Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tantalizing Thursday - Appetizers

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter. With people dropping over, planned visits, and the festive atmosphere, the appetizer is a very important aspect to a holiday menu. It’s important to have stuff on hand like mixed nuts, cheese and crackers, and even shrimp with cocktail sauce to offer friends and family, but some planned and easy recipes are vital as well. Here are three that I have used to rousing praise over the years. I hope you enjoy!

Clam Spread

Recipe by Aunt Caryl Aibel

3 cans minced clams (2 cans juice)
1 large fresh lemon
Place clams in juice and lemons with juice in pan and cook 5 minutes
1 stick butter
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion
Saute onion and garlic in butter
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
¼ cup parmesan cheese
Mix all ingredients and pour into casserole – bake in preheated 350 degree oven to heat through.
Serve with melba rounds or other sturdy crackers.

Sausage Cheese Balls

Recipe obtained from
1 lb. bulk sausage meat
2 cups Bisquick
1/4 cup water
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

Mix and form into small balls.
Bake on greased sheet 25 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven.

These are a throwback to the nostalgic cocktail party foods your parents or grandparents might have served. You simply can’t go wrong with pork fat and cheese!

Artichoke Dip

Recipe from the creative staff of Hallmark circa 1990

Back in the early 1990s Hallmark Gold Crown Stores used to give out handy helpful calendars chock full of ideas for the holidays at their November Holiday Open House. I saved every one they ever gave out and have used the ideas, recipes, and crafts for over two decades! This gem is from one of those calendars.

Artichoke Spread
3 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Spoon mixture into buttered ovenproof serving dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned and bubbly. Serve with crusty French bread slices, sturdy crackers, and/or raw veggies.

These recipes are simple, utilize easy-to-find ingredients, and offer big flavors. Some of them are mainstays in my holiday repertoire while others have been out of rotation. This year I believe they will all make an appearance. If you try one, two, or all three, please let me know how you liked them. And, if you have any appetizer recipes you’d like to share, please do so below!

Wishing you culinary success!

Please join me tomorrow for the last of the 2011 Christmas-themed Friday Music Blogs.