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Appetizers

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball

2 boxes (8 ounces) cream cheese slightly softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reserve ½ cup)
10 slices crispy cooked bacon chopped (reserve half)
2 jalapenos minced (reserve half)
½ cup chopped green onions (reserve half)

Using a stand or hand mixer on medium speed beat your cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder,
onion powder and black pepper until smooth and creamy. Turn to low and mix in 1 1/2 cups of cheddar
cheese, half of the chopped bacon, half of the minced jalapeno, and half of the chopped green onions.
Combine your reserved cheddar, bacon, jalapenos and green onions in a small zipper storage bag and
store in the refrigerator.
Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on a counter top. Spoon the cheese into a ball shape and bring up
the sides of the plastic wrap to cover the cheese ball. Utilize the wrapping process to help shape the
cheese into a ball. Refrigerate the cheese ball overnight.
Remove the cheese ball about 20 minutes prior to serving. Spread your reserved cheddar, bacon,
jalapenos and green onions on a cutting board or large plate. Unwrap the ball and roll in the reserved
toppings.

Pizza Sliders

1 package (12-count) King's Hawaiian rolls
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 c mozzarella cheese, divided
48 slices pepperoni
¾ cup pizza sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 7×11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and parmesan
cheese. Set aside.
Split your rolls in half horizontally and place the bottom halves in the baking dish.
Top the bottom halves of the buns with 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese. Follow with a layer of the
pepperoni slices, pizza sauce, and the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Place the top halves of the buns on top and brush the top of the rolls with the melted butter
mixture.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is hot and bubbly.
Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes (or until the tops of the sliders turn a golden
brown).
Remove from oven, slice, and serve!

Asparagus Tart

2 sheets frozen puff pastry

2 eggs, at room temperature

8 ounces herbed goat cheese, at room temperature

1 ounce (about 3/4 cup grated) Romano cheese

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and peeled as needed

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Zest of 1 lemon

Place a cookie sheet on a rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 400˚F or according to puff pastry package instructions. Remove puff pastry from freezer and let stand at room temperature while you make the filling.

Make the filling:

Zest the lemon into a small bowl and set the zest aside. You will use it later. In a medium bowl, beat 1 egg with the goat cheese, Romano cheese, and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Create the tart shell:

When the pastry is pliable enough to work with, generally after 20 to 30 minutes, unfold both sheets on a sheet of parchment paper. Overlap ends by 1 inch, forming 1 long rectangle (about 17 inches x 9 inches); press together to seal.

Beat the remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water, then brush a 1-inch rim of egg wash around the pastry rectangle.

Fold edges inward and press to create a 1-inch border. This acts as a “glue” and creates a picture frame effect. Use additional egg wash to seal corners where they overlap. Brush top of folded rim with egg wash.

Top the tart: 

Spread the goat cheese mixture inside the pastry border. Toss the asparagus with the oil and salt, then arrange in a single layer on top of the cheese. If you want to get fancy, feel free to play with the arrangement of your asparagus.

Bake:

Remove the hot cookie sheet from the oven and add the parchment with the tart; return the cookie sheet to the oven. Bake the tart until golden brown and flaky, 30 to 35 minutes.

Serve:

Sprinkle the lemon zest over the asparagus and then cut the tart into triangles or squares. Serve immediately or let cool on a rack and serve at room temperature.

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

1 rotisserie chicken shredded (about 3 cups)

8 ounces cream cheese softened

5 ounces Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce

½ cup bleu cheese crumbled

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup Colby jack cheese shredded

⅓ cup green onions chopped

5 large flour tortillas

In a large mixing bowl add cream cheese, Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce, blue cheese, salt, garlic powder, Colby jack cheese, and green onions. Using a hand mixer with beaters, mix until well blended and no cream cheese chunks remain.

Add shredded chicken to buffalo mixture and stir well with a large spoon. Coat all chicken with buffalo mixture.

Spread about ¾ cup buffalo chicken mixture onto a tortilla. Roll up tightly, trying not to shift the buffalo chicken mixture too much.

Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and use a sharp knife to cut into slices. Discard the end pieces.

Serve immediately.

Street Corn Dip

2 – 10 ounce bags steam fresh frozen corn

1 tablespoon olive oil

juice from one lime about 2 tablespoons

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 ounces low fat feta cheese

1 jalapeno pepper chopped (leave the seeds in for extra spice!)

2 tablespoons red onion chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped

2 tablespoons franks redhot sauce or your favorite wing sauce

Prepare corn according to package instructions.

Once corn is steamed/dethawed, heat in a large skillet on medium high heat with the olive oil. I cooked it for about 7-8 minutes until it was slightly browned.

Take corn off of heat and toss with all other ingredients.

Serve as side dish or as a dip with tortilla chips!

Serve immediately and refrigerate remainder for up to 3-5 days.

Enjoy!

