4 simple snack recipes for your next cocktail party

If a night out isn't in the cards, throw your own party with an array of cocktails and snacks.

Mini bean cakes.
Mini bean cakes.

— Mette Nielsen, Special to the Star Tribune

Mini Bean Cakes

Serves 4 to 6 as appetizers.

Note: You can use any variety of beans, but it's best to focus on a single variety. When mixed, the beans turn a somewhat off-putting gray color. Not to worry, they taste great. Serve these warm.From Beth Dooley.

• 2 c. cooked beans, drained

• 1 to 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, or to taste

• Several dashes hot sauce

• Salt and cracked pepper to taste

• 1/4 c. finely chopped green onions

• 2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

• 1/2 c. rolled oats

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a food processor, pulse together the beans, lime juice, hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse in the green onions and cilantro.

Put oats in a shallow dish. Using your hands, shape the bean mixture into small patties and dip each side into the oats before putting on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes or until they begin to look firm. Flip and continue baking until firm and cooked through, about 8 to 10 more minutes.

Curried Nuts

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

From "The Big Book of Appetizers," by Meredith Deeds.

• 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

•2 tsp. curry powder

• 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste

• 2 tbsp. sugar

• 1 tsp. salt

• 2 1/2 c. almonds, cashews or pecans (or a combination)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, curry powder, cayenne, sugar and salt. Add nuts and toss to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, for 12 to 15 minutes, until the nuts are toasted and fragrant.

Spicy Marinated Feta Cubes

Serves 6.

Note: This recipe needs to be prepared in advance to give it time to chill. From "The Big Book of Appetizers," by Meredith Deeds.

•10 oz. feta cheese, cut into 1/2-in. cubes

•1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil

•3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced

• 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

•1/2 tsp. oregano

Directions

Combine feta, olive oil, lemon juice, chile, garlic and oregano in a medium bowl. Cover and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

Warm Rosemary Olives

Makes about 2 cups.

From "The Big Book of Appetizers," by Meredith Deeds.

• 1 12 c. (12 oz.) mixed olives

• 2 (1-in.) strips lemon zest

• 2 (1-in,) strips orange zest

• 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

•1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

In a medium saucepan, combine olives, lemon zest, orange zest, rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil and heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, until fragrant, being careful not to brown the garlic. Serve warm.