Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

bacon-water-chestnuts

I believe that I found this recipe on allrecipes.com.  But honestly, I can’t remember anymore.  The point is that I love, love, love these appetizers!  They are very messy, so have forks and napkins ready.  If you prefer less sauce, they are just as good with half of the called-for amount.  I especially enjoy serving these at Christmas or New Year’s parties.

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C. brown sugar
  • 1 C. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb. bacon
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans water chestnuts, drained

Directions:

In small bowl combine brown sugar, ketchup and Worcestershire.  Refrigerate.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Cut bacon strips in half.  Wrap one halved slice of bacon around each water chestnut.  Secure with a toothpick or place seam-side down in 9″ x 13″ cake pan.  Bake wraps about 45 minutes for crispness.  (If desired you can broil them in metal pan for about 15 minutes instead.)  Remove from oven and drain grease from pan.  You can use a cooling rack to keep wraps in place when pan is tilted for draining.  Drizzle refrigerated sauce over wraps and bake 30-35 minutes more.  Let cool slightly.  Serve warm.

*Note: This recipe makes a lot of sauce.  If preferred, you can halve the amount of brown sugar, ketchup and Worcestershire that you use.

Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

cream-cheese-roll-ups

I got this recipe years ago from a friend at church.  She brought them to a baby shower and I had to get the recipe for myself!  My family loves them and we had fun brainstorming alternative fillings.

Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz. mild green chiles, drained
  • 1 C. shredded cheddar
  • 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (optional)
  • 4-5 flour tortillas

Directions:

In medium bowl, mix sour cream, cream cheese, chiles, cheddar, and taco seasoning (if desired).  Spread evenly on tortillas.  Roll up each tortilla somewhat tightly.  Place in gallon ziploc or wrap in plastic wrap.  Put in fridge to chill.  Once chilled and firm, place on cutting board and slice into bite-size spirals.  Serve with salsa.

*Variation: luncheon meat & diced dill pickle instead of green chiles (omit taco seasoning)

Taco Dip

taco-dip

Who doesn’t love taco dip?  We’ve been known to have this for lunch, though I’m sure it isn’t the healthiest option.  Feel free to customize the toppings according to what your family likes.  I got this recipe from my brother’s girlfriend’s mom when we attended a graduation party at their house.

Taco Dip

Ingredients:

  • 4 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning
  • 1 can refried beans
  • shredded lettuce
  • 1 lg. can sliced black olives
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • green onion, chopped (to taste)
  • 2 C.+ shredded cheddar
  • 1-2 lg. bags Fritos or tortilla chips

Directions:

In large bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning.  Mix thoroughly.  Spread mixture evenly in jellyroll or cake pan.  Layer toppings over cream cheese mixture: beans, lettuce, olives, tomatoes, onions, and cheese.  Cover and chill.  Serve with chips.

Appetizer Pizza

Appetizer Pizza

 

I got this recipe from a good friend of mine.  It is a favorite in her family and regularly shows up at family functions.  We gave it a go and love it, too!  You can serve it with any kind of Triscuit® cracker you like.  We even eat this for dinner sometimes–don’t tell on us!

Appetizer Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 C. sour cream
  • 1/4 C. plus 1-2 Tbsp. ranch dressing
  • 1/4 C. ketchup
  • assorted toppings–diced ham, diced turkey, pepperoni, chopped cucumbers, sliced black olives, diced carrots, diced broccoli, diced cauliflower, shredded cheese
  • 1 box Triscuit crackers

 

Directions:

In medium bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream and 1/4 C. ranch dressing.  Spread on platter a little larger than a dinner plate.  In small bowl, mix ketchup and remaining dressing.  Spread on top of cream cheese layer to within 1/2″ of the edge.  Top with meat, vegetables, and cheese.  Chill.  Serve with Triscuits.

Brie Jack-o’-lantern Appetizer

Brie Appetizer 1

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I’d like to share with you another fun appetizer or light meal idea for the fall season.  Our family had this several nights ago.  Out of the seven of us (five 10 years and under), there was only one person who didn’t care for it.  We got the idea from the Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook.  It’s another recipe that my 8-year-old picked out.

Brie Appetizer 3First things first–the recipe calls for Brie cheese which is a very buttery, soft, French cheese.  Warming it up really does wonders.  It also calls for Apricot fruit spread.  This matters because you need a spread that’s more fluid than jam or preserves.  If you can locate those two items, the rest is easy.

Brie Appetizer 2

I just eyeballed the jack-o’-lantern face, using a sharp knife.  I also scooped out a little of the insides with a toothpick.  You want to make some space to fill in with the apricot spread.

Brie Appetizer 4

How cute does that little face look?  Honestly, that’s the most difficult part of making this–carving the face.  After that you’re home free.  Once it’s warmed up (at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes), just serve it with crackers, apple slices and apricot fruit spread.  I especially loved the crackers, Brie and fruit spread together.  Yummy!

Vegan Olive-Stuffed Mushrooms

IMG_7900 cr

This was my first foray into making stuffed mushrooms and I must admit that I was a little intimidated.  I don’t like finicky food, but this turned out to be fairly straightforward.  I’ve tried searching for the recipe’s origin, but I can’t find it online.  Please let me know if you find it!

This is a vegan recipe, but I ended up using regular mozzarella cheese in it because we were out of shredded vegan cheese.  The flavors are quite strong, so I’m certain that the vegan cheese would taste good, too.  I did use tofu cream cheese and that worked out great.  Also, I skipped the seasoned bread crumbs because we didn’t have any.  These are fabulous right out of the oven, but not quite as awesome the next day–best when fresh.  On with the recipe!

IMG_7896 cr

Ingredients:

  • 12 lg. white button mushrooms
  • 1/4 C. Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 C. black olives, chopped
  • 1/4 C. Spanish olives, chopped
  • 1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 C. onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 C. tofu/soy cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz. tofu cream cheese
  • seasoned bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Clean mushrooms and remove stems.  Place mushrooms in boiling water for 1 minute to blanch.  Drain and pat them dry.  In large bowl, mix olives, basil, onion, garlic, tofu/soy cheese, and tofu cream cheese.  Spoon this mixture into the mushroom caps.  Sprinkle with seasoned bread crumbs.  Cover baking sheet with parchment paper and line up mushrooms on pan.  Bake 10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Serve immediately.

IMG_7898 crMushrooms waiting to go in the oven

IMG_7899 crThere was extra filling, so I just baked it in a soufflé dish and saved it for something else.

It was great on crackers!