Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt and pepper, and mix. Add the smoked salmon and mix well. Chill and serve with crudites and/or crackers.
Bring your outdoor holiday wreath inside with this festive and easy cheeseball. Use a small Bundt pan to form a wreath shape, or roll the mixture into a ball or log. For a cheeseball worthy of any big gathering, skip the Bundt pan and colorful garnish and roll the ball in toasted sliced almonds instead.
Total:1 hr 15 min
(includes chilling time)
Yield:16 to 20 servings
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups shredded firm cheese, such as Cheddar, pepper Jack or Colby
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pickled piquante peppers, such as Peppadews, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
Crackers, sliced bread or crudites, for serving
Special equipment: A small (6-cup) Bundt pan
1. Line the inside of a 6-cup Bundt pan with plastic wrap. Process the cream cheese, shredded cheese, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and few grinds of pepper in a food processor until smooth. Empty the mixture into a medium bowl, and fold in all but 2 tablespoons of the chopped peppers.
2. Spoon the cheese mixture into the prepared Bundt pan; pack it in, spread into an even layer and cover (or simply form the cheese mixture into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap). Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour up to 2 days.
3. Uncover and invert the cheese mold (or unwrap and transfer the ball) onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with the chives and parsley to completely coat the wreath, and garnish with the reserved 2 tablespoons peppers. Serve with crackers, sliced bread or crudites.
This cheery holiday salad is a fun (and delicious!) decorating idea for a party. A trio of lettuces create the evergreen tree, and items from the deli counter and salad bar become an edible garland.
5 ounces baby arugula (about 8 cups)
5 ounces baby kale (about 8 cups)
2 Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
3 heads little gem lettuce, bases trimmed and leaves separated, or the inner leaves of Bibb lettuce
1/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami
Three 1/4-inch-thick slices provolone (about 6 ounces)
1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
1 cup cheese-stuffed small sweet piquante peppers, such as peppadews
1/2 cup jarred small whole artichoke hearts (about 8)
1/2 cup green castelvetrano olives
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup small whole pepperoncini
6 radishes, tops trimmed
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
One 4-ounce goat cheese log
8 ounces ciliegine mozzarella (small balls of mozzarella), halved
White Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-inch, 1 1/2-inch and 3 1/2-inch star cutters; a bar citrus zester
1. For the salad: Combine the baby arugula and kale in a large bowl. Arrange the leaves on a very large platter or cutting board in a Christmas tree shape that measures 16 to 18 inches tall, reserving a handful of greens. The platter should be large enough to accommodate a star on top and a trunk on the bottom. Scatter half of the sliced cucumbers over the tree. Arrange a layer of little gem lettuce leaves to create 4 tiers on the tree; use the small inner leaves for the fourth layer at the top of the tree.
2. Stack the sliced salami and cut out a large star using a 3 1/2-inch star cutter; reserve the scraps. Using the same cutter, cut out 2 stars from 2 slices of the provolone; reserve the scraps. Make a layered meat-and-cheese stack starting with half the salami stars, topped with a provolone star, the rest of the salami, and the second provolone star. Place the star at the top of the tree.
3. Cut out smaller stars from the provolone scraps and the remaining provolone slice using 1-inch and 1 1/2-inch cutters. Roll up the salami scraps and prosciutto slices into flowers. Arrange the cheese stars, meat flowers, stuffed peppadews, artichoke hearts, both kinds of olives and pepperoncini on the lettuce to form a garland that zig-zags up the tree from the bottom right to the upper left.
4. Using a bar citrus zester, zest a channel along the equator of each radish so it resembles a tree ornament. Halve each radish vertically and add the pieces to the garland. Scatter the remaining cucumber slices on the leafy parts of the tree and use the reserved greens to fill any gaps in the tree.
5. Put the nuts on a small plate and roll the goat cheese in them to fully coat. Place the log at the bottom of the tree to form the trunk. Decorate the ground under the tree with the ciliegine mozzarella balls for snow.
6. For the white balsamic vinaigrette: Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper in a small bowl until well combined. Serve on the side.
This Shrimp Scampi Cheese Dip made it’s debut on our Thanksgiving Menu last year, the family loved it so much it’s now one of our faves. We make it all the time for our Sunday night barbecues and even when we entertain. Our guests love it just as much as we do!
It’s really simple to make and so yummy! We used crostini for dipping, we like the crunch, but you can use fresh baguettes or whatever you like. I’d avoid salted crackers though, the butter and cheeses have enough salt and dipping salted crackers may get too salty.
