Snack Ideas

A Little Something Sweet...

Posted in Snack Ideas, Recipes

Fudge muffins

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup cocoa
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Vegetable cooking spray
Semisweet chocolate chips

Place butter and cocoa in a bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until butter melts. Set aside. combine eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a medium mixing bowl. Add butter mixture, flour and cinnamon, stirring just until blended. Spray muffin pans lightly, spoon muffin batter into cups, filling each two-thirds full. Sprinkle each muffin with 6 to 8 chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from pans immediately.
For miniature muffins, sprinkle with 2 to 3 chocolate chips and bake at 350 for 13 to 15 minutes.

Pumpkin muffins

1 ½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cup flour
1 cup pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix first 5 ingredients together. Then add spices, soda, flour and pumpkin. Grease mini muffin tins, and spoon muffin batter into cups, filling each two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. This will make 4 dozen mini muffins. They can be made ahead and frozen in baggies.


Posted in Snack Ideas, Recipes

Susan’s Crab Dip

1/2 lb crab, picked over for shells
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 /2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

With electric mixer, mix cream cheese, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, onion, horseradish and lemon juice until smooth. Add milk to make creamy. Fold in crabmeat. Place in shallow casserole dish and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly.

Eggplant dip

4 1 lb eggplants or 4 pounds of baby eggplants (about 12)
4 bulbs garlic
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons salt
4 medium red sweet peppers, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup lemon juice
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash eggplants; trim and cut into ½ to 1 inch pieces. Divide eggplant between 2 15X10X1 inch baking pans. Cut off the top ½ inch from the garlic bulbs to expose individual cloves. Leaving garlic bulbs whole, remove any loose, papery outer layers. Place garlic bulbs on a 12 inch square of heavy foil; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Warp foil up around the garlic bulbs to completely enclose.

Drizzle ¼ cup of the remaining olive oil over eggplant in each pan and sprinkle with salt; toss to coat. Place eggplant and garlic packet in over, placing pans on 2 separate oven racks. Roast, uncovered, 20 minutes, stirring once. Add half of the sweet pepper to teach pan with eggplant; stir to combine. Roast, uncovered, 20 minutes more or until vegetables are tender, stirring once. Remove pans and garlic from oven and cool.

Transfer eggplant and peppers to a very large glass or nonreactive bowl. Squeeze garlic pulp from individual cloves into a small bowl; use the back of a spoon to mash the pulp. Add remaining oil and lemon juice to garlic; whisk to combine. Add oil mixture, parsley and oregano to eggplant mixture, toss to combine.

Serve immediately or let mixture stand, covered, up to 1 hour before serving. Or cover and chill mixture up to 3 days; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. (Or, transfer mixture to a freezer container. Cover and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator before serving, then let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.) Serve with flat bread pieces. Makes about 40 (1/4 cups servings)

Crockpot artichoke dip

6 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon diced sun dried tomato
1 teaspoon snipped chives

Drain and chop the artichoke hearts. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a small slow cooker. Cover and heat for 45 minutes. Serve with chips or crackers. I tripled the recipe for our tasting.

Red Onion Chip Dip

1 Tb olive oil

1 large red onion, minced

1 clove garlic minced

1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp salt

½ tsp finely ground black pepper

1/8 tsp ground thyme

1 cup sour cream

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown- about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until softened- about 2 more minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, soy sauce, salt, pepper and thyme.  Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and cool completely.  Stir in the sour cream until well combined, cover, and chill for at least 2 hours.  Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serve with assorted vegetable crisps.

Tuscan Bean Dip

1 15 oz can cannellini or other white beans, drained

1 tsp minced garlic

1 medium onion, chopped

½ cup chopped roasted red pepper

¼ cup chopped Italian parsley

1 Tb Italian salad dressing

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 Tb grated Parmesan cheese

Breadsticks, toasted pizza bread wedges, baguette slices or crackers

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place beans and garlic in a blender container: blend until smooth.  Spread on bottom of an oven proof 9 inch plate or pie plate.  Combine onion, roasted red pepper, Italian parsley and Italian salad dressing.  Spoon over bean layer.  Top with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.  Serve with breadsticks, toasted pizza bread wedges, baguette slices or cracker.  Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Susan’s Shrimp Dip

1 Tb horseradish

1 7 oz can of shrimp drained and flaked

1 8 oz package cream cheese

1 Tb Worcestershire sauce

1 Tb lemon juice

2 or 3 Tb ketchup

Soften cream cheese at room temperature.  Blend Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and horseradish into cream cheese.  Add shrimp and enough ketchup to give desired dipping consistency.  Chill well and serve with crackers.

