By Cora L. Diekman

Published on November 18, 2015

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Photography by grandmotherskitchen.org

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Anything, anything, ANYTHING wrapped in bacon is sure to be a hit.  Elevate your bacon game by wrapping up a pile of plump and delicious sea scallops, baking under the broiler until crisp and cooked through. Pro tip: Opt for sea scallops over the bay variety, which are too small for wrapping and enjoying bite-sized.

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Photography by addapinch.com

Watermelon-Feta Skewers

Watermelon and feta are the latest combo foodies can’t get enough of. Treat guests to a simple take on this sweet and salty temptation with chunky appetizer skewers. Bonus points for the balsamic vinegar drizzle, but they are perfectly delicious without.

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Photography by marthastweart.com

Chocolate Bark

Nothing rings in the holidays like sweet treats! And if you’re a kitchen newbie (or just short on time), fear not. Desserts don’t necessarily require baking or lots of complicated ingredients. Chocolate bark is tasty, gift-worthy, only requires 2 quick ingredients, and a microwave. Simply select your favorite chocolate (dark, white, or milk) and your favorite filler (like peppermint, cookies, or nuts) and get started. Warm chocolate in the microwave until just melted, stopping every 30 seconds to stir. Then, pour onto a sheet of parchment paper, roughly ¼ inch thick. Top with candies or nuts while still melty, and allow to cool completely before breaking into large, bark-like chunks.

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Photography by gimmesomeoven.com

Balsamic Chicken Skewers

The beauty of this recipe is its amazing versatility.  Swap out balsamic marinade for another flavor, if you prefer, or bake in the oven if it’s too cold to grill. Simply cut fresh chicken into bite-sized pieces and allow to rest in the store-bought marinade of your choice for at least 30 minutes before cooking.  Then skewer, and grill or bake at 375-degrees until caramelized, slightly charred, and cooked through. If you’re using wood skewers, make sure to soak in water for at least 10 minutes before adding the chicken to prevent burning.

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Photography by thecandidappetite.com

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

There’s a reason that traditional shrimp cocktail remains an appetizer icon—it’s a delicious crowd pleaser that requires ZERO prep. Simply plate and you’re done. A modern twist on this app classic is roasting your shrimp first. Start with raw shrimp, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and broil until golden brown and delicious. Look for the shrimp that is already peeled and deveined to avoid adding unnecessary prep time to your dish.

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Photography by foodformyfamily.com

Green Bean Bundles

This is another delicious and seriously versatile recipe that guests will gladly gobble up. For traditional green bean bundles, wrap small bunches of green beans with bacon, season with salt and pepper, and bake at 350-degrees until crisp. For a fancy alternative, swap bacon for prosciutto or green beans for asparagus spears.

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Photography by culinaryhill.com

Little Smokies in Barbeque Sauce

This may be the simplest recipe ever. And let’s be honest, every party deserves a piping hot pot of salty-sweet cocktail sausage-deliciousness. To prepare, combine best quality sausages with your favorite barbeque sauce and simmer on the stovetop until warm. Or, if you prefer the slow cooker method, allow to heat slowly for 2-3 hours on high, and then reduce heat to low so that every sausage stays warm until the last bite is gone.

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Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

It’s a classic for a reason. Melon wrapped in cured ham is the perfect sweet and salty combo to pair with wine or cocktails. It’s light, flavorful, and no-cook (aka a win for everyone!).

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Photography by pauladeen.com

Pigs in a Blanket

Who knew it was so easy to pull these off?  Simply wrap cocktail sausages in crescent roll dough and bake according to package directions. For a new take on these party favorites, wrap spicy sausage with puff pastry and bake at 400-degrees until the pastry is golden and puffed. An easy way to add some flavor is to coat the sausages in dijon mustard, barbecue sauce, or jam before rolling.

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Photography by thefoodcharlatan.com

Nutella Puffs

Impress your guests with these delicious pastry bites that look far more complicated than they actually are. Sandwich small scoops of Nutella between squares of puff pastry and bake at 400-degrees until the tops are puffed and golden. You can always substitute Nutella for other fillings, but this version is perfectly fine with us. For more tips, click here.