Real Food for Real Life

Monday, February 8, 2010

Murder Mystery Madness

My friend Arnita is getting ready to have a big murder mystery party (can't wait!) and she wanted some ideas for munchies to serve (we will both gladly give up "dinner" in lieu of a counter full of small goodies).  I also wrote a fewf days ago that I wanted to make this blog a resource for myself (and hopefully others as well) by compiling recipes here.  So in interest of helping Arnita, and building my resource, I am going to give you a bunch of easy finger food or "small dish" type foods.  

Apricot Baked Brie

1 8oz. wheel of Brie (or Camembert)
1/3 cup chunky apricot preserves
small handful slivered or sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Carefully remove the top rind from the cheese and place on a small ovenproof serving dish.  Spread the top of the brie with the preserves and sprinkle with the almonds.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the brie is soft.  Serve with bread, creacker, or fruit as sesired.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 8oz. pkg. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
2 small or 1 large can chunk chicken breast, drained
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot
1 4oz. pkg. bleu cheese crumbles (optional)

Combine ingredients well and spread into a small baking dish (for easy cleanup spray with cooking spray).  Bake at 350 degrees, or until hot and bubbly.  Serve with tortilla chips.


2 15oz. cans of chickpeas, drained
3 tbs, tahini (sesame paste)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth (this might take a few minutes).  The hummus will be thick; blend in small amounts of water to reach desired consistency.  Spoon into a small serving dish and refrigerate several hours to blend flavors.  Just before serving drizzle with a small amount of additional extra virgin olive oil.

Greek Cheeseball

3 8oz. pkgs. reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 lb. feta cheese, rinsed, crumbled, and at room temperature
2 tbs. minced garlic

Combine all the ingredients in a mixer until smooth.  Form into a mound on a serving dish and garnish as desired (2 nice options are finely diced red bell pepper, or minced fresh parsley).  Chill to firm and blend flavors.  serve with pita chips.

Chili Spiced Peanuts

1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
3 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. coarse salt
lime wedges

Roast the peanuts over high heat in a non-stick skillet for 3 minutes, or until toasty, stirring frequently.  Pour into a bowl and set aside.  Decrease the heat to medium and sprinkle in the sugar, cayenne and salt.  Melt slowly, stirring a few times as it melts.  Once melted and combined, stir in the peanuts and toss to coat well.  Pour the nuts onto parchment paper to cool, breaking up any large clumps.  Serve with lime wedges and squeeze the lime over the nuts right before eating. Recipe from the New York Times.

Bacon Wrapped Apricots

24 small fresh sage leaves
24 dried apricots
8 slices of bacon, cut cross ways into thirds
2 tbs. maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place a sage leaf on each apricot and wrap each with a piece of the bacon.  Place seam side down on a baking sheet.  Bake until the bacon is beginning to crisp, 6 ro 8 minutes each side.  Remove from oven and brush with maple syrup.  Serve with toothpicks.  Recipe from Real Simple.

Cheddar and Chutney Sandwiches

small rolls of good quality
Major Grey's chutney
very good etra sharp cheddar

Cut each roll open crosswise and spread the bottoms liberally with the chutney.  Place a fairly thick slice of chheese on the chutney and cover with the top half of the roll. Recipe from Ina Garten.

Herbed Goat Cheese Sandwiches

8oz. reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
8oz. mild soft goat cheese, room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. minced dry thyme (or 1/2 tap. fresh)
3 tbs. minced fresh parsley
5 to 6 tbs. milk or half & half
3/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
good quality multigrain bread, sliced thin
1 cucumber, thinly sliced but not peeled.

Mix the cheeses and seasonings in a mixer or food processor until well combined.  Thin with a little additional milk if necessary.  Spread each slice of bread with the cheese mixture.  Top 1/2 of the slices with cucumber slices.  Top with the remaining bread and pressing lightly, trim off the crusts.  Cot the sandwiches onto halves, thirds, or triangles.  Recipe from Ina Garten.

Links to recipes previously mentioned:

Baked Brie 
Cucumber Dill Sauce  (with a little extra cayenne this makes a great dip)
Liptauer Cheese 
No-Recipe Meatballs 
Pork Meatball Banh Mi  (serve the meatballs as appetizers rather than on the sandwiches)


  1. This is so cool! Would love to know about that murder mystery party. That would be fun up here on the hill instead of a scavenger hunt don't you think. Please get me some details. Thanks for the information on this blog. Still not sure how to get myself around on the facebook thing. A little apprehensive yet.

  2. Arnita G. on Facebook said:
    These are some great ideas...Thank you for helping out..
    February 8 at 6:58pm


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