Meaty Matters

Posted in Snack Ideas, Recipes

Chicken Nuggets

1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup butter, melted in microwave

Combine 1st 5 ingredients in a large baggie, shake well. Cut chicken in 1 inch pieces. Dip in butter and shake in breadcrumb mixture. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

*To serve as an appetizer:
Substitute shredded Parmesan cheese for grated Parmesan cheese and substitute oregano for thyme. Put out a bowl of homemade or jarred warm spaghetti sauce to dip the nuggets in and call them Italian nuggets.

Or cook the nuggets with the original recipe and substitute oregano for thyme. As soon as you remove the nuggets from the oven, sprinkle with tiny crumbles of feta cheese and serve with tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki sauce can be made by adding ½ cup of grated cucumber (remove seeds before grating and squeeze out as much water as you can after grating), 1 cup plain yogurt and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder. Fresh chopped mint can be added if desired.

Drunken hotdogs

3 lbs cocktail franks
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup bourbon or rum
2 ¼ cups ketchup
¾ tsp rosemary
Pinch of oregano
1 tablespoon chopped onion

Cook 6 to 10 hours in a crockpot- on high to start, then turn down to 2 or 3.

Almond Ham Rollups

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 teaspoon instant minced onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped almonds, toasted
1(12 ounce) package thinly sliced boiled ham

Combine all ingredients except ham, stirring until blended. Spread 1 tablespoon mixture on each ham slice. Roll up jellyroll fashion, starting at short end; wrap in plastic wrap and freeze up to 1 month.

Thaw at room temperature 1 hour before serving. Cut each roll into ¾ inch slices. Yield: 5 dozen.

Sausage Breads

1 package of rye cocktail bread
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb bulk sausage (I usually use mild but if you like heat buy hot sausage and if you really like heat, sprinkle in some hot pepper flakes)
1 lb Velveeta cheese, cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large heavy pot, brown sausage and ground beef together, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Drain well and return to the warm pot. Fold in the Velveeta, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Keep stirring until cheese is melted.

Top each slice of rye bread with about 2 Tablespoons of the meat and cheese mixture. If you’re serving them immediately, place them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 15 minutes.

If you’re freezing them, place the sausage breads on a jelly roll pan and pop them in the freezer for about 2 hours. Once the topping is set, remove the breads from the freezer, place them in a large baggie or plastic storage container and put the baggie or container in the freezer. When you’re ready to serve, place the breads on a baking sheet and heat in a 350 degree preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes

Ham & Swiss spread

1 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
½ pound smoked ham, finely chopped in a food processor
2 cups shredded sharp Swiss cheese (I use gruyere)
1 tablespoon shredded onion (use the large holes on a box grater)

With a rubber spatula, mash the cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustard and horseradish in a medium bowl until smooth. Mix in the ham, Swiss cheese and onion. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve chilled with crisp rye crackers, toasted rye or pumpernickel bread or flatbread crisps. The spread may be prepared up to 2 days ahead.

Try leftovers spread on toast and broiled until bubbling.

Crockpot Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs

½ cup milk
1 egg
1 cup cornbread stuffing mix
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 lb. ground turkey
16 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
¼ cup apple juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, combine milk and egg and beat to combine. Add stuffing mix, onion, and mustard and mix well. Then blend in ground turkey and stir gently to mix. Shape into 48 1inch balls and place on a 15 X 10 inch jelly roll plan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until browned.

In a 3-4 quart crockpot, combine cranberry sauce, apple juice, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Add meatballs and stir gently to coat. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours until mixture is thoroughly heated.

Roast Beef Filo Cups

1 8 ounce package cream cheese softened

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1-3 T prepared horseradish

½ tsp dried dill weed (I substitute fresh)

2 cups chopped deli roast beef

1 red bell pepper, diced

3-5 packages (15 count) frozen mini filo pastry cups, thawed

¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Gradually add mayonnaise and horseradish; beat until smooth.  Stir in dill weed.  Add roast beef and red bell pepper.  Cover this mixture and refrigerate until time to serve.

Using a small teaspoon, fill each pastry cup with some of the roast beef mixture.  Place on serving platters and sprinkle with parsley.

Turkey Basil Pinwheels

3 7 or 8 inch flour tortillas

1 5.2 oz carton Boursin cheese or container semi soft cheese with garlic and herbs

12 large fresh basil leaves

½ of a 7 oz jar roasted red sweet peppers, cut into ¼ inch wide strips

4 oz thinly sliced cooked turkey (could substitute ham, roast beer or pork)

1 T mayonnaise or salad dressing


Spread each tortilla with 1/3 of the cheese.  Add a layer of the large basil leaves to cover cheese.  Divide roasted red pepper strips between tortillas; arrange over the basil leaves 1 to 2 inches apart.  Top with meat slices.  Spread 1 teaspoon of the mayonnaise or salad dressing over the meat on each tortilla.  Roll up the tortillas tightly in a spiral, enclosing the filling.  Wrap each roll in plastic wrap.  Chill the tortilla rolls in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors.

