Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Superbowl Sunday is coming up on February 5th, so here are some fun and unique appetizers from around the web to get your creative juices flowing!

Greek 7 Layer Dip
A fun and delicious twist on the traditional 7 layer dip!
Greek 7-Layer Dip
1 1/2 cups hummus
1 cup tzatziki (cucumber yogurt dip)
1 cup tomato (diced and mixed with 1 tablesoon lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon oregano)
1/2 cup cucumber (cut into small pieces)
1/4 cup red onions (diced)
1/4 cup feta (crumbled)
1/4 cup kalamata olives (pitted and coarsely chopped)
1 handful mint (chopped)
4 whole wheat pitas (cut into triangles and toasted until just crispy)

1. Assemble dip starting with the hummus and stacking each ingredient on top of the last
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Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots
A tater tot, wrapped in bacon? Yes, please! If only to see the curious looks of guests as they ask what these are and eagerly try one!
Some funky, but tasty variations
Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots
Yield: 24 appetizers
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Yield: 24 appetizers
24 tater tots, partially defrosted (about 15 minutes at room temperature)
12 strips of center-cut bacon, cut in half
24 small chunks of sharp cheddar cheese (1/2-inch x 1/4-inch)
Tabasco sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.
Lay a piece of bacon on a flat surface. Place a tater tot on top. Using a sharp knife, gently cut a slit down the center of the tater tot. Wiggle a piece of cheese into the slit. Sprinkle Tabasco sauce on top. Wrap bacon tightly around the stuffed tater tot and secure with a toothpick.
Bake 15 minutes, or until they appear to be cooked through and the bacon is crispy. Serve immediately.
*Tater tots are found in the frozen section- Ore Ida makes them.
*Variations: add a piece of pickle on top of the cheese. Roll the bacon-wrapped tater tot in brown sugar before baking to add a little sweet flavor to this (my favorite way to make these)- just make sure you don’t over-bake them though or the sugar will make them burn. Or try replacing the cheddar cheese with cream cheese and a piece of pepperoncini.
*Make ahead tip: Assemble these a few hours ahead, place them on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and bake when ready.
*Try serving them up with a spicy sour cream dip- sour cream mixed with a little bit of Tabasco sauce.

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Buffalo Chicken Dip
Always a hit! And you can make this as spicy was you want.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Ranch or blue cheese dressing
1 cup pepper sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot®)
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Cheddar cheese

1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
1 (8 ounce) box chicken-flavored crackers
Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to an 8 x 8 baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.
  • You can transfer this mix to a crockpot to keep it warm if needed.

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Soft Pretzel Bites
This is one of the most popular recipes on twopeasandtheirpod. A bit of work, but well worth the effort.

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

Soft Pretzels:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Coarse sea salt

For the cheese sauce:
½ Tablespoon unsalted butter
½ Tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated

For the Pretzels: Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.

Oil a bowl with vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches. We did about 15 bites at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.

Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with cheese sauce.

To make the cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese until smooth and all of the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

*If you want to make cinnamon and sugar pretzel bites-instead of adding salt, sprinkle the bites with cinnamon and sugar. For the frosting mix-soft cream cheese-about 3 T, powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a little bit of milk. Whisk together. Add more milk if it is too thick, if it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. I don't measure. I just guess until the consistency is right.*

Recipe makes a lot of bites-perfect for sharing!

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Chicken Enchilada Roll-Ups
These are a nice change up from the usual white tortillas smeared with cream cheese and filled with turkey and lettuce. Make plenty, they'll go fast!

Chicken Enchilada Dip Roll-Ups
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, pepper jack, etc.)
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste
Handful of cilantro, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained well
4-6 8-inch tortillas

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook in a skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

In the meantime, combine all of the remaining ingredients except tortillas in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well blended. Once the chicken is cool, transfer to a cutting board and chop or shred into small pieces. Add the chicken to the filling mixture and stir well to incorporate.

Spread a thin layer of the filling mixture over a tortilla, leaving a small border clear around the edge. Roll the tortilla up tightly into a spiral. Place the rolled up tortilla on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut into 1- to 1½-inch thick segments. Transfer to a serving platter and serve chilled or at room temperature.

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Pizza Dip
Does this look tasty or what?! Everything you love about a hot pizza served in dip form. Yowzers!

Pizza DipIngredients
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded/grated
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 2 ounces pepperoni, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons green pepper, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons black olives, sliced
  1. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream mayonnaise, mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano and spread it across the bottom of a pie plate.
  2. Spread the pizza sauce on top and sprinkle on the cheese, pepperoni, green pepper and olives.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the cheese has melted, bubbling and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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More Dips:

Caramelized Onion Dip: Saute 1 large minced onion in oil until a rich, golden brown. Cool to room temperature, then stir into 1 cup of sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Roasted Red Pepper-Almond Dip: In a food processor, combine 1 cup roasted red peppers (fresh or jarred, rinsed and drained), 1 small peeled and seeded plum tomato, 1/4 cup natural almonds, 1 garlic clove, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon paprika and puree until smooth. Season with salt.
Greek Yukon Gold Dip: Boil 1 pound peeled and sliced Yukon gold potatoes along with 6 garlic cloves until the potatoes are tender. Mash potatoes and garlic with a potato masher along with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

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Sausage and Cheddar Pinwheels
Buttery pastry crust, salty sausage and cheese...now that's a winning combination!

Sausage and Cheddar Pinwheels 
3 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1/3 – 1/2 c. milk
1 lb. bulk pork sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled small
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter or margarine until crumbly. Add milk as need until a soft but not sticky dough forms. Knead dough one minute.
Divide dough in half and roll out. Top with a layer of sausage and a layer of cheese. Roll up jelly roll style and slice into pieces, about an inch thick. Place onto a cookie sheet lined with foil and greased. Repeat with second batch. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 – 18 minutes, until golden brown.


Alice Osborne and Jeanne Wolfley said...

Hello! I’m Alice Osborne. My dear friend, Jeanne Wolfley and I are co-authors of www.makingfamilydinnerhourpossible.blogspot.com and co-editors of the new cooking magazine, Cook’n. We like your blog VERY much and applaud the influence you’re having on other young moms out there. Way to go!

We are writing to invite you to contribute to this wonderful international, reader-based magazine. The first edition hits all the major bookstores and online, etc. in May. When we say it's reader-based, we mean it. It's not about us, it's about YOU, YOUR recipes, YOUR ideas, etc. We’d like you to submit a favorite recipe or two on the topics of quick and easy meals, strawberries, and ice cream sandwiches and cakes. You'll receive full credit, we'll include a link to your blog, and we'll send you a copy of the magazine as well. If you'd like to see the quality of magazine this will be, just go to www.northridgepublishing.com. We so hope you'll join us in creating the best cooking magazine ever, and we'll watch for your submission(s)! Just send them to aliceanne1949@comcast.net.

And thanks so much!
Your fans, Alice & Jeanne

Shauna said...

Love your new header pics! Going to hard rock today for the Super Bowl. I will let you know the Maui favorites!

Bake-A-Holic said...

Yes, do. Then we can replicate them at home!


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