Tag Archives: Appetizers

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen, chopped Spinach
1 (13 3/4-ounce) can Artichoke Hearts
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Heat the spinach in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes and squeeze dry. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop. Combine all the ingredients except the jack cheese in a large bowl. Stir well. Scrape into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the jack cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with crackers, pita chips or tortilla chips.

Everyone has had Spinach Artichoke Dip over and over – at restaurants, at parties, or maybe you’ve even made it at home. This is a very easy recipe that takes no time to whip up, you might even have most of the ingredients at home already. I do like to add a little of the pepperjack cheese into the mixture so it is cheesy throughout; you can do to the same with the parmesan cheese but just be careful that you don’t put too much on top or there will be a hard layer that everyone will fight with. As with many of my recipes, I use low fat mayonnaise and low fat sour cream to cut down on the calories (now you can have a couple more chips)!


Cream Cheese Chipped Beef Ball

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons mustard
1 medium yellow onion minced
2 (4 oz) packages chipped beef

Put cream cheese in large bowl, add in mayo, mustard, and onion. Grind chipped beef in a food processor until finely chopped. Add 2/3 of chipped beef to mix (keep remaining chipped beef to cover cheese ball). Use hands to mix ingredients. Mix well. Form into a ball and pat remaining chipped beef around ball. Place on the plate that you plan to serve on and cover with plastic wrap. Serve with crackers.

Thank you, Aunt Karen, for this recipe. The Chipped Beef Ball is something that has been in the family for as long as I can remember and you’ll usually find it on the table at any Main (my mom’s side of the family) family event. It’s a great recipe that is easy to make, that’s great for snacking, and something that you can make ahead of time (it actually tastes better if you let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple days before serving). I made the appetizer this week for a party on Saturday night at my family’s house and thought I’d share it with all of you.

As always, I used fat free cream cheese and low sodium chipped beef so it’s a little healthier (let’s get the new year started out right!!). As the directions state, use your hands to mix all of the ingredients together; if you use a food processor, the texture will become too soft. The softness will become an issue when you are ready to form the ball, but it will still be good for a spread that you can place in a dish.

Unfortunately, this is not kosher but I’m going to be trying other ingredients, instead of chipped beef, and will keep you posted on the results.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 10 ounce cans chunk chicken, drained
2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot hot sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Heat chicken and hot sauce until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and Ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half the cheddar cheese and transfer mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top, cover, and cook on low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with crackers, tortilla chips or celery stalks.

This is a family favorite – I’ll actually be brining this to my parents house this year for Thanksgiving (I guess I better get on that)! I like to use about 1 cup of Frank’s Red Hot just to kick up the heat a little bit; if you like food a little less spicy, then keep it as the recipe states. Also, I always use fat free cream cheese and fat free ranch dressing and no one ever knows the difference. You’ll soon learn that my motto is to cut calories where you can!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I owe the success of this recipe to Uncle John – he tried to keep this a secret for a long time, but he finally cracked!!

(recipe based on 2 pounds of meatballs of your choosing)
2 10 ounce jars Chili Sauce
1 10 ounce jar Grape Jelly
¼ cup Jack Daniels


Pour both jars of Chili Sauce and Jack Daniels over meatballs in the slowcooker. Spread entire jar of Grape Jelly on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until jelly, sauce and whiskey have combined into a sweet, bitey, delicious sauce.

This is my favorite meatball recipe. I always love making a huge slowcooker full of meatballs because the leftovers are so good – the longer they sit, the better they taste. Well, I should caveat and say if you’re looking for leftovers here, you better put some in your refrigerator as soon as they are done because there’s not going to be many left!

I made these this weekend for a party we went to at Mark and Erin’s and they were a hit (Thanks for having us over Mark and Erin!).

I’ve made their recipe with beef meatballs and turkey meatballs – both taste about the same so the preference is up to you. You can also either buy pre-made meatballs or use your favorite recipe, totally up to you. The taste of these meatballs are just great; they have the perfect sweetness and the perfect biteyness (is that even a word?) and are completely different from Swedish meatballs and red-sauce meatballs. If you don’t have a slowcooker, you can always whip up the sauce in a saucepan on top of the stove and bake with the meatballs in the oven. This is a very easy recipe and people generally love these! Try them out and let me know what you think!