Category Archives: Appetizer

Lil’ Smokies Wreath

These guys went like hot cakes at work! They were all gone in less than 30 minutes. Coworkers swarmed to the break room to get a piece before it was gone. (They were so happy to see something festive that wasn’t sweet!) It’s a guaranteed success!


  • 1 can of crescent rolls*
  • Hillshire Farms Turkey Lit’l Smokies
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 red bell pepper

* Note: 1 can of crescent rolls makes 24 little pigs-in-a-blanket. If you want to make 2 wreaths or use the entire package of lit’l smokies, you’ll need 2 cans of crescent rolls.

Lil Smokies Wreath

1. Preheat oven to the temperature specified on the crescent roll can. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Unroll the crescent dough and separate into 4 rectangles. Pinch the seams together. Cut each rectangle into 6 strips.
3. Wrap 1 strip of dough around a lit’l smokie. Repeat with the remaining 23 strips of dough. Place seam side down on the parchment paper, slightly touching, in a circle.
4. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Melt the butter in a microwaveable bowl. Brush the butter onto the tops of the rolls.
6. Cut the top and bottom off of the red bell pepper. Cut along the bell pepper indentations. Using the flattest piece, trace the shape of a bow with the tip of a knife on the inside of the bell pepper. Cut away the excess pieces. Use two 1/2 inch wide strips for the tails of the bow.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Recipe found on Free Christmas Fun

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Pumpkin Shaped Cheese Ball

This deliciously easy cheese ball is a crowd pleaser. It’s simple and quick to make. I usually serve the cheese ball with pretzel bread or Triscuits, but it’s delicious on any bread or cracker. And be careful, it’s addictive!


  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh Thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 c cheddar cheese, finely chopped
  • Jalapeno stem
Pumpkin Shaped Cheese Ball

Pumpkin Shaped Cheese Ball

1. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, rosemary, thyme, green onions, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until the herbs and Worcestershire sauce are mixed throughout.

2. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on a dinner plate or cutting board. Using your hands, shape the cream cheese mixture into ball. Place the cheese ball on top of the cheddar cheese and then wash your hands (it’s easier to roll the ball if your hands are not sticky). Gently roll the ball around until it’s evenly coated in cheddar cheese.

3. Gently press the jalapeno stem into the top of the cheese ball. Smooth some of the cheese over the bottom of the stem to cover it.

If you want the make the cheese ball even more pumpkin looking, you can use the blunt edge of a dinner knife to make lines in the cheese ball, resembling the lines on pumpkins.

Voila! A pumpkin shaped (delicious!) cheese ball!

Pumpkin Shaped Cheese Ball


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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in Appetizer, Dip, Holidays!


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Spooky Deviled Spider Eggs

These deviled eggs are so adorable I could almost squeal. I LOVE these little guys. They’re easy, festive, and (best of all) tasty! They’re perfect for an elegant dinner party or rowdy house party, adults or children. Everyone will love them. Give them a try!

Deviled Spider Eggs


  • 4 eggs, boiled and peeled *
  • 1 heaping tbsp onions, finely chopped
  • 1 heaping tbsp pickles, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c light miracle whip
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika **
  • 1 can of black olives (you need about 2 olives per spider)

* To easily peel boiled eggs, firmly tap the top and bottom of the egg on a hard surface then roll the egg to crack the rest of the shell. Cracking the top and bottom of the egg first breaks the seal of the egg and helps the shell more easily release from the egg.

** As an added bonus, paprika turns the egg mixture orange (perfect for Halloween!). Adjust the amount of paprika for your desired level of orange-ness.

Deviled Spider Eggs

Step 1. Slice the boiled eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks to a small mixing bowl. Use a fork to mash the yolks. Set aside the egg white halves.

Step 2. To the small mixing bowl, add the onions, pickles, miracle whip, salt, and paprika. Stir until combined. Set aside.

Step 3. Open and drain the can of olives. Cut 16 olives in half. Set aside 8 olive halves — these will be the spider bodies. Cut the remaining 24 halves into 1/8 inch wide slivers — these will be the spider legs. For easy decorating, arrange the spider legs around the spider legs (see photo to the right).

Deviled Spider Eggs

Step 4. Scoop one heaping tablespoon of the filling into each egg half. Use the back of the spoon to spread the filling towards the edges of the egg but make sure to leave about 1/4 – 1/8 inch rim.

Step 5. Gently press the olive halves (the ones you set aside in Step 3) into the center of each egg half. Carefully pick up the spider legs and gently press one end into the deviled egg filling. Place 4 legs on each side of the spider body.

Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Aren’t these the cutest little things??

Deviled Spider Eggs

Recipe inspired by Sunset
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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Appetizer, Holidays!


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Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

These are some of my favorite recipes to make for Thanksgiving. Whether you’re going to a small family gathering or a large party, these recipes will be a hit. I’ve included appetizers, soups, veggie sides, dressing, and dessert recipes below. I’ve also included a few Gluten Free and Medifast recipes, for those who need them.

This year, I’ll be making Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties (Medifast and Gluten Free)Herb Stuffed Brussels Sprouts (Gluten Free), and Carrot Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting. I could eat my weight in the Broccoli Patties, the Herb Stuffed Brussels Spouts are my favorite way to cook Buressels sprouts, and the carrot cake is to die for!



Garlic Hummus
Rosemary and Thyme Cheese Ball


Cream of Mushroom Soup from Scratch (Gluten Free)


Turkey Sausage Dressing

Pastas and Salads

Pasta Salad
7 Layer Salad (Medifast)
Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

Veggie Sides

Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties (Medifast and Gluten Free)
Cauliflower Tots (Medifast and Gluten Free)
Bacon and Herb Stuffed Mushrooms
Herb Stuffed Brussels Sprouts (Gluten Free)

Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Marinated Mushroom and Asparagus Warm Salad
Simple Seasoned Brussels Sprouts
Cheesy Broccoli Casserole (Medifast)
Squash Gratin (Medifast)
Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower (Medifast)


Carrot Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Coconut and Pecan Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Chocolate Ganache
Easy Apple Crisp Bars sweetened with Honey (Gluten Free)
Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Cookies (Gluten Free)
Blueberry Coffee Crumble Cake
Gingerbread Spice Cake

Turkey Sausage Dressing

Turkey Sausage Dressing

Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties

Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties

Zucchini Boats

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Coconut and Pecan Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Chocolate Ganache

Coconut and Pecan Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Chocolate Ganache


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Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip

Who doesn’t love a good layered dip? They’re so versatile and easy to make. They’re crowd pleasers, and this dip will be the hit of the party! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an artist to pull this off. It’s actually quite simple. Halloween edible craft #5: Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip.

Warning: This dip is addictive!

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip


  • 1 can refried beans
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 t lime juice
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3-4 tortillas (I used small fajita sized whole wheat tortillas)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: Using a sharp paring or utility knife, cut various graveyard shapes out of the tortilla. I made several tombstones of various sizes and shapes, 2 hands (for the zombie), a tree, and a fence.

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip Pieces

The tombstones are very easy — just draw a square or half of an oval. They don’t have to be perfect. If you want to get fancy, you can carve a cross, bat, crow, etc., on top of the tombstone. The tombstones should be 3-4 inches tall.

Speaking of being fancy, the fence was pretty fancy. I used an entire tortilla for it. I first outlined the whole thing, then began removing pieces — the slats between the fence posts and the area above the gate.

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip Fence


The tree was also pretty easy. Starting at the bottom of the tortilla, outline the trunk. Continue from the trunk line into the bottom of the first limb. Continue to carve out random branch shapes. Just make sure the branches attach to the trunk. The tree has to be one piece.

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip Tree

And if you want to make it a zombie graveyard, don’t forget the zombie hands! It would also be cool to carve out a skull. Or use red decorating gel to pain blood on the zombie hands.

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip Zombie Hands

Step 3: Once you’ve cut out all your graveyard pieces, place them on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm and lightly brown, but not burnt.

Step 4: Open the can of refied beans and spoon into the bottom of a glass 13 x 9 or 11 x 7 casserole dish. Gently spread the refried beans over the bottom of the dish.

Step 5: In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and the taco seasoning. Stir until mixed throughout. Spreadthe sour cream mixture over the refried beans.

Step 6: Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the sour cream.

Step 7: Spread the salsa over the cheddar cheese.

Step 8: Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh into a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocados until smooth. Stir in the lime juice. Spoon the avocado into the middle of the dish. Using the back of the spoon, gently spread the avocado over the salsa. It’s okay if there are holes in the avocado layer and the salsa peaks through or mixes with the avocado — it actually gives a cool effect.

Step 9: Starting with the tree, arrange the graveyard pieces throughout the dish. I put the tree in the back, the fence in the front, and arranged the tombstones in the middle. I also placed the pair of hands in front of one of the tombstones to resemble a zombie rising from the dead!

Step 10: Sprinkle the green onions around the graveyard pieces to resemble grass.

Layered Halloween Graveyard Dip

The dip can be chilled for an hour before serving or served immediately, with your favorite tortillas chips.

Tip: If you choose to chill the dip before serving, don’t perform steps 9 or 10 until you’re ready to serve. The graveyard pieces can get soggy in the fridge.


Based off of the recipe found on Chickabug.
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Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Appetizer, Dip, Holidays!


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Jalapeno Popper Mummies!

I saw these adorable little things on Pinterest a few days ago and absolutely HAD to make them. Who doesn’t love stuffed foods? Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions then wrapped in crescent dough. Yummmm. Who could resist that? Once roasted, the jalapenos are crisp and have a little kick, though not too much. I will definitely be making this recipe again. Halloween recipe #3: Jalapeno Popper Mummies!

Jalapeno Popper Mummies


  • 1 container crescent rolls (I use reduced fat)
  • 7 fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces (I used Oscar Meyer maple cured turkey bacon)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions, white and greens
  • Candy eyeballs ($3.99 at Walmart in the Halloween or cake decorating isle)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: Rinse the jalapenos, cut off the tops, slice in half lengthwise, and remove all seeds. Set the jalapeno halves aside.

Step 3: In a small mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions. Stir until combined.

Step 4: Spoon about 1 tbsp of the filling into each jalapeno half. Gently press the filling into the jalapeno with the back of the spoon and spread to fill the cavity.

Stuffed Jalapeno Popper Mummies

Step 5: On a flat, nonstick surface, layout the crescent dough. Separate the dough into 4 rectangles. Pinch together the two triangles that make up each rectangle so they don’t separate once cut. Using a pizza slicer, slice the dough lengthwise into 1/4 inch wide strips.

Step 6: Pick up one of the stuffed jalapenos. Gently pick up one of the crescent strips. Starting underneath the top of the jalapeno, gently wrap the dough around the jalapeno, overlapping slightly. I used 3 crescent slices per jalapeno: one at the top and two at the bottom, leaving a gap for the eyes between the top and bottom layers of dough. Place the completed jalapeno on the cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining jalapenos and crescent slices.

Raw Jalapeno Popper Mummies

Step 7: Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crescent dough is golden brown on top.

Step 8: Place 2 of the candy eyes in the space between the top and bottom layers of crescent dough. Serve immediately.

Jalapeno Popper Mummies

Note: while these are best served hot and fresh, they do reheat in the microwave very nicely. Microwave 2 at a time for 30 – 45 seconds.

Recipe created by Me! : D

Posted by on October 2, 2014 in Appetizer, Holidays!


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Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties (Medifast and GF)

I will never again make a broccoli, rice, and cheese casserole. This recipe is THAT good! I can eat the whole batch in one sitting and still crave more.

The entire recipe counts as 1 Lean and Green Meal + 1 Medifast snack.

These are great served with grilled chicken or Parmesan Chicken Strips and Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower.


  • 1 tbsp onion, finely chopped
  • 8 oz frozen broccoli
  • 1 pack Medifast Multigrain Crackers or 1/2 c gluten free breadcrumbs if you’re not on Medifast
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, reduced fat, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Egg Beaters or 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water (optional)
Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties

1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

2. I like to cook my broccoli in a skillet over the stove, but if you prefer the microwave, feel free to do so and skip this step. If you want to use the stove: add the frozen broccoli and water into a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until cooked but still firm, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. .

3. Chop the broccoli into small pieces. Place into a medium mixing bowl.

4. Crush the multigrain crackers until they’re the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties

5. Add the onion, cheddar cheese, and breadcrumbs to the mixing bowl with the broccoli. Stir until the breadcrumbs are mixed throughout. Stir in the Egg Beaters.

6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until firm. Flip the patties over – they should be a nice golden brown – and bake for an additional 7 minutes to brown the other side.

Remove from oven, cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!

Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties

Based off of the recipe found on Po’ Man Meals


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