Appetizer, Gluten-Free

Veggie Dip

I hosted my first ever Christmas party this weekend, and when I was looking for recipes to make I knew I wanted a veggie dip of some kind. I loved that this one was simple, and I knew the Parmesan would be delicious. Recipe and photo courtesy of stonegableblog.com.

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup grated Kraft Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. As with most dips, I found the flavor to be even better second day, so if you can, refrigerate overnight.

Appetizer, Gluten-Free

The Best Bean Dip

I love me a good bean dip and this one definitely did not disappoint. Recipe and photo courtesy of the-girl-who-ate-everything.com.

 

  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 1 cup picante sauce (I used my salsa recipe)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin (or more to taste)
  • tortilla chips

In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients; transfer to a small (1 1/2 qt) slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or until heated through, stirring intermittently. Serve with tortilla chips or Fritos.

*Optional ways of preparing: The slow cooker is ideal because it keeps the dip warm but you can also prepare this in the oven or even microwave. For the Oven: Bake dip at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Microwave: Heat in a microwave safe bowl for 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and smooth. Stir every couple of minutes.

 

 

 

Appetizer, Gluten-Free

Crockpot Lil’ Smokies

I first made this recipe for a football party and it was a hit. What I love is how simple it is to put together and still tastes great. Recipe and photo courtesy of cleverlysimple.com.

  • 12 oz chili sauce
  • 2 packages of little smokies (13 oz each)
  • 12 oz grape jelly

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on Low for 2 hours. Easy peasy.

*If you are like me and completely lost as to where to find chili sauce, it can be found in the condiment aisle by the ketchup.

Appetizer

Ranch Oyster Crackers

This is another of my paternal grandmother’s favorite party appetizers. They are so easy and addicting, and come together so quickly.

  • 12-16 oz plain oyster crackers
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Recipe Salad Mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4-1 cup salad (vegetable) oil

Combine mix and oil, add in dill weed, garlic powder and lemon pepper. Pour over crackers, stir to coat. Place in warm oven (250) for 15-20 mins.

Appetizer, Gluten-Free

Peach Salsa

I love this peach salsa because it’s so simple and quick to bring together, but tastes amazing. Pioneer Woman hit a home rum with this recipe, as usual. I am posting it using fresh peaches, but if you want to use canned that works too. Recipe and photo courtesy of Pioneer Woman.

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (or 28 oz canned, juice reserved
  • 1 whole medium onion, diced very fine
  • 1 whole red bell pepper, seeded and diced very fine (optional)
  • 1 whole jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • dash of salt
  • juice of 1 lime

Peel and slice the peaches, giving them a rough chop and put them in a bowl.  Dice up the onion, bell pepper and jalapeno very finely and add to the peaches. Chop half a bunch of cilantro and mix in. Finally add the juice of 1 lime, the chili powder and salt. Combine completely and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

Appetizer, Gluten-Free

Brussels Sprouts with Apple, Dates, and Bacon

Brussels-Sprouts-with-Bacon-Dates-Apples.jpgI would not call myself a huge brussels sprouts, but this recipe has made me a convert.  It was the perfect balance of salty/sweet, crunchy/chewy. The recipe recommended a reduced balsamic glaze, but I left it off. I even went back for seconds, so if you are on the fence about brussels sprouts, give this recipe a try.  I promise you won’t be disappointed. Recipe and photo courtesy of arismenu.com

  • 2 cup brussels sprouts, halved and stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped, with grease reserved
  • 6 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 apple, chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup good quality balsamic vinegar (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Set aside any leaves that fell off during halving as you will add them later. Add the brussels sprouts flat side down and season generously with salt and pepper.  I fried my bacon before hand and added the grease to the pan to help sear the sprouts. After about 5-7 minutes, flip the sprouts and let them cook a couple minutes longer.  Add the bacon, chopped dates and extra leaves, toss to combine.  Let cook for another 5 minutes or so, then remove from the heat.  Right before serving, add the chopped apples and give it a quick toss.

If you are using the balsamic glaze, place in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally until it has reached the desired thickness.

Appetizer, Gluten-Free

Cranberry Jelly

cranberry jellyMy husband saw this in the Food Network magazine and requested it especially this year because he missed the canned jelly and I was so happy with how it turned out.  It was so much better than the stuff that comes out of the can.

  • 1 pound cranberries, thawed if frozen
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the cranberries in a sauce pan.  Remove wide strips of zest from 1/2 an orange with a peeler; add to the saucepan with the juice of both oranges (about 1/2 cup).  Add the sugar, coriander, pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from the heat and remove the orange zest; stir in the vanilla extract.  Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a serving dish (I put mine in a mason jar), pushing the sauce through with a spatula.  Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.