Happy New Year everyone! Today my Iowa Hawkeye football team plays in the 102nd Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and while I wish my family could be there in person to watch them (hopefully!) beat Stanford, we’re having a Rose Bowl party at home instead. I decided to make things as easy as possible on the cooking side of things, since I know I’ll be too busy screaming at the television during the game, so I made several appetizers and finger foods that the gang could munch on before and during the game. Amana summer sausage, cheese and crackers, a shrimp platter and the appetizers below made to the table – who needs sunny Pasadena when you’ve got family, friends and good food together with a hard-hitting Iowa football game? 🙂
I love Chinese food, and crab rangoon is something I always look for on a Chinese buffet. I found this recipe for Crab Rangoon Crescent Cups on Pinterest, and the original recipe is on the Spend with Pennies blog. The boys went nuts over this – I think I got 2 bites lol. They’re that good. I doubled the recipe in order to have enough to go around.
Crab Rangoon Crescent Cups
1 package Pillsbury crescent rolls (regular size)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 green onion, thinly sliced (I used about 2 tablespoons of finely minced red onion)
1 6-ounce can crab meat, drained
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Approximately 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Gently fold in crab meat, and set aside.
Open crescent rolls, pinch seams together, and cut into 18 even squares.
Place crescent squares in a greased mini muffin pan, and gently press into the cups. Divide the filling between the crescent cups. Top each cup with a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cheese on top is nicely browned. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing.
Yield: 18 appetizers (I cut my dough a bit smaller and ended up with 24 appetizers per can of crescent rolls)
One of the appetizers I made I found on Noble Pig’s blog, Dill Pickle Dip. My family loves dill pickles, and who doesn’t love a good dip?
Dill Pickle Dip
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup pickle juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
2 cups diced pickles
In a large bowl, add cream cheese, red onion, pickle juice, garlic, Old Bay seasoning and black pepper. Combine with a hand mixer. Add the diced pickles, and continue mixing until fully combined. Refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to three days before serving. Serve with pretzels or chips.
Yield: 3 cups
I love using my Crock-Pot for appetizers. You can prepare the dishes ahead of time, and they’re ready to eat when you are. The first Crock-Pot recipe I made is Barbecue Bourbon Dogs. In my family, we grew up having these tiny hot dog appetizers for the holidays and get-togethers. It’s super easy with only three ingredients, and my family loves it. The recipe can easily be doubled or halved depending on the size of your crowd.
Barbecue Bourbon Dogs
4 packages beef smokies (cocktail-sized hot dogs)
1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue sauce
1/3 cup bourbon (or to taste)
Add the beef smokies to a large Crock-Pot. In a bowl, combine the barbecue sauce and bourbon until thoroughly mixed. Pour mixture over hot dogs. Cook on low for 4 hours, or until warmed through.
Another easy Crock-Pot appetizer is any kind of meatball. You can make any sauce you want to vary the taste or theme. I kept it easy today and used grape jelly and picante sauce. I’ve also used chili sauce and bottled barbecue sauce in place of the picante sauce, and each version is delicious. Again, you can vary the sauce amount according to how many meatballs you’re preparing.
2 packages frozen meatballs (I used beef but you can use turkey, chicken or pork – or use homemade)
8 ounces grape jelly
8 ounces picante sauce
Add the meatballs to a large Crock-Pot. Combine the grape jelly and picante sauce until thoroughly mixed, and pour the sauce over the meatballs. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the meatballs are completely warmed through.
Tacos are a favorite in our house, and layered taco dip is the perfect party food for a football game. It’s easy to make, and it feeds a crowd. I omitted the tomatoes and the onions in this because my youngest son has issues with tomatoes at times – plus it’s Jan. 1, and you can’t buy decent-tasting tomatoes this time of year in Iowa anyway. When it’s summertime and I have fresh cherry tomatoes in the garden, I use them to top off this appetizer.
Layered Taco Dip
1 pound ground beef
8-ounce jar taco sauce (your choice of mild, medium or hot)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
16 ounces sour cream
1-ounce package taco seasoning
1 16-ounce can refried beans
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup diced tomatoes
2-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
2 green onions, diced
Brown the ground beef. Drain the fat, and add the taco sauce. Mix well, and set aside.
In a bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sour cream and taco seasoning. Mix well.
In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, begin layering the ingredients in this order: refried beans, cream cheese mixture, ground beef, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and onions.
Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving with chips.
Visit Canning and Cooking Iowa Style’s profile on Pinterest.