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Cranberry & Brie Puffs

These easy, festive puff pastry bundles of brie and cranberry sauce (or raspberry jam, or fig preserves) are delightful party appetizers.

Yield: 12 puffs Total time: 35 minutes

Pressure Cooker Boiled Eggs

“Boiling” eggs in an electric pressure cooker gives you consistent results and eggs that are really easy to peel.

Yield: 6 eggs Total time: 30 minutes

Soy Eggs

We’ve fallen in love with the soy-marinated boiled eggs found at ramen shops and the festivals at Leo’s school, and they’re so easy to make at home. We use medium-boiled eggs (though the little dude likes them hard-boiled), and soak them in a solution of soy sauce, sherry vinegar, and sugar.

Yield: 6 eggs Total time: 6 hours 30 minutes

One-Pan Ham & Cheese Melts

Guy loves his cooking magazines, and recently picked up a copy of a Better Homes and Gardens’ One-Pan Recipes in the check-out lane. The cover of the magazine featured this pan of ham and cheese melts, made with Hawaiian rolls, brushed with melted butter, chopped shallots, parsley, and garlic, and browned until melty and delicious. We made them for a weeknight dinner and then spotted them at the book club holiday party – they’re really great for any occasion.

Yield: 12 sliders

Guy’s Grilled Shishito Peppers

We first tried shishito peppers on a rare date night during our two-hour wait for a table at Uchi. They were the only food option at the bar, but we fell in love with their crispy, salty, mild pepper bite.

To make your own, toss peppers with olive oil and sea salt, and grill until pleasantly blistered.

Yield: 2 to 4 servings Total time: 10 minutes

Brie & Grape Crostini

Top toasted slices of French bread with brie, red grapes, drizzled honey, and chopped walnuts for a perfect girls’ night snack.

Total time: 15 minutes

Fresh Mozzarella Toasts with Spicy Herb Oil

These mozzarella toasts, alongside Roasted Chickpeas and crisp white wine, make an excellent appetizer course or light dinner with friends.

Yield: 6 servings Total time: 30 minutes

Baguette Toasts

These baguette toasts are essential party food, served alongside White Bean Truffle Spread, Jamy’s Layered Goat Cheese Dip, and Mozzarella with Spicy Herb Oil.

Yield: 40 toasts Total time: 30 minutes

Roasted Chickpeas

This healthy and addictive appetizer is as easy as opening and rinsing a couple of cans of chickpeas, roasting them, and tossing them with spices. As they cool they go from crispy to chewy – both textures are great.

Yield: 2 cups Total time: 45 minutes

Garlic Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn

This year we did the unthinkable, though we didn’t know it at the time. We sold our house and bought a new one at the same time in the Austin market, all with a toddler underfoot. Our realtor didn’t tell us until it was over that it was crazy, and that no one ever does a buy/sell in this market.

Our new house required renovations, and by the time we moved in, we were pretty fried. Neighbor Night Out was three weeks later, and our cut-de-sac does it in style, so we needed to have a dish to share with our new neighbors.

We unpacked our popcorn popper, cut some fresh rosemary from our new backyard, and made this popcorn. It was just the right thing to break the ice, and the neighbors loved it (even the kids).

Yield: 8 cups Total time: 15 minutes