Boursin Stuffed Mushrooms

2 tbsp. butter

1/2 finely chopped onion

20 button mushrooms, stemmed and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

block Boursin

1/2 c. breadcrumbs, plus more for sprinkling

1/2 c. grated Parmesan

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, melt butter. Add onion, mushroom stems, garlic, and parsley.

In a small bowl, mix together Boursin, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan, and mushroom stem mixture and season with salt and pepper.

Stuff mushrooms and sprinkle with more breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil.

Garnish with finely chopped parsley and bake until mushrooms are deeply golden and cooked through, 20 minutes.

Serve.

1 (17-ounce) container of purchased plain hummus

1/2 cup reduced-fat, crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (from about 2 onions)

3/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of  kosher salt

cherry tomatoes, halved

1 large red pepper, optional (look for one with broad, flat sides)

1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons very finely crumbled, reduced-fat feta cheese

 

dippers for serving: whole-grain pita chips, wedges of whole-wheat pita bread, pretzels

or any red and green veggies

In a medium-sized bowl, combine hummus, 1/2 cup feta, and green onions.

Place a small bowl or drinking glass in the center of a large, round platter

Use a rubber scraper to spread the hummus mixture in a circle all around the bowl/glass you placed at the center

Remove the bowl/glass from the center using a gentle, upward twisting motion. If needed, you can carefully insert the tip of a toothpick under the edge of the bowl/glass to help it release.

In another small bowl, toss parsley, oil, and salt until the parsley is thoroughly coated and the oil and salt are evenly distributed.

Spoon parsley mixture in a circle on top of the hummus layer, leaving a small border of hummus showing all around.

Place halved cherry tomatoes, cut-side down, randomly throughout the parsley layer, so they look like Christmas ornaments.

If making the optional bow out of red pepper, cut one broad, flat side off the pepper (as shown in the photo in our post), and gently but firmly press a metal, bow-shaped cookie cutter (we use this one) through the pepper slice to cut out your bow. Place the bow on your wreath.

Sprinkle entire wreath lightly with a dusting of 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons very finely crumbled feta, to look like snow. You can adjust the exact amount of feta, depending on the diameter of your wreath – you want it to look like just a light dusting, without using so much feta that it hides the other ingredients.

Serve immediately with dippers of your choice, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1-2 days

Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log

Cranberry Pistachio Coating
1 1/4 cups cranberries
1 cup shelled roasted, salted pistachios

Cheese Log
7-8 oz. goat cheese log or tub
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 tsp EACH ground ginger, ground cinnamon, salt, dried thyme, dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Cranberry Pistachio Coating mixture (in directions)

Garnish with honey

Instructions:

Add cranberries and pistachios to your food processor and chop into small pieces (but don’t over-process). Remove ½ cup and add it to a medium bowl. Add all remaining Goat Cheese Log ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.

Add this cheese mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap, and form into the shape of a log. Wrap in plastic wrap. Freezer for 20-30 minutes. We want the cheese log slightly firm so it holds its shape but is still soft enough for the Coating to be pressed into it.

Line counter with about a large piece parchment paper. Add Coating ingredients to parchment and spread into a single layer square a little larger than the length of the cheese log. Add cheese log to the edge of the coating and roll in coating until evenly coated, pressing coating into the cheese so it sticks. The cheese log can be refrigerated at this point until ready to serve or serve immediately.

When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator 15 minutes beforehand so it can soften. Drizzle generously with honey just before serving. Serve with crackers.

Pizza Primavera

Servings: 4

2 cups cut-up fresh asparagus

2 yellow sweet peppers, cut into thin, bite-size strips

2 medium red onions, sliced

8 fresh mushrooms, sliced

4 teaspoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

4 whole wheat flatbreads

½ cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese (2 ounces)

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)

Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl combine asparagus, sweet peppers, onions, mushrooms, oil, and salt. Spoon vegetable mixture onto prepared baking sheet, spreading into an even layer. Roast for 10 minutes; remove from oven and set aside.

Place flatbreads on two large baking sheets; sprinkle Pecorino-Romano cheese evenly over flatbreads. Arrange the roasted vegetables and the cherry tomatoes evenly on flatbreads. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls

For the egg rolls

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

3 c. shredded rotisserie chicken

1/4 c. hot sauce

4 green onions, thinly sliced

10 egg roll wrappers

Vegetable oil, for frying

 

For the dressing

1/2 c. ranch dressing

3 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese

2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

 

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese with cheese, chicken, hot sauce, and green onions.

Place an egg roll wrapper on a clean surface in a diamond shape. Dampen your finger in water and wet the outside edges of the egg roll wrapper. Add a dollop of the filling crosswise in the center of the bottom half of the wrapper. Fold up bottom half and tightly fold in sides. Gently roll and seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

In a large skillet over medium, heat 1/2-inch oil until it starts to bubble. Working in batches, add egg rolls and fry until golden, 1 minute per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool slightly.

Make the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the ranch with the blue cheese and dill. Stir, smashing a bit with a spoon to break up the cheese into the sauce.

Serve warm with dressing for dipping.