FOOD DRINK

Best store-bought appetizers

Are your guests feeling peckish? Silence the squawking with these store-bought snacks—Real Simple’s favorites from more than 150 sampled.

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Best Spinach Pie

Whole Kitchen Spanakopita

Extra-delicate layers of phyllo and a distinct touch of dill set this Greek classic apart. Kudos for the Feta-packed filling.

To buy: $6.50 for 12 pieces, Whole Foods Markets.

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Tom Schierlitz/Real Simple

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Room-Temperature Snacks:
Best Nut Mix

Sahale Snacks Nut Blend Soledad Almonds

Save the picked-over peanuts and cashews for some other Thursday. Thanksgiving calls for this sophisticated, warmly spiced blend of almonds, dried apples, and flaxseed.

To buy: $5 for a 5-ounce bag, at supermarkets.

Tom Schierlitz/Real Simple

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Best Spread

Va-Va Home Made Lutenica

Allow us to introduce you to this traditional Eastern Mediterranean relish: a sweet-and-spicy combo of red peppers, tomatoes, and carrots that’s delicious on toasted baguette slices.

To buy: $7 for a 19.4-ounce jar, at  gourmet stores and some supermarkets.

Tom Schierlitz/Real Simple

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Best Stuffed Olives

Divina Green Olives Stuffed With Feta

Move over, pimientos. Loaded with salty Feta, these meaty oversize Halkidiki olives are perfect for popping in your mouth—or martini glass.

To buy: $7 for a 12-ounce jar, at supermarkets.

Tom Schierlitz/Real Simple

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Best Marinated Vegetables

Williams-Sonoma Hand-Packed Mushrooms in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Gourmet mushrooms in a lively thyme-infused marinade catapult this offering, best served with toothpicks, far ahead of its soggy competition. Worth every penny.

To buy: $29 for a 21-ounce jar, at select Williams-Sonoma stores and williams-sonoma.com.

Tom Schierlitz/Real Simple

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Best Cheese Straws

Stonewall Kitchen Chipotle Cheddar Cheese Straws

Like Grandma’s, but with a spicy blast of chipotle, paprika, and cayenne. Addiction factor: scarily high.

To buy: $6.50 for a 5-ounce box, at gourmet stores and some supermarkets.

Tom Schierlitz/Real Simple

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Heat-and-Serve Snacks:
Best Mini Quiches

Nancy’s Petite Quiche

Nancy does well by Lorraine: Think smoky bacon, Swiss cheese, fresh chives, and fluffy eggs, all tucked into a delicate crust.

To buy: $4.50 for 12 pieces, at supermarkets.

Tom Schierlitz/Real Simple

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Best Crab Bites

Goodwives Hors D’Oeuvres Crab Puff Pastry

Pockets of tender pastry filled with a rich mixture of Atlantic crab, cream cheese, and curry. These will be pinched in no time.

To buy: $9 for 10 pieces, at gourmet stores and some supermarkets.

Tom Schierlitz/Real Simple

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Best Pigs in a Blanket

The Perfect Bite Co. Haute Dogs in a Blanket

Tasters went wee, wee, wee all the way back for seconds (and thirds). The bite-size sausages have that quintessential frankfurter snap.

To buy: $12.50 for 10 pieces, at gourmet stores and some supermarkets.

Tom Schierlitz/Real Simple

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Best Cheese Bites

Safeway Select Caramelized Onion & Gorgonzola Pastry Puffs

These flaky tartlets pair luscious blue cheese with sweet golden onions. (Virtuous? No. Delicious? Yesss! ) They’re mess-free, too: They bake in their own oven-safe tray.

To buy: $6 for 12 pieces, Safeway and Vons.

Tom Schierlitz/Real Simple

Best store-bought appetizers

Are your guests feeling peckish? Silence the squawking with these store-bought snacks—Real Simple’s favorites from more than 150 sampled.

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