Warm Blue Cheese, Bacon and Garlic Dip

This is a great appetizer.  It is great served with a rich Cabernet.

Warm Blue Cheese, Bacon and Garlic Dip

Makes 2 Cups
7 slices bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup half-and-half
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (one cup)
2 T chopped fresh chives
3 T chopped smoked almonds (one oz.)

Cook bacon in skillet over medium-high heat until almost crisp, about 7 minutes. Drain excess fat from skillet. Add garlic and cook until bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add half-and-half and mix until combined. Stir in bacon mixture, blue cheese, and chives. Transfer to 2-cup ovenproof serving dish and cover with foil.

Bake until thoroughly heated, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped almonds.

Serve with sliced apples, toasted pita crisps, or French bread.

Easy Cheese & Fruit Tarts

These are perfect for brunches, cocktails parties and, especially, picnics. You could also substitute dried cranberries for the holidays. They are another one from my fabulous friend Jennifer.

Easy Cheese & Fruit Tarts

Frozen (defrosted) small pastry shells
1 (15 oz.) can sliced Bartlett pears in syrup, drained
8 oz. wedge Brie cheese
Dried cherries

Follow package directions on shells re: defrosting. Preheat oven to 400F. Chop pears and place in center of pastry shells. Trim away outer edge of Brie and cut cheese into small pieces; place over pears. Top each with 3-4 dried cherries. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Excellent served warm or at room temperature.

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

This recipes is good, quick and easy. I keep bacon in my freezer and water chestnuts handy for this sure hit. Stole this recipe from Kim….had to.  Husbands love this one!

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

1 package bacon
1 1/2 cans water chestnuts (whole)-cut in half
½ cup catsup
1/3 cup brown sugar

Slice all bacon in half lengthwise. Wrap 1/2 slice bacon around water chestnut. Secure with toothpick half way through water chestnut. If
the 1/2 chestnut is small , sometimes a 1/3 slice of bacon can be used. It needs to be long enough to wrap once and secure with a toothpick.

Bake at 250 for 1 hour in roasting pan.

Mix catsup and brown sugar. Dip all bacon in sauce. Clean up grease and then put foil down and put them onto foil.

Bake at 250 for 30 minutes more. Turn off oven and leave in oven till ready to serve (up to a couple hours).

Let sit for a few minutes before serving.


Baked Chevre with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

This almost isn’t a recipe, but I served this to my book club, and it was easy and yummy!

Baked Chevre with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

8 oz. chevre (substitute some cream cheese if too strong)
4 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
1/2-1 t. garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pam a small ovenproof serving dish. Place chevre (and cream cheese, if desired) in dish and bake until melted, 15-20 minutes. Pulse sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and basil in food processor till minced.

Spoon tomato mixture over cheese, and serve with crackers and/or fresh vegetables.

Raspberry Cheese Spread

Don’t be afraid to try something different. This is a great appetizer or party dish.   It is always a hit. The recipe came from a friend in Houston, BJ. Her mom is the ultimate in throwing parties.

Raspberry Cheese Spread

6 1/2 inch springform pan
1 1/2 lbs. grated cheddar (1/2 sharp and 1/2 medium)
1 1/2 c. of mayonnaise
3 green onions, diced
dash of Tabasco
3/4 cup of pecans, chopped
1 jar of Smuckers raspberry preserves

Let cheese sit out for 30 minutes at room temperature. Combine all ingredients except the preserves, and pack into a springform pan. Cover pan with foil, and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, remove cheese mold from the pan and place on a plate. Cover with the preserves. Serve with Ritz or other favorite crackers.


Easy Corn Dip

I got this recipe from a childhood friend. It is simple, quick and delicious. Great for cookouts.

Easy Corn Dip

1 can corn, drained
1 jalepeno, chopped
3/4-1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 carton French onion dip

Mix all ingredients and serve with Fritos Scoops.


Spinach Dip & Pita Chips

This is another recipe from my friend Jennifer; it tastes like what we get at Trio’s a fabulous restaurant in Little Rock. Yum!

Spinach Dip & Pita Chips

8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 can Ro-Tel
1/4 cup diced purple onion
1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
2 T. chopped jalapenos, or to taste

Melt cream cheese and Monterey Jack cheese in a large saucepan over low heat. Add Parmesan cheese, Ro-Tel, onion, spinach, and jalapenos. Stir until smooth.

May be served immediately, or made early and refrigerated several days ahead. Best warm or at room temperature.

Baked Pita Chips
Split pita bread into halves, then quarters. Brush each piece with melted butter or Butter Pam. Sprinkle with cumin and lemon pepper.

Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. The bread becomes crisp as it cools. Store in airtight containers after cool.