Right now we are in the heart of Spring party season! There are graduations and wedding showers, potlucks and picnics. For years, this has been my go-to recipe to bring to gatherings. It’s easy to prepare and always a hit. Once you try this “Marinated Shrimp” your friends and family will beg you to make it again and again!
Keep reading for the recipe…
I think I know your first question… ”Are those walnuts RED?” Yes!
I came across them at my grocery store and was so intrigued, I just had to try a sample. They are not dyed or genetically modified, rather created using natural methods of grafting Persian red-skinned walnuts onto larger and creamier English walnuts. Red walnuts are only red on the inside, the tree and the shells look just like your typical English Walnuts.
This recipe can be rolled into a cheese log or cheese ball, whichever you prefer! I used the red walnuts, rolled them into a log and will call it my “Red Carpet Cheese Log” for an Oscar get-together this weekend.
Keep reading for the recipe…
In Spain, it is considered good luck to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight as we ring in a new year. Some say, for every sweet grape you eat there will be a good month in the coming year, and for each sour one a bad month. You can even make a wish with each one you eat!
This simple appetizer recipe is a beautiful way to present a round of brie for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Serve with crackers or apple slices, and, of course, a glass of bubbly! This year, may all of your grapes be sweet as we welcome 2013. Cheers!
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Today I am excited to show you not only how to make this delicioso “Tequila Spiked Guacamole” but I also have a few easy tips for styling and photographing your food at home. I promise you don’t need a fancy camera or a degree from Le Cordon Bleu!
Keep reading for the recipe and tips!
Who’s ready for tailgate season? Soon there will be a chill in the air and football season will be in full swing. Make sure you are ready with game day treats that are sure to be a crowd pleaser! Spinach artichoke dip is always a hit.
Keep reading for the recipe!
Nothing says “party” like a good, old-fashioned cheese ball. Serve with crackers and a bottle of your favorite wine, and suddenly it’s a soiree! Many times you will see a cheese ball rolled in chopped nuts, but this recipe takes the classic party centerpiece and gives it a fun fall twist.
Isn’t that adorable! Makes you do a double take, right? The cheese ball is formed into the shape of an apple and coated with paprika. A cinnamon stick is inserted in the middle for the “stem” and basil mimics the leaves.
In this recipe I used the Cracker Barrel Aged Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. This award-winning cheese is carefully cured for a rich, distinct and balanced flavor.
If you are looking for more fun and festive recipes to serve this holiday season, check out our new “Host the Holidays” group. Join the discussions, voice you opinion in the polls, and even enter to win the Cracker Barrel holiday giveaways!
1-1/2 pounds Cracker Barrel Aged Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1-1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons sherry or Madeira
1/3 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
Garnish: Basil leaves, cinnamon stick
Beat cheese, mayo, Worcestershire, and wine together in mixer; mix until smooth and well-blended. Mix in olives and celery. Shape into a big apple, make an indentation in the top, and tuck in basil leaves, and cinnamon stick for a stem. Sprinkle all over with paprika so it looks like an apple. Serve with melba toast or crackers. Makes about 4 cups.
Better Recipes, Celebrations and Parties, Fast and Fabulous, Holidays, On A Budget, Tips and Tricks | Tags: Appetizer Recipes, Cheese, Cold Appetizer Recipes
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She has so many outstanding recipes on her blog, but I was on a mission. I wanted to find a great holiday appetizer. Something easy and delicious to offer guests over the next few months.
That’s when I came upon this fantastic dish: Gouda and Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Ball. It is packed with flavor, and can be whipped up in minutes. When entertaining guests this busy holiday season, Amanda’s appetizer is the perfect way to start the evening.
Serve with crackers, fresh fruit and a glass of wine. I popped open a bottle of Pinot Noir and it paired perfectly. Get ready to mix and mingle over the holidays with a little wine and cheese!
Speaking of cheese, don’t forget the recipe contest theme this week is CHEESE! Click here to read all about the contest and enter your best cheesy recipes by Saturday night. There is a $250 weekly prize and, of course, the $5000 grand prize and the end of the contest. Good luck everyone!
