Category: Appetizers

Cajun Meatballs




1 pound lean ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup barbeque sauce
1/2 cup peach preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix thoroughly the ground beef, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, onion, bread crumbs, milk, and egg.
Form the mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until there is no pink left in the middle.
In a small bowl, combine the barbeque sauce and peach preserves.
When meatballs are done, place in a serving dish and cover with the barbeque sauce mixture. Toss to coat.

Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes & Mushrooms


1 cup part skim Ricotta Cheese
1/2 tsp -1 tsp basil (use your taste preference)
A couple dashes of salt and pepper
Large Mushrooms with stems removed
About 1 tbsp olive oil
chopped parsley and snipped chives (optional)

Mix ricotta cheese with basil, salt, and black pepper.
Wash mushrooms and remove stems.
Cut the tops off of tomatoes and scoop out the seeds; fill the cavities with the ricotta mixture.
Arrange the stuffed tomatoes and stuffed mushrooms in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and bake in a 400-degree oven until heated through.
Sprinkle with more snipped chives or finely chopped parsley before serving. These would be great to make ahead of time for a party, refrigerate until ready, then heat and serve.

Sweet & Spicy Cranberry Meatballs


2 pounds ground beef
22 saltine crackers, crushed
1/3 cup dry minced onion
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon garlic powder

Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Sauce
14 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
1/4 cup quality hoisin sauce like Kikkoman or Lee Kum Kee
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons-2 tablespoons Franks Buffalo Hot WINGS Sauce*
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Place a baking rack on top of a baking sheet. Set aside. (If you don’t have a baking rack, line baking sheet with parchment paper.)
In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients, mix until well combined. Roll meat mixture into desired meatball size**. Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, add all of the Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Sauce ingredients starting with just 2 teaspoons hot wings sauce to a bowl and mix to combine. You can add more hot sauce to taste at the end of cooking.
Line the bottom of your slow cooker with meatballs, then a layer of Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Sauce, then the remaining meatballs followed by the remaining. Sauce. Gently stir meatballs an hour after cooking.
Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours. Taste and stir in additional hot wings sauce (I use a total of 2 tablespoons which is spicy) Keep warm until serving.

*No other hot sauce will taste as good!!! But if you have to substitute, you may need to use quite a bit more as Franks Hot Wings Sauce (not their regular hot sauce) is quite spicy. SEE BELOW for more recipes using Frank’s Hot WINGS sauce.
**Makes approximately 70 meatballs using 1″ cookie scoop; 35 meatballs using 2″ cookie scoop.

Crab Meat Imperial


1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over to remove any shell and cartilage
1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped pimentos
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
4 artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons paprika
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat, scallions, bell pepper, pimento, egg yolk, dry mustard, artichoke hearts, paprika and one-half cup of the mayonnaise. Stir until well-mixed and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the crabmeat mixture into four one-cup baking dishes; then cover with the remaining mayonnaise. Sprinkle Parmesan and bread crumbs on top and bake in the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes until heated through. Serve immediately, Enjoy!
One pound of blanched crawfish tails can be substituted for the crabmeat

Everything Cheese Ball


YIELD 2 balls
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1⁄2 cup sour cream
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
1 (2 ounce) jar pimiento
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
10 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled
1⁄2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 dash salt
1 dash pepper
1⁄4 cup snipped parsley
1 tablespoon poppy seed
assorted cracker

Let swiss and cheddar cheeses come to room temperature. In a large bowl beat together cream cheese and sour cream till fluffy. Beat in swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, onion, undrained pimiento, pickle relish, half of the bacon, 1/4 cup of the pecans, salt and pepper. Cover and chill till firm. Shape into 1 large or 2 small balls on wax paper. In a small bowl combine remaining bacon, pecans, parsley, and poppy seeds. Turn mixture out onto clean clean sheet of waxed paper.
Roll cheese balls in seed mixture to coat. Wrap and chill. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving. Serve with crackers.
photo: food. com

