Appetizers

Nacho Potato Skins

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Start to Finish: 1 hour

  • 6 medium potatoes, such as russet (2 pounds)
  • Cooking oil, shortening, butter, or margarine
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • Ground red pepper
  • 4 ounces co-jack cheese, cheddar cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, shredded (1 cup)
  • Toppers, such as dairy sour cream, salsa, guacamole, chopped tomato, chopped sweet pepper, sliced green onion, sliced pitted ripe olives, or snipped fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Thoroughly scrub potatoes; pat dry. Rub with cooking oil, shortening, butter, or margarine; prick potatoes with a fork. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes or till tender. (Or, microwave on high for 15 to 20 minutes or till tender.) Cut potatoes lengthwise into quarters. Scoop out the pulp, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Reserve the pulp for mashed potatoes or another use.

Brush both sides of the potato pieces with the 1/4 cup butter or margarine. Sprinkle the insides with seasoned salt and ground red pepper. Place potato pieces, skin sides up, on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 3 minutes.

Turn potato pieces skin sides down. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Broil 2 minutes more. Arrange the potato pieces on a heated serving platter. Serve with desired toppers. Makes 24 servings.

Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 16 large whole mushrooms (about 4 cups)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 oz. finely chopped cooked ham
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbs seasoned dried bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup egg substitute
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Remove stems from mushrooms.  Trim woody ends and coarsely chop stems.  Heat large nonstick skillet, sprayed w/nonstick cooking spray.  Add mushroom caps; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove mushrooms from skillet.  Add shopped stems, onion & garlic; cook, stirring frequently, 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees & spray 11”x17” baking pan w/nonstick cooking spray.  Remove skillet from heat.  Stir in ham, bread crumbs, egg substitute, cheese, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.  Spoon mushroom mixture evenly into caps.  Place mushroom caps filling side up in baking pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes, until browned. 

Pigs in a Blanket

  • 12 oz package of Hillshire Farm Beef Lit’l Smokies
  • 16 oz package of Pillsbury, Crescent Rolls

Cut each crescent triangle into 4 smaller triangles with a pizza cutter. Wrap the smokies in the triangles and cook according to the instructions for the crescent rolls.  Such an easy recipe but an all-time favorite.  Set these out and watch them disappear!

Mom’s Deviled Eggs

  • Eggs
  • Miracle Whip
  • Milk
  • Sour cream
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Paprika

Boil eggs.  I borrowed this from the Food Network website to help with this task :

“Place your eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, remove from the heat and set aside 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, cool in ice water and peel. “

Carefully cut eggs in half and scoop out cooked yolk. After you have done this with all of the eggs, mash egg yolks to get them as smooth as you can.  Mix in Miracle Whip and sour cream.  Add a little milk at a time until you get the right consistency.  Mixing thoroughly as you go.  Once you have the consistency you want and the mixture is smooth, add in the pickle relish and stir. Put this mixture back into the egg halves.  Once all halves are filled, sprinkle with paprika. 

Feta Cheese Appetizers

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 4 minutes

Broil: 2 minutes

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, cut up
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives or ripe olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted red sweet peppers
  • 1 teaspoon dried dillweed
  • 3 pita bread rounds

Preheat broiler. In a medium skillet cook onion and garlic in olive oil and sesame oil over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Remove from heat.

Add cream cheese and feta cheese; stir until mixture is nearly smooth. Stir in olives, sweet peppers, and dillweed. Set aside.

Using a long, serrated knife, split pita rounds in half horizontally to form two circles. Place, cut side up, on a large ungreased baking sheet. Broil 3 inches from heat for 1 minute or until pita rounds are lightly toasted. Spread each pita round with about 1/3 cup of the cheese mixture. Broil about 1 minute more or until hot. To serve, use a sharp knife or kitchen scissors to cut each round into 6 wedges.

Dilled Onion Cheese Ball

Source:  Better Homes and Gardens

Prep:  35 minutes  Chill:  4 hours

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 4 ounces Gouda cheese, finely shredded (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce for chicken
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dillweed
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • Assorted crackers and/or flatbread

In a large bowl, let cream cheese, shredded cheese, and butter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add milk and Worcestershire sauce. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir in green onion and dill. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours. Before serving, shape mixture into a ball. Roll ball in nuts and let stand 15 minutes. Makes about 2 cups.

Beer Cheese Spread

 Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Prep: 10 minutes
Chill: 2 to 24 hours

  • 2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Toasted pita chips, assorted crackers, and/or tortilla chips

Let the cheddar cheese stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl combine cheese, beer, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. Serve with pita chips. Makes about 1-1/2 cups (twelve 2-tablespoon servings).

Black Bean Nachos

Recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 13 minutes

  • 5 7- or 8-inch corn or flour tortillas or 4 cups tortilla chips (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, cheddar, queso quesadilla, Chihuahua, and/or asadero cheese (8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup roasted red sweet peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh or canned sliced jalapeno peppers, drained
  • Salsa (optional)

For tortilla chips, stack tortillas and cut into wedges with scissors or a sharp knife. Place wedges in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove the chips from oven. Arrange tortilla chips in one layer, overlapping slightly, on an 11- or 12-inch ovenproof platter.

In a medium saucepan combine black beans and the 1/2 cup salsa; cook and stir over medium heat just until heated through. Remove from heat; spoon bean mixture over chips.

Sprinkle cheese, sweet peppers, and jalapeno peppers over bean mixture on chips. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately with additional salsa, if desired. Makes 10 servings.

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