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 cups shredded Gouda cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, drained
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Combine cream cheese and Gouda cheese in food processor until creamy. remove cheese mixture from processor and place in a bowl. Stir in chives, tomatoes and garlic powder.
Shape mixture into 1 large or 2 small balls or logs; roll in pecans. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours but no longer than 2 weeks. Serve with crackers.
Better Recipes, Celebrations and Parties, Fast and Fabulous, Holidays, On A Budget, Tips and Tricks | Tags: Appetizer Recipes, Cheese, Cold Appetizer Recipes, Easy Recipes
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Happy Friday! I am off to “Camp Blogaway” this weekend – a food bloggers conference in the mountains outside LA. It should be a great time and I am excited to meet fellow bloggers and learn some fantastic tips! In the meantime, I wanted to give you a fast and fun wine and cheese recipe for the weekend. This preparation features Cracker Barrel Aged Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese which recently won the World Cheese Championship Bronze Medalist 2010 in Cheddar “Sharp” class. It is an accessible and affordable choice that works great in this recipe and pairs perfectly with a crisp white wine.
Place cheese on cheese board; drizzle with honey. Top with nuts and dates. Serve with apples.
I think this Honey-Drizzled Cheddar Cheese tastes great with the Beringer Founders Estate Chardonnay. The combination of pear, apple and ripe tropical fruit flavors, with a hint of citrus and a classically round mouth feel pairs perfectly with the cheese dish. Their wines are a budget-conscious choice that offer approachability, finesse and balance.
If you love to grill and pair food with wines, check out the Second Annual Beringer Great Steak Challenge. I had a blast covering the event last year and would love to see some of the Better Recipes readers show off their dishes again this year! Food, fun and the Deen Brothers…how can you go wrong!
Anything with the words “in a bread bowl” and I am sold! This creative dip uses the classic flavors of a chicken club sandwich. Mouthwatering, right? This recipe was one of the runner-up winners in our 2010 Annual Contest. After one bite, I can see why! This also just happens to be perfect Game Day fare. Perfect for a crowd during the Super Bowl!
Chopped rotisserie chicken, crumbled bacon, Colby-Jack cheese and tomato are stirred into a mixture of cream cheese and mayo, and served in a bread bowl.
- 1 round (or square) loaf bread
- 8 strips bacon
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups shredded (6 oz.)
- Colby-Jack cheese
- 1 cup seeded and finely chopped tomato
- 2 cups of chopped or shredded Rotisserie Chicken
- 1/4 cup of shredded lettuce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a thin slice from the top of the bread and set aside. Remove the center of the bread loaf, leaving about a 1-inch thick shell. Cut the removed bread into bite-sized pieces. Cover the shell opening with the sliced-off top and place on a baking sheet along with the bread pieces. Bake about 15 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place the bacon in a skillet and fry over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. While the bread is toasting and the bacon is frying, combine the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion powder and salt. Add 1 1/4 cups of the shredded cheese to the cream cheese mixture, reserving 1/4 cup for garnish. Add the finely chopped tomato and the chicken to the cheese mixture. Crumble the bacon right into the bowl, reserving some for garnish. Gently stir mixture just enough to combine. Place the bread bowl onto a serving platter. Spoon the dip into the center of the bread bowl. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup shredded cheese, crumbled bacon and shredded lettuce. Place toasted bread pieces around the dip on the platter for dipping.
Number of Servings: 12
Now a few words from the creative cook behind this great dish, Dawn Moore! How did you come up with your recipe?
“I actually created a similar recipe a few years ago for a Super Bowl party…I love Chicken Club sandwiches and just knew taking all the components and making a dip would be amazing!! I just recently expanded on the original, replacing the sour cream with cream cheese and adding the yummy bread bowl.”
What made you decide to enter the Better Recipes annual recipe contest? Do you enter recipe contests often?
“I LOVE Better Recipes, and when I saw the contest, I just knew I had to enter. I typically enter 2-3 contests a month. I started entering recipe contests on a whim in March 2009.”
Why do you think this recipe stood out to the judges? What advice would you have for others who enter Better Recipes contests?
“I think my recipe may have stood out because it’s really a very simple recipe, but packs an amazing amount of flavor in each bite. The advice I have for anyone else entering a Better Recipes contest is to just go with what you know and love. I never submit anything to a contest that I’m not 110% in love with!!”
“I spend ALL my free time in the kitchen, and my true passion has always been baking and cooking. I work full-time as an Information Technology Manager, so after a long day at work I love to unwind in the kitchen. My kids (daughter Kamryn is 7, son Carson is 4) love it as well so we spend that quality time together, which is amazing! What I love most about cooking and creating new recipes is seeing the joy on the faces of my family and friends when they take their first bite. This re-ignites my passion over and over again.”
Better Recipes, Celebrations and Parties, Fast and Fabulous, On A Budget | Tags: Appetizer Recipes, Chicken Recipes, Cold Appetizer Recipes, Easy Chicken Recipes
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We have our winning appetizer! New Year’s Eve is this weekend, and this appetizer is perfect for a party. Let’s hear from our winner, Mary Shivers!
“I love brainstorming in the kitchen! Many years ago I tried a cheese ball made with pineapple cheese and loved it. This was my version in festive, individual servings! I really enjoy betterrecipes.com because there is such a variety of easy-to-prepare recipes that call for ingredients that I usually have on hand. I thought it was a fun contest because the theme changed each week!”
This is such an exciting dish! The recipe calls for tree shaped pretzels, but flat pretzel chips can also be used.
The ever-popular cheese ball is made mini-sized for an easy and festive appetizer. A great crowd-pleaser that can be made well in advance of your next party.
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper, diced and drained
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
24 tree shaped pretzels
24 red bell pepper strips, 1/4 x 1 inch
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, seasoned salt, cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce on low speed until smooth. Stir in pineapple, green onions, and bell pepper. Shape mixture into 24 walnut-size balls. Place pecans in a pie plate. Roll balls in pecans. Place on a large plate. Sprinkle tops with parsley flakes. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until serving time. Just before serving, place each ball on the center of a pretzel and add a pepper strip to the top. Serve with crackers as desired. Serves 12-16.
Number of Servings: 12-16
Notes: These delicious cheese ball minis are crowd pleasers and great party food because utensils are not needed for serving; guests simply pick up a pretzel tree. They make a festive presentation, displaying red and green both inside and out.
Congratulations Mary! What makes this recipe special?
“I think this recipe is unique because most cheese balls are not served individually. The idea of serving these minis on pretzel trees added to the holiday theme.”
We are gearing up for new and exciting recipe contests in 2011. What advice would you have for others who enter Better Recipes contests?
“Submit unique, yet simple and easy-to-make recipes that call for easy-to-find ingredients!”
Any fun plans for the prize money?
“The prize money will be spent to buy our oldest son’s plane ticket home from California when he returns in January from a 7-month Marine deployment overseas.”
That’s wonderful! Everyone at Better Recipes welcomes him back home and thanks him for his service to our country! Since this is a “Holiday Favorites” contest, can you share some of your favorite holiday memories with us? Maybe tell us about some of the traditional holiday recipes in your home?
“My favorite holiday memories include the look of awe and wonder on the faces of our sons when they were small and they would enter the living room on Christmas morning to see what Santa had left them. I always make a breakfast quiche the night before then bake it on Christmas morning before we load the car to go to my in-laws for Christmas lunch. The holiday dessert that I make each and every year is a traditional pumpkin roll because it is a timeless favorite with both of our sons.
It is also a family tradition to spend Christmas Eve at my dad and mom’s, along with my six sisters, my brother, and all of their families. We all love to cook so we spend the first couple of hours tasting each other’s new dishes and exchanging recipes amid many “oohs” and “aahs”.
With food an integral part of any holiday gathering, these delicious memories, as well as many others, come from priceless traditions that I hope my family continues for generations to come.”
Thanks so much for sharing, Mary! Your stories and, of course, your recipe, are such a treat. Stay tuned to Better Recipes in 2011 for new and exciting recipe contests!
In the meantime, you have until December 31st to enter your favorite dishes in our Annual Recipe Contest. http://www.betterrecipes.com/contest/