Appetizer – Brain Cheese Ball – Halloween

You can do this recipe a couple of ways

cheeseball

Buy a Skull (I prefer the one you can open the top off)

You can either smear cheese all over the skull and use cocktail onions for eyes and let your guests use crackers to scarp off the flesh AND/OR

Make a cheese ball and press it into a brain mold, then cover inside of skull with plastic wrap and place cheese ball inside to show exposed brain.

skull cheese ball

Again let your guests scrap out the yummy goodness straight from the back of the head or off the face.

 

Here is a Martha Stewart Cheese Ball Recipe that is GREAT

BASE RECIPE:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 dashes hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

CHEDDAR AND CRANBERRY:

  • 8 ounces sharp orange cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought chutney
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • Water crackers, for serving

ROQUEFORT AND WALNUT:

  • 6 ounces Roquefort cheese
  • 1 shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 teaspoons brandy (optional)
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Vegetable chips (such as Terra Chips Sweets & Beets), for serving

GOAT CHEESE AND SCALLIONS:

  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
  • 1/3 cup fresh curly-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, for serving
  1. STEP 1

    Put butter, cream cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until combined. Divide equally among 3 medium bowls.

  2. STEP 2

    Stir cheddar cheese and chutney with base mixture in the first bowl. Form into a ball. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Roll cheese ball in cranberries to coat before serving. Serve with crackers.

  3. STEP 3

    Stir blue cheese and shallot with base mixture in second bowl; add brandy, if desired. Form into a ball. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 3 days; freeze up to 1 month. Roll in walnuts to coat before serving. Serve with chips.

  4. STEP 4

    Stir goat cheese and scallions with base mixture in remaining bowl. Form into a ball. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Roll in parsley to coat before serving. Serve withcucumber slices.

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Appetizer – Maryland Crab Cakes

crab cakes

MARYLAND CRAB CAKES:

INGREDIENTS:
1 large egg
2½ tablespoons mayonnaise (I like Hellman’s Real)
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard (I like Maille brand)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup finely diced celery (you’ll need one stalk)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 pound lump crab meat*
½ cup panko (I like the Whole Foods 365 brand for this recipe)
Canola oil

DIRECTIONS:
1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Combine the egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay, salt, celery, and parsley in a large bowl and mix well. Add the crab meat (be sure to check the meat for any hard and sharp cartilage) and panko; gently fold mixture together until just combined, being careful not to shred the crab meat. Shape into 6 crab cakes (about ½ cup each) and place on prepared baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Preheat a large nonstick pan to medium heat and coat with canola oil. When oil is hot, place crab cakes in pan and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side. Be careful as oil may splatter. Serve immediately with tartar sauce or a squeeze of lemon.

Quick Tartar Sauce

Ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
1½ tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Appetizer – Guacamole – Halloween Barfing Pumpkin

pumpkin-vomit-guacamole-halloween-recipe-party

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1-2 Serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • A dash of freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
  • Guacamole-Ingredients-600x402

Directions

1 Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.

2 Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado. (Don’t overdo it! The guacamole should be a little chunky.) Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more. Chili peppers vary individually in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness. Be careful handling the peppers; wash your hands thoroughly after handling and do not touch your eyes or the area near your eyes with your hands for several hours.

FYI —Chilling tomatoes hurts their flavor, so don’t chop the tomatoes or add to the guacamole until ready to serve.

3 Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.

4 Just before serving, chop the tomato, add to the guacamole and mix.

Serve oozing out of the mouth of a pumpkin for that extra effect!

This is DAMN good Guac regardless of how you serve it!

Appetizer – Finger Dip Vegi Tray – Halloween

halloween dipThis is a simply Spooky Appetizer.

 

You will need Baby Carrots

Blanched Almond for the fingers and any Vegi Dip.  Here is a dip recipe in case you need one below.

 

After you make the dip and are ready to serve place a dab of dip on the tip of each carrot and apply a blanched almond for the finer nail.

