Category Archives: Appetizers

Baked Potato Halves

6 small potatoes
1/4 cup (half stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
Other herbs or spices, as desired (I suggest garlic flakes)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Put the butter in a 9×13 inch baking pan and place in oven while preheating. When butter is melted, spread it to cover the entire bottom of baking pan.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over the butter, then sprinkle the parsley and any other herbs over the Parmesan cheese.

Wash potatoes and slice them lengthwise. Place cut side down in the baking pan and place in oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes after removing from oven. If you don’t wait, the cheese might not stick as well.

Serve with a sour cream type of dip.

These potatoes are very easy to make . . . . no peeling!!! They will be great to have at any cookout. They would also be a great potato dish to take to a pot luck dinner.

Here’s how they looked first put into the oven:

You can see the layer of grated parmesan and herbs on the bottom of the pan.  Also notice that six small potatoes fit nicely in a 9×13 pan.

Here’s a picture just out of the oven:

Remember, you have to wait a few minutes to take them out of the pan so the cheese will stick to them.

Here they are on the fancy platter. 😉 Those are my every day dishes – paper plates!


Cheeseburger Bites

1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
6 slices bread
24 cubes Cheddar cheese (1/2-inch cubes)

In a bowl, combine egg yolk, ground beef, onion, salt and pepper. Shape mixture by teaspoonfuls into 24 balls. Remove crusts from bread; roll flat and cut into 1-1/2-in. rounds. Place meatballs on bread rounds; make a depression in each ball and fill with a cube of cheese, making sure bread is covered with meat mixture. Place on a baking sheet. Broil in preheated oven about 6 in. from heat for 3-5 minutes or until no pink remains. Garnish with ketchup, mustard, sliced green onions or sliced dill pickles if desired. Yield: 2 dozen.

Meatball Glazes and Sauces

These are great glazes to add to your appetizer meatballs. Most are simply heated in a sauce pan, then stirred into your favorite meatballs. Bake or keep them warm in a crockpot.

Most Popular Meatball Sauce
1 bottle (14 ounces) ketchup
1 jar (12 ounces) grape jelly
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients in saucepan and cook 3 or 4 minutes until jelly is dissolved. Pour over meatballs in a crockpot and stir to coat.

Apricot Meatball Sauce

1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
Heat both ingredients in a small saucepan and pour over meatballs. Stir to coat.

Barbecued Meatball Sauce

1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke, optional
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine all ingreadients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for two minutes, stirring often. Pour over meatballs.

Barbecued Meatball Sauce II

2 cups ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Combine all ingredients and pour over meatballs in a crockpot.

Cranberry Sauce for Meatballs

1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
Heat both ingredients together in a small saucepan. Pour over meatballs.

Creamy Garlic Sauce for Meatballs

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
3-1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a large saucepan, combine flour and soups. Stir in the water and seasonings until blended. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add your favorite meatballs; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until heated through. Transfer to crockpot to keep warm. This is also great as a main course, served over mashed potatoes or rice.

Meatball Glaze

1 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup sweet-and-sour sauce
Heat all ingredients through, then pour over meatballs.

Meatball Sauce

3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Combine all ingredients and heat in small saucepan. Pour over meatballs.

Microwave Meatball Sauce

1 can (8 ounces) Hunt’s® Tomato Sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and garlic salt. Cook, uncovered, on high for 30-60 seconds or until sugar is dissolved, stirring every 15 seconds. Pour over meatballs.

No Fuss Meatball Sauce
1-1/3 cups ketchup
2 cups ginger ale
Combine both ingredients and add to meatballs.

Orange Marmalade Meatball Glaze

1 jar (12 ounces) orange marmalade
1/4 cup orange juice
3 green onions, chopped, divided
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (Optional)

In a small saucepan, heat the marmalade, orange juice, half of the green onions and the jalapeno. Pour over meatballs and stir gently to coat.

Polynesian Meatball Sauce

1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set pineapple aside. Add enough water to juice to measure 1 cup. In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch, pineapple juice mixture, vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice and brown sugar until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add sauce and reserved pineapple to meatballs in a crockpot. Keep warm until finished serving.

Sweet and Sour Meatball Sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup water
1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring until thickened. Add to meatballs.

More Ideas
Simply pour these ready-made condiments over your meatballs for wonderful saucy flavor:

  • Grape Jelly (heat in saucepan first)
  • Gravy
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Spaghetti Sauce

Cowboy Beef Dip

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 cup chopped sweet green pepper
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) nacho cheese soup, undiluted
1/2 cup picante sauce or salsa
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
1/4 cup (half a small can) chopped green chilies
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 Tbsp. sour cream
Extra chopped sweet peppers
Tortilla Chips for dipping

In a large skillet, cook the beef until meet is no longer pink. Add chopped onions and sweet peppers and cook until tender. Drain. Stir in soup, salsa, ripe olives, chilies, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.

Pour into serving dish and top with shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions and peppers, as desired.

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Spiced Cranberry Spread

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
1/2 cup canned whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Spread cream cheese onto a small serving plate (less than 9 inches in diameter).

Mix together the cranberry sauce, orange marmalade, and red pepper. Spoon mixture over the cream cheese; top with almonds.

Serve with crackers (Ritz).

Cracker Basket

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal or semolina flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup warm water
4-quart ovenproof bowl
1 tablespoon sesame seed, mustard seed, poppy seed or coarse ground black pepper

Mix flour, cornmeal, salt and water until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour but no longer than 12 hours.

Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray outside of bowl with cooking spray; place upside down in 15x10x1-inch pan.

Shape dough into 2 balls. Roll each ball on lightly floured surface with rolling pin until 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle with sesame seed; gently roll seed into dough. Shape 1 dough, seed side down, over bowl, pleating if necessary. Place remaining dough for cracker bread, seed side up, on cookie sheet lined with cooking parchment paper.

Bake basket 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown; remove from oven.

Set oven control to broil. Broil dough for cracker bread with top 6 to 8 inches from heat 3 to 5 minutes; turn over and broil 3 to 5 minutes longer or until light brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Remove basket from bowl. Break cracker bread into pieces. Fill basket with cracker bread and fruit and cheese, if desired.

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

1 lb. bulk sausage
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 lb. fresh jalapeno peppers

Brown sausage, mix with cream cheese and parmesan.

Wash and slice the peppers in half length-wise. Be sure to remove the stem and all the seeds. Fill the peppers with sausage/cheese mixture and place on cookie sheet. (For easier cleanup, line the cookie sheet with foil.) Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Can be baked the night before and then re-heated in the microwave when ready to serve.

Sugared Popcorn

1/3 cup unpopped popcorn
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1/3 cup sugar

In small bowl, add water to popcorn and set aside.

In 3-quart saucepan, heat oil. Add 2 or 3 kernels of popcorn and cover. Cook over medium-high heat until kernels pop.

Carefully add sugar and popcorn/water (tends to splatter). Cover and cook popcorn over medium-high heat, shaking pan constantly until most of the kernels are popped. Remove from heat immediately to prevent sugar from burning.

Makes about 6 cups.