White Beans and sardines: Puree canned cannellini beans with roasted garlic, canned artichokes, olive oil and lemon juice for a white bean spread to serve with smoked sardines on toast.
Tuna and avocado toasts: Fork mash avocado with olive oil and lemon juice. Grill some flatbread, spread with the avocado mash, and top with grapefruit segments, good canned tuna and coarse sea salt.
Shrimp and squash skewers: Skewer some small shrimp with lightly blanched winter squash and grill. Serve with a simple salsa verde of minced herbs, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice.
DAVID BURKE, chef of several New York restaurants, including David Burke Townhouse:
Parmesan pops: Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Place wooden skewers about 4 inches apart on the paper. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese in a circle on top of one end of the skewer, creating a cheese lollipop. Bake at 350° for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool, spray lightly with oil and sprinkle fine herbs.
Goat cheese lollies: Roll goat cheese into balls the size of a golf ball. Puree pistachios and roll the goat cheese balls through the nuts to encrust the cheese. Put a lollipop stick in the balls.
Black olive toasts: Puree black olives. Toast baguette slices and spread with ricotta cheese. Top with a dollop of olive puree.
WALTER ABRAMS, chef at Philadelphia's Le Bec-Fin:
Cucumber and Boursin tea sandwiches: Cut the crusts off good quality white sandwich bread. Make a sandwich using Boursin garlic and herb cheese and thinly sliced cucumber. Cut into attractive diamonds. Finish with a sprig of fresh chervil.
Caviar and quick chive cakes: Grab a box of pancake mix, add chopped chives and prepare according to the box instructions (omitting sugar, if called for). Griddle the cakes and top with a dollop of sour cream and your favorite caviar.
Bacony popcorn: Pop a bag of your favorite popcorn. While it's popping, sauté chopped bacon and sprinkle the top with brown sugar. And a dash of red wine vinegar. Add toasted cashews and the popcorn and serve hot.
BART PICKENS, chef at The Loveless Cafe in Nashville, Tenn.:
Easy smoked fish dip: Blend 2 parts smoked white fish, smoked oysters or smoked mussels with 1 part mayonnaise and 1 part cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper and use as a spread on French bread toast points, fresh vegetables or gourmet crackers.
Balsamic raisins: An excellent accompaniment for a cheese platter. Plump jumbo raisins in balsamic vinegar by simmering over low heat for 10 minutes.
Cheese crisps: Blend 1 cup each of flour and grated cheddar cheese in a food processor with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 egg and 1/2 stick of butter. On a piece of waxed or parchment paper, roll out into a 1/4-inch-thick disc. Cut into crackers (use holiday cookie cutters for more fun). Place the crackers on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Cream cheese and pepper jelly: A true Southern favorite, just two simple ingredients make for one delicious combination. Unwrap the cream cheese and place in the center of a platter before topping with a jar of hot pepper jelly.
CHRIS PAINTER, chef at Philadelphia's Il Pittore:
Fancy Italian subs: Brush slices of hearty country bread with extra-virgin olive oil, then grill. When toasted, top with thinly sliced prosciutto, serrano chili peppers and grated Parmesan. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
Stuffed figs: Take a whole toasted almond and wrap it in a basil leaf. Using the pointed end, push the nut through the fat end of a fresh fig, tucking it inside. Top with a little pat of butter or drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 5 to 8 minutes at 425°.
J.M. HIRSCH, AP food editor:
Brie with bourbon-balsamic glaze: Gently simmer 1 cup of bourbon and 1 cup of balsamic vinegar until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Season with black pepper. Drizzle while warm over a round of brie that has come to room temperature. Serve with slices of baguette.
Spring pea guacamole: In a food processor, combine the flesh of 2 avocados, a 15-ounce can of peas (drained), 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro, juice of 1 lime and a splash of hot sauce. Process until smooth, then season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature with crackers.
Feta cheese and honey: Arrange slices of feta cheese on a platter. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts and fresh oregano over it, then season with black pepper and smoked paprika. Drizzle honey over everything, then serve with baguette slices.