Here’s a last minute appetizer that’s perfect for your Labor Day barbeque or football tailgate party. I love Caprese Salad so these little bites are a perfect snack. These are fresh, light, easy, healthy and delicious. Not to mention that the flavors compliment each other perfectly. You can add variations to this recipe based on your favorite Caprese salad ingredients. I included Kalamata olives on some of my skewers for an extra twist! So until next year, Goodbye summer!
- 2 boxes cherry tomatoes (red or yellow)
- 12 bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), about 8 ounces
- 1 bunch basil
- salt (coarse ground or Kosher)
- black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- oregano (use fresh if you have it, if not dry works well)
- Kalamata olives, pitted (optional)
- long pointed wooden skewers
1. Prepare ingredients. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and cut mozzarella balls in half.
2. Skewer alternating tomato halves, mozzarella, basil leaves and kalamata olives (if using). Repeat with the remaining cheese and tomatoes.
3. Arrange on platter and drizzle balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, coarse salt, coarse ground black pepper, and oregano over skewers.
4. Feel free to be creative with the placement and amount of tomatoes or mozzarella based on your preferences.
Well the time has come and I am ready for some football baby. And what goes perfect with football? Snacks of course. So here is a yummy recipe that takes the savory cheese ball and turns it into something sweet. Like I said before anything with peanut butter & chocolate; I’m All In!
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup peanut butter chips
- Graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, and/or apple slices for dipping
1. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until blended.
2. Spoon onto a large piece of plastic wrap; bring up all four corners and twist tightly forming into a ball shape.
3. Freeze for 1 hour 30 minutes or until firm enough to keep its shape. Place peanut butter and chocolate chips in flat dish. Remove plastic wrap from ball and roll ball into morsels to completely cover, pressing morsels into the ball if necessary.
4. Place ball on serving dish; cover and freeze for 2 hours or until almost firm. (Can be made ahead. If frozen overnight, thaw at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.) Serve with graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, or apple slices for dipping or spreading.
*Chef’s Note – Celery sticks and/or carrots make for an excellent dipper for this dip also.
The first time I had bean dip I was blown away. It was in my 1oth grade Spanish class. We had to do a presentation for class and one of my classmates had brought a bean dip for extra credit. I think he was just trying to kiss up to the teacher. Such a Show-off. Making us all look bad with his fabulous, oh so good bean dip.. Anywho, it was a big hit and everyone loved it. The only regret I have about it was I wish I got the recipe. Even though I have not found an exact replica, I have discovered this concoction that is Easy. Peasy. Hot and Cheesy. Just absolutely delicious. Try this hot cheesy delicious dip at your next gathering! Your friends will thank you!
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 (16 ounce) cans refried beans
- 1/2 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
- 5 drops hot pepper sauce
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1 (8 ounce) block Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 (8 ounce) block Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese and sour cream. Mix in the refried beans, taco seasoning, hot pepper sauce, parsley, green onions, 1/2 the Cheddar cheese and 1/2 the Monterey Jack cheese.
3. Transfer the mixture to an 8×12 inch baking dish. Top with remaining Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
4. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese is slightly browned.
I’m not a big drumette person but when I do indulge I prefer bar-b-que wings over buffalo wings. Here’s a recipe that is to be a sure crowd pleaser. Buffalo wings, all grown up!
for Bourbon-Glazed Chicken:
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled, thinly sliced
- 1 cup bourbon, divided
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Crystal)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
- 30 chicken drumettes (about 4 pounds)
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- black pepper
- Celery and carrot sticks, for serving
for Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce:
- 1 ounce Roquefort cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon, fresh squeezed
- Juice of 1 lime, fresh squeezed
1. For the blue cheese dip: Cream the Roquefort until smooth in a medium bowl. Mix in the yogurt, mayonnaise, scallions, salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice and lime juice until well blended. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
2. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup bourbon; boil until most of liquid is absorbed, 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk in 1/4 cup bourbon, ketchup, hot pepper sauce, tomato paste, and brown sugar. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season marinade with salt and pepper. Remove marinade from heat; cool to room temperature.
3. Place chicken drumettes in 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Pour marinade over and turn drumettes to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place cooling rack atop prepared baking sheet. Arrange drumettes on rack, spacing slightly apart. Spread any remaining marinade from dish over drumettes. Sprinkle with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
5. Bake drumettes (still on cooling rack) until cooked through and brown in spots, about 45 minutes. Transfer drumettes to serving platter. Serve Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce alongside.
1 pint fresh strawberries (approx 12 oz)
4-oz white chocolate
Blue sanding sugar or sprinkles
1. Line a baking sheet or cutting board with wax paper or parchment paper.
2. Chop up the chocolate roughly with a knife if it is in block form. In a medium-sized, microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave. Heat it in 45 or 60-second intervals, stirring between each time to ensure that the chocolate is melting evenly and not burning. Meanwhile, place blue sanding sugar into a small bowl and set it aside.
When chocolate is smooth, dip the berries 3/4 of the way into the chocolate, dip the tips into the blue sprinkles, and place on wax paper.
3. Berries can set at room temperature if you live somewhere cool, otherwise refrigerate them until ready to serve to allow the chocolate to set up.
*Chef’s Tip: Store the berries in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat them, as white chocolate is a little more heat-sensitive than other chocolates. The berries are best eaten within a day or two of being made.