If you’re looking for something different to add to your holiday meal this Scampi Dip fits the spot.
But do keep extra ingredients on hand, you may have to make a second bowl when you have company!
8 oz. medium shrimp – peeled and roughly chopped
4 tbls. salted butter
1 tbls. minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine (if you prefer non-alcoholic you can substitute chicken broth for the wine)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. cream cheese softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated fresh parmasean cheese
1 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1. Melt butter in pan.
2. Saute garlic in butter until it turns slightly brown.
3. Add shrimp and saute until shrimp starts to turn pink.
4. Add wine. Stir well and continue cooking until shrimp is cooked.
5. Remove from heat and squeeze on lemon juice. Stir.
6. Stir in cream cheese, sour cream, parmasean, and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Reserve the 1/2 mozzarella for topping. Mix very well.
7. Pour into oven safe baking dish – you will be serving it in this dish. I ran out of pretty oven safe dishes so I ended up using an aluminum pie tin.
8. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top.
9. Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese melts and starts turning brown.
10. Serve warm with dipping bread or chips.
Shrimp Scampi Cheese Dip
An awesome dip you and your friends will love! It's cheesey, garlicy, flavor goes great with crusty baguette slices.
South West or Tex Mex Egg Rolls are featured appetizers at many well known restaurant chains. It’s one of my favorites at Chili’s and Cheesecake Factory where I order them all every time we choose to dine at one of them. I know they’re considered appetizers but most of the time I order them as my main course, that way I get a whole plate of them to myself!
I’ve actually seen them frozen and ready to fry at several grocery stores. They’re marketed as the “original” Chili’s or Cheesecake Factory Egg Rolls. They also carry a hefty price tag which I’m not willing to pay for something I still have to fry!
But I can definitely make these yummy crunchy rolls of Tex Mex goodness at home. It’s super easy! I usually make a big batch and freeze some for later, they freeze very well.
Now there are 2 versions of this Egg Roll, one uses actual Egg Roll wrapper usually found at any Asian Market, and the other rolls the filling in flour tortillas. The former makes for a delicate crispy egg roll as the wrapper is a thin pastry just like the egg rolls you’ll find at most Asian restaurants. The latter has a different look and crunch as the tortilla is a much thicker wrapper. Either way they’re delicious!
I use the frozen grilled chicken strips to make my egg rolls, but you can make your one cooked chicken to use in this recipe. This recipe makes a large pot, whatever I don’t roll into egg rolls I make into bowls by serving it over a bowl of Mexican Rice and Refried Beans.
To freeze roll the filling in egg roll wrapper or tortillas and place in freezer bags. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
These egg rolls are delicious dipped in a Creamy Avocado Sauce or topped with Pico De Gallo. The recipe for the sauce is included at the bottom of the egg roll recipe.
South West Egg Rolls
1 Tsp. Olive Oil
1 Pkg. Frozen Grilled Chicken Strips, thawed and diced
1/2 Onion, diced
2 Tbs. Minced Garlic
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Tomato, diced and patted dry with paper towel.
1 Can Black Beans, drained
1 Can Corn Kernels, drained
1 – 2 Tbs. Cumin, adjust to taste
1 – 2 Tbs. Chili Powder, adjust to taste
1 Tbs. Salt
1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar/Jack Cheese
1 Pkg. Frozen Egg Roll Wrappers or 8″ Flour Tortillas
Oil for frying
Heat Olive Oil in large pan.
Saute onions about 1 minute or until they start to turn translucent.
Add garlic and continue to saute.
Add peppers and cook until peppers start to get a bit soft.
Add Chicken, beans, and corn.
Add in Cumin, Chili Powder, and Salt. Mix until well combined.
Add Tomatoes and cook until any liquid in the pan starts to thicken.
Add Cilantro and cook until it starts to wilt.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese until it melts.
Set aside and prepare your wrappers.
Place a heaping tablespoon in the center of your wrapper and spread into a line across.
Roll the filling in the wrapper burrito style.
Heat about 2″ of oil in a frying pan or use a deep fryer if you have one.
Fry rolls in oil until golden brown.
Cut each roll in half diagonally and serve hot with Avocado Dipping Sauce.
Creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce
1 Cup Whipped Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro finely chopped
1 Ripe Avocado mashed
1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 Tsp. Chili Powder
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.