Set your party’s mood right with appetizers

Little appetizers have a big role to play when it comes to successful entertaining. The right appetizers often can set the tone for a truly memorable cocktail or dinner party. Unfortunately, some timid cooks have been content to stick with chilled shrimp or cocktail wieners, but now’s the time to learn how to make some classic appetizers for real zest and zing at the next party.

Parties have themes, and if the appetizers that you serve must go with it – nachos with guacamole dip will look really out of place on a Hawaiian luau. You can start by looking at cookbooks and searching the Internet for recipes that match the theme you want to go with.

Some Asian foods have transcended their origin and go well with just about any theme. Crab Rangoon – a fried treat of creamed crabmeat wrapped in wonton – is one of these universal appetizers. Making authentic Crab Rangoon can be too much for a beginner. The easiest part is making the filling. You just mix crab meat with cream cheese and add minced garlic and onions along with a splash of soy sauce.

Crab Rangoon- A Classic Appetizer

The real trick to Crab Rangoon, however, is learning how to wrap up the wonton, a Chinese style dough wrapper that resembles the phyllo dough used to make Greek dishes such as baklava and spinach pie. Wonton usually comes in diamond shapes that are folded in half to create triangles, like a mini turnover. To create one Crab Rangoon, you need to put a heaping tablespoon of the creamed crab into the middle and spread it out. Then you have to moisten the edges of the wonton with water using a fingertip, fold it together and seal the edges, remoistening if necessary. These little triangles should be kept in a damp paper towel until it’s time to deep-fry them. The result is mouth-watering deliciousness!

Something Simpler…

For something a little simpler, you may want to try the Italian appetizer known as Bruschetta. This favorite is made by chopping together tomatoes and basil and then combining them with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. This mixture should stand for about 30 minutes. It is now ready to top a loaf of toasted French bread that has browned on both sides for extra crunch. Bruschetta is served warm, sometimes with Parmesan cheese added, for a delectable combination.

Of course, you can always resort to sliced vegetables known as crudites with salad dressings, or crackers and cheese. Every once in a while, though, you really ought to try something familiar yet a little more challenging, such as sweet and sour meatballs.

For this version, the meatballs are made as usual by mixing hamburger with milk, salt, egg, breadcrumbs, onions and Worcestershire sauce. After the meatballs are browned and drained of fat, the cook prepares a sauce of brown sugar, cornstarch, pineapple, vinegar and soy sauce. When this mixture boils in a skillet, the meatballs are returned along with chopped green peppers and simmered until the peppers are tender. The combination of sweet and sour flavors in these appetizers will thrill guests.

You see, you got scared over nothing. Appetizers are a simple way of taking your dinner parties to a whole new level. All it takes is the right recipe. Start going through the Internet now to uncover hidden gems like the ones here.

How to choose the most appropriate birthday card?

There is a birthday somewhere 365 days of the year and the most traditional way of acknowledging someone on their special day is with a birthday card. Birthday cards come in all shapes, sizes, types and messages. You can find cards ranging from comical to romantic, sappy to sexy and everything in between. Cards are appropriate for people of all ages from their first birthday until their last. Almost everyone enjoys getting a well chosen card on their birthday.

Birthday cards can be found in a variety of themes. You can locate a birthday cards that specify the child’s age from one to eighteen. After that you will find birthday cards that specify the landmark ages, such as age twenty-one, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, and eighty. Other themes range from “over the hill” to the character cards for children such as Princesses, Cars, Aladdin, and any variety of children’s movie and television favorites. Some of these birthday cards are pop-ups, and some of them are musical. Disney birthday cards are always a lot of fun to open, read, and play with again and again. 

It’s almost like another gift! More adult themes for birthday cards include sexy women, alcohol, or crude gestures. The ideas usually range from encouraging the birthday boy or girl to live it up on their special day, something to indicate that they aren’t getting older, but only getting better or in some cases poking fun at the aging process.

Two other types of birthday card that are popular for the giver who either doesn’t have time to shop or doesn’t know what to buy the recipient are the cards designed to hold a cash or check gift and those specifically made to hold a gift card. Gift cards can be purchased at almost every retailer these days and the gift card holders are usually free, bonus!

You can easily find a birthday card to suit any taste or budget. You can buy them at the grocery, department or drug store as well as specialty card shops such as Hallmark or even the local dollar store. You can even find great birthday cards online. These can be ordered in print individually, in bulk, or in variety packs for all your birthday needs. Another idea is the e-card which allows you to send birthday cards electronically through email. 

There are many websites that allow you to pick your general birthday card and add your own message to the birthday card. You can even send musical and animated birthday cards. While many of these services are free, they usually require registration and some designs are for paying members only.

Another option that is rediscovering popularity is the hand made birthday card. You can find handmade birthday cards at flea markets and craft shows or take a class and make them yourself. You can also occasionally find handmade birthday cards at wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco. You may think that handmade birthday cards are expensive, but really they can be quite reasonable. You can often find boxes of handmade birthday cards for around ten to thirty dollars. 

The birthday card is just a small token of your feelings, but it means a lot to the person who receives it. With the abundant styles, types, messages and delivery options of birthday cards available today you are sure to find the perfect birthday card for your son, daughter, grandchild, spouse, or other friend or family member.