The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

On The Table

May 15, 2013

Cheryle Finley: Appetizers can be a bite or a whole meal

JOPLIN, Mo. — What a beautiful weekend. I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. We celebrated Mother's Day and the eighth birthday of my grandson, Atlas. So we had fun with family and friends, whether enjoying dinner at the Diamond Cafe or roasting hot dogs over a bonfire. Those are two completely different venues, but both were memorable.

I celebrated my birthday week with food, which made me very happy. Pam at IHOP took great care of us, and what's not to like about a hot fudge sundae for breakfast? Also for breakfast, I ate way too much kringle, brought from Springfield especially for me. The pork sandwich with fried potatoes, onions and green peppers from Jim Bob's hit the spot for lunch, as did the pizza from Schlotzsky's and Bamboo Gardens' buffet. I'm glad I turned another year older.

I recently shared some tips for keeping food fresh longer. Here are a few more ideas I hope you can use from Wrap banana stems in plastic wrap to extend the life of the bananas. Give droopy greens an ice water bath to help revive them. After purchasing a bag of flour, put it in a freezer bag and freeze it for a few days, as cold temperatures will get rid of anything unwanted that might be hanging out in there. The last idea is to store an apple with your potatoes. Supposedly, the potatoes will last up to eight weeks without sprouting. I'm not sure what happens to the apple in that time.

Hors d'oeuvre, a word we all can pronounce but have trouble spelling, is from the French word meaning "apart from the main work," as in food set aside to supposedly give you an appetite for the main course that follows. Light hors d'oeuvres, such as chips and veggies and dip, are meant to be eaten sparingly and usually don't require anything other than your fingers or perhaps a toothpick. Heavy hors d'oeuvres, such as chicken or tempura veggies, are meant to replace a meal. Many eating establishments offer appetizers that can definitely take the place of a meal. Known primarily as hors d'oeuvres or appetizers, the lesser known name for hors d'oeuvres is pupus, pronounced "poo poos." The first time I heard appetizers referred to as pupus, I thought someone didn't like them and that was the nickname they had chosen. Little did I know that in the Hawaiian language "pupus" means relish, appetizer or canape. I'm big on putting out chips and dip to enjoy while waiting for dinner, but sometimes chips and dip or salsa are not my friend, if I don't set a limit. They can really sneak up on you!

Today's recipes come from the "Taste of Home Summer Appetizers" cookbook. Some of them, such as the chicken wings, pizza and mini chimichangas can certainly replace a meal, and most of this book's recipes are one-bite wonders that are great for easy grazing. The pizzas have a hard-to-beat combo of chicken and artichoke hearts. Mix in the pepper jack cheese and you have a real winner. For the chicken salad baskets, fill with your own chicken salad recipe or follow the one provided, making sure you have enough mayonnaise to provide a good balance with the bread. I would suggest tossing in some sliced grapes. I'm not sure we can classify the cookies as appetizers, unless you are like me and eat dessert first so you are sure to have room for it. No matter. This is a recipe worth trying if you favor soft cookies. The marmalade (jam with the addition of fruit peel) adds just the right amount of zing. Enjoy your week and happy eating!


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