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Easy and good dip and appetizer recipes?

Hey Hounds! My husband and I are having some friends over on Saturday for a little pre-New Year's dinner. Any ideas for some no-fail dips and appetizers to hold everyone over until the main event?

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  1. Everyone loves that spinach & cheese dip served in a hollowed out loaf of bread.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Main Line Tracey

      I always make this (but not in a bread loaf) - and everyone goes nuts.

      1/2 C cream cheese
      1/2 C sour cream (I think the og recipe called for mayo - but i don't really like it)
      1 can artichokes hearts (drained)
      1 package spinach (drained)
      3-7 cloves garlic (depending on your crowd)
      parmesan cheese
      jack cheese

      blend cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, artichokes, and spinach in food processer. i put some cheese (parm and jack) into this mix - and sprinkle on top. bake at 325/350 for about 10-20 minutes. it's delicous.

      sometimes, i put some cayanne pepper in too.

    2. I do a quick simple one that is always popular when I serve it. I've posted it before.

      Get some of the little Siljan cups and fill them with about a teaspoon of good brie, then top with about 1/4 tsp. of fig preserves. Put them in an oven at about 350 just until they're warmed through and the brie is soft - only about 3 - 5 minutes.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Andiereid

        Sorry, what are Siljan cups? Sounds like my kind of recipe!
        Thank you~!

        1. re: Kathi

          Kathi, they're those little croustades. I find them on the cracker aisle at the grocery with the nicer crackers.

          1. re: Andiereid

            Hey Andiereid, I finally got to try this out on New Year's eve. I used phyllo cups and alternated fig jam and cranberry-raspberry sauce in them before topping with brie and baking til bubbly. It was a huge hit. People were devouring them! Thanks for the great idea!

            1. re: Heatherb

              Sure thing, Heatherb! Glad it worked out! I like them because they're so simple.

      2. Buy some lavash bread and make quick and easy flatbread pizzas with sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and/or roasted garlic, top with shredded moz and parmesan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. These can be thrown together and baked at the last minute. They are no fail.

        1. Depending on where you live and you have access to it, you could make crab dip. That's usually a hit.

          1. If you've got lots of leftover cheese of different kinds, Alton Brown has an awesome cheese dip recipe. Scroll almost to the end of this transcript: http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Season...

            1. Here's a quick, very easy one that always disappears quickly any time I bring it anywhere:

              Spread a package of cream cheese (softened) into a 7x9 glass baking dish.

              Dump a jar of chili on top and spread evenly (I use vegetarian chili).

              Grate a block of pepperjack cheese on top.

              Toss in the microwave for a few minutes (until bubbly) and serve w/ tortilla chips.

              1. HUMMUS with veggies and pita triangles. brush them with OO and bake a few minutes.

                1. Wing Dip
                  1 block cream cheese
                  1/2 bottle of Crystal hot sauce (not the little bottle)
                  2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
                  Moosh it all together till well mixed, put in a respectable for serving, heat resistent dish and cover with cheddar cheese (or also Blue Cheese, which I just don't like)
                  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips. Stand back and bask in the praise

                  1. Along similar lines as Kathi's dip is the Chicken Wing dip on this site. It sounds disgusting but I brought it to a gathering of total foodies and literally was hounded for the recipe by the end of the night by 5 people.

                    Chicken Wing Dip

                    4 chicken breasts, poached and shredded with fork
                    1 lg. bottle Pete's Hot Sauce, no substitutions
                    2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
                    1 16 oz. bottle Ranch Dressing
                    1/2 cup celery
                    8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese or combo.

                    Preheat oven 375. In 13x9x2 baking pan, combine cooked chicken with hot sauce.
                    In saucepan melt cream cheese and Ranch dressing and pour over chicken in even layer.

                    Sprinke with chopped celery and bake uncovered, 20 min. Add shredded cheese and bake additional 20 min. or until bubbly. Do not overbake!

                    Serve with large pieces of celery, carrots and Tostito Gold chips.

                    *I haven't made with blue cheese but I think a bit of it would be a great addition.*

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: 4chowpups

                      I agree that this is always a hit!

                      I made it with blue cheese once and didn't like the consistancy as much. I've also made it in 2 pie plates rather than one large dish which worked well. I served one dip early on and got loud cheers when the second was brought out=)

                      Needless to say, this is on my NYE menu!

                      1. re: 4chowpups

                        My recipe for this dip (Bonnie's Buffalo Chicken Dip) calls for Frank's Hot Sauce, what is "Pete's"? I think you mean Frank's! Just trying to help. And it IS great for a crowd!

                        1. re: Val

                          Ha, as usual I screwed up the name! Thanks for the correction especially since I said "no substitutions!"!!!!

                          1. re: 4chowpups

                            But there is also a "Texas Pete's" hot sauce.....so it is understandable that the name could have gotten confused.

                      2. I make a feta-yoghurt dip that always disappears in a hurry. Mix feta and yoghurt together (it's a good idea to add the yoghurt slowly and keep tasting, so you don't drown out the feta). Add lemon juice, pepper, a little salt (again, be careful, as the feta will already be salty), and a clove or two of garlic. I also often add zaatar and/or fresh mint.

                        It's great with pita chips, and I usually serve it up with guacamole and hummous. I've also used it as a dip for my version of dolmades (I don't cook the domaldes).

                        Other ideas are mini-tarts of any kind, or phyllo baskets/triangles.

                        - Lea

                        1. I made a couple of really easy appetizers over the holidays that were big hits. For the first, whip up a combination of goat's cheese and cream cheese. Then coarsely grind some nuts (I used a combination of pecans and pistachios). Mould some cheese around a red grape, then roll in the nuts and chill to set. For the second recipe, after seeing so many references to it on this board, I made the dates with bacon. I found some recipes called for stuffing the dates with almonds, others with cheese so I did both. Pit some medjool dates and split in half, then stuff with 1 blanched almond and a piece of parmesan. Wrap with 1/3-1/2 slice of bacon and secure with toothpick. Bake for about 10 minutes at 450 and serve warm. You could easily whip together a batch of both recipes in less than 45 minutes and you can do the prep in advance. EASY!

                          1. For my Christmas kick-off party last Friday night I made the spinach-stuffed mushrooms out of the original Silver Palate cookbook, using pinenuts instead of walnuts, and they were a huge hit. I can paraphrase the recipe if you want. These are easy because you can make the stuffing a couple days ahead and it's much easier to put in the mushroom caps when it's cold.

                            Another big hit was toasts (diagonally thin-sliced ficelle or baguette toasted at 350 till just golden early in the day or the day before) and spread with soft goat cheese (the kind in a roll). Top half your goat cheese toasts with oven-roasted cherry tomatoes (done a day or two before) and a drizzle of pesto. Top the other half of them with some black olive tapenade (I put tapenade one one half of each toast only so it's black and white).

                            1. My most requested recipe ever is a version of Romesco that I make. It is super easy and goes great with pita chips, or cold shrimp like cocktail.
                              You can used jarred roasted bell peppers (cheap at Trader Joe's), or roast your own.
                              In a food processor drop a clove of garlic with machine running. Add about 1/4 cup of toasted almonds and 1 slice toasted then torn-up french bread. Add rinsed and drained jar of roasted peppers, a few healthy dashes of sherry wine vinegar (very important - really makes the taste). Then process and drizzle in olive oil until it reaches desired consistency. Add pepper. Usually doesn't need salt.
                              I just had this out with four other dips at a Chanukah party, and it was requested by four family members.

                              1. This recipe traditionally calls for Hungarian Lipto Cheese but I've never been able to find it when needed. Cream Cheese listed as the last choice produces a very fine result. If there's no Hungarian paprika onhand use whatever - this recipe is hard to break. For the first go-round you may wish to substitute Dijon for the mustard or cut the amount by half - We like Keen's.

                                Cream together in a bowl until well blended:
                                * 8 oz sheep Feta cheese or goat Feta cheese or plain cream cheese
                                * 1/2 cup soft butter
                                * 3 tbs. thick sour cream
                                Then mix in:
                                * 2 mashed anchovy fillets
                                * 1 tsp mashed capers
                                * 2 tbs beer
                                Add to cheese mixture and blend ingredients thoroughly:
                                * 1 tbs finely chopped onion
                                * 1 tbs dry mustard
                                * 1 1/2 - 2 tbs Hungarian sweet paprika
                                * 1 tsp. caraway seeds smashed or bruised to release flavor
                                * 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste

                                Can be eaten immediately, but best to let flavors mingle a few hours or overnight

                                1. Salmon Mousse

                                  1/2 cup mayonaise
                                  1 tablespoon lemon juice
                                  1 tablespoon grated onion
                                  dash of tabasco
                                  1/4 teaspoon paprika
                                  1 teaspoon salt
                                  2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
                                  2 cups flaked salmon
                                  This salmon could be poached or smoked.
                                  1 cup heavy cream

                                  1) Whisk together first seven ingredients in a large bowl.

                                  2) Fold in the salmon. For a smoother texture, the mixture can be run through a blender.

                                  3) Chill salmon mixture for half an hour.

                                  4) Whip cream to stiff peaks.

                                  5) Fold in chilled salmon mixture. Cover and refrigerate

                                  Serve with crackers, small points of toast or cucumber slices.

                                  1. my husband is the cook of the family; however, he gave me the instructions on this, and they are easy, but look impressive!

                                    sliced genoa
                                    1 container of whole milk ricotta
                                    1 jar of basil pesto
                                    small can of chopped black olives (you can leave this out if you want)
                                    mix the ricotta, pesto and olives together in a cuisinart. transfer all of the ingredients into a plastic ziploc and place in the frig so it "sets up". while it is setting up, take you genoa slices and fold them in half and roll them into cones. then just take your bagged mixture out of the frig, cut a corner off and pipe the mixture into the cone. it looks impressive, tastes awesome, and takes no time!
                                    he also makes this dip called Moosebreath. it's italian dressing, shredded colbyjack and chopped black olives. it's AWESOME. i think there is cilantro in there as well, but i don't know. i haven't been the sous chef on that one...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: strephking

                                      I think we need to persuade your hubby to give up the 4-1-1 on the Moosebreath dip if he will. Sounds pretty tasty to me and a kid pleaser in my family. Tell him I said..."Please?"

                                    2. OK, if you're a real foodie snob who needs everything to be totally fresh, you'll hate this. But you can easily complicate (?!) it for yourself, too, by using fresh if you want. :)

                                      If anyone had told me this would disappear at every function -- with even picky children loving it -- I wouldn't have believed it. But believe it!

                                      Cowboy Caviar

                                      2 cans blackeyed peas, drained
                                      2 cans white corn, drained (try shoepeg if you can find it)
                                      2 cans tomatoes with green chilies, drained
                                      green onions, minced
                                      1 Italian salad dressing, about 1/2 of a large bottle
                                      several sprigs cilantro, chopped

                                      Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Serve with corn/tortilla chips.

                                      Obviously if you want to complicate it, you can do your own beans, fresh corn, etc. And next time I make it, I'm going to try vinegar and my own seasonings instead of the Italian dressing. I'm also going to try black beans and other variations. I used the extra hot Ro-tel last time; it was good. They also have Mexican Ro-tel I might try if I can't get cilantro (since I'm up in the country & don't always have immediate access to Whole Foods! :) )

                                      1. Wow! My mouth is watering looking at all these recipes! They all sound delicious! Thank you everyone - they're all printed out -can't wait to try them! Have a healthy, happy and tasty New Year!