Thursday, October 18, 2012

Simple and Easy Appetizers From My Kitchen!



Are you having a party this Halloween? Wouldn't you love to be able to hang out with your guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen? I know I would. That is why I have put together a list of my own simple appetizers instead of time consuming meals. These are not Halloween inspired, you can make these for any party! Appetizers are a great way for your guests to eat with their fingers. Bite size appetizers are fun to eat and you can eat while walking around and engaging in conversation.

Mini Wonton Tacos

24 wonton wrappers
 1 pound lean ground beef
 1 (1.12 ounce) package Dry Taco Seasoning Mix
 2 tablespoons taco sauce
 1/2 cup canned black beans
 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
 1/2 cup pico de gallo (recipe follows)
 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

I recommend making the pico de gallo first and set aside, covered.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Press wonton wrappers into mini-muffin cups.
Cook beef in skillet until browned. Drain off ALL fat. This will ensure the shells do not get soft on the bottom. Stir in taco seasoning mix and taco sauce.
Spoon beef mixture into wonton cups. Top with very small amount of beans, corn, pico de gallo and cheese. Make sure to leave enough room for garnishes.
Bake about 8 minutes or until wontons are golden brown.
Serve immediately. Garnish with sour cream, diced tomato, sliced ripe olives and cilantro if desired. Makes 24 appetizers.

Pico De Gallo

1  cups seeded, diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon diced jalapenos
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

In a bowl combine all ingredients.

*****

Meatball kabobs

1 bag Italian style frozen fully cooked meatballs (or use your own recipe and cook)
1 bag frozen cheese tortellini (cooked, drained)
Skewer one meatball and one tortellini onto a frilly or knotted bamboo toothpicks. Serve with pasta sauce.

*****

Mozzarella and Tomato Skewers

100 fresh baby mozzarella balls (can use 1-1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella and then slice and cut slices into 4ths)
prepared marinade (recipe follows)
3 pounds grape tomatoes (about 100)
4 cups small fresh basil leaves (about 100)
50 wooden skewers

Place mozzarella balls and prepared marinade in a 1 gallon zipper bag. Seal and move the mixture around to coat all the cheese. Remove all air and re-seal. Let sit at room temperature for about 4 hours.

To assemble
On each skewer, place a tomato, basil leaf and one marinated cheese ball,  then repeat one more time ending with a cheese ball. Arrange on a platter. Drizzle with remaining marinade. Makes about 50 skewers.

Marinade

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, coarsely minced
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, coarsely minced
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, coarsely minced
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
*****

Cheese and Sausage

1- 16oz package fully cooked mini sausage links (I use Hillshire Farms Lil' Smokies)
1 lb cubed cheddar cheese
1 cup barbeque sauce
toothpicks

Toss sausage links with barbeque sauce. Skewer one cube of cheese and then a sausage link on a toothpick. Serve on a platter with a bowl of extra barbeque sauce.

*****
Marinated Mushrooms

2 pounds fresh mushrooms
1 cup Italian dressing
1 t. red wine vinegar
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t. crushed red pepper
2 t. sugar
Remove mushroom stems. Place caps in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain, cool.
Place mushrooms in a large bowl. Mix dressing and the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over mushroom caps. Stir. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, stirring occassionally.
*****

Chicken Salad Cherry Tomatoes

40 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 T lemon juice
1 T brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper
2 cups cooled cooked chicken, chopped fine
2 stalks of celery, chopped fine
2 cups chopped red grapes
1/2 cup chopped pecans for garnish


Cut top off each cherry tomato. Scoop out tomatoes with a melon baller, leaving enough for a firm shell. If necessary, cut small slice from bottom so tomatoes stand upright.
In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon, sugar, and dill. Add chicken, celery, and grapes. Mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fill each tomato with chicken salad. Top with chopped pecans.
*****
Bacon Egg and Cheese Finger Sandwiches

10 slices of white bread
8 peeled and cooled hard boiled eggs
1/3 cup mayonaise
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup cream cheese
2 T sweet relish
1 t prepared mustard
1/4 cup celery, chopped fine
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon (I buy already cooked and chopped real bacon bits)
2 T finely minced yellow onion

Chop egg fine and add all ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Cut crust from bread. Spoon egg mixture onto 5 slices of bread and top with the other slices to make 5 sandwiches. Cut sandwiches into 4 triangles.
*****
Twice Baked Potato Bites

10 small yukon gold or red potatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup real bacon bits
sour cream
Chopped green onion

Preheat oven to 400°.
Rub potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place potatoes on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray or use a non-stick foil. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes.
Cut potatoes in half crosswise; cut off a small portion of the rounded edge so the potato will stand upright. Carefully scoop out pulp from each half, leaving the shells intact. Combine potato pulp, milk, butter, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup cheese. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the potato mixture into each potato shell. Arrange stuffed potatoes on a cookie sheet. Top each with a little more cheddar cheese and some bacon bits. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with sour cream and chopped green onion.






Recipes are from the kitchen of Saveaholic Mama (Erica Stouffer)















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