Aps + Desserts

Recipes for Appetizers & Desserts
(Who needs anything else?!)  Some of these are freezer-friendly, but some are just family favorites or tasty ones we've tried and loved. We're big dip fans.

Blue Cheese Dip
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (I used Neufchatel/reduced fat)
1 c. sour cream (I used light)
4 oz. blue cheese crumbles
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

In bowl, using electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until soft & creamy.  Reduce speed to low, add sour cream, and beat until combined.  Add blue cheese and beat until cheese is crumbled and no large lumps remain.  Stir in chives and pepper.  Transfer to serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes for up to one week.  Serve with potato chips or crudités.  Makes about 2 cups.
 

Mini Pizza Bagel Snacks
No need to buy frozen pizza snacks - make your own!

Either purchase mini bagels at the store, or try making your own!  Here's a bread machine recipe I'm trying: Bread Machine Bagels.  Arrange the bagel halves on a baking sheet, sprinkle with a little garlic powder and/or Italian seasoning, and spread on some of your favorite pizza sauce.  Top with your favorite pizza ingredients, such as:

shredded cheese (mozzarella, parm, etc.)
pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, etc.
minced veggies - bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc.

Stick the topped bagel halves in the freezer on the baking sheet, and then place in a freezer storage bag when they're frozen, or place on an aluminum tray or pan, then cover with foil and freeze right away.

To prepare: preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place skins on a baking sheet, or unwrap foil pan, and bake in preheated oven about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.  Let cool slightly, and serve.


Pizza Dip
This is a favorite!

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
½ c. sour cream
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. garlic power
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more!)
½ c. pizza sauce
½ c. pepperoni, chopped
¼ c. green onions, sliced
¼ c. green pepper, chopped
½ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°.  Beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, oregano, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.  Spread into a 9-10” quiche dish or pie plate.  Spread pizza sauce over top, and sprinkle with pepperoni, green pepper, and green onions.  Baked until heated through, about 10 minutes.  Top with mozzarella cheese, and bake until cheese is melted and starts turning golden brown.  Serve warm with crackers, rye chips, veggies, or any of your favorite dippers!


Potato Skins

8 russet potatoes, scrubbed & dried
EVOO
1 c. shredded cheese (cheddar, a blend, whatever)
1/2 - 3/4 c. crisp-cooked bacon, diced (just use the real stuff - no turkey bacon, no Bacos, ok?)
1/2 c. chopped chives or scallions

Have on hand: sour cream (light, fat-free)

Bake the potatoes in the microwave (or oven), and allow to cool.  Cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out flesh, leaving a thin layer of potato (1/4"?) and the skin intact.  (You can use the scooped out potato to make some mashed potatoes, and freeze or eat those!)  Place skins cut-side down on a baking sheet, and brush or spritz with EVOO (seriously, get an oil mister!)  Turn over each skin, and fill with about 1 tbsp. shredded cheese, and 1 tbsp. of bacon.  Sprinkle with chives/scallions.

Stick these into the freezer on the baking sheet, and then place in a freezer storage bag when they're frozen, or place on an aluminum tray or pan, then cover with foil and freeze right away.

To prepare: preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place skins on a baking sheet, or unwrap foil pan, and bake in preheated oven about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.  Top with a little sour cream, and devour!


Spin Artichoke Dip


There are mixed messages out there about freezing dairy and cheese.  So I say, give it a whirl, and worst-case scenario, you've got a minor texture issue, but it should still taste great.  (We just thawed and baked some that was frozen, and it was a little less creamy, but still tasted fine.)


1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I like to chop them up fairly small, some like big chunks)
1/2 c. reduced fat mayo (I like Hellmann's)
1/2 c. sour cream (light or fat-free are fine)
1 c. Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded (please, not the green can), separated
1 8oz. package cream cheese (I like Neufchatel)
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c. frozen, chopped spinach
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes or 1 jalapeno, diced (OPTIONAL)

Have on hand: Things to eat it with!  Tortilla chips, crackers, pita crisps (make your own!), veggies, etc.

To prepare:  Thaw spinach, drain it well, and squeeze dry (get that water out!).  Save 1/4 c. Parm and the mozzarella, and mix all remaining ingredients.  Spread into an aluminum pan (pie pan, cake pan, square, whatever).  Top with remaining cheeses.  Spray foil with non-stick spray (so the cheese doesn't stick), then wrap with foil, and stick in a freezer bag, and freeze.

To serve: Thaw completely in the fridge.  Heat in a 375 oven until heated through and top is browned and bubbly.  I'd probably heat with the foil on for about 10 minutes, and then remove the  foil to brown the top for 5-10 more.


Susie’s Tortilla Roll-Ups
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened (I have used Neufchatel, no problems)
1 c. sour cream (light works fine, fat-free is a little thin)
1 1-oz. pkg. Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Mix
1 c. chunky salsa
1 ½ c. cheddar cheese, shredded
10 10-inch flour tortillas (La Banderita is a great brand - Mexican foods aisle)

Mix all of the ingredients together and spread thin layer over tortillas (don't overfill).  Roll tortillas tightly, press down as you roll, wipe off any excess filling with paper towel and place seam down. Chill for at least 1-2 hours.  Cut into small pieces and serve.


Tomato-Avocado Salsamole
This. Is. Awesome.

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno, or more to taste
1tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and coarsely mashed
1 medium tomato, chopped
¼ c. chopped cilantro

Combine onion, jalapeno, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, and salt in bowl.  Add avocado, tomato, and cilantro, stir well.  Serve immediately or, to store, reserve avocado pit, add to the mixture to prevent browning, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.  Serve with tortilla chips or lightly toasted whole wheat pita cut into triangles.