5-Minute Appetizers

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2011 • all rights reserved

Need some ideas for appetizers or snacks that you can make quickly?  Here's my list!Maybe you went snorkeling with friends from another boat.  Or possibly a hike.  Or they just stopped by.  Cruising is a very sociable lifestyle, and you want to offer your friends something to eat.  But you hadn’t really planned the occasion and now you need something RIGHT NOW!

No need to panic.  Aboard Que Tal, I taped a note card inside one of the galley cupboards with a list of “5-Minute Appetizers” that I tried to keep on hand.  Then, when the need arose, I just glanced at the list, figured out what would work best, and quickly set it out.

Admittedly, most of these aren’t really recipes but rather things that you might have on hand.  And if your tastes are somewhat different, you can create your own list.

Carolyn’s Favorite 5-Minute Appetizers

1.   Sliced pieces of fruit (fresh or canned) and a dish of yogurt (slightly sweetened) to dip them in.  Cut fruit into bite-sized bits and use toothpicks as skewers.

2.   Plate with cheese, crackers, dried apricots and almonds (or whatever you have that’s similar).

3.   Olives – get black olives in cans and green olives in the little vacuum seal pouches.  Will last almost indefinitely!

4.  A  block of cream cheese covered in jam (peach, apricot or jalapeno are best).  Serve with crackers.  NOTE:  Cream cheese lasts almost indefinitely if you vacuum seal it before you put it in the refrigerator – leave the foil on and put the plastic over it.

Do you have any go-to “recipes” for times when you need a quick appetizer or snack?  Share your ideas with others in the comments!

And, if you like this type of a “Quick Reference List,” there’s an entire chapter of them in The Boat Galley Cookbook.  These are pretty much “idea lists” for those times when you just need inspiration and cover such topics as lunch ideas, one pot meals, cool food for hot days, warm-up food for cold days, pot luck ideas, meals in a hurry, Mexican, Asian, fresh ideas for using cabbage, recipes that require no fresh foods, great things to take on a hike and more.  It even has a longer list of quick appetizer and snack ideas!

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  1. Mary Dixon says:

    Another use for cream cheese. Soften cream cheese, add can of tuna and liquid smoke to taste. Dip for crackers or veggies.

  2. Carol Ann Getter says:

    Stir in 1/4 C brown sugar into 1C of Sour Cream (I believe this site has a recipe for making your own Sour Cream). Let it sit for five minutes (longer is better, but five minutes works). Serve it with fruit slices and grapes to dip in it. Very good!
    Fair winds,
    Carol Ann

  3. Pour some Worcester Sauce over cream cheese and serve with crackers.

  4. Avocado with with garlic salt and mustard with crackers for dipping is great .It also a great replacement for mayo

  5. Susanna says:

    If you have the option to pickle yummy interesting things, you’ll have jars on hand to crack open for guests. Some suggestions:
    asparrots: a combination of asparagus and carrots, cut to length for a wide-mouth pint jar;
    broccoflower: broccoli and cauliflower;
    The last two look nice with onion and colored bell pepper for color.

  6. Deborah Ison says:

    This one includes some of the same ingredients you’ve listed in your 5 Minute Appetizers:
    – 1 roll herbed goat cheese (cream cheese will likely work too; haven’t tried it)
    – 6 tbsp olive oil
    – 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    – 1 tsp dried thyme
    – 1 clove minced garlic
    – sliced black olives
    – Salt & pepper to taste
    Slice and lay cheese in a single layer in the bottom of a shallow dish. Mix marinade and pour over cheese. The longer it marinates (eg: overnight) the better it is. Top with sliced black olives before serving. Serve with crackers.

  7. Dana Talkington says:

    Instead of using jams over cream cheese, try a chutney…our favorite is mango chutney! Serve with pita chips or triscuits.

  8. Also, Pickapeppa (sp?) sauce over cream cheese…usually found near the Worcester sauce in our grocery.

  9. Sue Bell says:

    Chop some coriander, mix in some sweet chilli sauce. Poor over cream cheese and serve with crackers.

  10. Just to keep the cream cheese thread going… cream cheese with sweet chili sauce poured over the top. Great with pretzels as well as crackers.

  11. Mary Dixon says:

    Sliced summer sausage (doesn’t need refrigerated until open) & crackers. I keep cooked frozen shrimp in freezer & serve with cocktail sauce. Doesn’t take long to thaw the shrimp. I also try to keep boiled eggs in frig for quick breakfast & snack. Doesn’t take long to make deviled eggs.

  12. We love our carrot fip. Everyone has carrots. Cook them till soft then whizz with a clove of garlic, 1 tsp cumin powder and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Other spices could be used as well. 10 minutes from getting on board to having a dip to take to sundowners

  13. We love the little tins of smoked oysters and also the sardines. We try to keep different types of crackers onboard, including at least one gluten-free variety. Fruit that is bite-sized, such as strawberries, grapes and berries are nice to have on hand as well.

  14. Along the same lines of “cheese logs”…. I do a nice Goat Cheese Log and drizzle with Honey and top with Raspberries and Pistachios or walnuts… and top with garnish of Mint. Yum !!!

  15. Brian Ross says:

    A great recipe my wife uses is her homemade version of lox (sp) One box of crackers with a spreadable cheese like Alouette brand or just plain cream cheese topped with a thin slice of smoked salmon. We buy packages of salmon from the grocery store – its very thin so it stores easily in the fridge without taking up space, and one package of smoked salmon, a box of crackers and one cream cheese container takes care of 4 people quite adequately. As a variation, you can also top with a thin slice of cucumber instead of the salmon. Makes for a great snack along with your favorite wine or similar beverage.

  16. This is so simple it’s almost embarrassing. We were invited aboard a lovely boat and one of the items served was celery with fresh lemon juice squeezed over and just a sprinkle of salt. Stalks cut in half. I often have extra celery because you have to buy it in such qty and I don’t use that much. An easy way to use it up… because even stored wrapped in foil, it doesn’t keep forever!

  17. Jason Ellmers says:

    Philly with Sweet Chilli Sauce is also great on the ‘block of cheese’ theme…. If you have access to it, then a sprinkle of coriander (ccilantro if your american) over the top, lifts it to the next level, even if you are not too keen on it.

  18. Peggy Bjarno says:

    Buy salmon in the flat package (there are several brands, Chicken of the Sea is one of them) instead of in cans. Use about 1/3 of the salmon mixed with 1/2 brick of cream cheese and some liquid smoke. What to do with the rest of the salmon? Mix with diced green and red pepper, green onion, raw egg, mayo and bread crumbs. Make into two salmon patties for dinner.

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