Hors d’ouvres in a flash

A lot of people, like myself, while they love to drink and eat fabulous food are more conscious about keeping their weight in check. Personally, I like nothing more than being invited to drinks and nibbles. There is the promise of multiple options which meets my love of variety and I don’t have to justify to anyone what I’m eating or not eating. I can just do as I please without explaining. Those who don’t care about calorie counting can fill their boots with abandon and without judgement, nobody is counting.

Personally I’m not a fan of bread based nibbles ( nightmare when am in Spain as its the base for most of the tapas menu’s) With the warmer months I like the cool crunch of cucumber. Luckily its perfect for cradling fillings, it can be cut to different sizes depending on whats going inside and is a lighter alternative. Last week friends came over to celebrate a long awaited flat transfer so I had 20 mins to be a responsible adult and put something together to offset the champagne headache. Luckily the fridge was well stocked and I was able to come up with three delightful combo’s which I’d be more than happy to serve at a dinner or more formal gathering. Minimal prep, zero cooking.

  •  cucumbers
  • smoked salmon
  • smoked mackerel with chilli
  • pesto and parmesan
  • cherry tomatoes
  • mayonnaise
  • wasabi
  • smoked paprika

Jalapeno and chilli mackerel/mayo/smoked paprika/spring onions and pepper.

Mix mayo, chopped mackerel and smoked paprika, scoop out the soft part of the cucumber slice with a spoon ( helps get a neat round bed for filler – don’t use a knife – disaster) and fill. Garnish with peppers and spring onion. Spicy and cool at the same time, super simple. If I was entertaining I’d use a fork to give the cucumber cup a striped look, depends on the occasion.


Classic with a twist – Salmon and wasabi mayo

Unfortunately I’d run out of preserved ginger but it these were lovely without. Mix wasabi with mayo, cut salmon into strips and roll to get a ‘rose’ and pop into the middle. These were my favourite, clean and simple, really delicious smoked salmon from Sutherlands of Portsoy.


Cherry tomato, pesto and parmesan

I’d made pesto with feta a few days previously so was easy to mix with cherry toms and add a sprinkle of cheese. I like a strong pesto, generally prefer rocket based ones but this one was classic basil, garlic, pine nut combo.



Already had made dark chocolate brownies. Cut them into bite sized squares, added cream and peach popaballs which am using in everything at the moment! They’re made for sparkling drinks but have been using them more for deserts. Instant wow factor!

Stripchocolat copy

Prosecco and rosehip jelly with peach and raspberry popaball.. downsized to ramekin – new rules of dessert in my house!


Really doesn’t pay to skimp on salmon especially if you’re doing simple nibbles – see Guide to Buying Salmon.  I buy mine from Sutherlands  More Popaball info here.




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