Here are two beyond-easy recipes for appetizers, if you need to take something to a party. I customized them from Epicurious.
This has maple syrup in it, and cayenne pepper. Think of it as the Master Cleanse, only with nuts. Makes three cups.
3 cups pecans
6 T maple syrup
3 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 325 and put a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet.
Put everything but the pecans in a bowl and stir. Add pecans last and spread in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake nuts for 5 minutes, stir to coat, then bake for another 12 minutes, until golden and the coating bubbles.
Spread a sheet of aluminum foil on your counter. Working quickly so the nuts don't clump onto each other, transfer them with a fork to the foil so that each nut has a little space. Let them cool thoroughly. That's it!
Easy Artichoke Dip
People go crazy for this dip, especially after a few drinks.
6 T grated Romano cheese
2 T light mayonnaise
4 T light sour cream
1 T chopped chives
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Onion powder (or retro-but-undeniably-tasty reconstituted onion flakes)
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4-ish tsp. Paprika
16 oz. Artichoke hearts (I use one 12. oz jar and one 4 oz. jar) chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Whisk 5 tablespoons grated Romano cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Stir in chopped artichoke hearts and throw in a bowl. Bake dip until heated through, about 20 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Sprinkle dip with remaining 1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese and paprika. Broil until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Serve warm.