Having a Kentucky Derby party? Try these quick & easy small-bite recipes

Editor’s Note: A version of this story first appeared on the author’s former sports website, OneGreatSeason.com, in 2009.

If you’re looking for some great snack foods for your Final Four party, Super Bowl party, July 4th party, “Hell, It’s Saturday” cookout, Kentucky Derby bash, etc., here are a few ideas for you.

These work especially well if you’re in a pinch for easy-to-make, last-minute recipes:

Cucumbers & Goat Cheese

Here’s what you need:
+ 1 large English cucumber
+ 1 small log of goat cheese (plain is fine, but a flavored one like garlic-and-herb is even better)
+ 1 jar, roasted red peppers

Here’s what you do:
+ Slice cucumber (thin slices)
+ Spread goat cheese over each slice (best to leave the cheese out at room temperature before preparing so it’s easier to spread)
+ Cut red peppers (or sun dried tomatoes) so they’re small enough to fit on each slice

Here’s what you need:
+ Cherry tomatoes
+ A bottle of vodka
+ Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Pepper
+ Rock salt
+ Toothpicks

Here’s what you do:
+ Clean the tomatoes
+ Use a toothpick (or a fork) to poke a hole or two through each tomato
+ Put all the tomatoes in a big bowl
+ Pour as much vodka as it takes to cover all the tomatoes
+ Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight
+ On Sunday, place tomatoes over bed of rock salt in another big bowl
+ Sprinkle the Jane’s pepper over the tomatoes
+ Guests can use toothpicks to serve themselves

Here’s what you need:
+ 1 pineapple
+ Something close to a 16-ounce block of cheddar cheese
+ Toothpicks

Here’s what you do:
+ Cut pineapple chunks into 1-inch by 1-inch by 1-inch (that’s 3D, y’all) pieces
+ Cut chunks of cheddar into slightly smaller pieces
+ Use a toothpick to pick up the pineapple first, then the cheddar
+ Serve on platter; guests can pick up and serve themselves (the key is to enjoy both flavors simultaneously)

Here’s what you need:
+ 1 jar chili sauce
+ 1 small jar grape jelly
+ Half-teaspoon salt
+ 1 pound turkey meat or ground sirloin

Here’s what you do:
+ Combine chili sauce, jelly and salt in sauce pan
+ Bring to simmer
+ Toss in 1-inch meatballs (each about the size of a large cherry tomato)
+ Let them simmer 30 minutes
+ Serve on toothpicks

Nancy's Figs

Here’s what you need:
+ Figs
+ Maytag blue cheese
+ Honey
+ Chopped walnuts

Here’s what you do:
+ Cut figs in half, length-wise
+ Drop in a small dab of blue cheese
+ Add a drizzle of honey
+ Sprinkle some chopped walnuts

Here’s what you need:
+ Bibb lettuce
+ Sliced deli roast beef
+ Fresh asparagus spears
+ Fresh sliced red pepper
+ Garlic & herb cream cheese

Here’s what you do:
+ Lay out a piece of the lettuce on a plate
+ Spoon the cream cheese into a ziploc bag
+ Cut a corner of the plastic bag
+ Squeeze the cheese from the bag down the center of the lettuce
+ Roll up a slice of roast beef and place on top of the cheese
+ Add an asparagus spear
+ Add a red pepper slice
+ Pick up like a taco and enjoy

And, lastly, if you still have time to make a pot of chili, click here for the best how-to chili recipe video ever made.

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