Thanksgiving Turkey Veggie Tray



2 green peppers, sliced in thin strips or sugar snap peas
1 lb baby carrots (setting aside 3 carrots)
2 red peppers, sliced into thin strips- saving one end ( whole for the face of the bird)
1 cucumber slices
1 pint vegetable dip


Put the container of veggie dip on the bottom of the tray. This will be the head.
Arrange the green pepper strips or sugar snap peas along the outer edge of the serving tray, but don’t cover the bottom.
Then add each layer of veggies, overlapping the previous layer. Don’t cover the bottom of the tray. These first layers of veggies are supposed to look like the turkey’s back feathers. Red pepper strips, then baby carrots, ending with the cucumbers in the center.
Use the red pepper end for the face by placing it in the dip. Take the 3 baby carrots you set aside and carve one into the beak and the other two into the feet and place accordingly just like the photo 😉

Bacon Wrapped Smokies


1 pound sliced bacon, cut into thirds
1 (14 ounce) package beef cocktail wieners
3/4 cup brown sugar, or to taste

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Refrigerate 2/3 of the bacon until needed. It is easier to wrap the wieners with cold bacon. Wrap each cocktail wiener with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle brown sugar generously over all.
Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until the sugar is bubbly. To serve, place the wieners in a slow cooker and keep on the low setting.

**Optional** pour 1 cup of Maple Syrup on the bottom of crockpot- Place smokies in crockpot on warm setting- Enjoy!

Artichoke Dip


1 bag fresh or frozen spinach
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
½ cup sour cream or mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. green onion
handful of shredded or grated cheese
black pepper to taste
1 4oz can of chopped water chestnut.

Chop spinach and artichoke finely. Add all ingredients to bowl and mix to combine.The chestnut adds a crunch and really make a huge difference.
Refrigerate for a few hours and serve on serving dish with crackers.

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs


12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1 cup mayonnaise
1½ tsp rice vinegar
¾ tsp ground mustard
stevia or small amount of sugar to taste
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
6 pieces bacon, cooked, crisp, and crumbled

Slice the hard boiled eggs in half, lengthwise
Remove the yolks and put them in a mixing bowl
Mash the egg yolks with a fork
Add the mayonnaise, rice vinegar, ground mustard, and sugar to the mashed egg yolks and stir until well combined
Mix in the jalapenos and bacon
Put the mixture in a ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag
Fill each egg hole with the mixture
Sprinkle with paprika

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatballs


2 lbs Ground Beef (I used organic, range free, chemical free beef)
10 – 14 Pieces of Thick Cut Bacon (I used organic, range free, chemical free pork)
2 Large eggs (I used organic, range free, chemical free eggs)
1 1/2 Cups Italian Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Water
1 – 2 Tsp Garlic Powder (can use 1 to 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced)
1/2 Tsp Onion Powder (can use 1/4 cup finely chopped onions)
1 cup BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar Sauce)
Step 1
Place ground beef, eggs, water, bread crumbs, garlic, and onion powder into a bowl and thoroughly mix the ingredients together.
Step 2
Roll into approximately 20 – 22 golf sized balls.
Step 3
Cut the bacon in half and wrap each meatball with a half slice of bacon.
Step 4
Place meatballs about an inch apart on a foil covered pan with the bacon seam side down. Bake at 350F degrees for 20 minutes in center rack. *You can also place the meatballs on a cookie rack in the pan. This will keep the meatballs out of the bacon grease.*(If you use quality organic cuts of meat, you won’t have much grease)
Step 5
At 20 minutes, take pan out and drain out bacon fat. Brush on BBQ sauce and place back into the oven for 10 minutes and brush on more BBQ sauce. Drain out pan again if needed. Brush on more BBQ sauce and place back into the oven for 5 minutes. *If you’re not big on BBQ sauce, you can skip the third brushing of BBQ and serve BBQ sauce on the side*
Step 6
Drain any remaining bacon fat and serve.