Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Party appetizers from my recipe box

I have to confess, I'm not as crunchy or as healthy as many of you in the community. Sometimes I like to splurge on things that simply aren't going to win me any awards for being environmentally or health conscious. That's just the way it is.

So, for those of you in the same boat as me, I thought you might enjoy some of my favorite party recipes as you prepare for New Year's Eve. It goes without saying that buying organic (or at least non-GMO) ingredients is the best choice, so I'm not going to specify. Do what fits your lifestyle and budget. By the way, the mushroom recipe has actually garnered some marriage proposals... even after I was married!

Image by Lynn Greyling

(makes approximately 35 appetizers)

1/4 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (with tops)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 lb. medium-sized mushrooms
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (mild or sharp -- your choice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13" x 9" baking dish.

Carefully remove stems from the mushrooms and set aside. Line the mushroom caps, stem-side up, in the baking dish. Finely chop the mushroom stems.

Cook sausage in skillet until brown; drain the grease.

Transfer sausage into a large bowl and add green onions, mushroom stems, and mayonnaise. Mix well and scoop into the mushroom caps. Cover with shredded cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly, but not burnt. 

WARNING: These things are addictive!

(This recipe was shared with me and I do not know the original source. Makes 12 appetizers)

12 dates
6 slices of bacon, halved

Preheat oven to 500 degrees** while soaking 12 toothpicks in water. 

Lightly grease a jelly roll pan or line with parchment paper.

Wrap each date with bacon and insert wet toothpick. Place seam-side down.

Bake 6-8 minutes until well-browned.

Rotate and bake for an additional 2-4 minutes. Drain grease from each appetizer on clean rag or paper towel. 

**Alternative baking instruction -- Use a 350 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes. There is no need to soak the toothpicks in water when doing it this way.

(While you have the bacon out... )

2 8-oz. cans whole water chestnuts, drained
1/2 lb. bacon, halved

1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wrap chestnuts in bacon and secure with toothpicks. Place in baking dish.

Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce in small saucepan and heat until the mixture starts to boil.

Pour sauce over the water chestnuts.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until bacon is thoroughly cooked.

(Can be sweetened with 1/2 tsp. Stevia extract)

2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

Blend ingredients. Place in bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Serve with graham crackers, bananas, or pound cake.

For an adult party, you can liven up the recipe with a splash of Amaretto.


That's it for now. Happy, and safe, partying!

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