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Dining In — Recipe of the week: Unusual appetizers to go with toasting


When you raise your glass for a New Year’s Eve toast on Monday night you might have an appetizer in your other hand, because of all the holidays, this is the one where finger foods shine.

Right after you make a list of beverages ideal for toasting, you can make a list of appetizers that will go with them. Since just about everything can be made small for an appetizer, the number of choices is huge.

You can go with perennial favorites such as buffalo chicken dip, mini meatballs, deviled eggs, puff pastry with a variety of fillings, cheese balls, spinach artichoke dip and fondue.

You also can choose healthier options such as sliced vegetables with low-fat dip, fruit skewers and spiced popcorn, or indulge with mini sliders and cheesy dips knowing that the dieting days of January are fast approaching.

And don’t forget dessert. Tiny cupcakes, sweet dip for sliced apples and grapes, leftover holiday (or freshly baked) cookies, cheesecake bites and chocolates are all crowd-pleasing finger foods.

This recipe from is a healthier alternative to traditional fries.

Oven Avocado Fries

4 tablespoons canola oil, divided

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

1½ teaspoons chili powder

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2/3 cup whole buttermilk

1 large egg

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 firm but ripe avocados, each cut into 6 wedges

Creamy Chipotle Lime Sauce

¾ cup mayonnaise

2 finely chopped chipotles in adobo

2 teaspoons lime zest

1½ tablespoons lime juice

½ teaspoon chili powder

kosher salt

black pepper

1. Season avocado with salt and pepper. Working with one wedge at a time, toss in flour, then in buttermilk mixture (letting any excess drip off), and then in breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to help adhere.

Place, rounded side down, on prepared baking sheet.

2. Bake until golden brown, 28 to 32 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Make Creamy Chipotle Lime Sauce: Stir together mayonnaise, finely chopped chipotles in adobo, lime zest, lime juice, and chili powder.

Season with kosher salt and black pepper.

4. Serve with Creamy Chipotle Lime Sauce and lime wedges alongside.

This easy recipe from calls for canned crescent rolls. has a simpler version without added seasonings.

New Year’s Dippers

¼ cup flour, for surface

1 can crescent dough

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons garlic powder

½ cup marinara, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured surface, roll out crescent dough. Cut into 8 evenly sized squares. Cut each of those squares into 4 strips.

2. Form numbers with strips and place them side by side on prepared baking sheet. Brush with butter and sprinkle with parmesan, oregano and garlic powder. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve with marinara.

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