Apple to the Core

Appetizers & Entertaining


Warm & Creamy Bacon Dip

  • 1 (16 oz) container sour cream

  • 1 (3 oz) jar Hormel Bacon Bits

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

  • 1 cup chopped green onions

Heat oven to 400º. In bowl, combine all ingredients. Place in a 1-quart baking dish. Cover Heat 25 to 30 minutes or until hot. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables, cracker and/or chips. Makes 3 cups.

Variation: Dip may also be placed in a hollowed round sourdough loaf, wrapped in foil and heated in 400º oven for 30 minutes.

Cranberry Delight Spread

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

  • 2 tbl concentrated orange juice

  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tbl sugar

  • 1 zest of an orange

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, optional

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dry cranberries

  • Townhouse Crackers

In an electric mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese, juice, cinnamon and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Fold in orange zest, pecans and cranberries. Refrigerate. Garnish with a slice of cranberry or zest of orange. Serve with crackers.  Makes 1.5 cups spread.

Artichoke & Spinach Dip

  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

  • 1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese

  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375º. Mix together artichoke hearts, spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, Romano cheese and garlic. Cover dish.  Bake until heated through and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Pesto Potato Bites

  • 1 lb baby red potatoes, about 18

  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup Star red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 2 peeled garlic gloves

  • salt and pepper

Cut potatoes in halves and place in pot of boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in blender or food processor, combine basil, olive oil, 3 tbl red wine vinegar, 6 tbl pine nuts, 4 tbl Parmesan and garlic. Process until completely blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain potatoes and cool slightly. With 1/4 tsp measuring spoon, scoop out small amount from cut surface of each potato half to form a shallow cup. Sprinkle with remaining vinegar and toss to coat. Arrange potato halves on serving dish. Fill each with pesto and sprinkle with remaining pine nuts and Parmesan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 36 appetizers.

Quick Artichoke Dip

  • Two 6.5 oz jars Cara Mia marinated artichoke hearts

  • 12 oz light cream cheese spread

  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes

  • 2 tbl chopped parsley leaves

  • 1 tbl capers

  • salt and pepper

  • assorted crackers

In a food processor, combine artichoke hearts with marinade, cream cheese spread and tomatoes. Process with on-off pulses until blended and artichokes and tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer to bowl and stir in parsley and capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve surrounded with crackers for dipping.

Mexican Dip

  • 1 can (16 oz) Taco Bell refried beans

  • 1 pkg (8 oz) finely shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup thick and chunky salsa

  • 1 pkg Wheat Thins snack crackers

On  a large serving tray, layer beans, 1 cup of cheese, sour cream, salsa and remaining cheese. Refrigerate until serving time. Serve as a dip with crackers. Makes 12 servings. 

*For a zestier dip - add sliced, pickled jalapeno peppers. Or add 1 cup prepare guacamole between layers of cheddar cheese and sour cream. 

The Original Munch Mix

  • 4 cups Post Spoon size shredded wheat cereal

  • 2 cups popped popcorn

  • 1 cup small pretzels

  • 1 cup mixed nuts

  • 1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Salad dressing mix

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted

  • 2 tbl Worcestershire sauce.

Place cereal, popcorn, pretzels and nuts in a 15x10x1" baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with the salad dressing mix. Mix remaining ingredients, toss with cereal mixture. Bake at 300º for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Cool. Makes about 8 cups. 


Triscuit Pizza Bites - Top Triscuit crackers with spaghetti sauce and pieces of diced pepperoni or sausage. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Microwave 12 at a time on high 45-50 seconds or until cheese melts. 

Ham & Cheese Bites - Top Ritz crackers with a square of colby cheese, mustard, and folded deli-style ham or turkey.

Bayou Bites - Mix 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tbl bacon bits, 1 tbl mayonnaise and 1 tbl Dijon mustard.  Place folded pieces of ham or turkey onto a Triscuit cracker and top with cheese mixture. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 400º for 5 minutes.  For a spicier bite, try adding a dash of Worcestershire sauce to the cheese mixture.

Triscuit Nachos - Top a Triscuit cracker with colby cheese, pickled jalapeno pepper slice and salsa. Cover with a second Triscuit cracker. Microwave on high for 10-15 seconds or until cheese is slightly melted.

Easy Taco Dip

  • 1½ cups Miracle Whip salad dressing

  • 1½ sour cream

  • 1 pkg Taco Bell taco seasoning mix

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with cracker and cut-up vegetables.

Cheese and Olive Spread

  • 1 pkg (8 oz) Kraft finely shredded mild cheddar cheese

  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup chopped, stuffed green olives

  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

  • 2 tbl lemon juice

  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with Ritz crackers.

