Category Archives: Appetizer

7 layer dip

On the bottom of a 9×13 pan, spread, in order:

1 can of refried beans
1 cup of sour cream (premixed with 1 package taco seasoning or 1 T bulk taco seasoning)
guacamole (or 2 avocados smashed in with 1 1/2 t lemon or lime juice and 1/3 c chopped cilantro)
chopped tomatoes or salsa
green onions
shredded cheddar or mexican blend cheese
chopped olives


soft pretzels

I saw this Alton Brown recipe for soft pretzels on Cooking with my Kid. We LOVED them.  I really love the pretzels you can buy at the mall – the soft, salty yumminess.  This is probably as close as you can get at home, and as a bonus – they’re super easy. Yeah!!

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Tastes best when warm.

Christmas Popcorn

After bringing 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup milk to a boil, add 1 teaspoon vanilla (or any other flavoring you want) and food coloring. Stir until the food coloring is all mixed in, and pour in a large bowl over 8 cups of popcorn. Stir very well.  Then lay out on foil to give it some time to “unstick” before combining colors.  You could also turn these into popcorn balls really easily.

We sprinkled some Christmas sprinkles on some of the colors.  Just have fun!

Warm Southwestern Bean Dip

I needed an appetizer last week and wanted something new.  I found this recipe the day before and thought it was a good chance to try it.
1/2 LB sausage
1 med onion
1 tsp garlic salt
1-7oz can green chili salsa (Salsa Verde)
2 Tb sliced black olives (I never measure-just sprinkle on top)
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
1-15 oz can refried beans
1 small can chopped green chilis
1 cup sour cream
1-2 green onions, sliced
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 avocado, chunked
Brown sausage, onion and garlic salt. Drain fat. In a pie plate, layer beans, meat mixture, green chilis, sour cream, green salsa, green onions, both cheeses and olives. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until hot and cheese is melted. Top with avocado chunks and serve with torilla chips. Yum!

adapted from the Sisters Cafe

Fluffy Apple Dip

I got this recipe from Real Mom Kitchen, who got it from Simple and Delicious, and I’ve made it twice since Halloween.  It’s yummy and different.

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I used 1 full teaspoon)
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
Assorted apple wedges

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and pie spice until blended; fold in marshmallow creme. Serve with apple wedges. Yield: 2 cups.

Avocado Salsa

I’d show you a picture, but when I opened the fridge this morning, the leftovers fell on the floor, scattered, and the dish broke, too.   Bummer, because this stuff is GOOD and was going to be lunch today.

2 cans diced tomatoes, mostly drained
1 can shoepeg corn (can substitute with any corn, but shoepeg is BEST), drained
1 small can chopped olives
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 avocadoes, chopped
4 green onions, fine chopped
1 envelope dry Italian dressing (original directions said “NOT Zesty!” but I used Zesty because it’s what I had and it was great)

juice of two limes

Toss and enjoy.