Munchies-in-a-Minute

 For  Impromptu Festivities

You need not get stressed when unexpected guests pop in for a "surprise"  celebration. Phyllis Cambria and Patty Sachs, co-authors of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Throwing a Great Party and owners of PartyPlansPlus.com, an on-line party planning site, offer fast and festive food ideas.

If you are like most people, your party pantry is probably wanting. Here are some snacks that can be concocted of items you frequently have on hand:

**Canned meats and fish (mix with Mayo, top on crackers and serve, or top with a small slice of cheese, place in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and broil until the cheese melts.)

**Snack crackers topped with any mixture you have –cream cheese, cheese spread, peanut butter, tuna spread, egg salad, luncheon meats or even fruit jams.

**Salsa (plain or mixed with sour cream or cottage cheese for chips, pretzels or veggies)

**Salad dressing (Creamy varieties work well as a veggie dip.)

**Hearty breads such as rye, pumpernickel or whole wheat (Cut into one-inch squares and spread with mayo. Sprinkle with grated hard cheese. Broil until mixture bubbles and browns.)

**Flour tortillas (Fill with meats, spreads, or cheese. Roll, chill and slice into bite-sized pinwheel snacks.)

**Flour tortillas (Cut into bite-sized pieces. Fry in hot oil until crispy. Drain, sprinkle with herbs, spices or cheese and serve with dips or salsa.)

**Peanut butter (spread on crackers, fruit or celery.)

**Chili (Cube one pound of processed American or cheddar cheese. Top with a can of chili. Microwave for five minutes or until melted.)

**Popcorn (prepare according to package directions and sprinkle while hot with seasoned salts, grated cheese or butter.)

**Dried cereal, dried fruit, nuts (Combine to create a trail mix.)

**Fresh fruit and vegetable wedges (Serve plain or with flavored yogurts or salad dressing.)

**Potatoes (Slice and deep fry. Serve plain or topped with cheese or spices.)

             To complete your impromptu festivity just  dim the lights, light a few pretty candles, add socializing music and make merry-- in a minute!

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