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.
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 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.
Most anything wrapped in bacon would probably be a hit, but these Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Treats are AMAZING!
If at all possible, you will want to use fresh pineapple. The convenience of canned pineapple just isn’t worth the difference in flavor and texture. For those of you who’ve never cut up a pineapple
before, let me reassure you… it’s very easy. I had never done it before either.
Cutting a pineapple:
1. Slice off the top and discard.
2. Slice off the bottom to create a flat surface and discard
3. Stand the pineapple upright and slice down each side, cutting off the spikes and leaving only the yellow flesh.
4. Now slice down each side and discard the core.
5. Cut the slices into 1″ chunks.
To make the Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Treats:
Wrap each pineapple chunk in one-half slice of bacon, securing with a toothpick. Place them side by side on a rack over a foil lined baking sheet. (You can place them directly on the foil, but they cook more evenly and drain better on a rack.)
Top each treat with a pinch of brown sugar, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so, until the bacon is crispy and browned nicely. Serve immediately.
Oh so yummy!!