Crab Cakes

1lb lump crab meat (if you can't get fresh crab, use Phillips Premium Jumbo Crab)
1 cup milk
1/2 chopped scallions
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1/2 plain Panko bread crumbs
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg
1/4 flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Place crab meat in a bowl and add the milk, making sure the crab is completely covered with the milk.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, drain the crab and add it to a large bowl.

To the crab meat add the scallions, dill, bread crumbs, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, salt & pepper and stir gently to combine.  Add the egg and fold it into the mixture until it starts to cling together.  Divide into 6 equal parts, and shape into round flat patties.  Place on baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

When ready to cook, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.  Place flour on a plate and dredge each crab cake in the flour on both sides. Place gently into hot skillet and fry until the outside is crisp and browned, about 5 minutes per side.  Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce:  Place 1/2 cup a mayonnaise, 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, 2 tsp sweet pickle relish, 1 tsp chopped garlic, 1 tsp hot sauce, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, and a dash of salt in pepper into the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse to combine, about 10 one second pulses.  Transfer to a serving bowl. 

Bar Nuts

2 1/4 cups mixed nuts, salted
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Preheat oven to 350.  Pour nuts onto a cookie sheet and toast in oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.

Add the melted butter along with the rest of ingredients into a medium sized bowl and stir to combine.  Add the hot nuts and toss to combine, making sure all the nuts are evenly coated with the mixture.  Serve warm

Watermelon Salsa

3 cups watermelon, diced
6 oz feta cheese
2 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, rolled up & sliced thin
1/2 cup cilantro, rolled up & sliced thin
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
juice from 1/2 a lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
salt & pepper to taste

Place the first 6 ingredients into a medium sized bowl.  For the dressing, place the remaining ingredients into a smaller bowl and stir well to combine, making sure the brown sugar is dissolved.  Season dressing with salt & pepper to taste.   Pour dressing over salsa, and stir until well mixed.  

This can be served immediately, or you can cover and let it set in the refrigerator for several hours.  I find that the longer it sits the more juice it makes, so once in a while I would drain off some of the juice just so it's not too watery. 

Cresent Brie with Jam

2 packages Pillsbury Cresent Rolls

6" round of Brie
Peach, Apricot jar of jam (or whatever kind is your preference)

Cut Brie in 1/2 horizontally and spread all of jam on the bottom half.  Put top back on and place on top of Cresent roll dough that's been spread out on cookie sheet.  Pull sides of dough up to completely cover cheese.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes on middle rack in oven

Maple Kielbasa Bites 

Package Kielbasa, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 real maple syrup (Vermont syrup is best of course)
1-2 tsp spicy mustard (optional)

On stove top in large pan, heat a little olive oil to coat the pan.  Add the Kielbasa and cook stirring occasionally on medium heat until it starts to brown.  Add the syrup (and mustard if you want), stir and let it warm through for about 5 minutes.  Spoon into dish and serve with toothpicks.

Balsamic Bread Bites

1 loaf of a good Artisan bread
1/2 cup of good quality Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 olive oil

Cut bread into bite size pieces.  Whisk Balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl and put onto center of serving dish. Arrange cut bread around the bowl.  Dipping the bread into the vinegar mixture makes for a wonderful appetizer.

Crab Rangoon

8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
22-24 wan ton wrappers
1/3-1/2 cup imitation crab meat, chopped  

1 1/2 green onions, minced
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4  teaspoon soy sauce
1 egg, beaten
vegetable oil, for frying

Add the cream cheese, soy sauce, green onions and garlic powder to a medium size bowl and cream it all together until nice and smooth.  Stir in crab.  In a large cast iron skillet heat enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan on medium heat.

In a separate small bowl beat the egg. Lay out a wanton wrapper so it forms a diamond shape and place 1 teaspoon of filling just below the center of each wrapper.  Brush the opposite corners of the wanton wrapper with the egg mixture. Fold over the edges of the wrapper to form a triangle and seal tightly.  Repeat until all the filling is gone - it should make about 22-24 rangoons.

