Three Easy Appetizers for Any Occasion

Mushroom bites, sweet potato skins and the best popcorn you've ever tasted

Credit: Flickr / Brandon Shigeta

Decadent peanut butter popcorn makes for a great game night treat

No one wants to spend hours slaving over a hot stove when hosting friends and family. Make it easy on yourself with these simple, delicious appetizers 

Whether it’s a casual game night with friends or your partner’s parents over for dinner, you’ve got enough to worry about when hosting people at your place.

Save the anxiety for the small talk with your mother-in-law and whip together these easy, delicious appies.

Mushroom Bites


  • 8 Portabella mushrooms (or 4 large Portabella mushroom caps)
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce (or your favourite tomato pasta sauce)
  • 1/2 oz. pepperoni/bacon/turkey slices (approx. 8 slices)
  • 2 large jalapenos
  • 2 oz. black olives
  • 3 oz. Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 egg whites


  1. Place the clean mushrooms (with the stems and centres scooped out) on a baking tray and bake for 7 minutes at 400 degrees.
  2. In the meantime, combine the grated Mozzarella and the egg whites in a bowl.
  3. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and add a dolop of tomato sauce and cheese mix to each mushroom centre. Top with an olive, jalapeno and pepperoni slice.
  4. Return the tray to the oven and broil on high for a couple of minutes or until the cheese has melted and started to brown.

Sweet Potato Skins


  • 2 medium or large sweet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bake sweet potatoes at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Cut the potatoes in half and while they are cooling, sauté the shallots and spinach with the butter over medium heat until cooked. Set aside.
  3. Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, coat the remaining peel with a thin drizzle of oil and bake for about 5 minutes until crispy on the outside.
  4. Mash the scooped out sweet potato bits with the yogurt and crushed garlic. Stir in chickpeas, spinach, and salt and pepper.
  5. Remove the skins from the oven and fill with the sweet potato mixture.
  6. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake again for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Chocolate Vanilla Popcorn


  • A big bowl of air-popped popcorn (around 10 cups)
  • About 4 cups of Reese’s Puffs
  • A couple cups or so of peanuts and/or almonds
  • 3 squares of white almond bark
  • 4 Tablespoons high quality cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 2 tsps of vanilla


  1. Pop the popcorn, then toss it with the peanut butter puffs and the peanuts, and layer on a large tray or baking pan (or two).
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl, melt the almond bark in the microwave.
  3. Add the peanut butter and cocoa to the almond bark and stir until properly mixed.
  4. Drizzle the chocolate peanut mixture over your popcorn and stir to make sure you are coating all the kernels and nuts properly.
  5. Throw in some coarse sea salt and mix some more.
  6. Let the popcorn sit for 15 – 30 minutes until the chocolate sets.
  7. Break the popcorn up into pieces and enjoy!