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It’s summer. It’s hot. Too hot – I think the heat is to blame for my missing culinary mojo. There’s just something about 95 degree temperatures that makes turning on my oven a little less appealing than normal.

With all the heat, blue skies, and an 85 acre pond in our backyard, we’re kind of used to last minute entertaining. So we keep the fridge stocked with simple, fresh ingredients that can be transformed into delicious eats without too much cooking involved.

For our recent Fourth of July festivities, I decided to keep things pretty effortless and portable, so people wouldn’t have to be tied to the table while enjoying the food. One of the most well received items on the menu were these easy Greek Salad Skewers. With only 6 ingredients and minimal prep time, these Greek Salad Skewers couldn’t be easier – or cuter!

Now, here’s where things get a little fun! I want you to share YOUR favorite appetizer recipe that uses 6 ingredients or less (see below for specifics) for the chance to win a $600 gift card. I’ve teamed up with American Express and their Dinner @ 6 promotion to create simple appetizer recipes that use 6 ingredients or less.

Are you seeing a theme here with the number 6? Let me explain. American Express recently launched two cash back credit cards – Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday.

One of the most exciting benefits of the Blue Cash Preferred card is that Cardmembers receive 6% cash back for purchases at the supermarket – the highest cash back rate available for grocery purchases! With these new Blue Cash® Cards, there are no spend minimums, cash back caps, ongoing enrollments or rotating categories of cash back benefits. Which is a pretty sweet deal when used responsibly.

Greek Salad Skewers


12 grape tomatoes
4 ounces feta cheese, cut into 12 (1/2-inch) cubes
1 mini cucumber sliced into 12 pieces
12 pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons Za’atar*.

12 (4-6 inch) bamboo or wood skewers


1. Thread the skewers starting with a tomato, then a piece of feta cheese, a cucumber and an olive. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

2. Just before serving, arrange skewers on a platter, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Za’atar.


- I highly recommend finding Za’atar. It’s such a great spice (a blend of sumac, sesame seeds and herbs) to have on hand. I love the brand Urban Accents because it’s flavorful and readily available at my local market.

All images and text ©

Follow Jamie on Instagram. We love to see what you're baking from MBA! Be sure to tag @jamiemba and use the hashtag #mbarecipes!


Requirements for Participation

One winner will receive a $600 Gift Card from American Express:
1. Submit your favorite APPETIZER recipe that features 6 ingredients or less. You MUST cut and paste the entire recipe into the comment form. If you have a blog, please also provide a link to the post.
2. You may submit 2 recipes – leave each recipe in a separate comment.
Seasonings, spices and herbs, garlic, vinegars and oils DO NOT count as one of the 6 ingredients.
3.. Contest ends July 23, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Entries that do not follow the directions above will be deleted without notification.
4. Winner will be posted in a follow up post by July 29, 2011.
5. Contest open to US residents only.
6. Winner will be chosen via and will have 3 days to respond or a new winner will be selected.

Additional Entries

If you also have a MAIN COURSE recipe that uses 6 ingredients or less, be sure to head over to goodLife {eats} and enter on Katie’s blog as well. Good luck!


This post and the giveaway are sponsored by American Express. The views and opinions expressed within this post are my own.


  1. Liz M. says:

    Fresh Salsa

    3 lg. ripe tomatoes, seeded & diced
    1 lg. onion, diced
    3 jalapeno peppers, chopped, seeds reserved
    3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
    2 tsp. lemon juice
    1/2 c. firmly packed fresh cilantro, minced.
    Salt & pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients in large bowl, omitting jalapeno seeds to make a less spicy salsa. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavor to develop. Mixture may be processed in blender or food processor prior to refrigeration if a less chunky salsa is desired.

