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Sherri Richards, Published December 30 2012

Favorite things: Richards shares her favorite finger foods

My husband and I tend to favor a low-key New Year’s Eve, especially since having kids. One of our favorite things to do is make an appetizer spread that we graze on while watching movies or playing board games and drink some bubbly.

Here are some of my favorite finger food appetizers that I turn to when entertaining, even if it’s a party of two. The hubs will usually make some queso (Velveeta, salsa and a can of chili) to eat with tortilla chips. I like to add a veggie tray (or even just some baby carrots and ranch) to round out the meal.

Deviled Eggs

In spring 2004, I wrote a food story about deviled eggs, sharing recipes for savory, spicy and off-the-wall variations featuring ingredients like blue cheese, avocado, bacon, sundried tomatoes and cocoa powder. The options seemed endless for these stuffed hard-boiled goodies.

I still follow my taste buds when making these devilish delights: mayo, mustard, salt, pepper and a healthy dose of paprika for garnish. But here’s a recipe for a more gourmet take.

Buffalo Horns

¼ cup chopped cooked chicken

Buffalo wing sauce to cover chicken, plus 5 teaspoons

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, cut in half, and yolks mashed in a bowl

¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 teaspoon chopped celery, plus more for garnish

Salt and black pepper to taste

Place the chicken in small bowl and pour in enough Buffalo wing sauce to cover. Let sit for at least 5 minutes.

Combine the thoroughly mashed yolks with the butter. Stir in the Tabasco and celery. Lift the chicken from the wing sauce and drain slightly, then add to the yolk mixture, along with the remaining 5 teaspoons Buffalo wing sauce. Taste, then season with salt and lots of pepper.

Fill the whites evenly with the mixture, garnish each egg half with some chopped celery, and allow to sit at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving to let the flavors develop. Makes 12.

Recipe from “Deviled Eggs” by Debbie Moose (Harvard Common Press, 2004)

Tortilla Roll-ups

I’ve been making these as a party dish since college, when I first tried them at a friend’s baby shower. Here’s the imprecise recipe I follow:

Flour tortillas

8-ounce brick cream cheese

8 ounces sour cream

4-ounce can chopped black olives

4-ounce can chopped green chiles

2 or 3 green onions, finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in black olives, green chiles and green onion. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread mixture on tortilla and roll. Slice rolled tortilla into 1-inch pieces.

Lil’ Smokies

These are perhaps the simplest to make and most-loved party food. My friend Andrea was laughed at for once offering to bring some to a baby shower. She brought them anyway, and people ate them.

Simply pour your favorite barbecue sauce over some cocktail wieners and warm over low heat or in a slow cooker. You can also use a combination of barbecue sauce and grape jelly, or chili sauce and grape jelly.

Here’s a more involved recipe, from the blog Crockpot365.

1 pound Little Smokies sausage

½ cup ketchup

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup barbecue sauce

Add all ingredients to a 4-quart slow cooker. Stir well and cook on low for 4 hours or high for about 2 hours, until heated throughout. Serve out of the crock with toothpicks.

Source: crockpot365.blogspot.com

Editor’s note: SheSays Favorites is a weekly feature in SheSays that runs each Monday. SheSays staffers will gather a few of their favorite things to share with readers. Do you have a favorite you’d like to share? Email shesays@forumcomm.com.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556