Sister Says: Enjoy My Favorite Spring Appetizer Solutions
Pull my homemade-tasting rolls out of the freezer and try one (or more!) of these five bite-size favorites.
After a mild winter in Lower Alabama, spring seems to have sprung. I already see buds on the pear trees and azalea bushes. And I’m starting to get invitations to outdoor get-togethers and cookouts with friends who are ready to fire up the grill. I always like to take a little something when my husband George and I are invited to dinner, whether it’s a bottle of wine or an appetizer.
Chances are you have a go-to appetizer recipe you like to take to gatherings — one that you can whip together without so much as a glance at a recipe card. Or, when hosting game night or a casual dinner at your own home, you know just what to combine from the fridge to make the perfect snack food to start the evening — something that’s simple and fresh. Sometimes even a cheese plate with a few strawberries works well.
Though we love our tried-and-true recipes, my friends and I are always looking for new appetizers to serve, and we enjoy sharing ideas with each other. I just love finding the next easy-to-make, easy-to-take appetizer that works for any get-together. So whether you prefer turning to your personal favorites or enjoy scrolling the unlimited appetizer options on the Internet, let me share some tips about how my bread can help. Use it as the base for these five finger-food combinations that are delicious and fun, and your dish is sure to be the hit of the party!
Start Simply Now, y’all might guess that my Grandmother Gommey’s roll recipe is the one recipe that I have made more times than I can count. After all, it’s the one she passed on to me — the one I used to start my own company, Sister Schubert’s® Homemade Rolls. But as timeless as that roll recipe is — with its simple ingredients and homemade-tasting goodness — it has inspired all sorts of other recipe ideas for simple appetizers, along with serving suggestions that work well as finger food. It’s an absolute joy for me to share five favorites that use Sister Schubert’s rolls as a foundation.
1. Sister Schubert’s Sausage Rolls Served with an Assortment of Mustards. This variety of my rolls — delicious sausage wrapped in my warm bread — makes a perfect easy appetizer all by itself. I’ve even served platters of them at close friends’ wedding receptions. But if you want to dress these rolls up for Friday night before supper with friends or for a Sunday afternoon baby shower, serve them with an array of mustard options on the side. I have a collection of mustards in my refrigerator — from Jack Daniel’s-flavored varieties to honey mustard and stone-ground specialties I have discovered during my travels. Mustard just adds a little zing to these already-delicious sausage rolls.
2. Hot Browns, a traditional Southern open-face turkey sandwich It only takes two or three minutes to broil these easy-to-assemble sandwiches, each made with halves of Sister Schubert’s Dinner Yeast Rolls. Layer a cheese sauce with turkey and tomato slices, then pop a pan full of the simple stacks into the oven. And it wouldn’t be finished without a little garnish on top – a tad of bacon and a parsley sprig finish it just right. Get the recipe here!
3. Rolls Filled with Cream Cheese and Berries These are favorites for spring parties of all kinds. After you bake Sister Schubert’s Parker House Rolls, let them come to room temperature. Then simply spread cream cheese in each roll, and tuck one blueberry and one strawberry slice inside. These fruity sandwiches make for a happy, colorful addition to your menu — and, of course, they taste divine.
4. Mushroom Cups Make these savory cups by pressing half of a Sister Schubert’s Dinner Yeast Roll into a muffin tin and filling each with a mixture of sautéed mushrooms, spring onions, and cream cheese. I just adore the earthy flavor of mushrooms mixed with cheesy, gooey goodness — oh, so satisfying! Your friends will beg for this recipe. Click here for the recipe.
5. Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches This cheddar cheese spread, so well-known across the South, has many variations, but today I’m sharing my version with you. See the recipe below! I love to serve this to friends by creating bite-size sliders with Sister Schubert’s Parker House Rolls. My secrets? Adding onion grated using the large holes on a box grater, and then giving the whole mixture a kick with a little Worcestershire sauce.
Serve Appetizers with Flair Part of the fun of serving appetizers is the variety they add to your menu. That concept also extends to the way you arrange them on the kitchen counter, coffee table, or buffet. I use an assortment of serving trays in varying heights — fat trays, footed trays, tiered trays, even cake stands — to hold my appetizer assortments.
In the spring, I also like to add edible flowers such as roses and pansies to my food trays. It just gives a little color and some wispy, spring romance to special occasions this time of year. (Check with your florist for the seasonal flowers in your area that are safe to pair with food.)
It’s my hope that you’ll share these appetizer recipes with the people you love. The fact that they are simple to make doesn’t lessen their value. The value lies in bringing folks together around the kitchen island, a card table, or a patio table at a cookout. An afternoon or evening with friends and family is one that is well spent. There’s not much in this life that’s worth more than that. #MakeAllDinnersWarm
Sister’s Pimiento Cheese Recipe —from Celebrations from the Heart Cookbook (c. 2014)
2 red bell peppers 2 cups grated extra-sharp white cheddar 2 cups grated extra-sharp yellow cheddar 4 ounces cream cheese, softened ½ cup homemade mayonnaise (or Duke’s) Freshly ground black pepper to taste 4 to 5 dashes of Tabasco ¼ cup onion, grated, using large holes on a box grater 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Quarter and seed peppers. Place them, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for 9 to 10 minutes or until skin is totally black. Pull foil up around peppers to make a tightly sealed bag, allowing peppers to steam. When peppers are cool enough to handle, peel and discard the blackened skin. Dice the roasted flesh into a medium dice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix cheeses, mayonnaise, black pepper, Tabasco, onion and Worcestershire sauce with a mixer. A food processor may be used, taking care to not over blend. Add diced peppers and stir well, but do not process.
Chill and serve with assorted crackers or on sliders.
Yield: 4 cups
NOTE: You may also purchase jarred roasted peppers if you don’t have time to do your own. They are usually found near the pickles at the supermarket.
Patricia Barnes, a.k.a. Sister Schubert, is an Alabama native who started a homemade bread business in her own kitchen and became an icon in the bread-making industry with her beloved yeast rolls. Sister Schubert’s® products are made with the same recipe Barnes’ grandmother used a century ago. For more, visit sisterschuberts.com.