 

Insert the carrots in the dip as a hand crawling out of the dip.

Serve with vegis around for dipping.

 

Vegi Dip Recipe

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon seasoning salt (Lawry’s)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

 

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together till combined well. Cover and let chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours (overnight is best). Serve with fresh cut vegetables or potato chips.

Appetizer – Pumpkin Fondue

You absolutely have to make this pumpkin fondue! It is so melty and gooey and delicious and it would be perfect during the Thanksgiving holiday…either as an appetizer to the big meal or at some other point throughout the weekend. And despite the large number of steps, it’s actually really easy and looks totally gourmet.

Ingredients:
– 1 small sugar pumpkin
– 15-inch baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
– 1/3 lb Emmentaler cheese, rind removed and shredded
– 1/3 lb Gruyere cheese, rind removed and shredded
– 1 tbsp flour or cornstarch
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– salt + pepper
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– 1/2 cup broth (chicken or veggie)
– 2 tbsp dry white wine
– 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
– 1/2 tsp dry mustard
– pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
– paprika (for garnish)
– onion powder + garlic powder (for roasting pumpkin seeds)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange 8-10 baguette slices on sheet pan and bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Cool and crumble into bread crumbs.

Start with a small sugar pumpkin (NOT the big kind you use for jack-o’-lanterns).

Cut a 3-inch circle around pumpkin stem and remove top.

Scrape out pumpkin seeds and fibers from interiors and tops. (Save the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds!)

Mix olive oil and garlic and rub on the inside of the pumpkin.

Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20-30 minutes.

Whisk cream, broth, nutmeg, dry mustard, wine, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl.
Freshly grated nutmeg is best

Place shredded cheeses in a large ziplock bag with flour or cornstarch and shake to coat cheese. (This will help it be less stringy).

Remove pumpkin from oven and stuff them by making 3 layers in each pumpkin in the following order: toasted bread crumbs, cheese, cream mixture. Repeat until pumpkin is filled.

Depending on the size of the pumpkin, you might not use all of the cheese or cream.

Cap pumpkin and roast for an hour. Give it a stir, and continue roasting if needed.

When everything is melted and pumpkin is tender, remove and arrange on a platter with remaining baguette slices.

Sprinkle with paprika and roasted pumpkin seeds (if using).

(*Note: this won’t be smooth like a traditional fondue, more like a cheesy spread).

Main Course or Appetizer – Spaghetti Squash Cup Cake HEALTHY

sp squash with meatball spa meat ball cups
This is really a pretty healthy dish, served with a side salad it is a meal, perfect for dieting on the go and weight watchers
Ingredients
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 1lb Ground Beef, or to continue to keep it light use 1/2 Turkey/ 1/2 beef
  • 1 (14oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3 egg whites, whisked
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • shredded cheese Mozzarella, Provel or Parmesan
Instructions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, use a spoon to remove the seeds and excess threads.
Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Make sure not to overcook!!

Add your ground beef/turkey to a large bowl and add ½ tablespoon of parsley, basil, and thyme and a bit of salt and pepper. Combine.
(See tip below on Fennel and Sage)
******TIP FENNEL can add a whole new flavor to your meat so try using just turkey meat with Fennel and Sage you will be AMAZED at how much flavor the meat has.
  • Make your ground beef into small bite-sized meatballs.
  • Now place a large skillet under medium heat, add a little olive oil then small meatballs.
  • Then add your can of tomato sauce, extra herbs, and salt and pepper.
  • After meatballs have cooked for about 3-4 minutes, flip them and let them simmer in the sauce.
  • While the meatballs are cooking through, remove your spaghetti squash from oven and use a fork to de-thread the squash. (Scrape it and it will shred and look like spaghetti)
  • Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
  • Spray your muffin pan then add your spaghetti squash threads  pressing down in the middle of the cup for the meatball to sit.
  • Once the meatballs are done cooking, remove them from the sauce, and place each one in a muffin pan
  • Sprinkle a little Parmesan or provel or mozzarella cheese as your taste requires
  • Now pour just a little bit of beaten egg white on top of each muffin, spaghetti squash and the meatball.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until egg is completely cooked through.
  • Extra Sauce can be served in a side dish or added to the top before baking