Fry the rangoons in batches in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on each side.  Serve with duck sauce.

Brie & Jam Bites
     Wedge/Circle of brie cheese, cut into 32 bite-size pieces
      2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
     1/2 cup of your jam of choice (I used my homemade black raspberry & strawberry jam)
     Turbinado Sugar
     Spray bottle with water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray 2 cookies sheets with cooking spray.  Cut each pastry sheet into 16 squares (for a total of 32 squares). I did this by cutting each sheet in half, then I cut each half in half.  Repeat in opposite direction and you will end up with 16 squares. 

Place one piece of brie in the center of each square, then top each with about a teaspoon of the jam.  Wet your finger and run it along all four edges of a square, then bring the four corners together in the center and pinch together.  You also want to pinch along the edges to seal.

Once all my little bundles were done, I sprayed them with fresh/clean water – just lightly, don’t soak them.  If you don’t have a spray bottle, you could gently brush them with a little water.  Sprinkle each with the turbinado sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Red Pepper Jelly with Cream Cheese

1 jar of Sweet Red Pepper Jelly (my favorite brand is Fire in the Mountains)
1 block of cream cheese, at room temperature
Crackers (whatever kind is your preference)

Put block of softened cream cheese in the middle of serving platter.  Spoon Red Pepper Jelly generously all over the top of the cream cheese.  Arrange crackers around the cream cheese.  Spreading the cream cheese with the jelly on top of the crackers makes for a delicious appetizer.

Mini Corn Dog Muffins (makes 36 mini muffins)

6 hot dogs (whichever kind is your preference - we use natural casing dogs) 
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal 
½ cup sugar
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350, and spray your mini muffin tins with cooking spray.  In a medium skillet on medium heat, brown the hot dogs for about 5-8 minutes (just until they start browning, you don't want them to be burnt or for the skin to be too tough).  Remove from heat and cut each hot dog into 6 pieces.  

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients for the corn muffin mixture.  Add the egg, milk and vegetable oil and stir until just combined.  Fill each cup in the muffin tins about 3/4 full.  Place and press one piece of hot dog into the center of each muffin cup.  Cook for 10 minutes at 350, then increase heat to 400 and cook another 3-5 minutes - you want them to be nicely browned, but not burnt, so watch them closely.  Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing from trays.  Serve with your favorite hot dog condiments. 

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple 
(makes about 36)

2, 8oz cans of pineapple chunks, drained  2 package of bacon, cut in half lengthwise

Toppings:  Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar with about 3/4 tsp black pepper OR 1/4 teriyaki sauce 

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and place a wire cooling rack on top.  Wrap each piece of pineapple with the bacon and secure with a tooth pick, and place on the wire rack.  Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over top of all of them, OR if using the teriyaki sauce don't do anything yet.  Bake in oven for 25-35 minutes.  If you want to use the teriyaki sauce, after 15 minutes in the oven, brush the bacon pineapple pieces with the teriyaki glaze and cook for about another 15 minutes.  Serve hot or at room temp.

Crackers with Goat Cheese & Fig Jam

Crackers - your favorite kind, I like salty ones with this combo
Goat Cheese (I always get local Vermont brands)
Fig Jam

Top the crackers with the cheese, then a little jam (fig jam is pretty sweet, so a little goes a long way).  My stomach is growling just thinking about this fabulous snack - ENJOY!

Corn Fritters

1 1/4 cup sweet corn 

3 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup half & half (or cream)
Coconut oil
Maple syrup (real Vermont maple syrup is best of course)

Spoon coconut oil into a medium sized saucepan and turn heat on medium-high.  As it starts melting, you want to have about 3-4 inches of oil, so add more if you need to.  Heat to about 350 degrees.  

