Archive for ‘Appetizers’

September 2, 2011

Chicken Sliders with Sundried Tomato Mayo


Chicken Sliders are great as an appetizer, a snack or even a meal.  They would be an excellent treat for tailgating!  The sundried tomato mayo makes the sliders extra tasty.  This is a great recipe to use with leftover chicken and could be very easily doubled or even tripled for a crowd.     


Chicken Sliders 

(makes 6 sliders)

2 chicken breasts, seasoned and grilled

1 cup arugula

6 mini wheat buns

sundried tomato mayo (recipe below)


Season chicken breasts to your liking and grill.  Cut each chicken breast in half, then again lengthwise.  (If smaller side is already thin, use it, don’t cut it again)

Spread the sundried tomato mayo on both sides of each roll.  Place one chicken piece on each roll.  Top with a pinch of arugula and your slider is ready!


Sundried Tomato Mayo

3 T. light mayo (I always use Hellmans)

1 1/2 T. sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped

1/2 tsp. sundried tomato oil (from the jar)

1 tsp. garlic powder


Combine all ingredients.  Stir unil blended.


I hope you like these!

August 25, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Brussel Sprouts

Whether you think you are a brussel sprout fan or not, you have to try these!  They are great as an appetizer when served with the sauce recipe below.  You can cook the brussel sprouts on a grill or in the oven.  They are ready to serve when the bacon is crispy and the  sprouts are tender.      


Bacon Wrapped Brussel Sprouts

About 2 lbs. brussel sprouts, washed and cut lengthwise

1 lb. bacon, your choice



Wash brussel sprouts and cut lengthwise.  Cut bacon into strips just long enough to wrap around brussel sprouts.  Secure bacon with a toothpick.  Put all brussel sprouts on a grill pan and place pan on a grill heated to medium-high heat.  Cover grill and cook for about 30 minutes, flipping once if needed.  The brussel sprouts can also be cooked in the oven at 350 for about 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp. 

 Serve the brussel sprouts on a platter with the sauce on the side for dipping. 



8 oz. light sour cream

2 T. brown sugar

1 T. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. horseradish


Combine all ingredients. Keep chilled until ready to serve.


I hope you enjoy!

August 4, 2011

Roasted Garlic with Parmesan Cheese and Olive Oil

Roasted Garlic, Parmesan Cheese and Olive Oil…You cannot get much better than that!!!  Over the weekend, I had dinner with some friends at an Italian restaurant.  This is what was served with the bread before the meal.  It reminded me that something so simple can be such a crowd pleaser.  I knew what I was coming home to make!  We all have to splurge every now and then on a little bread and olive oil, but the roasted garlic is the real treat!  Garlic is believed to help prevent heart disease and cancer.  It is low in calories and very easy to keep on hand.  Try this next time you need a simple appetizer or just want a little treat yourself! 

Roasted Garlic, Parmesan Cheese and Olive Oil

1 bulb of garlic

1 tsp. plus a few T. olive oil

2 T. parmesan cheese

French baguette or any other fresh french bread


To roast the garlic-

Cut off the top of the garlic bulb 1/4 inch from the top.  Wrap the bulb in aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tsp. olive oil.  Wrap tightly and cook at 400 for 30-35 minutes.  Garlic is roasted when it feels soft.  Remove from oven  and let cool enough to touch. 

On a serving plate, squeeze out garlic from each clove.  Add 2 T. parmesan cheese and a few Tbs. olive oil to the plate.  Combine roasted garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil.  Serve with a warm loaf of french bread. 

I know you will love it! 

August 2, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Try these Sweet and Spicy Pecans to add a little extra flavor to a salad or serve them with some cheese as an appetizer.  They have just enough sweetness and spice.  They are very simple to make and can be made ahead of time.  I love the combination of these pecans and blue cheese crumbles on a spring mix salad with balsamic vinegarette!


Sweet and Spicy Pecans

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup sugar plus 2 T. sugar

1 cup pecan halves

1 T. chili powder


Dissolve 1/4 cup of sugar in 1 cup of warm water.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Drain pecans and discard liquid.  Mix pecans with 2 T. sugar and 1 T. chili powder.  Toss to coat.  Lay pecans in a single layer on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, flipping after 5 minutes. 

Try them in a salad with spring mix, blue chesse crumbles, red onion, and balsamic vinegarette.  So easy and so good!!


July 19, 2011

Greek Salsa


Salsa is a cool, refreshing, light, summer treat.  I decided to change up my regular version of fresh salsa into a Greek salsa.  It’s full of color and flavor.  Try it served with pita chips or even as a side dish to some chicken. 


Greek Salsa

1 1/2 cups diced ripe tomatoes, about 2-3 tomatoes

1/3 cup kalamata black olives, seed removed and olive cut in half

1 cup purple onion, chopped

1/2 c. artichoke, cut into smaller pieces

1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled

1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas, washed and drained

1 T. olive oil

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. garlic

1 1/2 T. oregano

2 T. fresh, chopped parsley


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss gently.  Serve the salsa with pita chips. 