Main Course or Appetizer – Lasagna Cup Cakes

lasagna cupsIngredients:
2 cups of marinara sauce
1 lb of ground beef
24 wonton wrappers
3 cups of shredded mozzarella
1 cup of shredded Parmesan
4 oz of ricotta
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
Brown beef and season with salt and pepper.
Cut wonton wrappers into circle shapes using a biscuit cutter (I just used my kitchen cooking scissors)
Start layering your lasagna cupcakes. Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into the bottom of each muffin tin.
Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese, Ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese.
Top with a little meat and marinara sauce.
Then layer with another wonton wrapper and repeat the layers.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove use a knife to loosen the edges then pop each lasagna out.
Then enjoy!

Main Course – Tropical BBQ Cup Cake – Weight Watchers

Tropical Main Course Cup Cakes

Hawaiian BBQ “Cupcakes” 
Source: Emily Bites Original
 

Ingredients:
1 2/3 cups cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped up small or shredded
½ cup chopped fresh pineapple (if you can’t find fresh you can use canned NO SYRUP)
4 T  barbecue sauce
1 T chopped scallions
16 wonton wrappers
4 oz (1 cup) reduced fat 2% shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.    Pre-heat the oven to 375. Lightly mist 8 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
2.    In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, pineapple, scallions and barbecue sauce. Stir to combine until fully coated.
3.    Push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each of the eight sprayed cups in the muffin tin. Using about half of the chicken mixture, spoon evenly into the wonton wrappers. Sprinkle about half the cheddar cheese evenly over the top of each cup. Press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat the layering steps with the remaining ingredients.
4.    Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Yields 8 “cupcakes.” WW P+:  4 per cupcake
139 calories, 11 g carbs, 3 g fat, 12 g protein, 0 g fiber

Main Course – Taco Cups – Weight Watchers

taco cup cake

  • 1 ½ t chili oil (found near the Asian ingredients)
  • ½ lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 T taco seasoning
  • ¾ c canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16 wonton wrappers
  • 5 T + 1 t of queso dip or salsa con queso
  • 1 c chunky salsa
  • 1 c reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese

 

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375. Lightly mist 8 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside

2. Heat chili oil in a sauté pan or large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground beef and taco seasoning and brown beef, breaking it up with a spoon. Add black beans and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until warm.

3. Push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each of the eight sprayed cups in the muffin tin. Spoon a teaspoon of queso dip into each wonton wrapper and spread across the bottom. Follow by spooning some of the meat/beans mixture into each cup (using about half the total mixture) and then splitting ½ cup of the salsa evenly into each cup. Sprinkle about half the shredded Mexican cheese evenly over the top of each cup. Press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat the layering steps with the remaining ingredients.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Yields 8 taco cupcakes. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 4 per cupcake

Nutrition Information per cupcake from myfitnesspal.com: 164 calories, 12 g carbs, 7 g fat, 12 g protein, 1 g fiber

Appetizer – Crab Rangoon Dip

crag ragoon dip

Crab Rangoon Dip

Ingredients:

-2 cups crab meat
… -16 oz. cream cheese (2 blocks)
-1/2 cup sour cream
-4 green onions, chopped
-1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
-2 Tbsp powdered sugar
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp lemon juice

First, soften the cream cheese in the microwave for about a minute.
Chop your green onions. Add them and your two cups of crab meat .
Add the sour cream, Wosterschire sauce, powdered sugar, garlic powder and lemon juice.
Mix all the ingredients and bake for 30 mins at 350 degrees. Serve hot with chips or fried wontons or pork rinds.