recipes in preparation for the holiday season. Or maybe you like to
entertain year round. Either way, you know your guests love to nibble
on tasty treats as they mingle and visit, so you want to be prepared.
when planning a big sit-down meal, your dinner guests will always make
room for a few bites before dinner. The trick to serving good appetizers
is serving an attractive and delicious variety. This may be easier said
than done when you have become so accustomed to making certain
appetizers year after year.
When you entertain guests, you make
everything special. Shouldn’t your appetizers be special, too? Go ahead
and put your crockpot to work as you improve on your classic appetizers
like cheese dips, cocktail wienies, meatballs, and even simple dishes of
assorted nuts. Let’s take a look at how to make your old favorites a
bit more special:
Cheese Dip – You can certainly make a simple
little cheese dip that would be delicious, but, don’t you want to make a
dip that your guests will remember, and talk about, and ask you for the
recipe? How about an Artichoke and Cheese dip? By adding some chopped
artichoke hearts to your favorite cheese dip you’ve perked this
appetizer up enough to make it memorable.
You can also add
flavorful ingredients like Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce,
mustard, and red pepper flakes to really kick this cheese dip up a few
notches. Cook in your crockpot on low for about 2 hours, and keep warm
to serve with your crackers, chips, or bread.
Cocktail Sausages –
Think way beyond those little wienies and serve up an easy, but fancy,
batch of sweet and tangy Apple Sausage Appetizers instead. Use any
combination of ingredients such as brown sugar, honey, balsamic vinegar,
and Dijon mustard, then instead of adding Vienna Sausages, cut up some
good apple smoked sausage, some tart apples like Granny Smith, and some
sweet onion and add that to the crockpot.
If your guests were
expecting the standard cocktail wienie appetizer, they’ll be pleasantly
surprised when they bite into this sweet and spicy treat. Combine the
ingredients in your crockpot, set it on low heat, and let cook for about
2 hours. Check to make sure the apples and onions are just cooked
through but not turning to mush, then serve warm.
Meatball Bites –
Those little meatballs swimming around in barbecue sauce are tasty, but
are they special enough for your holiday event? Go ahead and make your
mini meatballs out of your favorite recipe, but when it comes to the
sauce, it’s time to do something special. Beer is the ingredient that
kicks this appetizer recipe up a couple pegs. This Tangy Meatball
Appetizer will have your guests wondering what makes the sauce so yummy.
Start by making your favorite meatball recipe, form the mini meatballs,
then brown them in a heavy skillet with cooking oil. Once they’re
brown, put them in your crock pot.
Mix together in a separate bowl
a combination of ingredients starting with beer. Add any or all of the
following ingredients to the beer – spicy tomato juice, mustard,
horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, hot sauce, red pepper
flakes, or anything that sounds good to you. Pour this sauce over the
meatballs in the crockpot, turn the heat to low, and let it cook for
about 2 hours or a little more until you’re sure the meatballs are
cooked thoroughly. You won’t find these meatballs on just any buffet!
Snacks – I always think some pretty bowls of assorted nuts placed on
tables around the room is a nice touch. But, instead of just dumping
some mixed nuts in a bowl, why not cook up a batch to surprise your
holiday guests? Because pecans are often associated with sweet snacks
and desserts, these Cajun Style Pecans will be quite the surprise,
Choose the spices that you would normally associate with a
good Cajun dish. You’ll probably want ground onion and garlic, of
course, and cayenne pepper, chili powder, oregano, basil, and thyme. Mix
these together, then add to some melted butter and pecans in your
crockpot. Cover your crockpot and turn it to high for about 10 minutes,
then uncover and turn to low. Continue cooking on low, uncovered, for
about 2 hours. Stir the contents a few times to keep the pecans coated
and toasting evenly. After they’re done cooking, just cool the pecans by
spreading them on a baking sheet, rack, or paper towels.
have our favorite appetizers that have become a tradition over the
years. We can still enjoy these same appetizers, but don’t they deserve a
little updating? And don’t your guests deserve a little special treat
this year? Surprise your guests by tweaking your old crockpot appetizers
and maybe you’ll start some brand new traditions!