Pepper Jelly Apple Bacon Brie Bites

Appetizers & Beverages | November 1, 2019 | By

Pepper Jelly Apple Bacon Brie Bites ~ baked phyllo cups filled with brie cheese, sautéed apples flavored with cranberry-pecan Holiday Pepper Jelly topped with crispy bacon.

There are a few things I keep on hand this time of year to make entertaining snacks that are festive, but quick and easy. I always have a variety of cheeses in the fridge and a supply of pre-made phyllo cups and the latest addition is a few jars of pepper jelly

Pepper Jelly Apple Bacon Brie Bites contain just 5 ingredients and are so simple to make you can even get the kids involved.

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Mexicali Dip

bowl of dip surrounded by tortilla chips

Appetizers & Beverages | October 15, 2019 | By

Mexicali Dip ~ super easy 4 ingredient warm spicy, creamy cheesy dip. This delicious appetizer whips up in under 5 minutes in the microwave. Serve with tortilla chips and watch it disappear!

This simple, practically addictive cheesy Mexicali Dip recipe has been in our family so long I don’t even remember who first started making it and have no idea where the recipe came from. Now that it’s on the blog there’s a good chance someone will come forward.

It whips up in under 5 minutes, contains just four simple grocery store ingredients and the use of a microwave oven. Grocery stores sell a cold dip they call Mexicali. This is not that dip. This gooey melted cheese Mexicali Dip is best warm and way, way better than the stuff in the stores.

If you’re a football fan (or just a fan of game day food) or already thinking of what you’ll bring to your family’s holiday dinner, give this recipe a try. There won’t be regrets – or dip – left. 

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Cowboy Queso

cowboy queso overhead in cast iron skillet

Appetizers & Beverages | August 16, 2019 | By

Cowboy Queso Dip ~ warm spicy dip loaded with two kinds of cheese, chorizo sausage, black beans, corn, tomatoes and fresh cilantro with a squeeze of lime for that extra burst of flavor. Easy to make; the ultimate appetizer. Serve with tortilla chips.

There are two words that really say indulgence when it comes to recipes: southern and cowboy. Southern ~ as in Southern Style Biscuits or Southern Fried Chicken. Cowboy ~ as in Cowboy Caviar, Cowboy Spaghetti or this recipe for Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies published by ~ who else? ~ Southern Living.

This recipe is the ultimate dip recipe for fans of anything cheesy . . . and spicy. It whips up quickly and because it contains Velveeta, the silky, creaminess of the dip holds up as long as there’s dip in the bowl. 

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3 Ingredient Fruit Dip

overhead view of dip in a bowl

3 Ingredient Fruit Dip ~ plain Greek yogurt, peanut butter and honey blended to make this delicious healthy fruit dip that takes just 5 minutes to make. Serve with your favorite seasonal fruit for a crowd-pleasing party appetizer or light dessert.

May I ask a personal question? How do you feel about skinny dipping?

Not THAT kind! I’m talking about dipping seasonal fruits into the most delicious, healthy skinny dip ever.

Skinny dipping. Now that that’s behind us you’ve probably noticed I probably toss the word ‘easy’ around quite a bit, but this recipe takes the cake . . . er, dip.

One bowl, one spoon, three ingredients. Boom. You’ve made 3 Ingredient Fruit Dip.

Plus there’s a good chance you already have all the ingredients on hand. Of course, since it’s a fruit dip you’ll need fruit as well, but the dip . . .  just three ingredients.

Do you want to know what they are?

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Greek Layered Appetizer Dip

mediterranean dip - layers of hummus,tzatziki, tomatoes and olives garnished with fresh dill and served with pita and vegetables

Appetizers & Beverages | April 25, 2019 | By

Greek Layered Appetizer ~ hummus, tzatziki, olives and feta layered for a simple, healthy dip. Add chicken for a light entrée.

A weekend in Northern Michigan for a girls’ wine weekend meant lots of laughs and good food. Everyone brought their favorite wine, dishes to share and . . . I did mention wine? There was plenty.

Chips and dip and sheet pans of pizza rolls with ranch dressing were brought out for late nights. We could have used a healthy appetizer like this Greek Layered Dip. I guess that’s why there’s “next time”.

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Easy Soft Pretzel Bites

easy soft pretzel bites with everything bagel seasoning served with a bowl of cheese sauce

Appetizers & Beverages | April 10, 2019 | By

Easy Soft Pretzel Bites ~ Made from canned refrigerated biscuit dough generously sprinkled with Everything but the Bagel Seasoning and baked until warm, golden, lightly crisp outside and soft inside. Enjoy with cheese sauce or add to a charcuterie board for a unique twist.

