Who says happy hour is only for bars and restaurants? A small gathering at your place with festive drinks and light nibbles (like the mushroom, rosemary, and goat cheese tartlets pictured above) is easy to pull together, and you can always let the party go later if everyone’s still having fun. Here are 10 simple make-at-home noshes.
1. Flavored Goat Log
Roll large log of goat cheese in 2 tsp. dried herbs (try za’atar or a blend of dried rosemary and thyme). Drizzle with 3 Tbs. olive oil.
2. Chile Nuts
Toss 2 cups nuts with 1 tsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. chipotle or ancho chile powder. Roast on baking sheet in 325°F oven 10 minutes. Cool.
3. Parmesan Crisps
Spread circles of grated Parmesan cheese on a silicone mat–lined baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes at 400°F. Cool on mat, then carefully remove with spatula.
4. Salt & Pepper Tots
Toss 1 14-oz. pkg. frozen Cascadian Farm Spud Puppies or 2 cups Ore-Ida Tater Tots with 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper. Bake according to package directions, and season with sea salt.
5. Root Dippers
Toss 4 cups cubed root vegetables with 2 Tbs. olive oil. Roast on baking sheet in 400°F oven 30 minutes, or until browned. Serve with hummus.
6. Sausage Rolls
Roll veggie dogs in thawed puff pastry sheets, sealing edges with water. Cut into 2-inch lengths, and bake on parchment-lined baking sheet 15 minutes at 350°F.
Toss 1 lb. button mushrooms with 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp. sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Chill overnight.
Mash yolks of 6 hard-boiled eggs with 3 Tbs. mayonnaise and 1 tsp. wasabi paste. Fill egg halves with yolk mixture; garnish with minced green onions.
9. Creamy Bean Dip
Blend 1 15-oz. can beans or chickpeas (rinsed and drained) with 1/4 cup water, 2 Tbs. lemon juice, 2 Tbs. olive oil, and 2 tsp. minced garlic.
10. Mini Mozzarella Bruschetta
Toss 2 cups bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls) with 1 cup sun-dried tomato pesto. Arrange on baguette slices, and broil 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.