July 14, 2011



I found this recipe in a recipe book I started making MANY years ago.  I would  collect recipes that I liked and that I knew worked.  I read through it recently and found some really good stuff!  This is a recipe that I remember my best friend’s mom making.  I tweaked it a little to make it slightly “healthier.”  But, it is still the same idea and they are delicious.  They are great for a party, a tailgate, or a snack at the lake (perfect for us a couple weeks ago!)  After the muffalettas are prepared, keep them wrapped in the foil until you are ready to serve.  That way, all you have to do is pop them in the oven to reheat. 



2 loaves of Hot and Crusty Bread (found in the freezer section-flavored is fine too-I used garlic bread)

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup pimento stuffed green olives, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

2 tsp. garlic

3/4 cup diced salami (I buy a couple of thick slices from the deli)

3 Tablespoons mayo



Mix all of the ingredients together then spread onto the 2 loaves.  Wrap the loaves in foil then bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Let cool enough to touch then cut loaves into desired sizes.  I like to cut the loaves then keep them wrapped in the foil until ready to serve.  That makes it very easy to just pop a loaf back in the oven to reheat. 



June 28, 2011

Goat Cheese Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers


Roasted Red Bell Peppers are a treat!  They have a mildly sweet flavor and are a wonderful addition to sandwiches, salads, pastas, etc.  Once the peppers are roasted and the skin is removed, you can keep the peppers in a jar to use anytime.  In this case, I stuffed them with some goat cheese, pine nuts and raisins.  The flavor was delicious!  These stuffed red peppers can be served as a main dish or as an appetizer or side.     


How to roast of bell pepper

Place whole peppers on pan in oven and broil until all sides are blackened, turning after about 10 minutes.  Once all sides are blackened, remove from over and put into a brown paper bag or covered bowl.  The steam helps to loosen the skins and makes them easier to peel.  When peppers are cool enough to touch, cut off stem and squeeze gently to help remove seeds.   


Goat Cheese Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers

4 large red bell peppers, roasted, seeds removed and split down one side

1/4 lb. goat cheese

2 T. basil

2 T. pine nuts

1/4 cup golden raisins

2 T. bread crumbs

2 T. olive oil


Place the peppers peeled side down and flatten them slightly to keep open.  Spread the goat cheese evenly down the center of each pepper, forming it into a log shape.  Top the goat cheese with the basil, evenly distributed among the peppers, followed by the pine nuts and golden raisins.  Fold the peppers to close and press down slightly to hold shape.  Place the peppers on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the bread crumbs and olive oil.  Bake at 450 for about 10-15 minutes, or until the bread crumbs begin to brown.    Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle. 

Serve as a main dish with some pasta or couscous.  Or, try them as an appetizer.  Either way, I hope you enjoy!!

June 2, 2011

Spinach Balls


These spinach balls are absolutely delicious and a huge hit at any party!  They are one of the many specialties from Mrs. Pam, my mother in law.  She is always great at throwing together a quick party, a dinner, or anything else that takes planning.  One trick I have learned from her is to always be prepared.  She is always able to pull something out of the freezer and serve it like she has been working in the kitchen all day.  This is one of those perfect appetizers to keep on hand.  They are easy to make and can be frozen before they are cooked.  Then, when you have a last minute get together, thaw them out and pop them in the oven.  I promise, everyone will love them! 

Thanks Mrs. Pam, you know how much I love these spinach balls!!!


Spinach Balls

2 pkgs. of frozen chopped spinach (we use the 9-10 oz. boxes)

2 c. herbed bread stuffing mix

2 onions, finely chopped

6 eggs, beaten

3/4 c. margarine, melted

1/2 c. parmesan cheese

1 T. garlic salt

1 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. pepper

tabasco to taste, optional

Cook spinach and drain well.  Mix together all ingredients.  Shape into bite-size balls.  Place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Serve them hot and enjoy!

April 20, 2011

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms are the perfect appetizer for almost any crowd.  They can be prepared and then heated when ready to serve.  They can also be frozen then thawed and reheated.  This recipe is very light.  You can also make this recipe omitting the breadcrumbs, if desired by those carb-friendly dieters!  I used a small food processor to chop the mushroom stems.  However a large food processor could be used to mix all of the ingredients in one step!  It’s super easy and delicious!





Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

1 pkg. baby portobello mushrooms, washed

1 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well

1/3 c. breadcrumbs (I use whole wheat)

1/2 c. Romano cheese, plus

2 T. Romano or parmesan cheese

1/2 onion, chopped

2 T. parsley, chopped

1 egg



Remove stems from mushroom caps.  Place caps on lightly greased baking sheet.  Chop stems.  Combine chopped stems, spinach, breadcrumbs, Romano cheese, chopped onion and parsley.  Stir in egg.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fill each mushroom cap with about 1 heaping tablespoon of spinach mixture.  Sprinkle each filled mushroom evenly with the remaining 2 T. Romano or parmesan cheese.  Preheat oven to 350 and bake 15-20 minutes.

Hope you enjoy!  


April 14, 2011

Mango Salsa

Mango salsa is a perfect healthy snack, especially now that it is getting hot outside.  It is very refreshing, light, and delicious.  This salsa can be eaten with chips, maybe on fish tacos or even over a light piece of fish or chicken.   This recipe makes enough to use a couple of different ways.  


Mango Salsa

2 tomatoes

1 mango

1/3 c. chopped red onion

2 avacado

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper