Easy Appetizers for a Weeknight Gathering

You don't have to wait for the weekend to celebrate. This simple weekday entertaining menu comes together quickly for a great after-work gathering.

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Everything In This Slideshow

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    The Menu

    These quick, simple menus are a guaranteed hit for any weeknight dinner gathering. Click on to see the recipes and tips to make them.

    -- Hot Artichoke Spread
    -- Turkey Salad Tartlets
    -- Tuna Skewers with Veggie Rice
    -- Cold Roasted Salmon
    -- Mock Apple Crisp

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    Hot Artichoke Spread

    Follow the make-ahead directions and this classic appetizer can easily be served fresh from the oven the moment guests walk through your door.

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    Turkey Salad Tartlets

    Take advantage of convenient mini phyllo shells that can turn almost any filling into a party-ready appetizer. This recipe combines chopped turkey breast with crispy bacon, avocados, and grape tomatoes for bite-size servings that always hit the spot.

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    Tuna Skewers with Vegetable Rice

    Fish is a quick and stylish food choice, perfect for weeknight entertaining. To nail perfect timing, start the vegetable rice cooking on the stovetop and the tuna marinating in the wasabi-teriyaki sauce while guests are busy mingling over appetizers. The next two slides show how to prepare the tuna skewers.

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    Step 1: Cut Tuna

    To make tuna skewers, cut tuna across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick strips. The next slide shows the best way to add the fish strips to the skewers.

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    Step 2: Thread Fish on Skewers

    After cutting the fish strips, loosely thread fish on skewers in an accordion fold. Our Tuna Skewers with Vegetable Rice recipe includes more step-by-step instructions and tips to complete these delicious bites.

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    Cold Roasted Salmon

    Salmon is a great make-ahead option for a weeknight meal. The goat cheese and bacon add a touch of sophistication to this chilled entree. The next slide shows one of our favorite tips for preparing a baking pan for a recipe like Cold Roasted Salmon.

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    Tip: Greasing a Baking Dish

    To prepare a baking pan, such as for the Cold Roasted Salmon recipe, use a pastry brush or paper towel to brush shortening evenly over the bottom of the pan, taking care not to leave any uncoated shiny spots. If the recipe calls for oil, use the type of oil specified.

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    Mock Apple Crisp

    This dessert's stand-out element is its unbelievably rich caramel sauce, which you can make up to two weeks in advance. The next three slides show tips for quickly preparing the apples so it won't take much time to make this sweet treat.

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    Step 1: Remove Apple Core

    To prepare apples for recipes like Mock Apple Crisp, rinse apples with warm water and scrub with a produce brush. To peel, use a vegetable peeler or paring knife; start at the stem end and circle around to the blossom end.

    You can quickly remove the core with a handy apple corer (as shown in photo). Or, cut the apple into four pieces through the stem and blossom ends. Cut away the core and seeds, stem, and blossom end. The next slide shows the best way to slice apples.

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    Step 2: Slice Apples

    After removing the apple cores in Step 1, place quarters on a cutting board, cut sides down, and start by cutting through the skin for smaller wedges or slices. The next slide shows the easiest way to make the apple chunks bite-size.

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    Step 3: Bite-Size Apples

    To create even smaller apple chunks than in Step 2, cut up the wedges into bite-size pieces. Your apples are now ready for Mock Apple Crisp.

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    Anyone Can Cook

    Anyone Can Cook is an innovative cookbook that encourages those new to the kitchen to make simple yet tasty meals, while providing the tools to move on to more complex recipes.

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