Party Cheese Ball

Be careful – you could eat this entire cheeseball in one sitting. It’s a great holiday party appetizer and very quick to make. The biggest challenge is waiting for all the cheese to get to room temperature – be sure to plan for that. Add your favorite cracker – and enjoy.

Party Cheese Ball

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Ingredients
  • 2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese
  • 1 (4 oz) pkg blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 (4 oz) pkg sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions
  1. Let cheeses stand at room temperature until softened.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, blue cheese, and cheddar cheese.
  3. Add onion and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Blend on low speed until mixed then medium speed until fluffy scraping side and bottom of bowl.
  5. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
  6. Can be rolled into one large ball or small balls.

 

Sassy Sangria

Consider this the perfect appetizer to any summer meal! The sangria is like a fruit cocktail in a glass with a slash (or wave) of alcohol. It’s just sweet enough – and a staple at all our summer family events.

Sassy Sangria

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Ingredients
  • 3 cups chianti
  • 1 cup brandy
  • ¼ cup orange flavored liqueur
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 8 fresh raspberries
  • 2 cups club soda, chilled

Instructions
  1. In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients except club soda.
  2. Cover tightly and refrigerate three hour to let flavors meld
  3. Pour ¾ cup sangria mixture into each of 8 wine glasses, dividing fruit equally.
  4. Top each glass with ¼ cup club soda
  5. Serve immediately.

 

Crispy Potato Wedges

Add these as a side dish or an appetizer for any meal. My mom always made these to go alongside a burger – and in college, I simply made these as a meal. These are delicious!

Crispy Potato Wedges

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Ingredients
  • 4 Medium Russet Potatoes (cut into large wedges)
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder

Instructions
  1. Cover potatoes with cold water for 15 minutes
  2. Preheat oven to 425 and grease large baking sheet
  3. Drain potatoes spread onto paper towels, pat dry.
  4. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and sprinkle with oil, pepper, salt. Toss to combine.
  5. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake 20 minutes, using a spatula turn potatoes and sprinkle with garlic.
  7. Bake until golden brown – about twenty minutes and turning after 10 minutes.

 

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Awesome savory meatballs for any social gathering!

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Ingredients
  • White bread
  • Hot milk
  • Onion soup mix
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ground beef

Instructions
  1. Sweet & Sour Sauce: Mix grape jelly with chili sauce.
  2. Meatballs: Mix bread with milk. Add salt and pepper to ground beef. Mix bread and beef. Roll into little balls. Bake at 350 on a cookie sheet. (Pressed on time, unseasoned ready made meatbals from Sams or Costco!
  3. Place meatballs in sauce to coat completely. Serve on platter with toothpicks.

Chili Con Queso

Favorite appetizer for football games!
Chili Con Queso (Chili with Cheese)

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Ingredients
  • ¼ cup margarine
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 can tomatoes (whole)
  • 1 can green chilis (small)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pound Monterrey Jack cheese

Instructions
  1. Fry onion in margarine.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes & chili.
  3. Add cheese in chunks until cheese melts in frying pan.
  4. If too thick, add some milk.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips.

 

 

Artichoke Dip

This has been a delicious appetizer plate that you have to push away so you don’t fill up before dinner. Use crackers or cut up small pieces of bread. Enjoy!

Artichoke Dip

Serves: 5

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Ingredients
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (14 oz)
  • 1 cup mayonaise (Hellman’s preferred)
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a baking dish
  2. Bake until cheese melts at 350 degrees

 

Cornbread

Cornbread is a great addition to chili! I always prefer to soak the bread in my chili and consume the saturated remains!  That combo makes a great compliment to any tailgating function!

Cornbread

Serves: 6

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Ingredients
  • 1 C. Flour
  • 1 C. Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 C. Sugar
  • 1 C. Milk
  • 4 Eggs Beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients, and mix until smooth.
  3. Pour into greased 9 inch square or round baking pan.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden.
  5. Cut into squares or wedges and serve warm.

Notes
Don’t over mix.

 

Vuelva a la Vida (Come back to life)

This dish is very popular in Mexico and will mostly be found in nicer seafood restaurants. I, personally, have found it to be a great solution to a long night of “adult beverages”. Similar to the old saying “hair of the dog”, it is a great compliment to a ice cold beer!

Vuleva a la vida. (Come back to life)

Serves: 6

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Ingredients
  • 2 lbs of Frozen Shrimp
  • 1 Onion, (diced)
  • 2-3 Tomatoes, (diced)
  • Jalapenos, (diced)
  • Cilantro, (diced)
  • 2 Avocado, (diced)
  • ½ bottle of Ketchup
  • 1 Can of Bloody Mary mix

Instructions
  1. Mix all the vegetables in a bowl.
  2. Boil water with salt.
  3. Add the frozen shrimp and turn off heat. Let sit for 5 min.
  4. Mix shrimp with diced vegetables and add ½ bottle of ketchup and 1 Can of Bloody Mary mix.

 

Korean Bulgogi

In 2003 I spent a year in South Korea in the Air Force where I was lucky enough to make friends with many of the “locals”.  One, in particular, was kind enough to share her simple family/traditional recipe for Bulgogi.  This is a very simple crowd pleaser!

Korean Bulgogi

Serves: 6

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Ingredients
  • 5 lbs Short Ribs (or high quality cut beef), or Chicken
  • 2-4 Crushed Garlic Cloves
  • ¼ C Sesame Seeds
  • 1 C Green Onions, (chopped)
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1-2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 C Soy Sauce
  • 1 C Sugar
  • ¼ C Vegetable Oil

Instructions
  1. Place beef in a bowl with all ingredients and marinate for minimum of 6 hours.
  2. Grill on medium heat until desired doneness is achieved.
  3. Baste often.
  4. Serve over white rice or on skewers as an appetizer.

 

 

 

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

I went to a restaurant once when I was first being introduced to seafood (I was a late bloomer), and took a gamble with the shrimp.  The server assured me that these would open my world…sure enough, they did.  This isn’t the exact recipe, but it’s what I was able to piece together after some intense searching.  They are great at any get together and really simple to make.  It’s quickly becoming a new family tradition!

Firecracker Shrimp

Serves: 5

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Ingredients
  • 2 lbs Large Raw Shrimp
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1-2 tsp Dried Chili Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Ground Oregano
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Instructions
  1. Put shrimp on skewers and brush with olive oil
  2. Combine all dry ingredients and sprinkle on both sides of the shrimp
  3. Cook on a grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until shrimp are cooked

Notes
To make a meal out of this, serve over some warm rice with Siracha Sauce!