22 Aug 2014
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Appetizers to Give Your Party Real Flavor

These recipes are taste-tested favorites that will have your guests asking for the recipe after the first mouthful.

Appetizers to Give Your Party Real Flavor Appetizers to Give Your Party Real Flavor

You told your friends and family that you would host a New Year's Eve party this year. Now what?

What do you serve to eat? You don't want to just dump some chips into a bowl for dipping into store-bought packaged dips, do you? You want to make a real splash and have them coming back for more, don't you?

Here are a few appetizer recipes that can give your party some zip. I pulled the first one from the stack of recipes in my own kitchen. I got it from a colleague a few years ago, who got it from her mom. So you know it's good.

Cook-extraordinaire Linda Lee of Barrington provided the others for a column she wrote last year for Patch. Each is uh-umh good! You will not go wrong, believe me!

Black Bean Ole Dip


One brick of softened cream cheese.

One can of drained green chilies.

One can of black beans.

Salsa (as much as you want).

Chicken broth (about 1/4 cup)

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Hot peppers or olives (or a favorite garnish).

Take the softened cream cheese and spread it evenly over the bottom of an oven-safe dish. Sprinkle a layer of green chilies over the cheese. Heat up the black beans, salsa and chicken broth. Mix them together in a pot. Let the mixture get thick and bubbly. After that simmers for a while, let it cool to room temperature. Then add it to the dish. Dump the bag of shredded cheese on top. Then sprinkle on the hot peppers or olives. Pop it in the oven until the cheese melts. It's ready to serve with you favorites chips.

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip


 1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach

1 1/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts

6 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid. Heat cream cheese in the microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot with pita or bagel chips.

Holiday Bruschetta


French baguette loaf

Garlic cloves

Extra virgin olive oil

Slice the baguette into ½" thick slices and toast in 400 degree F oven for 4 or 5 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.

Cut each garlic clove in half; rub cut sides over tops and sides of toast slices. Brush olive oil on top of toast slices. Add topping and serve.

Shrimp & Olive Tapenade Topping


1 cup chopped shrimp

½ cup chopped black olives

1 tablespoon pesto

¼ cup green onion

Red chili flakes
, to taste

Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Caramelized Onion & Salmon


1 medium red onion, sliced

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon brown sugar

½ cup smoked salmon

Salt & pepper to taste

Sauté onions & olive oil, for 20 minutes, until brown, add brown sugar & smoke salmon. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

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