New Year's Appetizers

Looking for some yummy treats to serve guests at your New Year's bash? Chef Walter has prepared a variety of snacks you'll be sure to love. Any of these recipes are guaranteed to be the life of the party.

Pepperoni Rolls

Ingredients Needed:
Pepperoni slices
mozzarella cheese slices
garlic powder
favorite bread recipe
marinara sauce

Make up your favorite bread recipe (see note below). Roll your dough into well floured 10 inch circles. Off center on the circle, place a thick slice of cheese, a layer of pepperoni, another slice of cheese, and another layer of pepperoni. Fold sides in to cover filling. Fold over short side and roll tightly with the ingredients completely inside. Brush garlic powder and butter mixed together on outside of the dough. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet with the seam side down. Bake at 350 deg about 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Allow to cool. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Note: Frozen bread dough works nicely for this. Just allow dough to thaw but not to rise. Cut each loaf into three pieces, flatten and proceed as above. No need to allow it to rise after rolling. I have not tried it, but I’ll bet pre-prepared pizza dough would work as well.

Baked Onion Meatballs

Ingredients Needed:

2 lbs frozen cooked meatballs
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. jar beef gravy
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients except meat balls in an ovenproof pan with a tight fitting lid and stir to combine. Carefully stir in meatballs until coated with sauce. Cover pan and place in a 300 deg and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Turn into a chafing dish and serve hot.

Cheesy Spinach Squares

Ingredients Needed:

4 TBSP butter
3 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 lb cheese, grated (Monterey Jack, Cheddar or a mixture)
2 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

Preheat oven to 350 deg. Melt butter in a 9x13" pan in the oven. Remove from oven. Beat together eggs, flour, milk, salt, and baking powder thoroughly. Add cheese and well drained spinach. Mix well and pour into buttered pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until it feels firm in the center. Allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes and cut out into 1" squares.

Chile Con Queso Dip

Ingredients Needed:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onions
8 ounces Chopped Green Chiles -- Drained
1 Envelope taco seasoning mix
1/3 cup milk
8 ounces Velveeta cheese, -- cubed

In a skillet, brown and crumble ground beef; add onion and cook until transparent. Add taco mix and green chiles; set aside. Over low heat, melt Velveeta and slowly blend in milk. Drain fat from ground beef mixture and add to cheese. Keep warm and serve with tortilla chips for dipping.


Ingredients Needed:

6 to 8 oz Monterey Portabella mushrooms
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups prepared marinara or Alfredo sauce
8 oz pasta, cooked according to package directions
salt and pepper to taste

Slice or coarsely chop Portabellas. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add Portabellas and garlic. Cook and stir until mushrooms are tender (about 5-6 minutes). Stir in prepared sauce. Heat until hot (about 3 minutes). Add pasta; toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This is good topped with bacon bits or Parmesan cheese or both

Baked Clam Dip

Ingredients Needed:

1/2 cup butter
2 6-1/2 oz cans minced clams with juice
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
garlic (more or less to taste)
1 small onion diced (more or less to taste)
Dash of Worcestershire
Dash of Tabasco Hot sauce
1 (6-inch to 10 inch) round loaf of crusty bread, sourdough works well
Additional crusty bread pieces for dipping
Chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 deg. Slice top from the round of bread and reserve. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut chunks out the center of the bread, leaving 1 inch of bread around the interior, to form a bowl for the clam dip. Reserve bread chunk innards and lid to use as dippers. Mix butter, clams, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, onion, Worcestershire, and Tabasco sauces together until combined. Pour clam mixture into bread bowl. Place bread bowl on a baking sheet. Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes, then sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve warm. As your guests consume the dip from inside the bowl, you can tear or cut off parts of the bowl itself to serve. The bowl is the best part, since it usually ends up crunchy on the outside, but soaked with that great dip on the inside. A word about the bread. If you can find the round bowls like the ones at Panera Bread, they will hold this dip. If you buy the larger, flatter bread like at Food City, the 10 inch sour dough bread works fine. Just be sure that your loaf is big enough to hold the clam mixture. By the way, I toast the bread I use for dippers.

