Tag Archive: 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.
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.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/avocado-hummus-with-crispy-pita-chips-recipe.html?oc=linkback

1/2 cup thick teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 dash kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 fresh pineapple
2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound bacon, package sliced in half


Special equipment: about 30 wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 hours)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set a roasting rack in a large baking pan.

To make the marinade, pour the teriyaki sauce in a bowl and then throw in the ginger, sugar, crushed red pepper, salt, garlic, green onions and lemon juice. Stir it around and set it aside.

Next, cut the pineapple into chunks by lopping off the top, slicing off the rind, cutting the pineapple into wedges, slicing off the hard inner core and then cutting the slices into chunks. Store half the chunks in the fridge for snacking.

Place a chunk of pineapple on top of a shrimp and then wrap the whole thing in one of the half-slices of bacon. Stick a skewer through the whole thing so that it holds the pineapple, shrimp and bacon securely, and lay it on the rack in the pan. Continue with the remaining ingredients. Brush each skewer generously with some of the marinade.

Roast the skewers for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and brush with a second coat of marinade. Return the pan to the oven and roast until the bacon is sizzling and the shrimp is cooked, about 15 minutes.

Serve them hot or at room temperature. Divine!

2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 package ranch dressing mix…(I’m going to use Fiesta Ranch)
Freshly ground black pepper
5 flour tortillas
1/2 cup finely diced green bell peppers
1/2 cup finely diced red bell peppers
2 green onions, sliced


Mix the cream cheese, ranch dressing mix and the black pepper together thoroughly.

Spread the mixture on the tortillas, and then sprinkle over the diced bell peppers and green onions. Roll up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until party time (for at least 1 hour).

Slice into small wheels and serve.

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……..http://www.hispanickitchen.com/profiles/blogs/spicy-cilantro-garlic-shrimp

Baked cheese

I found this over at Sue’s blog, The View from Great Island….http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/
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 http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/



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.