Pizza Party Dippers

For a quick and easy party tray, try cutting baked, frozen pizzas into 3x1" stripes for each dipping and service with an assortment of dipping sauces such as Di Giorno Marinara or Kraft Ranch Dressing.

Hidden Valley Ranch Oyster Crackers

  • 1 pkg (1 oz) Hidden Valley Ranch Original Ranch Salad Dressing Mix

  • 1/2 tsp dill weed

  • 3/4 cup salad oil

  • 5 cups plain oyster crackers

  • 1/4 tsp lemon powder (optional)

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 250º. Combine salad dressing with dill weed and oil. Pour over crackers, stir to coat. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes . Stir gently, halfway through baking.

Sausage Stars

  • 2 cups cooked crumbled cheese (1 pound)

  • 1½ cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

  • 1½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

  • 1 cup prepared ranch dressing

  • 1 can (2.25 oz) sliced ripe olives

  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper

  • 1 pkg fresh or frozen won ton wrappers (or egg roll wrappers cut in 4ths)

  • vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350º. Blot sausage dry with paper towels and combine with cheeses, salad dressing, olives and red peppers. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin and press 1 wrapper in each cup. Brush wrapper with oil. Bake 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from tins, place on baking sheet. Fill with sausage mixture. Bake 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Makes 4 to 5 dozen.

Seafood Cocktail Dip

  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Recipe Soup mix

  • 1 container (16 oz) sour cream

  • 1 cup cooked chopped shrimp or imitation crab meat, drained

  • 3 tbl chili sauce

  • 1 tbl horseradish

Combine all ingredients; chill 2 hours. Makes 2½ cups dip.

Warm Broccoli and Cheddar Dip

  • 1 envelope Lipton Vegetable Recipe Soup mix

  • 1 container (16 oz) sour cream

  • 1 pkg (10 oz ) frozen chopped broccoli or spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 oz), divided

In 1 quart casserole dish, combine vegetable soup mix, sour cream, broccoli and 3/4 cup cheese until smooth. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Makes about 3 cups dip.

Hot Seafood Spread

  • 2 pkgs (8 oz ) each cream cheese, softened

  • 1 pkg Louis Kemp Crab Delights flakes

  • 2 tbl finely chopped green onion

  • 1/2 cup bottled horseradish sauce

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

  • Paprika, optional

Beat cream cheese until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Blend in remaining ingredients except almonds and paprika. Spread mixture into a 9" pie plate. Top with almonds and sprinkle with paprika. Baker uncovered at 375º for 20 minutes. Serve with assorted crackers and/or vegetables. 

Quick Pizza Dip

  • 1 (8 oz) container soft cream cheese

  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, separated into 1 cup each

  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce

  • 2 tbl each green and red pepper

Heat oven to 350º. Beat cream cheese and Italian seasoning with electric mixer until well blended. Spread on bottom of 9" pie plate. Top with 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup pizza sauce, the other 1 cup Mozzarella cheese and red and green peppers. Bake 15-20 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated and cheese is melted. Serve with breadsticks. Makes 10 servings.

Cheesy Pita Pizza Appetizers

  • 2 pita breads

  • Italian dressing

  • Cheddar cheese

  • Choose your own Pizza toppings (Chopped green pepper, red pepper, pepperoni, sliced mushrooms, chopped ham, chopped red onion)

Heat oven to 375º. Lightly brush pita bread with Italian dressing; place on cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Top each pizza with cheese and your favorite toppings; drizzle with additional dressing. Bake 1-2 minutes or until cheese begins to melt. Cut into quarter. Makes 8 appetizers.

Freezer Shrimp-Cheese Dip

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

  • 2 tbl dry sherry

  • 2 tbl milk

  • 1/2 tsp Dijon style mustard

  • 1 (4½ oz) can shrimp, drained and finely chopped

  • 2 tbl snipped parsley

  • Celery, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower and radishes for Vegetable dippers

With electric mixer beat together the softened cream cheese, sherry, milk and mustard. Fold in shrimp and parsley. Turn mixture into a 1-pint freezer container. Seal, label and freeze. About 4 hours before serving, thaw dip at room temperature. Stir to fluff mixture. Serve with vegetable dippers. Makes 1¾ cups.

Crab Pizza

  •  16 oz of softened cream cheese

  • 2 tbl Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tsp liquid onion juice

  • 2 tbl mayonnaise

  • dash of garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together and spread mixture on a cake place. Pinch edges up like a pizza crust. Refrigerate until needed. At the time of serving, spread the following ingredients on  crust:

  • 1 bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce

  • 2 cans crab meat, well drained

  • a few sprigs of parsley

Use any type of chip or cracker for scooping.

