Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Thinking Ahead...

you know, football season is just around the corner...then there is Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays for gatherings and entertaining.
Trying to think of appetizers/dips/spreads that would be easy to throw together on short notice should friends or family stop by.
Here are some old & new favorites!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

If you love Buffalo wings, you will love this dip.
All the flavors from one of America's favorite appetizers come
together in a no-muss hot dip. Use canned chicken,
rotisserie chicken from the deli, or your own leftover cooked chicken.
Serve hot with celery sticks, crackers, or my favorite Frito Scoops.
This could not be easier to throw together.

•8 ounces cream cheese, softened
•1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
•1/2 cup any flavor Frank's® RedHot® Sauce
•1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
•2 cans (9.75 oz. each) Swanson® White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained OR 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Heat oven to 350 F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish.
Stir until smooth.
Mix in salad dressing, Frank's® RedHot Sauce® and cheese.
Stir in chicken.
Bake 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir.
Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or Frito scoops.

Stuffed Mushrooms

This is an excellent choice if you're looking for a cheesy, meat-free appetizer. The mushroom caps are stuffed with a lively mixture of roasted red peppers, artichokes, and Boursin cheese. Use baby portabella mushrooms or regular mushrooms in this recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutesYield: Makes about 2 Dozen
•20 to 24 medium to large mushrooms, baby portabella or button
•2 tablespoons butter
•1/4 cup finely chopped onion
•1 can (15 ounces) artichokes, drained and finely chopped
•1/4 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
•1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
•1 package (5.2 ounces) Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs
•fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish or spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
Wash the mushrooms and carefully remove the stems. Set the caps aside.
Chop the stems finely.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and finely chopped mushroom stems. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the finely chopped artichokes and roasted red bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until hot. Add the bread crumbs and Boursin cheese. Cook, stirring, until well blended and hot.
Arrange the mushroom caps in the prepared baking dish. Fill the caps and top each with a little shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are browned. Turn on the broiler and broil until lightly browned.
Serve the stuffed mushrooms warm.
Makes about 2 dozen.

Fried Manchego Cheese with Apricot-Sage Dipping Sauce

Yield: 2-4 servings


½ cup apricot preserves
2 teaspoons white wine
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
6 ounce wedge of Manchego or other strong flavored semi-hard cheese
1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons paprika
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
Pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Enough vegetable oil to fry the cheese.
3 fresh apricots, stones removed and cut into slices

In a small sauce pan over low heat, cook the preserves, wine and sage for five minutes to blend flavors. Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature. It will thicken back up to a jelly consistency. If not thick enough, refrigerate for a short time.
Remove rind if any and cut the cheese wedge into ¼ inch slices (about 12 slices total from one 6-ounce wedge).
In medium bowls, place flour and paprika in one, egg and milk in a a second and the seasoned breadcrumbs in the third. Mix the flour and paprika together and mix the egg and milk together. Start with a few pieces of cheese at a time and dip in flour and shake off excess, dip in egg then in bread crumbs. Make sure all surfaces are coated completely. If any spots show, place back in bread crumbs to coat. Repeat for remainder of the cheese.
In a medium heavy bottomed pan, heat oil to 350 degrees. Cook cheese in two batches letting oil get back to temperature between batches. Cook cheese in oil for a minute or less. You want to just get a nice brown coating and need to remove it before it cracks and breaks apart. Dry slightly on paper towels.
To serve, place a few cheese sticks, a few apricot slices and a small ramekin of the dipping sauce on individual plates. Garnish with a sage leaf. You can also place on a small serving platter and let your guests serve themselves.

Rose & Ivy Southern Pecan Cheese Bake
1/2 cup mayonnaise
One 8 oz pack cream cheese
One cup grated cheddar cheese
2 green onions (chopped)
6 Ritz crackers (crushed)
8 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
1/2 cup any Rose & Ivy Southern Pecan Pepper Glaze or Jelly
Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese and onions in greased quiche or pie plate. Top with
crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with bacon.
Drizzle Rose & Ivy Southern Pecan Pepper Glaze or Jelly over all and serve with crackers.

Veggie Snack Squares
8 oz. crescent roll dough
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 package ranch dressing mix
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 cup finely chopped broccoli
1 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
1 cup bacon bits
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Separate dough into two long rectangles. press to seal edges and place in a 13 x 9 baking pan. Press 1/2 inch up edges to form crust. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool.
Combine cream cheese, Ranch dressing mix until well blended. Spread over crust. Top with broccoli, bell peppers, bacon bits and Parmesan cheese. Cut into squares.
Makes 32 appetizers.

Paula's Caramelized Onion Dip
Paula George
3 large sweet onions, peeled and cut into strips
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
16 oz. sour cream
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. horseradish
In large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat; add onions, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until onions are caramelized(about 45 minutes) and golden brown. Set aside and cool. Mix remaining ingredients in large mixing bowl until smooth, add onions, beat with electric mixer for 1 minute to combine and chop the onions. Cover and chill 1 hour before serving.
Great served with tray of crudites, chips or crackers for dipping.

Paula's Smoked Salmon Spread
Paula George
1 lb. flaked smoked salmon (Alaskan Smoked Salmon, preferred)
1 lb. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp. dried dill
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. worcestershire
2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish (or more)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Delish, served with flatbread or "good" crackers to spread on.

I know KathyT has made this recipe numerous times and thought I would share it with others as she has always gotten rave reviews with it.
It is from "Some Like It South", a compilation of recipes from the Pensacola (my hometown)Jr. League.
Hope you enjoy!
Shrimp Dip
1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. lemon juice
1-5/8 oz. pkg. Italian dressing mix (like Good Seasons)
1-1/2 cups shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined and chopped
Blend well cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice and dressing mix. Fold in shrimp. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with crackers or chips.
Yields: 4 servings
p.s. you might want to double or triple the recipe!!!

I have been making these for years, they are always a crowd pleaser!
Bacon Stuffed Eggs
6 large eggs
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Garnish: chopped chives or paprika, if desired
Place eggs in a large saucepan; add water to depth of 3 inches. Bring to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.
Drain immediately and fill the saucepan with cold water and ice. Tap each egg firmly on the counter until cracks form all over the shell. Peel under cold running water.
Slice eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise. Add bacon and next 5 ingredients; stir well. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish, if desired.

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