Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tantalizing Thursday-Holiday Appetizers

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

There are times when a huge holiday dinner is expected – Thanksgiving, Christmas, a family gathering for Chanukah. But other times it is much more gratifying for all involved – host and guests – to have some appetizers to nosh on while the conversation easily flows. All foods prepared before the guests arrive leaving the host free to enjoy his/her own party.

Here are some easy entertaining ideas for an appetizer-heavy menu.

Most people love the taste of pizza so this dip should be a big hit at your next gathering.

Layered Pizza Dip
Recipe found on


1 (8-oz.) container soft cream cheese with chives and onions
½ cup pizza sauce
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped pepperoni
2 oz. (1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 oz. (1/2 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese


1. Heat oven to 350°F. In ungreased 9-inch pie pan or 1 to 1 1/2-quart baking dish, layer all ingredients in order listed.
2. Bake at 350°F. for 10 to 15 minutes or until dip is hot and cheese is melted.
3. Serve warm with bagel crisps, bagel chips, pita chips, or crackers.

The following festive-looking and delicious appetizer will not only look Christmassy, but will also taste great!

Christmas Tree Appetizer
Recipe found on


1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
½ cup chopped drained roasted red bell peppers (from 7.25-oz jar)
¼ cup chopped ripe olives
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 spinach-flavor flour tortillas (8 to 10 inches in diameter)
Ripe olive pieces


1. In medium bowl, mix all ingredients except tortillas and olive pieces. Divide mixture among tortillas, spreading to edges of tortillas. Roll up tightly. Press each tortilla roll into triangle shape, using fingers. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
2. To serve, cut rolls into 1/2-inch slices. Place olive piece at bottom of each triangle to look like tree trunk; secure with toothpick.

If you are loving the Christmas-tree motif for appetizers then you will enjoy this next recipe.

Pita Tree Appetizers
Recipe found on


4 flavored or plain pita folds or pita (pocket) breads (about 6 inches in diameter)
16 thin pretzel sticks, halved
½ cup fat-free sour cream
½ cup guacamole
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
¼ teaspoon garlic-pepper blend
¼ cup very finely chopped red bell pepper


1. Cut each pita fold into 8 wedges. Insert pretzel stick half into center of bottom of each wedge to form "tree trunk."
2. In small bowl, mix sour cream, guacamole, parsley and garlic-pepper blend. Spread about 1 teaspoon sour cream mixture on each pita wedge.
3. Blot bell pepper with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon bell pepper on each wedge or arrange to form a garland. If desired, cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours before serving.

Finally, most people love the classic spinach dip but not everybody has the recipe readily available. Here is a version for you to try and file away for the future as it is sure to be a huge hit.

Creamy Spinach Dip
Recipe found on


1 box (9 oz) Green Giant® frozen chopped spinach
1 container (8 oz) sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon dried dill weed
¼ teaspoon onion salt
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
1 jar (2 oz) diced pimientos, drained
Crackers or cut-up fresh vegetables


1. Cook spinach as directed on package. Cool slightly; squeeze to drain well.

2. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix sour cream, mayonnaise, celery salt, dill and onion salt. Stir in cooked spinach, onions, water chestnuts and pimientos. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend flavors. Serve dip with crackers.

You could also hollow out a great, crusty round loaf of bread to spoon this spinach dip into while using the bread cut into 1-inch pieces for dippers.

Serving cut up raw vegetables on the table to accompany these recipes is always a good idea. These ideas will fill a holiday table. Simply serve all of the Christmas cookies you’ve been making or buying for dessert and the meal is complete!

Please join me tomorrow for the week-ending and interactive Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

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