Dried Cherry and Sage Goat Cheese

Photo: Meredith Steele

A Cheesy Throwback That Feels Fresh Again

This can't-miss recipe reinvents the classic by using a mixture of goat and cream cheeses; the mix-ins are simply chopped, dried cherries and fresh sage. After you press the mixture into a round form, you spoon cherry preserves and a pinch of flaky sea salt on top for a salty-sweet finish.

Get the recipe: Dried Cherry and Sage Goat Cheese
Cold Roast Beef, Blue Cheese & Grapes

Photo: Georgia Glynn Smith

The Deli Classic, Appetizer-Style

Salty slices of cold roast beef, creamy and tangy blue cheese and tart green grapes threaded onto a skewer make for one of the most amazing, flavorful appetizers you can throw together with three common supermarket foods.

Get the recipe: Cold Roast Beef, Blue Cheese & Grapes
Black Bread and Butter Lattice

Photo: Johnny Miller

The "How'd You Do That?" Bread Slices

Here's an elegant way to present what is basically just buttered bread. You start with a loaf of thinly sliced cocktail pumpernickel. Spread horseradish-spiked butter on one slice, cover with another slice and continue until you've got a stack of six slices. Refrigerate until the layers are "glued" together, then cut each stack vertically and voilà: layer-cake-like slices of bread you can serve alongside anything.

Get the recipe: Black Bread and Butter Lattice
Smoky Paprika-Baked Garbanzo Beans

Photo: Thinkstock

A Non-Hummus Way to Use Chickpeas

It's true that chickpeas are terrific whizzed into a puree for dips; but, if you rinse them, dry them and roast them, they turn into addictive snacks: crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. You can flavor them with any spice you like; this recipe calls for smoked paprika and onion powder, but we also like cinnamon and sugar, or cumin, chili and cayenne.

Get the recipe: Smoky Paprika-Baked Garbanzo Beans
Cantaloupe Balls

Photo: HHLtDave5

The Fruity Snack That's Great with Cocktails

This refreshing one-bite appetizer is actually easier to make than fruit salad, since it only involves one fruit: cantaloupe. You scoop the melon into balls and sprinkle them with chopped mint, a pinch of sugar and freshly ground black pepper, which not only looks striking, but brings some depth of flavor and helps the fruit complement predinner drinks.

Get the recipe: Cantaloupe Balls
Pumpkin Crostini

Photo: Guy Ambrosino

Crostini That Borrows from a Classic Dessert

Canned pumpkin may be indispensable for pies, muffins and breads, but we've found a surprising new use for it: on toast as an appetizer. This no-fuss recipe involves blending pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin-pie spice, olive oil and a clove of roasted garlic in the food processor until smooth, then spreading a dollop of the sweet and savory spread on pieces of bread. Garnishes, such as pine nuts, pecans, bacon or Parmesan, are optional touches to take it to the next level.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Crostini
The Italian Job

Photo: Georgia Glynn Smith

An Italian-Accented App That Always Appeals

Tomatoes, mozzarella and basil are a beloved trio for a reason: the sweet fruit combined with the creamy cheese and a pop of citrusy, herbaceous freshness is hard to beat. All you need to make these salads on toothpicks are cherry or grape tomatoes, baby mozzarella (aka bocconcini), olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, basil and a fistful of toothpicks. Assemble them a couple of hours ahead, arrange them on a platter and refrigerate, covered, until party time.

Get the recipe: "The Italian Job"