The following recipes are usually on my menu when I entertain because they tend to be favorites around here and take very little time to make. They are so easy to throw together and to prepare ahead of time. This way I don’t have to miss out on all of the fun.

These little bites will definitely feed a hungry group and are grain-free and very clean and full of protein to keep that healthy eating on track!

Go ahead and add a few of these recipes to your menu so that you can then sit back and enjoy your guests and the fun.

Sweet and Salty Stuffed Prosciutto Cups

These are perfect bite-sized treats that can be easily prepared ahead of time. You can make the prosciutto cups hours ahead of time, and then add the filling right before your guests arrive. They are a perfect combination of sweet, savory, and salty flavors to add a more elegant element to your parties.

Ingredients:

1 3-oz Prosciutto package

1 cup fresh Arugula, chopped

1 pear or apple, finely chopped

2 tablespoon Fig Balsamic Vinegar, or good quality regular Balsamic

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Separate Prosciutto slices and cut each slice into quarters so that each cut piece is now about 1 inch wide by 3 inches long.

Take a mini muffin pan and press 2 slices, criss-crossed over each other, inside each opening, to form a cup. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes – they will crisp up as they cool – then remove from pan and fill each with 1 tablespoon chopped pears and top with about 1 tablespoon chopped arugula.

Drizzle about ¼ teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar over each cup. Serve and enjoy.

Optional: these are also wonderful topped with a small dollop of goat cheese if you or your guests are not dairy-free.

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Pistachios and Chives

These little bite-sized treats are another one of those that include both the sweet and savory combination. You can prepare the dates and wrap them in bacon hours before your guests arrive. Then just pop them in the oven as everyone is arriving for an easy hot appetizer. These disappear quickly so you may want to make extras if you are feeding a crowd.

Ingredients:

30 – 40 Medjool or Deglet Dates

8 – 10 slices bacon, each cut into 4 pieces, width-wise

1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped coarsely

2 tablespoons chives, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. Line a baking sheet with Parchment Paper.

Make a small slice in each date to remove pit. Fill space where pit was with chopped pistachios.

Lay cut bacon piece on work surface, sprinkle some chives on top of it, then place date in center and roll bacon around date. Place bacon-wrapped date seam side down on parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dates and bacon pieces.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until bacon is nicely crisp. Let cool for about 10 minutes and place on serving platter and top with some additional chopped pistachios and chives for garnish.

Kim Maes