Bacon and Lettuce Stuffed Tomatoes

  • 20 cherry tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped lettuce

  • 10 slice bacon, cooked and crumbled

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cut the top off each tomato. Scoop out pulp and seeds. Salt inside each tomato. Invert tomatoes and drain 15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Fill each tomato with mixture.  Makes 20 appetizers.

Taco Ring

  • 1/2 pound of ground beef, cooked and drained

  • 1 pkg (1.25 oz) taco seasoning mix

  • 1 cup (4oz) shredded Cheddar Cheese

  • 2 tbl Water

  • 2 pkg (8oz) refrigerated crescent roll dough

  • 1 medium green pepper

  • 1/2 heat of lettuce, shredded

  • 1 medium tomato

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup whole black olives, sliced

  • 1 cup salsa

  • sour cream

Preheat oven to 375º. Combine cooked meat, taco seasoning, cheese and water in a bowl. Arrange crescent triangles in a circle on 13 inch pizza pan with bases overlapping in the center and points to the outside. There should be a 5-inch diameter circle in the center. Scoop meat mixture over crescent rolls. Fold points of triangles over filling and tuck under base at center. Filling will not be completely covered. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Chop tomato, onion and olives.  Hollow out the green pepper and place in the middle of the taco ring; fill with salsa. Mound lettuce, onions tomatoes around the pepper. Garnish with sour cream. Cut with a pizza cutter. Makes  20 appetizers.

Ham & Cheese Puff

  • 2 loaves (1 lb each) Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 1/2 lbs Monterey Jack cheese, cubed

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter

  • 16 eggs

  • 7 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup prepared mustard

Toss bread, ham and cheese; divide between 2 greased 13x9 inch baking dishes. In a skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender; transfer to a bowl. Add eggs, milk and mustard; mix well. Pour over bread mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve immediately. Makes 24-30 servings.

Beef Wrap-ups

  • 1/2 pound ground beef

  • 1 small onion chopped

  • 2 Tbl grated American Cheese

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt

  • 1 egg, separated

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (do not use self rising)

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp paprika

  • vegetable oil

Mix ground beef, onion, cheese, 1/4 tsp salt, garlic salt, and egg white; reserve. Mix flour, egg yolk, water, 1/2 tsp salt and paprika until soft dough forms. Knead on floured surface until dough is elastic, about 2 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll half in 12 inch square about 1/16 inch thick; cut into 2 inch squares.

Fill each square with scant teaspoon beef mixture. Moisten edges of squares; fold into triangles. Pinch edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough. Heat oil (1 inch) to 400 in 10 inch skillet. Fry wrap-ups until golden, about 45 seconds; drain. Serve hot or cold. Makes 6 dozen appetizers.

Tomato Cooler

Mix 2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce, 1 quart buttermilk and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon each dill seed and seasoned salt, and 1/4 teaspoon each garlic salt and onion salt. Server over crushed ice using green onions as swizzle sticks.

Super Iced Chocolate Cappuccino (Punch bowl version)

  • 2/3 cup Hershey's Chocolate syrup, chilled

  • 2 cups cold coffee

  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream

  • whipped cream

  • ground cinnamon

In a blender container, place syrup and coffee; blend on high speed. Add ice cream; cover and blend until smooth.  Make this recipe twice, pouring into a punch bowl after each. Stir in a tray of ice cubes. Serve immediately. About eighteen 6oz servings

Cheesy Buttons

  • 1 cup biscuit baking mix

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 3 tbl boiling water

  • 3 tbl sesame seed

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix baking mix and butter. Stir in water and sesame seed until dough forms ball. Drop by scant teaspoonfuls into cheese; coat dough with cheese. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until golden, 7-10 minutes. Serve warm. Makes about 3 dozen appetizers.

Peachy Punch

  • 2 pkgs (10 oz each) frozen sliced peaches

  • 2 cups dry white wine, chilled

  • 1 cup lemon juice, chilled

  • 1 can frozen red fruit punch concentrate, thawed

  • 2 quarts ginger ale, chilled

  • mint sprigs

Thaw 1 pkg frozen peaches. Mix thawed peaches. wine, lemon juice and fruit punch concentrate; pour on frozen peaches in chilled punch bowl. Just before serving, stir in ginger ale; garnish with mint sprigs. (To keep punch cold, another package of frozen peaches can be added).   About 24 servings (1/2 cup each)

Spinach Dip

  • 1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

  • 1 (16 oz) container sour cream

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 3 green onion, chopped

  • 1 pkg Knorr vegetable soup mix

  • 1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained and chopped

  • 1 large unsliced oval or round loaf of bread, hollowed out

In medium bowl, stir all ingredients until well mixed. Cover; chill 2 hours to blend flavors. Stir  before serving. Spoon dip into hollowed-out bread loaf. Serve with bread pieces or crackers. Makes 4 cups.

