Appetizers are my weakness. I love snacking on the little bites before dinner, and, if given the choice between an appetizer and dessert, nine times out of ten the appetizer wins. So when I create a new appetizer that is a little different from my go-to favorites, AND the whole family loves it, I can’t help but do a little happy dance. (It’s the little things in life, right?) Combine that with easy-to-find ingredients and minimal prep time, and I hit the jackpot. That’s just what happened with these Cheesy Chipotle Roll Ups. The smoky flavor and subtle heat from the chipotle peppers makes these a stand out above other Roll Ups. And the best thing? You don’t even need a sauce to go with these as they have enough flavor all on their own. That, my friends, makes these the perfect appetizer to take a party. No oven, no crackers, no dips, just slice the rollups and arrange on a platter. Voila! Easy entertaining at its best.
It’s December, which means invitations to social gatherings are abundant, and I’m never one to miss out on a party. That’s why I was thrilled to receive an invitation from the American Dairy Association (ADA) Mideast to create a recipe for their “Holiday Potluck”. Do you remember when I went to Ohio in October? Well, that fabulous group of women, along with a few other amazing bloggers, created a holiday party menu for you! How much fun is that? And it just so happens to include a lot of one of my favorite food groups….dairy! But for my Potluck dish, I took a break from the oozy, gooey cheese that I love so much (like in this Warm Gruyere and Caramelized Onion Dip) to share a healthier appetizer with you: Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce.
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already here especially since December arrives just a few days later. How did that happen? With Thanksgiving falling so late this year, we have three weeks to get everything done for Christmas. Which in my book means it’s time to start cooking. This is my favorite time of the year, and I love to enjoy it as much as possible without feeling stressed. While I’m not one of those people who shops before Thanksgiving for Christmas presents, I do try to get a jump on my holiday baking and cooking, including hostess gifts and teacher gifts. This year I have a new addition: Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts. They are a snap to make and freeze fabulously. Plus your house will smell amazing in the process. What better way to get in the holiday spirit?
Book club was at my house in November, which means our lovely friends were once again guinea pigs as I tested a bunch of new recipes. Fortunately, they are very tolerant of my culinary experiments as there are usually as many wins as there are misses. These Fontina Chive Risotto Cakes made the cut this time, and I’m excited to share them with you. I love that they are a substantial warm appetizer, and they worked well for me as part of a buffet of snacks in lieu of a full sit down meal.
Need a quick and easy appetizer to have on hand for those impromptu holiday happy hours? These Cheesy Fig Shortbread Crackers are ideal for sharing with friends over a glass of wine or a cocktail. Prep a big batch and store them in the freezer. The next time you need a snack for guests at 5:00, pop some of the frozen crackers in the oven. 7-10 minutes later you have warm munchies ready to serve. Low effort, big return…this is MY type of entertaining!
Last month, I had the pleasure to be invited on a trip with the American Dairy Association Mideast and the Ohio Dairy Farmers to discover more about dairy farming. Um, did someone say cheese? I’m in! I had an amazing time, met 8 other incredibly talented bloggers, learned more than I ever expected about how milk makes it from cow to glass and ate my fill of nearly every dairy product I could get my hands on! Here are some of the highlights of my experience: