Tag Archives: Appetizers

I’ve mentioned before the wonderful cooks that are in my husband’s family. I love visiting my mother-in-law because she is always trying new recipes and passing them along. On one of our visits my mother-in-law gave me this Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip. It sounded delicious and even fairly healthy! The only ingredient that wasn’t completely good for you was the blue cheese! When we had company recently I decided to mix up a batch and see how it went over.Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip


It was a big hit and there wasn’t any left at the end of the evening. I served it with pita chips and baked tortilla chips. I’m sure you could also serve it with vegetables as well.Blue Cheese and Artichoke Dip

This Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip is a winner! Try it the next time you need an appetizer, you’ll be glad you did.


Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip



1 can artichoke in water, drained

¼ cup scallions, chopped

½ tsp. minced garlic

2 oz. blue cheese

1 Tbsp. parsley

¼ cup plain yogurt



Combine all the above ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Place into a serving container and serve with pita chips, crackers or vegetables.


This blue cheese artichoke dip can be made ahead of time, which gives the flavors a chance to combine. Just chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip


Using the blue cheese in this dip was a perfect combination but now I’m wondering about using other types of soft cheese, for example Feta cheese or even herb flavored goat cheese? What do you think, would you make this blue cheese artichoke dip with blue cheese or something different?


The blue cheese flavor in this dip is not overpowering so if you are not a fan of blue cheese don’t be put off by this recipe, try it you might find you like it!Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip


My husband and I love to entertain. However, when we have company I like to enjoy the company and not spend all my time in the kitchen! I am always looking for recipes that I can make ahead or at least reduce my time in the kitchen. I really don’t want to be spending time cooking in the kitchen when I could be enjoying our company. These antipasto kabobs are the perfect solution!Antipasto Kabobs There is a little work involved the day before which is just cooking the tortellini and marinating it with the olives and salad dressing. Before your company arrives you can put together the antipasto kabobs so they will be chilled and ready for sharing.Antipast Kabobs


The added bonus is that they are light in calories. You can enjoy two antipasto kabobs for only 139 calories. Delicious and low fat, my kind of appetizer!


Antipasto Kabobs




1 package of refrigerated cheese tortellini (9 oz)

40 pimento stuffed olives

40 large pitted ripe olives

¾ cup Italian salad dressing

40 thin slices of pepperoni

20 thin slices of hard salami
Can of artichoke hearts in water, drained




Cook the tortellini according to the package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine the tortellini, olives and salad dressing. Stir gently, cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.


Drain and discard the marinade. For each appetizer, thread a stuffed olive, folded pepperoni slice, tortellini, a folded salami piece and ripe olive on a toothpick or short skewer. If you like you can also add a piece of parsley.Antipasto Kabobs


Makes about 40 appetizers.


These antipasto kabobs would be perfect for your next summer gathering. They were certainly a hit with our company!Antipasto Kabobs


Do you have a favorite appetizer you like to serve? One that doesn’t have you spending hours in the kitchen? Please share in the comments!

I love making appetizers using the frozen miniature phyllo tart shells. They come together in no time at all and make such a nice presentation. These little appetizers are always a hit every time I serve them!Brie Leek Tartlets

Brie Leek Tartlets

1 medium leek, white part only finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp butter
½ cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of ground nutmeg
1 package (1.9 oz) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
2 oz Brie cheese, rind removed

In a small skillet sauté the leek and garlic in the butter until tender. Add the cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook and stir for another 1-2 minutes or until thickened.Brie Leek Tartlets

Place the tart shells on a baking sheet. Slice the cheese into 15 pieces; place one piece in each tart shell. Top each with 1 ½ tsp of the leek mixture.Brie Leek Tartlets Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes or until the tartlets are heated through. Serve immediately.Brie Leek Tartlets Leftovers can be refrigerated. Makes 15 appetizers.Brie Leek Tartlets

Did you ever see a recipe in a magazine and think… “that looks yummy, I think I will make it?” Most of the time when I do this I have good luck and the recipe comes out just as pictured. I received the latest issue of Taste of Home recently and saw a recipe for Cheese Crispies. We had company coming for dinner in a few days and I decided I would make this appetizer. Unfortunately it didn’t come out quite as expected!Cheese Crispies

Fortunately I improvised and the end result was delicious!

Crispy Cheese Crackers

1 cup butter, softened
2 ½ cups cheddar cheese (10oz)
2 cups flour
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 ½ cups Rice Krispies

In a large bowel, beat the butter and cheddar cheese until blended. In another bowl combine the flour, salt and cayenne pepper. Gradually add this mixture to the butter cheese mixture. Stir in the Rice Krispies.

Divide the dough in half and shape each into a 7 inch long roll. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the logs and cut the dough into ¼ inch slices. Place one inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Removed the crackers from the pans and cook on a wire rack.

I mixed the dough but it was too dry and would not form into a log at all.Crispy Cheese Crackers So rather than try to chill this crumbly mass I had I used a scoop and scooped up dough and placed it in a greased mini muffin tin.Crispy Cheese Crackers I had enough to fill two mini muffins tins. I patted the dough into place.Crispy Cheese CrackersThen baked at 350 until they were golden, about 15-20 minutes. I let cool for a few minutes in the tin and then removed to the wire rack.Crispy Cheese Crackers

They were delicious and our company loved them!Cheese Crispies

I love appetizers that can be made ahead and just pulled out as the company arrives. This simple recipe makes 4-6 servings depending on appetites!Appetizers


1 (7-8 oz) package of feta cheese cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp minced shallot
½ tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 pound of large cherry tomatoes
12 pitted Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise.

Toss the cubed Feta, oil, shallot and oregano in a small bowl.

Cut 12 tomatoes in half crosswise. Scoop out the tomato pulp. Place tomatoes; cut side up on your serving platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stuff hollowed cherry tomatoes with marinated Feta. Slide an olive half alongside the cheese. Drizzle with additional olive oil. Do ahead, cover and let chill.

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Feta

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Feta

My sister-in-law is an amazing woman. Not only is she a successful business woman but she is a fabulous cook. Many of her recipes have become favorites of ours including her recipe for Cheese Toast.

Thankfully the recipe only makes 12 pieces, although you could double it for larger crowds. It is so delicious you might be tempted to eat more than you should!

Bread for Cheese Toast.

Bread for Cheese Toast.

Cheese Toast

½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ cup olive oil
1 loaf of olive bread (approx. 5×11), cut lengthwise into ¼” slices (other types of bread work well too)
4 oz of Parmesan or Gruyere Cheese, grated (1 cup)

Heat your oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper and cooling racks.

Stir thyme and cayenne pepper into the olive oil. Place bread on the racks in one layer. Brush with oil.

Brush bread with oil mixture.

Brush bread with oil mixture.

Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the bread.

Sprinkle bread with cheese.

Sprinkle bread with cheese.

Bake until golden and crunchy about 25-30 minutes. Cool on the racks.

Cheese Toast

Cheese Toast

Store in airtight containers for up to one week. Believe me it won’t last that long, it will be consumed long before the week is up!

Store in an airtight container.

Store in an airtight container.

This would be a perfect appetizer to enjoy over the holidays.


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