Appetizers – we got ’em!


My ‘in box’ is overflowing with GREAT recipes – especially Appetizers, so I thought: “Why not just do an all-appetizer post!?” Here ya go:


Parmesan Puffs

2 1/2 C. milk
1 1/4 C. margarine
2 1/2 C. flour
10 eggs
3 3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

5 C. marinara sauce

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease medium baking
sheet. In medium saucepan
bring milk & margarine to boil
over medium-high heat. Stir in
flour; reduce heat to Low &
vigorously stir until thick enough
to form a ball – remove from heat.
Beat eggs into mixture until
smooth; stir in Parmesan. Drop
dough by rounded teaspoonfuls
onto sheet. Bake 15 minutes until
puffed & golden brown.
Serve with warmed marinara sauce,
for dipping. Makes 10 servings

No-Brainer Shrimp Spread

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
room temp.
2 (6 oz, ea) cans cocktail shrimp,
drained or 1/4 lb. fresh, cooked
shrimp, diced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 (12 oz) bottle shrimp seafood
cocktail sauce

crackers, for dipping

Mix softened cream cheese, 2/3rds
of shrimp, sliced onions & 1/2 bottle
of shrimp cocktail sauce. Mix well,
adding more sauce if needed to make
mixture a spreading consistency.
Place in a serving bowl, place a thin
layer of cocktail sauce over top.
Arrange remaining shrimp on top,
as decoration. Chill, then serve
with crackers of your choice.
Serves 8

Blue Cheese/Pecan-stuffed Dates

4 slices bacon
1/2 small red onion, chopped
3 T. orange juice
1/2 C. blue cheese, crumbled
2 1/2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. chopped pecans, divided
24 pitted dates

Cook bacon in large skillet over
medium heat until crisp; drain on
paper towels, reserving 1/2 tsp.
bacon grease in skillet. Add onion
& cook over medium heat until
softened, 3-4 minutes. Add orange
juice & cook, scraping up any
browned bits, until liquid is
evaporate, 1-2 minutes more.
Transfer mixture to medium bowl;
let cool. Crumble bacon into onions,
add cheeses & half of pecans – stir
well to combine. Stuff each date with
a heaping teaspoon of mixture & top
with remaining pecans.
Serves 12


Fire Crackers

1 lb. unsalted saltine crackers
(4 sleeves)
1 C. canola oil
1 (1 oz) pkt. ranch salad dressing
2 T. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

In a large air-tight container, line
crackers on ends (like dominoes).
In small bowl mix oil, dry dressing
mix, peppers & garlic powder – stir
until all ingredients are well mixed.
Continue to stir to prevent pepper
from settling to bottom of bowl.
Spoon mixture evenly over crackers,
like drizzling icing on a cake. Close
lid tightly & flip container over
every 5 minutes for about 20
minutes. Lightly shake back &
forth to make sure all crackers
are coated. Store in ziplock bag;
will keep about a week.
Makes 24 servings.


Loaded Cheeseball Bites

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
8 slices bacon, cooked/finely
1/3 C. finely chopped chives
1/3 C. finely chopped pecans

stick pretzels

Mix cream cheese, Cheddar, garlic
powder, paprika & season with salt/
pepper. Form mixture into 18 small
balls & refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
In shallow bowl or on a plate, stir
cooked/chopped bacon, chives &
pecans; roll balls in mixture &
insert a stick pretzel into each
ball. Serve  – if not serving
right away, loosely cover with
plastic wrap & return to fridge.
Let stand at room temp. 15
minutes before serving.
Makes 18

BBQ Bacon Cheeseball

6 sttrips bacon, cooked crisp,
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/3 C. BBQ sauce of your choice
1/4 C. chopped pecans

crackers and/or cut up fresh
veggies, for dipping

In large bowl mix half of bacon, half
green onions, cream cheese, Cheddar
cheese & BBQ sauce; stir until evenly
combined. Taste & season with salt/
pepper, if needed, stirring mixture once
more to incorporate. Transfer mixture
to center of a large sheet of plastic
wrap. Form mixture into a ball & wrap
tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate
(or freeze) at least 1-2 hours until
mostly firm. Add remaining bacon,
green onions & pecans to large plate;
using your fingers, combine them.
Unwrap cheeseball & place in center
of plate; gently roll ball until it’s
coated with mixture. Serve immediately
with crackers or cut up veggies for
dipping. (Or wrap & refrigerate ball
until you are ready to serve it.)
Serves 12-16

Jalapeno-Red Pepper Cheeseball

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. grated sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar
1/2 C. finely diced red bell pepper (seeds/
stem removed)
1/3 C. finely diced jalapeno (seeds/stem
2 finely minced cloves garlic
(optional: 1/3 C. chives, chopped green
or red onion, corn or bacon bits)
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1/2 C. sliced almonds

In large bowl add all ingredients except
nuts; stir to combine (can use a hand-
held elec. mixer on Low speed). Make
sure cream cheese is very well softened
before beginning or it will be very
difficult to combine all ingredients. Using
a spatula or your hands, pat mixture
into a ball shape inside bowl. Tear off
a large piece of plastic wrap & place
ball on wrap; wrap up ball & place in
a ziplock bag (to prevent fridge smells).
Refrigerate at least 3 hours (or overnight)
to chill & firm up.
Before serving:
Combine nuts in medium bowl & gently
roll ball in nuts until completely covered.
Cheeseball can be made days in advance,
but do not roll in nuts until day of serving.

