I’m a big fan of making what I take to people’s gatherings but I follow a few simple rules: I must be able to make it ahead of time, serve it at room temperature and it must be a finger food of just a few bites-no plate required. Recently, baffled by what to bring to a friend’s annual lobster bake, I perused a collection of my family’s recipes and found two gems that fit all my requirements and would please all party-goers- zucchini bars and pepperoni pizza bars.
Passed down from my great aunts, and compiled to a simple well-worn booklet by a distant cousin for a family reunion in 2008, I knew two things about what I was making to take one of my favorite annual events- both would be darn good and super easy.
Of all the excellent recipes in my family recipe collection, I chose these two because I thought the idea of dueling bars (one with and one without meat) would be ideal for noshing while sipping a summer cocktail and awaiting the main event. These are not trendy recipes with lots of fancy ingredients, they are easy to follow, mix by hand treats the Italian women in my family served regularly, especially when having guests.
Recreate my family’s recipes to bring to your next gathering:
Aunt Louise’s Zucchini Appetizer
- 3 cups of zucchini thinly sliced and quartered
- 1 cup Bisquick
- 1/2 cup onion
- 1/2 cup parmesen cheese
- 2 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp marjoram (leaves or powder)
- pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 clove of finely chopped garlic
Mix all ingredients together by hand. Transfer into a greased 13×9 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Cool then cut into bars sized to your liking; serve; enjoy. Excellent served at room temperature; this appetizer satisfies as a side dish for dinner or even as a vegetarian main course.
Aunt Lorraine’s Pizza Appetizer
- 1 & 1/2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 stick of pepperoni, diced w/skin removed
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 cups milk
- 8oz muenster cheese, diced
- Oregano or Italian seasoning mix
Mix eggs, milk and flour to remove any lumps. add remaining ingredients and combine well. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Cool then cut into bars sized to your liking; serve; enjoy. These can be served hot, or at room temperature. This appetizer look and tastes like a deep dish pepperoni pizza.
Serving suggestion: Be the best guest at the party and bring a plate or platter the hosts can keep. The kindness of your hosts should not end in a flurry of empty dish drop offs the following day. I keep a stock of cute plastic platters and bowls on hand (purchased for a little over a dollar at my local Christmas Tree Shop) so that even when an impromptu gathering pops up I am prepared to plate well.
-Simplifying your appetizers one bar at a time, Jess
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