Meanwhile, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and 3/4 cup of the corn to the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until blended and the corn is in much smaller pieces.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the remaining corn and half & half.  Stir gently to combine - do not over mix.  Batter shouldn't be too thin or too thick.  

Once your oil is good and hot, spoon 2-3 fritters into the oil.  I used a small scooper, which measures about 2 tbsp per scoop (1/8 cup).  Fry 1-2 minutes, then gently flip with a slotted spoon and let it cook a couple more minutes until it's golden brown on all sides.  Remove with the slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels.  Continue until batter is gone.  Serves with maple syrup on the side for dipping.  Serves 3-4.

 Spinach Artichoke Dip

2 cups Parmesan cheese
1, 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1, 10 oz box of chopped spinach, thawed & drained
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1, 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
3 tsp garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 375, and spray an 8x8 baking dish lightly with cooking spray.  Mix the Parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts and spinach together.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well using an electric mixer.  Pour into the baking dish and cook for about 30 minutes, or until it starts to hot and bubbly.  This dip is best served hot or at room temp. Serve with pita chips, crackers or bread.

Apricot Cheese Squares (adapted from David Dahlman)

1, 8 oz package refrigerated crescent dinner rolls 1/4 apricot jam
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 tsp pepper
couple pinches of salt

Preheat oven to 350, and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Unroll the dough from the package and spread it out on the cookie into a 9x13" rectangle.  Seal the edges of the rolls together by pinching them closed so it forms one block of dough.  

Heat the jam and butter together until butter is melted, about 30 seconds in the microwave or this can be done in a small pan on the stove-top.  Spread the jam mixture over the dough evenly, then sprinkle the cheese and pecans over top.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust is a dark golden brown.  Cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 12 equal size squares.

Spinach Artichoke Bites

Spinach Artichoke Dip - CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE
Wonton Wrappers

Put together the spinach artichoke dip, but don't bake it.  Preheat oven to 325. and spray 3 mini muffin pans with cooking spray.  Press the wonton wrappers into each little cup of the muffin pan until they are all filled.  Place the pans in the oven and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until they just start to get golden brown around the edges.  

Remove pans from oven and spoon the spinach artichoke dip into each little cup until they are all full.  Cover each pan with a piece of aluminum foil, but tent it so the foil isn't touching the the pan in the middle.  Place in oven and cook for 12 minutes.  Remove foil, then cook another 2-4 minutes, or until mixture starts to bubble and the edges are browned, but not burned.  Remove from oven and place each bite onto a serving platter.  This recipe should make about 36 little bites, but it really depends on how much filling you put into each one.

Jalapeno Popper Quesadillas

1, 8oz block cream cheese, softened

3 small jalapenos, chopped
4 strips bacon, cooked
1 cup chicken, cooked & shredded or chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar
4 quesadillas (if you want this extra cheesy & extra filled then just use 4, but you could stretch this to 6)

Cook the bacon and set aside.  While the bacon is cooking, in a small pan coated with olive oil, saute the jalapenos until softened, about 6-8 minutes.  Add the jalapenos to the cream cheese and stir well to combine.  Spread the cream cheese mixture on each quesadilla (all 4) until evenly distributed.  Sprinkle half a cup of shredded cheddar on 2 quesadillas, then lay two strips of bacon over the cheese.  Add 1/2 cup chicken to each of the 2 quesadillas, then place the tops on each.

Heat a medium size pan on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Gently place one quesadilla into the pan and cook until the cheese melts or it is golden brown, then gently flip it and cook for another couple of minutes.  Remove from pan and cut in half, and then cut each half into three wedges (one quesadilla will cut into 6 wedges).  Add the second quesadilla to the pan and cook the same way.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Little B. Enjoy your simple and easy yet so creative ideas. I'm a food/entertainment blogger myself and love the image you have of appetizer Cream cheese with pepper jelly. Would you be amenable to sharing the image. Of course I would give full credit to you and your blog with link to your blog or if there is a specific way you want it posted, let me know.
    Thanks Patricia