  2. Liz M. says:

    Orange BBQ Chicken Skewers

    1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
    2 c. pineapple chunks
    1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
    1 green pepper, cut into chunks
    1/2 c. barbecue sauce
    3 T frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

    Using 8 long wooden skewers, (two, side by side, for each kabob) thread chicken alternately with peppers and pineapple onto skewers, to create 4 kabobs.

    Mix barbecue sauce and juice; brush on kabobs.
    Grill kabobs on medium high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, brushing occasionally with remaining sauce.

  3. Summer says:

    This is a fruit dip that is so easy and really good.

    Fruit Dip

    1 brick (8 oz) of Cream Cheese
    3/4 C. brown sugar
    1/4 C. sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Cream together. Chill

  4. Casey Powell says:

    Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce

    3 cups Greek Yogurt
    juice of one lemon (about 3 T)
    1 garlic clove, chopped
    2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
    1 T finely chopped fresh dill (can substitute mint leaves for a slightly different version)
    Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

    If you don’t have Greek yogurt, strain plain yogurt as described above. Peel cucumbers, then cut in half lengthwise and take a small spoon and scrape out seeds. Discard seeds. Slice cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1 T salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel. cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1 T salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel.

    In food processor with steel blade, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir this mixture into the yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. Serve with pita chips, pita bread, carrots, or anything!

  5. Casey Powell says:

    Buffalo Chicken Dip

    2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese
    1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
    1/2 cup ranch dressing
    1/4 cup hot wing sauce ( I use Pete’s ) you can use more for a hotter/spicier flavor
    1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (reserve some cheese to put on top before baking)
    2 to 4 cups boneless shredded chicken breasts ( I use close to 4 cups)

    Boil chicken breasts in salted water or chicken stock for flavor. After they have cooled, cut them in half and shred.
    Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Put mixture in a baking dish. Top with extra cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. It should be bubbly and a bit brown on the edges. Serve with chips (Frito’s), carrots, sliced cucumber celery or bread.

  6. logan says:

    Baked Brie

    1 wheel of brie
    1 sheet of puff pastry dough
    4 tablespoons honey
    apple slices
    crackers of your choice

    Preheat oven to 350. Using a nonstick baking sheet, place brie on top of puff pastry. Drizzle with honey and fold each corner of the pastry over the brie so that it is completely wrapped up. You can cut off any excess pastry dough. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a nice golden brown. (In the last 5 minutes you can pull out and drizzle more honey on top of the puff pastry if you wish). Cool for about 10 minutes. Serve with sliced apples, grapes, and crackers. So delicious!

  7. logan says:

    mixed stone fruit salsa
    1 c chopped cherries
    1 c chopped plums
    1 cup chopped peaches
    1/2 c chopped red onion
    1 mince jalapeno
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
    1 tbsp minced basil leaves
    1 tsp kosher salt

    mix assorted stone fruits, jalapeno, onion, garlic and basil together in a medium size bowl. add your lime juice, olive oil and salt. enjoy immediately or let sit in the fridge for about an hour.

  8. Linda says:

    Vegetable oil for frying
    1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    12oz beer or club soda
    3 stiffly beaten egg whites
    2 doz. Zucchini blossoms
    Sea Salt

    In a large pot heat 2″ of oil until 350 on a deep fry thermometer. Combine flour, salt, and beer wisk until just blended, fold in the stiff egg whites. one by one dredge the blossoms in the batter and lay them in the oil, don’t croud the pan. Cook flipping once with a spider or slotted spoon until golden brown about 2 to 3 min. total. Transfer to paper towels and sprinkle with some sea salt,,,,Enjoy them while there HOT !!!!

  9. Charity S says:

    Olive Treat

    ½ cup of Olives (pitted)
    ½ cup of Cherry Tomatoes
    1/2 tsp. Fresh Basil
    1 tsp. Olive Oil
    Pinch of Salt

    Combine olives, tomatoes, and basil in a bowl. Toss mixture with the olive oil. Lastly sprinkle the salt over the mixture. Serve and enjoy.