Tag Archives: easy appetizers

Buffalo Chicken Poppers with Avocado Blue Cheese Dip

God bless Pinterest. Over the weekend our neighbors put together a progressive dinner with “potluck style” apps. Since the apps were subbing for dinner, I wanted to make something that had a little heft to it but I don’t really make apps that often and didn’t have a go-to recipe in mind. I had recently run across this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Poppers from Iowa Girl Eats on Pinterest and thought it could be the perfect solution.

I used all the same ingredients as the original recipe but slightly tweaked the quantities and execution. Instead of cooking and cutting a chicken breast, I shredded up store-bought rotisserie chicken and mixed all of the filling elements together to cut down on prep time. I would do it that way again since it was not only easy and fast, but also made the filling extra creamy. The poppers were a gone in a flash and will definitely be made again!

Buffalo Chicken Poppers
makes 32 poppers
2 pkgs crescent rolls
3 1/2 C shredded rotisserie chicken or chicken breasts
1 8 oz pkg reduced fat cream cheese, softened
4 tsp ranch dressing mix powder
6 Tbsp Franks Red Hot buffalo wing sauce

Preheat oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and ranch dressing powder until well mixed. Mix in wing sauce. Remove meat from rotisserie, leaving skin and carcass behind. Shred chicken using two forks and transfer chicken to the bowl with the filling. Use a wooden spoon to mix chicken into filling so that it is evenly coated and mixture is creamy.

Roll out crescent rolls on the parchment paper. Slice the pre-sliced triangles in half so that you end up with 16 triangles on each baking sheet. With each triangle, use your fingers to gently spread the dough out a bit so that you have room for more filling. You may need to work in groups of 3-4 triangles. Scoop about 2 teaspoons of filling into the center of each triangle. Fold the corners of the triangle up to meet in the center and gently pinch together the seams between the points.

Once all poppers are formed, bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with Avocado Blue Cheese Dip if desired.

Avocado Blue Cheese Dip
1 ripe avocado
1/2 C blue cheese dressing

Peel avocado and cut into small chunks in a small bowl. Add dressing. Use a hand mixer to cream together until avocado is mostly smooth. If you don’t have a hand mixer, simply mash well, however your dip will be a bit more chunky.



Filed under Appetizers

Cranberry and Toasted Pecan Cheese Ball

It is the time of the year when holiday parties are in high demand and we are all finding ourselves asking, “what can I bring?”  This cheese ball recipe might just be the perfect appetizer.  You can whip it up in no time and it is very easy to transport.  Best of all, you can make it ahead of time so you are not rushing out the door.

Cranberry and Toasted Pecan Cheese Ball

1, 8 oz brick of cream cheese, softened
1, 4 oz log of goat cheese
3/4 cup sweetened, dried cranberries, chopped
1 cup pecans, shelled

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Place pecans on a baking sheet and cook about 3-6 minutes or until aromatic.  Watch carefully, as they tend to burn once they really start cooking. Take them out of the oven and let cool.

In a large bowl, mix softened cream cheese and goat cheese until smooth.  Add chopped cranberries and mix until well combined.  Take mixture of of the bowl and, with your hands, shape into a large ball.  Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

Once pecans are cooled, run your knife through them until they are coarsely chopped.  When the cheese ball is done chilling, unwrap it and roll in the chopped pecans, being sure to coat the entire ball.

Wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.  I served mine with whole grain crackers.

The dried cranberries make this recipe slightly sweet.  If you are looking for more of a savory flavor, try adding some fresh chopped herbs or a squeeze of lemon juice to offset the sweetness of the cranberries.  Don’t like pecans? Try walnuts or pine nuts instead or swap Gorgonzola for the Goat Cheese.   Go ahead and get creative with this recipe and let us know what combination you like the best!


Filed under Appetizers, Cook, Entertain, Holidays

3 Easiest Appetizers Ever

If you are anything like me, you often end up having impromptu gatherings with only hours to spare. While a bag of tortilla chips and jar of salsa works to moderately appease the appetites of your guests, you can do better without much more work. These three appetizers are guaranteed to satisfy hungry bellies and make you look like the true haute homemaker you really are. Each recipe uses no more than four ingredients (ones I always make sure I have on hand). A total prep time of 15 minutes for a night of food and fun – do you think you can handle it?

Harry and David’s Onion and Pepper Relish

In our Under $25 Holiday Gift Guide, one of my top picks was Harry and David’s Onion and Pepper Relish. This dip is my husband’s favorite. All you do is use half a jar of the relish and mix with one package of cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat Philadelphia). Mix together and serve with tortilla chips.

Mustard Ranch Pretzel Dip

This dip involves only four simple ingredients and isn’t too harsh on the waistline.

Mix together and serve with pretzels:
1/2 C. low-fat mayo
1/2 C. low-fat sour cream
1/2 package dry Ranch dressing mix
1/4 C. yellow mustard

Some people aren’t real mustard lovers. If you are one of them, simply add the mustard slowly and taste to your liking.

Easy Chili Cheese Dip

I’ve been making this dip since the days of my college dorm room. With a glass pie plate, a few ingredients and a microwave, you can make this anywhere.

1 package cream cheese
1 can Hormel Chili, no beans
1 package shredded cheddar or mexican-style cheese

Spread the cream cheese at the bottom of a pie pan. Spread Hormel Chili across the top of the cream cheese. Top with a few handfuls of cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees, or microwave for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips.

Anyone can conquer one or all of these to create a great party atmosphere without all the fuss.

Feel free to share your five minute appetizers with us! I’d love to add more to the arsenal.


Filed under Appetizers, Cook, Quick & Easy