Stuffed Celery Sticks

  • 7 medium stalks celery

  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

  • 1/2 cup cooked ham, chopped

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard

  • Mix all ingredients, except celery. Cut celery in 3 inch pieces. Make sure celery is completely dry before stuffing. Spread one tablespoon in each piece of celery. Cover and refrigerate one hour. Makes about 14 appetizers.

    Onion-Cheese Puffs

    • 1 cup water

    • 1/3 cup butter or margarine

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour

    • 1 tsp slat

    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

    • 4 eggs

    • 3/4 cup shredded Swiss or pizza cheese

    • 1 small Bermuda onion, chopped

    Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat water and butter to rolling boil. Stir in flour, salt and garlic powder. Stir vigorously over low heat 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat. Beat in eggs until smooth. Stir in cheese and onion. Drop dough by scant teaspoonfuls 1 inch apart onto lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Make 6 dozen puffs.

    Tip-Top puffs: Place pimiento-stuffed olive or 1/2 inch square cheese slice on each puff. Bake as directed.

    Filled Puffs: Place salted peanut, 1/2 inch ham cube of half of pimiento-stuffed olive on each puff. Top with enough dough to cover. Bake as directed.

    Hot Cheese Puffs

    • 2 cups shredded sharp process cheese

    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour

    • 1 tsp freeze-dried chives

    • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt

    Mix cheese and butter; stir in flour, chives and seasoned salt until blended. Shape into 1-inch ball; place on ungreased baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate up to 48 hours.

    30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake until cheese puffs are set and light golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cheese puffs.

    Garlic Cheese Puffs: Substitute 1/4 tsp garlic powder for the seasoned salt.

    Onion Cheese Puffs: Substitute 1 tsp onion powder for the chives.


    • 1 pkg refrigerated crescent roll dough

    • 1 8 oz pkg shredded mozzarella cheese

    • 1 pkg sliced pepperoni

    • 1 jar marinara sauce (for dipping)

    Separate the 8 crescent roll triangles. With rolling pin, roll out each crescent roll triangle slightly on floured board. Cut triangle lengthwise into two triangles. At widest end of triangle place 2 slices of Pepperoni. Top with 1 tbl cheese and roll from wide to narrow end. Place on baking sheet sprayed with on-stick cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with you favorite marinara sauce as a warm dip. Makes 16 appetizers.

    Salami Pinwheels

    • 1 (17.25 oz) pkg frozen puff pastry sheets

    • 1 8 oz pkg sliced Italian Dry Salami

    • 1 (8 oz) pkg shredded mozzarella cheese

    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

    • 1 (2.2 oz) can sliced black olives, drained

    Thaw the 2 sheets of pastry dough according to directions. Roll out each piece of dough on a floured board into 10x12 inch rectangle. Place equal amounts of mozzarella, salami slices, olives, parmesan and basil on each sheet, leaving 1 inch border around edge. Roll each sheet starting at the long end, making sure the filling stays inside. Seal long edge with water and pinch together. Cut each pinwheel into half inch slices with a VERY SHARP knife and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until golden brow. Makes about 32 pieces.

    Spicy Stuffed Mushrooms

    • 1 pound small to medium mushrooms (about 30)

    • 1/2 pound bulk breakfast sausage

    • 1/4 cup chopped onion

    • 1/3 cup ketchup

    • 2 tbl dry bread crumbs

    • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes

    Remove stems from mushrooms; finely chop enough stems to measure 1/2 cup. Crumble sausage in large skillet; add chopped mushroom stems and onion and cook until sausage is browned, stirring frequently. Drain excess fat; stir in ketchup, bread crumbs and parsley. Fill each mushroom cap with sausage mixture; place in 3-quart baking dish. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven, 12-15 minutes. Makes about 30 stuffed mushrooms.

    Broiled Cheese Triangles

    • 4 (5-6 inch in diameter) pocket pita breads

    • melted butter or margarine

    • 1 1/2 cups shredded process American cheese

    • 1/4 cup ketchup

    • 2 tbl finely chopped green pepper

    • 2 tbl finely chopped ripe olives

    • 2 tbl mayonnaise or salad dressing

    Split each pita in half horizontally; brush split side with butter. Cut each pita half into six triangles. Place on baking sheet; bake in preheated 350 degree oven., 6-8 minutes or until they are crisp and golden brown. Meanwhile, combine cheese and remaining ingredients. Spread cheese mixture on pita triangles; place on baking sheet. Boil, 5-6 inches from heat source, 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Makes 48 appetizers.

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