Category: appetizer

Bacon Jalapeno Cheese Ball

997067_388568181307337_6368298291325192549_n       I saw this on Facebook and tracked it down to The Biker Chick’s Kitchen…a page on Facebook.  My husband LOVES cheese and bacon and I’m kind of getting him into a bit of zip with seeded or tamed jalapeno’s.  This will be a great recipe to make for the office sometime.

Bacon-Jalapeño Cheese Ball

6 slices bacon            ¼ cup chopped pecans           8 oz cream cheese, room temp ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese         2 tbsp fresh parsley,        chopped 1 clove garlic,minced ¼ tsp ground cumin           ¼ tsp cayenne pepper               1 tsp lime juice          2 tbsp cilantro ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce               2 jalapeños (ribs and seeds removed), finely chopped

Crackers (for serving)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Cook the bacon in a large skillet set over medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Allow to cool slightly, then crumble and divide in half. In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, parsley, garlic, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, half of the minced jalapeños, and half of the crumbled bacon until well combined. Season the mixture to taste with salt. On a large plate, stir the toasted pecans, remaining minced jalapeños, cilantro and bacon together. Moisten your hands slightly and shape the cream cheese mixture into a ball Roll. Then the ball in the pecan mixture until well coated. Cover the ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Jalapeno Bites

10685488_10154737013450055_551268053339777953_nI am highly addicted to jalapeno poppers but may never make them again after realizing how much easier these bites are to make.  And right now, easy is kind of necessary.  Next time I make them I am going to add some chopped, cooked bacon.  My hubby even suggested crab….with seasonings to taste like crab rangoon.  It is a great base that you could change up easily.

1 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese

2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

4 jalapenos chopped (I remove the seeds and veins)

Combine all ingredients and roll about a tablespoon into a ball.  Roll in bread crumbs (I use Panko for the extra crunch).  Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.  (I was not at home so I didn’t have parchment paper and even with spraying the pan they stuck a little so be careful removing them from the pan)  Cool just a little but serve warm.  They are AMAZING.

Note: because I didn’t have fresh jalapenos I used a jar of Tamed Jalapenos.  It wasn’t quite flavorful enough for me so I added Pensey’s Sandwich Sprinkle seasoning.  You could really add any seasoning you want to the basic cheese mixture.

Crab Rangoon bites

Use the same recipe above but instead of jalapeno use the following ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

    1 (6 ounce) can crab meat, drained and flaked

    2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced

    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

    1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce

  • Combine, roll in a ball, roll in bread crumbs and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees

Now I’m wondering what other options would be good.  I saw the original recipe on Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network show.

IngredientsPita Chips:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chili or dried chipotle powder
Zest of 2 large limes, optional
2 whole wheat or plain pita breads, split in half horizontally
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 large or 2 small avocadoes, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 packed cup arugula
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


For the pita chips: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, chili powder and lime zest if using. Brush the mixture on both sides of the bread halves using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the breads with the salt and pepper. Cut each bread half into 8 wedges and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp and golden, 15 to 18 minutes.

For the hummus: Combine the beans, avocado, arugula, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Gradually add the olive oil until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the hummus into a serving bowl and serve the pita chips alongside.

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10 large fresh jalapeños
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 slices bacon, uncooked
1/2 cup string cheese or Oaxaca cheese, chopped small
1/2 cup favorite guacamole recipe


1. Preheat a large, nonstick skillet to medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Toss the peppers with the 2 tablespoons of oil and add them to hot pan.

2. Cook the peppers, turning as needed, until the skins blister slightly and blacken in most spots. Remove from pan and let cool completely.

3. Once peppers have cooled, carefully make a T shape cut right below the base of the pepper. Open up the pepper and remove all the seeds and membranes. Fill the pepper with cheese on one half and guacamole on the other half. Do not over stuff.

3. Wrap each pepper with bacon and cook at medium heat in that same nonstick pan until the bacon is crisp and cooked through. Transfer peppers to a plate lined with paper towels. Let set for a few minutes before serving because they will be hot! Makes 10 peppers.

Notes: When preparing the guacamole for this recipe, make sure it’s nice and thick and not too watery. It will make for easier stuffing for the peppers.

Found this on Hispanic Kitchen’s site

Spicy Cilantro Garlic Shrimp

up to 4 servings as an appetizer

5 T. olive oil               2 T. butter softened           

        2/3 c. chopped cilantro             juice of 1 lime                

         4 T Worcestershire sauce                  4 cloves of minced garlic

1 Habanero pepper minced….(I will use tamed Jalapeno’s for my hubby)

1 t. oregano             1 t. smoked paprika       

     1 t red pepper flakes (a shake for us)                 ½ t salt              

          ½ t. pepper                     1 lb. Large shrimp, cleaned and peeled

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, minus the shrimp Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Add in the shrimp and marinate in refrigerator for 45 minutes, no more than an hour.

Preheat grill to medium heat for 10 minutes or to 325 degrees. Remove shrimp from fridge 20 minutes before cooking.

Divide the shrimp, including the marinade into two foil packets, seal shut. Cook on grill with lid closed for 5-7 minutes, checking after 5. Remove from grill and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


I found this on Hispanic Kitchen’s site……..

