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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mmm... Appetizers

Jules here-

Personally, I can go to a restaurant and order an appetizer and be happy... just kidding, I order five! From hot wings to mini-crab cakes, I love small delicacies.  When the tapas style restaurants became all the craze, I hopped right on that band wagon. 

So, in part TWO of the neighborhood cook-off, we chose the category of appetizers with a focus on dips.  After scouring cookbooks, the Internet, and pinterest, we each came up with some fantastic dishes.  We once again split on the spousal votes; however, we wrangled an additional neighbor to be a guest judge, and she chose Don's as the favorite this time:

Hot Reuben Dip
1 lb. diced corned beef
8 oz. shredded swiss cheese
1 14-oz. can sauerkraut, drained very well (place in strainer & press out liquid)
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. Thousand Island dressing

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Spoon into a serving dish that can be placed in the oven (a 9″ pie plate works great!). Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes, until it is bubbling and nicely browned. Serve with toasted Rye Bread crackers.

Don's homemade rye bread crackers sealed the deal on the victory--very, very tasty. He also used the leftovers to make yummy sandwiches the next day!

 My second-place recipe was also quite tasty-- Don's wife voted for mine.... but his was definitely more unique. I love the seven-layer taco dips, but I wanted something warm and yummy; I found this pampered chef recipe.  

Hot Taco Dip

* 1 can (9 ounces) bean dip
* 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 Tbs. taco seasoning mix
* 1 garlic clove, pressed
* 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
* 1/2 medium tomato, diced
* 2 green onions, thinly sliced
* 1/4 cup olives, sliced (but I left these out)
* 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro
* Tortilla Chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spread dip over bottom of pan.  Combine cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning mix and garlic.  Spread cream cheese mixture over beans.  Top with grated cheese.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Top with diced tomato, green onion, and cilantro.  Garnish with extra sour cream if you would like.

 Hope you enjoy some new appetizer recipes for your party repertoire!  Next up for our contest is the Main Dish Chicken category-- stay tuned for some other fantastic, award-winning recipes!!

Easy Rule #49298- The best contest to lose is a cooking one. No matter what happens you get to eat delicious food!


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