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Food court 4-25

With all the graduations, showers, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and weddings coming up, I thought you might enjoy some appetizer ideas you can use for any of these parties.

Sweet Sour Meat Balls

1/2 cup instant rice

2 pounds 90% lean ground beef

1 egg

1 cup soft butter flavored cracker crumbs

1 tablespoon oil

Sauce

1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce

1 cups (12 ounce) jar pineapple topping

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Prepare rice according to package directions. Meanwhile combine ground beef, egg and cracker crumbs, mix well. Add cooked rice, mix thoroughly. Shape into 1-inch meatballs. Cook in oil over medium heat until browned, turning occasionally. If necessary, drain grease from skillet. Combine all sauce ingredients; mix until brown sugar is dissolved. Pour over meatballs. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink in center. Serve with toothpicks.

Spinach Dip

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 16-ounce container sour cream

1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise

1 package Knorr recipe classics vegetable soup, dip and recipe mix

1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

3 green onions, chopped

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients, chill at least 2 hours to blend flavors. Stir before serving. Serve with your favorite dippers.

Nutty Bacon Cheese Ball

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup milk

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup finely minced green onions (white parts only)

1 2-ounce jar diced pimiento, drained

10 slices bacon, cooked, drained, finely crumbled and divided

3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup minced parsley

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Beat cream cheese and milk on low speed in large bowl with electric mixer until blended. Add cheeses. Blend on medium speed until well combined. Add green onions, pimiento, half of bacon and half of pecans. Blend on medium speed until well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer half of mixture to large piece of plastic wrap. Form into ball, wrap tightly. Repeat with remaining mixture. Refrigerate until chilled, at least two hours. Combine remaining bacon and pecans with parsley and poppy seeds in pie plate or large dinner plate. Remove plastic wrap from each ball roll each in bacon mixture until well coated. Wrap each ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 24 hours.

Festive Franks

1 8-ounce can crescent roll dough

5 1/2 teaspoons barbecue sauce

1/2 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

8 fat free hot dogs

1/4 teaspoon poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Unroll dough and separate into 8 separate triangles. Cut each triangle in half lengthwise to make 2 triangles. Roll up jelly roll style from wide end. Place point side down on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Repeat with remaining hot dog pieces and dough. Bake 13 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on baking sheet. Serve with additional barbecue sauce for dipping.

Pizza Snack Cups

1 12-ounce can refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)

1/2 pound ground beef

1 14-ounce jar Ragu Pizza Quick Sauce

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375°. In muffin pan, evenly press each biscuit in bottom and up side of cups, chill until ready to fill. In 10-inch skillet, brown ground beef over medium high heat, drain. Stir in Ragu Pizza Quick Sauce and heat through. Evenly spoon beef mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently remove pizza cups from muffin pan and serve.

Quick Pimiento Cheese Snacks

2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

1 2-ounce jar diced Pimiento, drained

2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

24 French bread sliced, about ¾ inch thick or party bread slices

Preheat broiler. Combine cream cheese and cheddar cheese in small bowl, mix well. Stir in pimiento, pecans and hot pepper sauce. Place bread slices on broiler pan or non-stick baking sheet. Broil, 4 inches from heat, for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted on both sides. Spread cheese mixture evenly onto bread slices. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese mixture in hot and bubbly. Transfer to serving plate. Garnish.

Golden Chicken Nuggets

1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup French’s Sweet and Tangy Honey Mustard

2 cups French’s French Fried Onions, finely crushed

Preheat oven to 400°. Toss chicken with mustard in medium bowl. Place French Fried Onions into resealable plastic food storage bag. Toss chicken in onions, a few pieces at a time, pressing gently to adhere. Place nuggets in shallow baking pan. Bake 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Serve with additional honey mustard for dipping.

Pizza Fondue

1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage

1 cup chopped onion

2 26-ounce jars meatless pasta sauce

4 ounces thinly sliced ham, finely chopped

1 3-ounce package sliced pepperoni, finely chopped

1/4 red pepper flakes

1 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 loaf Italian or French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

Cook sausage and onion in large skillet until sausage is browned. Drain off fat. Transfer sausage mixture to slow cooker. Stir in pasta sauce, ham, pepperoni and pepper flakes. Cover, cook on low 3 to 4 hours. Serve sauce with cheese cubes. Bread cubes and fondue forks.

Party Pizza Spread

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 1-ounce package Hidden Valley original ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1 cup chili sauce

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1 cup chopped shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup mushroom slices, olives, ham green peppers, or any favorite pizza toppings

In large bowl, blend cream cheese, salad dressing, seasoning mix, garlic and rosemary until smooth. Spread into 10-inch circle on serving platter smoothing mixture with spatula. Pour chili sauce over cream cheese mixture into 9-inch circle, creating, cheese crust border. Sprinkle with green onions, cheese and toppings. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with cheese and topping. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers for dipping.

Maple Glazed Meatballs

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1 cup maple syrup or maple flavored syrup

1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon quick cooking tapioca

1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 packages (about 16 ounces each) frozen fully cooked meatballs

1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained

Stir together ketchup, syrup, soy sauce, tapioca, allspice and mustard in slow cooker. Separate meatballs. Carefully stir meatballs and pineapple chunks into ketchup mixture. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Stir before serving. Serve with cocktail picks.

Party Stuffed Pinwheels

1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Savory Herb with Garlic Soup Mix

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

2 10-ounce packages refrigerated pizza crust

Preheat oven to 425°. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except pizza crusts, set aside. Unroll pizza crusts and then top evenly with filling. Roll, starting at longest side, jelly roll style. Cut into 12 rounds. On baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, arrange round-cut side down. Bake, uncovered, for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.

This will give you a few ideas to start out your special event with; I hope you enjoy trying these. If you should need to reach me, you can email me at judyd2313@frontier.com or drop a line to my attention to the BCR, P.O. Box 340, Princeton, IL 61356.

* On the April 4 issue I made a mistake on the Maple French Toast Bake as to the size of the baking dish. The correct size should be a 2-quart dish.

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