Baked cheese

I found this over at Sue’s blog, The View from Great Island….
Baked Cheese—the most romantic appetizer ever

Yield: serves 2 as a light dinner, or 4 as an appetizer

What You Will Need

  • 1/4 lb Fontina cheese
  • 1/4 lb Gruyere cheese
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Kirschwasser (you can use white wine, brandy, or sherry in its place)
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh chives
  • a nice fresh baguette
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced in half


  1. Slice the bread, I like to do it on the bias to get more surface area. You’ll need approximately 8 to 10 slices. Heat a grill pan over medium to high heat and toast the slices until they are browned and slightly charred, about 4-5 minutes per side. Watch them carefully. While the bread is still warm, run the cut side of the garlic along the surface, this will give it a nice subtle flavor. Set aside.
  2. Remove the rinds and cut the cheese into cubes, about 1/2 to 1 inch. Put them in a small cast iron pan, or other small broiler-friendly pan, about 5-6 inches in diameter. Add the oil and Kirsch. Sprinkle the herbs across the cheese.
  3. Broil about 5 inches from the broiler for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly. The time will depend on your pan, your oven, and how far your pan is from the heating element. I put my rack on the highest position and it took 10 minutes. Watch it like a hawk.
  4. Serve right away with the grilled bread.

Another great looking recipe from Sue over at



Gruyere cheese is one of my favorites and mushrooms are throughly enjoyed by the entire family so I knew this would go over well. I’m planning out our Labor Day weekend menu and I love to try new things.

  • 1 small loaf ciabatta bread or a crusty baguette
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1 pint cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 pound Gruyere cheese, grated (a generous cup)
  • 1 Tbsp Sherry (or Marsala)
  • pinch of salt, if needed
  • fresh thyme
  • Fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Cut the bread in half lengthwise, so you have a large cut surface. You will not need the whole loaf, I used about a 6 inch by 6 inch piece of ciabatta. Grill the bread, cut side down, on a hot grill until it starts to get nice char marks. Rub the cut side of the garlic across the bread while it is still hot. Set aside.
  2. Dust off the mushrooms with a clean dish cloth. Trim off the tips of the stems, and then thickly slice them.
  3. Heat a cast iron or saute pan on medium high, and add the mushrooms and thyme leaves. Dry saute the mushrooms, stirring often so they won’t stick to the pan, until they release their moisture and are softened. This will only take a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the sherry and let it sizzle for just a few seconds. Stir to deglaze the pan and get up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Season with a pinch of salt, if needed.
  5. Spoon the mushrooms and any juice onto the bread. Top with the cheese, some black pepper, and a little more fresh thyme. Broil until the cheese is melted.
  6. Slice the bread into individual portions and enjoy right away.

Jalapeno Poppers


GLORY….I am seriously addicted to these things.  We had a theft out of our yard during the night of an artisan piece that I am just a bit too sentimental about.  SOOOO, after talking to the really cute police officer, whose first word after seeing the picture was, “copper”, well, I knew they probably wouldn’t be finding it dumped by the silly kids who have paint balled our home and stolen other yard art pieces.  SIGH.   He said, “copper, and its probably already been sold off and destroyed….pretty sure grown men did this one.”.  SIGH, SIGH, SIGH…..friends told me I should report this theft since it was a pricy piece.  Anyway after realizing that I would likely never see it again, I decided I needed comfort food.  Yeah, yeah, yeah…I do turn to food sometimes.  Today I needed something with some zip so I left the police station and headed to the store for the ingredients I knew I didn’t have at home.

Now this is one of those make’em your own recipes.  I haven’t been making them very long and I swear they come out different every time.  I’ve tried shrimp on top of the cream cheese stuffing with the bacon wrapped around it all and they were okay, but I should have seasoned the shrimp.  I’ve used uncured bacon and thick pepper bacon.  Pepper bacon all the way baby.  YUM.  So here is the general idea of a recipe and then go have fun.

Jalapeno poppers

10 Jalapenos  (not small ones but not the really big ones I saw today)

1 softened package of cream cheese (DON’T use the fat free that i mistakenly grabbed)

Chop about a 1/2 cup of cilantro (unless you think it tastes like soap like I’ve heard)

1 tsp. of chopped garlic  (I LOVE Trader Joe’s…no formaldehyde like other store’s jarred versions)

1/3 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese

Cut the ends off the jalapenos, cut in half length wise, scoop out the seeds and strip down the veins if you want poppers more on the milder side (like my hubby).  Fill the scooped out pepper half and wrap with bacon.  Usually I cut the bacon slices in half.  Now you have to realize I am not a perfectionist and my poppers are not on the pretty side but man does everyone enjoy them.

Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.  Sometimes I pop them under the broiler just to crisp up the bacon a bit.  ( I have also added cheddar cheese instead of pepper jack and added a couple of tablespoons of Tamed Jalapenos)  (OH DEAR….just had a thought.  I might have to add some kind of smokey paprika next time for a new flavor).

Make them your own. Live on the wild side and leave the seeds and ribs in..GLORY BE THAT SOUNDS CRAZY…but some of you are heartier than I am….or maybe your tongue is even older and thus more dead than mine.  That theory is brought to you by our 20 somethings daughter…they think they are funny.