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Low-cost Appetizers

Low-cost Appetizers

Feeling the pinch of the business downturn (aren't we all)? Then caviar is probably the last thing from your

minds when having a simple, down-to-earth party for our friends. And maybe you will be having something simple,

cheap and easy to prepare for the main course - like chili or hamburgers.

You can also serve some simple appetizers without breaking the bank using your old friend the potato...

First of all, we need a recipe for the potatoes themselves. Pick large or medium potatoes and cut them in

wedges. The wedge is really the optimum cut for a potato as an appetizer: - it gives some heft to the pieces - it is stronger than the normal fry so it doesn't bend or break when picking it up and dipping it - and best of all, it is not so big as to fill you up on a couple of pieces. - And, oh yes, plenty of surface area for the dip to cling to.

And remember to adjust the recipes given here for the number of people being served. Here's a simple recipe

similar to ones found on the Web that fits the bill for "French - fried" potato wedges:

SEASONED POTATO WEDGES

1/3 cup flour 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon paprika 3 large potatoes; sliced into 6 wedges each 1/3 cup milk 1/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix flour, cheese, and paprika.

First dip potato wedges in milk and then flour mix. Place on cookie sheet, pour melted butter over. Bake 50

minutes or until browned.

Another even simpler method is to cut the potatoes, spray with oil and sprinkle with taco seasoning or a mix of

equal parts chili powder and celery salt. Or use a seasoning like lemon pepper or garlic salt. You can add

cayenne powder, but that may keep some guests from sampling as the heat can be too much for them.

Now for a dip, again, again, go simple - serve more than one for variety:

Bacon-Flavored Dip Mix

2 tablespoons instant bacon bits 1 tablespoon instant minced onion 1 teaspoon instant beef bouillon 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1 pint sour cream

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add the sour cream and stir until blended well.

Other dips can be as simple as plain sour cream or even Ranch Dressing.

Using potatoes as appetisers can fit in with just about any diet... for a change you can use sweet potatoes

instead of the white or golden potato. And the dips can be diet friendly if they are low calorie.

So the next time you are planning a party, you may just want to consider the lowly potato when you think about

what you might have for an appetiser.

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