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Categories

Appetizers

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.

Mexican Pinwheels

12 oz cream cheese, softened to room temp (my packages are 8oz, so I used a package and a half)

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups shredded chicken

1.5 Tbsp taco seasoning (choose your favorite)

1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

10 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, very well drained

1 1/2 tsp garlic, finely minced

5 green onions, sliced thinly

3/4 – 1 cup cilantro, chopped finely (adjust to your tastes)

8 burrito sized flour tortillas

fresh minced cilantro, for garnish optional

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Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stirring until well combined.

Lay flour tortilla down on work surface and spread about 1/4 cup (amount will vary from person to person) evenly over the tortilla, leaving a 1/2 – 1 inch border all around.

Start at the bottom of the tortilla (closest to you), and roll up tightly towards the top, like a cigar.  Place roll seam side down on prepared pan.

Repeat with remaining tortillas and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to several hours to chill and firm up.

Use a sharp, serrated knife to slice roll into 1 inch pinwheels and serve.

Rueben Roll

1/3 c mayonnaise

1 Tbsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp caraway seeds

1 c (4 ounces) cooked corned beef, sliced thin

1 c (4 ounces) slicedswiss cheese

1 c sauerkraut, rinsed, drained and patted dry with paper towels

1 pkg (10 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust dough

In medium bowl combine mayonnaise, mustard and caraway seeds.

Unroll dough onto a large ungreased cookie sheet. Gently stretch dough to 14 x 12 – inch rectangle. This works better when letting the dough warm up a bit. Cut dough lengthwise in half. Spoon half of the filling onto each piece, spreading to within 1 inch of edges.

Layer corned beef, swiss and sauerkraut onto dough.

From long side, roll each jelly – roll style; pinch to seal edges.

Arrange rolls seam side down, 3 inches apart. Bake in a 425 degree oven 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 1 inch slices.

Crab Rangoon Dip

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cut into cubes

Two 6-ounce cans lump crabmeat, drained and shredded

One 10-ounce can condensed shrimp bisque

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 scallion, finely chopped

 

For the Won Ton Chips:

Peanut oil

1 package won ton wrappers

Salt, to taste

For the dip:

Preheat broiler.

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and stir to combine. Place in a broiler-proof serving dish and broil for 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

For the won ton chips:

Heat 2 inches of peanut oil in a Dutch oven or fryer to 350 degrees F. Add won ton wrappers in batches to fry lightly. Remove from oil and let drain on paper towels before serving. Season with salt and pepper

Spooky Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers

Preheat Oven to 350F Degrees

FOR THE FILLING:

2 c shredded chicken

2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

3 tbsp. taco seasoning

1/8 c. chopped jalapeno peppers

1 pouch taco rice, cooked according to package directions

1 (15.25 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14 oz) can of tomatoes, drained and rinsed

1 (14 oz) can corn, drained

1 package (16 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

FOR THE PEPPERS:

4-6 orange bell peppers,

1/3 c. chicken broth

 

Combine all filling ingredients together in a large bowl.

Wash the peppers, and cut jack-o’-lantern faces into the peppers with a sharp paring knife, making triangle eyes and noses, and pointy-teeth smiles. Slice off the tops of the peppers, and scoop out the seeds and cores. Stuff the peppers lightly with the stuffing, and place them into the prepared baking dish so they lean against each other. Cover with foil.

Take dish out of the oven and remove foil to sprinkle a small amount of shredded cheese on top. Once topped with shredded cheese return to oven for an additional 5 minutes until cheese has melted.

Pepperoni Pizza Dip Wonton Cups

 

8-oz cream cheese softened

1/2 cup pasta sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

24 wonton wrappers

36 slices thin pepperoni

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Coat 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray or oil

Line each muffin cup with two wonton wrappers

Layer cream cheese, pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese in each wonton cup

Top with 3 slices pepperoni each, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning

Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown

Cool slightly, then enjoy!

Pizza Tart

1 17.3 ounce package frozen puff pastry

1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons Pizza sauce or sour cream

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon shredded mozzarella

Thinly sliced red onion and red pepper

Italian Seasonings

Fresh oregano or basil to garnish

Place oven rack in the center of the oven, and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove frozen pastry sheets from box and paper wrappings. Thaw pastry sheets at room temperature for about 40 minutes or until pastry unfolds easily, but pastry is still cold. Unfold pastry on a lightly floured surface, and remove any additional paper wrappings. Cut each sheet into 9 pieces by cutting down the fold lines, then cutting each row into three equal pieces.

Line two cookie sheets or baking sheets with parchment paper, and place 9 pastry squares on each baking sheet.

Spoon 1 teaspoon pizza sauce or sour cream into the center of each pastry square, and spread to a thin layer, leaving about a 1-inch space along each side. Sprinkle each square with ½ tablespoon shredded cheese, and top with sliced red onion and red pepper. Generously sprinkle each with Italian Seasonings.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 13-17 minutes, rotating trays halfway through baking time, until the pastry is golden brown and puffed. Carefully remove from oven, place on a serving tray, and garnish with fresh herbs. Devour.