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I am blessed with delightful friends with whom I truly enjoy spending time. We can find a reason to gather and celebrate pretty much anything. Thankfully, the Super Bowl is coming up – a perfect time to get together and enjoy food, friends and fellowship.
When we get together, I like to try new recipes and appetizers are one of my favorite categories. As a result, we often have just appetizers – an assortment, mind you – but just finger-type, snacky foods. None of us have ever gone hungry at one of our gatherings.
Here are some of my tried-and-true favorites. The hot cheese dip is an often-requested item. My brother had me make it and several others for his wedding reception several years ago. My husband is always happy when Bacon-Wrapped Sausages are on the menu. These are easy to fix, but you do need to keep an eye on them to prevent burning. If they do not caramelize to your liking, broil them for a few minutes to get the crusty, caramel finish. Just be careful not to burn them. Also, I have found that thick-sliced bacon is much harder to get crisp than the regular sliced bacon. The thicker cuts tend to remain chewier than the thinner slices, and I like this dish with a crispier bacon.
The fruit salsa is terrific any time of year. You may choose any flavor of fruit preserve; I use seedless raspberry because I really like the taste of raspberry. My kids have always liked the homemade cinnamon chips, with or without the fruit salsa.
Whether you’re planning on serving the gang for the big game, or you’re just looking for something new, these are worth your time and effort. Let me know what you think. E-mail me at: jstrange @laruecountyherald.com.
FRUIT SALSA AND CINNAMON CHIPS
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples , peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries (do not completely thaw if using frozen)
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserve or all-fruit spread
For the chips:
10 (1-inch) flour tortillas
Butter-flavored cooking spray
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
In a large bowl, combine the kiwis, apples, raspberries and strawberries. In a measuring cup, stir together the white sugar, brown sugar and raspberry preserves. Spoon sugar mixture over the fruit and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to coolfor about 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.
1 (16-ounce) package cocktail sausages
1 (12-ounce) package sliced bacon
1 cup packed brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons water
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 15-x10-x1-inch baking pan with foil. Cut each slice of bacon slice into 3 pieces. Wrap each sausage with a piece of bacon; secure with a toothpick. Place on prepared baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bacon is browned and brown sugar melts and forms a sauce.
1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
1 cup guacamole
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 (1-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup black olives, drained
In a large serving dish, spread the refried beans. Layer the guacamole on top of the beans. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sour cream and taco seasoning mix. Spread over the layer of guacamole. Sprinkle a layer of Cheddar cheese over the mayonnaise mixture layer. Sprinkle tomato, green onions and black olives over the cheese.
SCOTT’S FAVORITE HOT CHEESE DIP
1 (8-ounce) pkg. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup black olives, drained, chopped
3/4 cup green olives, drained, chopped
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, not drained
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 medium tomato, chopped and seeded
1/ 4 cup sliced green onion
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine cheese, mayonnaise, olives, chilies, garlic powder and hot sauce. Spoon into an ungreased, 9-inch glass pie plate. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkled chopped tomato and sliced green onion on top. Serve with tortilla chips. (Reduced-fat or fat-free mayonnaise do not work well with this recipe.)