Warm, fresh from the oven salty pretzels dipped in warm, gooey cheese. One of my favorite pub appetizers and today they’re getting an upgrade.

Everything but the Bagel Seasoning ~ an outrageously good balance of sea salt, garlic, onion, poppy seeds and black and white sesame seeds. Mmmm . . . did I mention garlicky? Basically everything you ever wanted in seasoning and the thing that takes these pretzel bites to the next level.

These bite size soft pretzels come hot and fresh from the oven liberally seasoned with Everything but the Bagel Seasoning and are served up with a pot of golden, gooey melted cheese sauce. Life just got a little better.

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Spicy New Orleans Style Shrimp

spicy new orleans style shrimp ~ cooked shrimp in spicy sauce in the skillet plus lemon wedge and crusty bread.

Appetizers & Beverages, Dinner | February 27, 2019 | By

Spicy New Orleans Style Shrimp ~ in time for Mardi Gras ~ easy, tasty baked shrimp in a rich, spicy buttery Cajun sauce served over rice or with crusty bread.

We spent a few days this winter in New Orleans. My one regret is not staying long enough to taste more of the amazing seafood but that means a return trip is in order.

Spicy New Orleans Style Shrimp is a one-pan, any-night meal loaded with spicy flavor. Don’t limit it to Mardi Gras though. Serve it up anytime you’re craving spicy seafood with rice, some good crusty bread and a few lemon wedges.

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Beef Enchilada Dip

Beef Enchilada Dip ~ spicy ground beef + cheese, black beans, tomatoes, green chilies and enchilada sauce, topped with more cheese and baked 'til bubbly.

Appetizers & Beverages | January 29, 2019 | By

Beef Enchilada Dip ~ spicy ground beef, cheese, black beans, tomatoes, green chilies and enchilada sauce, topped with more cheese and baked ’til bubbly.

The Super Bowl is almost here. Maybe that means you’ll be hosting a few friends and their appetites. Or maybe you got lucky and just need to bring a dish. Something other than your shining personality, though bring that too. Someone has to be the life of the party after all. 

The fact is you should must bring something crowd-approved and usually that means bold spicy flavor, like this Beef Enchilada Dip.

Classic wings are probably already covered, so if you’re serious about bringing your A-Game, I highly recommend Beef Enchilada Dip  . . . or a batch of Jalapeno Poppers. Or both.

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Cheese and Charcuterie Board

Cheese and Charcuterie Board ~ meats, cheeses, bread, fruit and nuts displayed on a board with wine in the background

Appetizers & Beverages | December 14, 2018 | By

Cheese and Charcuterie Board ~ simple, stress-free entertaining. A display of meats, cheeses, bread, fruit and nuts. Goes perfectly with wine.

I’ve always loved hosting friends and family in our home long before I started blogging. The first time I invited the family over, I was a naïve, clueless newlywed. This was long before Google and Pinterest so not knowing what to make, I cooked . . . everything.

It looked like an all-you-can-eat buffet at the Golden Corral  and I made everything myself refusing all help. That doesn’t mean I was a kitchen ninja. It just made me a crazy woman.

I’ve done a lot of entertaining since then and I’m much more relaxed now (don’t listen to a word my kids say). One reason is that I’ve simplified things and learned to serve food like this Cheese and Charcuterie Board that makes an appearance at almost every gathering at our house.

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Pear Blue Cheese Puff Pastry Bites

Pear Blue Cheese Puff Pastry Bites ~ golden puff pastry + maple bacon onion jam, caramelized pears and blue cheese. A simple, elegant holiday appetizer.

Appetizers & Beverages | December 6, 2018 | By

Pear Blue Cheese Puff Pastry Bites ~ 2 bite-size golden, flaky puff pastry topped with maple bacon onion jam, sweet caramelized pears and salty, bold blue cheese. A simple, elegant appetizer as festive as the holidays.

Puff pastry may be the best kitchen hack ever ~ prepared, frozen sheets of dough that bake and puff into beautiful, golden flaky pastry. The dough easily transitions from sweet to savory with the help of a few pantry and refrigerator items.

I never seem to have enough time around the holiday season, despite my best planning and intentions. So it’s all about having quick, easy A-Game recipes in my hip pocket. Or in this case, the refrigerator and freezer.

I could practically create a week’s worth of meals wrapped in this buttery, flaky crust. In fact, I just may. I happen to have a box or three in the freezer right now.

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