be delighted to enjoy biting into these surprising Meatball pops!
1 can (10.2 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
10 refrigerated or frozen cooked beef meatballs, thawed
1/4 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted
2/3 cup finely crushed seasoned croutons
10 large appetizer picks or lollipop sticks, if desired
1 1/2 cups tomato pasta sauce, heated
1 Heat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Separate dough into 5 biscuits. Split each biscuit to make 10 rounds. Press out each biscuit half to form 3-inch round.2Sprinkle each biscuit round with cheese to within 1/2 inch of edge. Top each with meatball. Bring up sides of dough over meatball; pinch edges to seal. Brush rounded tops and sides of dough with butter; coat with croutons. Place, seam side down, on cookie sheet.3Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.4Place appetizer pick in each biscuit-wrapped meatball to form meatball pop. Serve with warm pasta sauce for dipping.

7. Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch Mix

Looking for a make-ahead appetizer that your kids can really dig their hands into? Try pulling together a batch of this easy Pumpkin Pie Crunch mix for the ultimate pre-Thanksgiving meal snack!
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups Cinnamon Chex® cereal
2 cups Wheat Chex® cereal
2 cups Honey Nut Chex® cereal
8 oz pecans
1 In small bowl, mix brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice; set aside. In small microwave-safe dish, microwave butter on High about 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in vanilla. In large microwavable bowl, mix all cereals and pecans. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly distributed. Add sugar and spice mixture and stir until coated.
2 Microwave uncovered on High 5 minutes or until mixture begins to brown, stirring every minute. Spread on wax paper or a cookie sheet to cool. Store in airtight container.

8. Donut Hole Pops

Turkeys and acorns and donuts… oh my! Stick a donut hole on a stick, decorate it with a few basic ingredients, and you’ve got a fun little sweet that kicks off Thanksgiving with some serious personality.
1 box plain donut holes
1 package of Candiquik chocolate flavored candy melt
15-20 long, thin wooden popscicle sticks
1/5 cup chocolate sprinkles
2 tablespoons mini white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon blue or green flat, circular sprinkles
15-20 candy corns
15-20 red Jelly Belly jellybeans or red licorice candies
5 pretzel sticks, broken into half-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped nuts
For basic chocolate covered donut pops, melt the Candiquik according to package directions. Carefully press a wooden popscicle stick into the center of a donut hole, then roll it around gently until covered with chocolate coating. Allow any excess chocolate to drip off of the donut pop. Decorate immediately using any of the three techniques below.
2 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles
Follow the basic directions, coating the donut holes one at a time, and decorating them immediately, before the chocolate hardens. To decorate: a) Sprinkle lightly with choclate sprinkles. b)Stick donut pops into a block of styrofoam and allow time to cool & hardened.
Follow the basic directions, coating the donut holes one at a time, and decorating them immediately, before the chocolate hardens. To decorate: a) press one candy corn into the center of the donut hole to make a 'beak,' b) gently place two mini white chocolate chips tip-side down for the eyes. c) Dip the tip of a jelly bean into the melted chocolate coating, then press it gently into place below the candy corns. Stick donut pop into a block of styrofoam until hardened. d) Once hardened, melt a tablespoon of white chocolate chips in a ziploc bag, snip off a very tiny part of the corner, and pipe a bit of melted chocolate onto the 'eyes' then quickly press a sprinkle atop to make the colored part of the eye. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.
Follow the basic directions, coating the donut holes one at a time, and decorating them immediately, before the chocolate hardens. To decorate: a) press a wooden popscicle stick into the center of the donut holes. b) dip only the top half of each donut, immediately coating them with chopped nuts and pressing a pretzel stick into the stop part of the donut. c) Stand donut pops upright on a piece of styrofoam. Allow chocolate coating to harden before serving.

9. Appetizer Pinwheels

Appetizers that look like cookies and taste like paradise are so hard to come by. Which is why you ‘d best nab this recipe and serve it to your kids. Isn’t it high time they learn the flavor of Utopia? And to think! All you needed was a batch of these cute little appetizers.
2 packages (17.3 ounces each) frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 containers (7 ounces each) refrigerated basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto or yellow pepper pesto
1 egg, beaten
1 Heat oven to 400°F. Roll each sheet of puff pastry into 14x10-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface.
2 Spread half of a container of pesto over each rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch edge on long sides. Loosely roll pastry from short end; brush seam end with egg and pinch to seal. Cut into 1/2-inch slices. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
3 Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

10. Mini Crescent Dogs

The one. The only. The proverbial fave. Gotta have ‘em!
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
48 cocktail-sized smoked link sausages or hot dogs (from 16-oz package)
1 Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll both cans of the dough; separate into 16 triangles. Cut each triangle lengthwise into 3 narrow triangles.
2 Place sausage on shortest side of each triangle. Roll up each, starting at shortest side of triangle and rolling to opposite point; place point side down on 2 ungreased cookie sheets.
3 Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown, switching position of cookie sheets halfway through baking. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

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