Winter Fruit Salad With Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Ingredients Needed:

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tsp diced onion
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 TBSP poppy seeds
1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried and torn into bite sized pieces
4 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
1 cup roasted cashews
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 apple, cored and cubed
1 pear, cored and cubed

In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard and salt. Process until well blended. With machine still running add oil in a slow steady stream until mixture is thick and smooth. Add poppy seeds and process just a second more to mix. In a large serving bowl combine the romaine lettuce, shredded Swiss cheese, cashews, dried cranberries, cubed apple and cubed pear. Toss to mix then pour dressing over salad just before serving and toss to coat.

Minted Melon Balls

Ingredients Needed:

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 TBSP fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups honeydew melons balls, chilled
Additional mint leaves

Place sugar and water in a 2-cup glass measuring cup or microwavable bowl. Microwave, uncovered, at 100% power (700 watts) 2 to 2 1/2 minutes until mixture is rapidly boiling and sugar is dissolved. Stir in mint leaves and lemon juice. Allow to steep 20 minutes. Strain out mint leaves. Cover syrup and chill.

To serve, drain melon balls well. Spoon into six individual dishes. Pour syrup over melon and garnish with additional mint leaves.

Ham and Cheese Rollups

Ingredients Needed:

4 oz whipped cream cheese with chives
1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts (in water), drained and chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 (10") flour tortillas
6 oz thinly sliced deli ham
4 oz sliced Swiss or provolone cheese

In bowl, stir together cream cheese, artichoke hearts, and oregano. Spread mixture evenly on tortillas. Divide ham and cheese evenly between them. Roll up tortillas tightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill, seam sides down, for at least 2 hours. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and serve. These can be made a day a head and will hold overnight.

Christmas Cheese Ball

Ingredients Needed:

2 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
1 jar Kraft Old English Cheese
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP grated onion
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Combine cheeses with onion, and Worcestershire. Beat until well blended. Shape in a ball or several small balls for gift giving. Wrap in plastic wrap, then in foil; refrigerate overnight. 1 hour before serving, roll in pecans and parsley.

Christmas Fruit Drops

Ingredients Needed:

1 ½ cup sifted plain flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup mixed candied fruit, finely chopped
½ cup nuts, chopped

Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Blend candied fruits and nuts with flour mixture; blend into creamed mixture. Drop by tspful on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until brown. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for about 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Be careful, these burn easily.

Peppered Pecans

Ingredients Needed:

3 TBSP butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 1 ½ tsp hot pepper sauce
½ tsp salt
3 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 250 deg. Melt butter in a small skillet; add hot sauce, garlic and salt. Saute for 1 minute. Toss pecans with butter mixture; spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake pecans for about 1 hour or until pecans are crisp, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.

Makes 3 cups.

Rolo's Crunch

Ingredients Needed:

Rolo Candy
Mini Pretzels

Place Rolo on mini pretzel put in 200degree oven for 2 min, remove and top with a pecan half (press nut down on Rolo).

In case you don’t know, Rolo Candy is a chocolate covered caramel candy which comes in a roll. They are great. So is this little concoction.

Quick Cheese Popcorn

Ingredients Needed:

1 bag microwave popcorn
1 pkg cheese powder (from mac n cheese box mix)

Pop the popcorn. Place popped corn in large bowl with a cover. Spray with oil (I prefer olive oil spray). Cover with lid and shake to spread the oil evenly. Open, sprinkle with some of the cheese powder. You decide how much to use. About 1/4 of the package will usually be enough, but use as much as you like. Cover and shake. Remove cover and eat.

This is a fun treat for the kids, but be warned. The cheese powder will get all over everything as you eat it.
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