Here’s a delicious and simple appetizer that even your guests on
gluten-free, Ketogenic, Paleo and Atkins diets can enjoy.
- 24 mushrooms
- 4 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Your favorite pizza toppings (pepperoni, sausage, bell pepper, onion, tomato, basil, etc.)
- Remove stems from mushrooms and clean mushroom caps with a damp paper towel.
- Place mushroom caps on a lightly greased baking sheet and fill with tomato or pasta sauce. My favorite is Trader Joe’s
- Top with mozzarella cheese and your favorite pizza toppings.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and nicely browned.
TIP: If cooking for only a few people, use large Portobello
mushrooms to create personal sized crust-free pizzas. Bake the mushrooms for 5 minutes before adding toppings.
A unique and simple appetizer that is also perfect for your
Ketogenic and Paleo guests.
Only Three Ingredients:
Texas style okra pickles
1. Spread cream cheese onto a slice of ham.
2. Cut okra pickles to fit the width of the ham slice.
3. Roll up the ham around the pickles.
4. Slice into 1/4″ rounds. The slices don’t need to be identical, but the more consistent the size, the prettier they are on the platter.
That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!
This yummy, colorful Christmas candy is simple to make but
oh-so-hard to stop eating. Put 10 or 12 in a holiday treat bag for a perfect gift, or bring a plateful of them to a party. Do NOT expect any leftovers to bring home.
Hershey’s Peppermint Kisses (or any flavor)
Mini pretzel squares
Red and green M&Ms
Lay out pretzels on baking sheet. Put one kiss on each pretzel. Bake at 200° for 5 minutes, until kisses are shiny and soft but not runny. Immediately put an M&M on the center of each kiss and press down lightly. Let them cool (I refrigerate for a little while so they get firm).
Quick, easy and oh-so-yummy!
Since there are NEVER left-over mashed potatoes in my house, I simply used a container of prepared mashed potatoes from the
grocery store. 2 cups of those, 3 eggs and 3/4 cup of shredded
parmesan cheese. Stirred it together, plopped it into greased mini-muffin tins, topped with a little more cheese and baked at 400
degrees for 20 minutes. OMG! So good!
You could add spices, chives, bacon bits, ham, different cheeses or anything else that sounds good to you, but believe me, this simple version was delicious.
TIP: Let rest 5 minutes and then run knife around the edges to
encourage them out of the muffin tin.
These Sweet-n-Spicy Nuts are easy to make ahead and add a nice touch to any table. They also make simple holiday or hostess gifts.
You can use any nuts that you like — I chose a combination of
cashews, pecans, almonds and walnuts. Store them in an airtight container on the shelf for a week, in the frig for a month, or in the freezer for six months.
4 cups of raw nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat sugar, water and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
Stir in spices and slowly pour over the nuts. Stir until the nuts are well coated.
Spread the nuts into a single layer on the baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. Stir nuts and spread out again into a single layer. Bake another 10 minutes and let cool before serving.
For a simple and fun hors d’ouevre, these Mini BLT Cups do the trick. They also fit in well with a ketogenic or paleo diet.
The ingredients are B—bacon, L—lettuce, and T—tomato, of course. But you also want to include some type of creamy dressing:
mayonnaise, aioli, chipotle mayonnaise, Ranch dressing, etc. I settled on cream cheese and was very happy with that choice.
TIP: Get the largest cherry tomatoes you can find. They still need to be small enough to be a single bite, but if they are too small, they are tough to hollow out and stuff.
Instantly add the
flavor of bacon,
onion and garlic to eggs or steak or burgers with this compound butter. It’s simple to make and adds savoriness to whatever you are cooking. It can even be used as a spread on a sliced baguette and toasted for a quick hors d’oeuvre. Will last up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
1 cup butter (two sticks, softened)
10 strips bacon, diced
1/3 cup onion, finely diced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon garlic pepper
1. Sauté bacon and onion until lightly crisp. Drain.
2. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
3. Store in airtight container or for a log and roll it in plastic wrap.
Now you’ll have this butter on hand to add to eggs, steaks, burgers, or to use as a spread on a sliced baguette.
For a yummy Southwestern appetizer, just make your favorite recipe for stuffed peppers and use mini sweet bell peppers instead of large ones. Here’s the recipe I used:
12 to 14 mini sweet bell peppers
1 cup white rice, cooked
1/2 lb ground sausage (or ground beef)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
10 cherry tomatoes, finely diced
8 oz shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
- Slice peppers in half lengthwise, remove seeds and inner spines, rinse, dry and lay in 9″x13″ baking dish.
2. Saute sausage, onion and garlic until browned.
3. Add rice and tomatoes to the sausage mixture and stir well.
4. Stuff each pepper half and return to pan.
4. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil, top with shredded cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.
To prep ahead: Slice and clean the peppers and store in zipped bag in frig up to two days ahead. Make the stuffing mixture the day ahead and store in the frig.
Quick, easy and tasty Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip
1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
1½ cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
6 oz. cream cheese
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Tip: I like to chop the artichokes while
they are halfway between frozen and
thawed — easiest to cut at that texture.
- Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender. Drain.
2. Heat cream cheese for 1 minute in microwave, just until hot and soft.
3. Combine all ingredients and stir well.
Serve hot, but it’s yummy cold, too.
Who knew a mummy could be so yummy? These are
simple to make for breakfast or a Halloween brunch.
Use fully cooked sausages and wrap them in strips of crescent roll dough.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees, and add dots of mustard for the eyes. That’s it.
A couple of tips from trial and error… they look better when not too toasty dark, so check them early. Also be sure to wrap them all the way to the bottom to make them look more like mummies than
people bundled up for the winter.