Creamy Baked Double Cheese &
Sweet Onion Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. mayonnaise
6-8 oz. grated cheese, divided (poster
used Gouda)
1 medium-large sweet Vidalia onion,
peeled/diced (about 1 heaping cup)
1 tsp. black pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

chips, bread chunks, crackers, bagel
chips, pita chips, Fritos Scoops,
mini toasts, fresh cut veggies

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9″ pie plate (or 10″
oven-safe baking dish) with
nonstick spray
In large bowl add all ingredients
(reserve 1/2 C. cheese for topping)
stir to combine. Turn mixture
into prepared dish, smooth top
with spatula. Evenly sprinkle
reserved cheese on top & bake
45-50 minutes until top is golden
brown & bubbly. Allow to cool
before serving.
Dip will keep (in airtight container)
in fridge up to 5 days. Gently
re-heat in microwave before
serving. Serve with dippers

Everything on a bagel Cheeseball

4 tsp. poppy seeds
4 tsp. sesame seeds
4 tsp. dried garlic
4 tsp. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. salt
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 scallions, thinly sliced
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

crackers, chips, cut up fresh veggies

Mix dry spices in a bowl. In large
bowl mix cream cheese & sour cream
until thoroughly combined. Mix in
cheese, scallions & bacon. Cut off a
large section of plastic wrap &
place on counter – scoop out mixture
onto wrap & form into a ball.
Refrigerate overnight or at least
2 hours. When ready to serve, unwrap
ball & place spice mixture on a plate.
Roll cheeseball in seasonings until
outside of ball is totally coated.
Serve with crackers/chips.


Taco Cheeseball

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1/4 C. taco seasoning mix
2 T. diced/seeded jalapeno peppers
1 (4 oz) can diced black olives, drained
1 C. crushed tortilla chips (or Doritos)
2 C. shredded lettuce
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved

chips, crackers

In large bowl beat cream cheese with
taco seasoning until well blended; add
jalapenos & black olives, mix well. Line
a 4-C. bowl with plastic wrap. Drop
mixture into bowl & wrap plastic
around cheeseball. Refrigerate at
least one hour (more is better). When
ready to serve, place shredded lettuce
& sliced tomatoes on a serving plate.
Fill a bowl with the crushed chips;
unwrap cheeseball & place in bowl –
press chips gently onto outsides of
ball. Place ball on a platter & serve
with chips & crackers. Serves 8-10

Cranberry/Almond/Bacon Cheeseball

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. white Cheddar cheese (or
feta, goat cheese or gorgonzola)
1/2 C. cooked/crumbled bacon
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1 T. finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C. chopped, roasted almonds

sliced baguette bread, crackers

In medium bowl place softened
cream cheese, white Cheddar, bacon,
cranberries, cilantro & Word. sauce –
blend together well. Spoon  mixture
onto a large piece of plastic wrap –
bring corners together & form a ball.
Place ball in a bowl, refrigerate at
least 3 hours until ball becomes firm.
When ready to serve, unwrap ball &
roll in chopped nuts until thoroughly
coated. Serve with sliced baguette
bread or your favorite crackers.

NOTE: one commenter suggested using
pistachio nuts in place of almonds –
for the color contrast!


AND the rest of the lights – YAY! I stayed
home last night from the (extra) special
needs group’s participation in the sponsoring
church’s Christmas program – was just a little
too tired from grocery shopping earlier
in the day. Yes – I hear you: I AM trying to
rest. There are a few spots on my body that
still have a bit of an ache, but I’m healing –
slowly. So happy I’m able to be up & about
as well as able to go & do things! That fall
could have been MUCH worse!  All that’s
left to do on my ‘to do list’ is wrap presents.
Conferred with other grandma yesterday
on adjustments to Christmas dinner: I
ended up making two executive decisions:
(1) changed Pecan Pie to Pecan Tarts –
it made more sense to have a smaller
dessert offering along with the double
chocolate cake & Fr. Vanilla ice cream
(2) changed Cheesy Deluxe potatoes to
good old Garlic Mashed – the last store
I was at was totally out of hash browns
and I just didn’t feel like either going to
another store OR anticipating doing that
any OTHER day, either – so decided to
just go with my husband’s GREAT Garlic
mashed potatoes (besides, he seemed
a bit put out that we weren’t doing
those for dinner, anyway!) It’s a win-
win situation! The other grandma
also informed me she’s also going
to make MORE cold sides! Something
about a cold macaroni salad, some
other cold stuff and also hot sweet
potatoes – let’s just say: WE WILL BE
STUFFED! (don’t think any of us
will be complaining, though, do you?)

Hope you are (to use a Brittish
expression) SPOT ON with your
Christmas preparations/baking/

Our weather has been REALLY GREAT
(for this time of year in Michigan,
anyway…) – it’s clear, roads are great/
clear, sun is shining and NO SNOW,
at least until Friday and they’re saying
less than an inch – hey, we got this!
Our temperatures have been a bit
warmer, also – High today is supposed
to be 38, that’s GOOD! So far, the
weather is going to be really great for
all the people driving/traveling during
the weekend and into the next week,
too! YAY!

Closing for now – lots more recipes
to get typed up for you (I love doing
that – gives me ideas and let’s me
share things with you, too!)



Published in: on December 22, 2016 at 3:15 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Be stuffed–I’ll say. I expect feathers on you and a gobble gobble when you speak to me next time!!

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