To serve, remove the rolls from refrigerator.  Remove the plastic wrap and cut each of the rolls into 1 inch slices.

Roll Ups

Posted in Snack Ideas, Recipes

Cranberry pinwheels

8 ounces whipped cream cheese
8 ounces feta cheese- crumbled
2-3 tablespoons milk (original recipe didn't call for this but I think this is needed to make a better consistency)
¼ cup green onions- diced
6 ounces dried cranberries
4 ten inch flour tortillas

Mix together cream cheese, feta cheese, milk, green onion and dried cranberries. Using a butter knife spread ¼ of the mixture onto a 10 inch tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla. Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas. Wrap each tortilla in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Can be made 1 day in advance. Before serving, slice off the ends about 1 inch on each side. Cut each roll into about 10 slices. If you cut them too thin they will fall apart.

Mexican Roll Ups

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
4 oz shredded sharp cheese
4 oz black pitted olives
1 medium red onion
1 medium fresh jalapeno pepper
4 burrito sized flour tortillas

Whip cream cheese with a mixer and add the sharp cheese. Drain and finely chop the black olives and finely chop the red onion. Fold these into the cream cheese mixture with a spatula. Mince the fresh jalapeno and fold into cream cheese mixture. (I often don’t add all of the jalapeno- it depends on how hot you want the rollups to be). Spread the mixture thinly on each tortilla and roll up, pressing tightly as you roll. Slice into rounds (about ½ inch thick).

This should make about 40 rounds. I make these the morning of the party and wrap the rolls individually with saran wrap. Then I slice them before I’m ready to serve. Serve with salsa to dip.

Say Cheese

Posted in Snack Ideas, Recipes

Asiago wafers

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 18 pieces
2 cups finely grated Asiago cheese (8 ounces)
2 tablespoons milk
½ cup sour cream
Fresh rosemary leaves (optional)
2 egg whites, slightly beaten (optional)

In a large bowl, combine flour, snipped rosemary, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until pieces are pea-size. Add Asiago cheese; toss well.

Drizzle milk over flour mixture; gently toss with a fork.

Drop small dollops of sour cream over flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until dough comes together and forms a ball.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Using your hands, roll each dough half back and forth, from center to edges, to form a 6 ½ inch long log about 1 ½ inches in diameter.

Place one log along the bottom edge of a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper. Roll up paper and dough log. If needed, continue to roll log back and forth to create an even shape from end to end. Repeat with second log. Chill for 24 to 48 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a baking sheet; set aside. Unwrap logs. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut logs into 1/8 to ¼ inch thick slices. Place slices ½ inch apart on prepared baking sheet. If desired, dip rosemary leaves in egg whites and place in the centers of the slices.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden (do not overbrown the edges). Transfer to a wire rack and cool. Makes about 54 crackers.

Make Ahead: wrap unsliced rolls in foil and freeze for up to 2 months. To serve, thaw for 30 to 60 minutes before slicing. Slice and bake as directed.

Bake Ahead: prepare and bake as directed. Layer cooled crackers between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Baked Gouda

1 Gouda round
1 package Crescent rolls
1 egg, slightly beaten

Remove rind from Gouda. Separate Crescent rolls into individual triangles and wrap individually around cheese, pressing edges to seal together and making sure cheese is completely covered. Brush all over with egg wash.

Bake on greased cookie sheet or sheet pan in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

Beer Cheese

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) package sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (I shred my own since I can get a better cheese with more flavor than the prepackaged shredded)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (I substituted a few dashes of Tabasco sauce)
¼ cup beer

Beat cheeses at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add garlic and next 3 ingredients; beat well. Gradually add beer, beating until blended. Chill 1 hour. Serve with crusty bread or crackers. Yield: 2 ½ cups.

Gorgonzola Truffles

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1 4 oz container crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

2 tsp finely chopped onion

½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp black pepper

½ cup cooked and crumbled bacon


Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined.  Cover tightly and chill at least 1 hour or until firm.  Can chill up to 3 days.  Roll the cheese mixture into ¾ inch round balls. Roll each ball in bacon.  Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.  If chilled, let stand 30 minutes before serving.

Feta Cheese Truffles- substitute feta cheese for gorgonzola in above recipe.  Roll in ½ cup chopped parsley instead of bacon.

Goat Cheese Truffles- substitute goat cheese for gorgonzola in original recipe.  Roll in ½ cup toasted, chopped pecans instead of bacon.

Marinated Feta

2 T olive oil

2 T assorted snipped fresh herbs, such as dill, thyme, basil, oregano and/or parsley

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tb lemon juice

1 tsp dried whole mixed peppercorns, cracked

8 ounces feta cheese, cubed

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, and cracked peppercorns.  Stir until well mixed.  Add cheese cubes and toss very gently to coat.  Cover and store in refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.

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