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Easy, Tasty Appetizers

Valerie Boese

Four Quick Delicious Appetizers for the Holidays

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Spending time with friends and family during the holidays is the best way to enjoy the season. However, entertaining can be a bit stressful when it comes to preparing food for the occasion. No one wants to spend a ton of time in food preparation. Here are four quick and easy appetizers to prepare that won’t require a lot time or break the budget, yet they taste amazing.

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

Buffalo Chicken Nachos are a super easy recipe to make for a gathering or just about any time you want something good to eat. They taste out-of-this-world, made with chicken, topped with zesty buffalo wing sauce and lots of fresh ingredients — so yummy.

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Start with simple ingredients!

Ingredients:

• 3 cups Tortilla Dipping Chips or other tortilla chips
• 1 grilled chicken breast, fully cooked and diced into small pieces, or 1 cup rotisserie chicken, diced
• hot or mild taco sauce (use your favorite)
• 1/2 cup diced fresh tomato
• 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 1 tablespoon buffalo sauce, plus more to drizzle over nachos
• dash of cumin
• 1/4 fresh lime
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
• 2 tablespoons pickled jalapenos

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Mix together sour cream, 1 tablespoon buffalo wing sauce, and cumin, set aside.

3. Layer tortilla chips in medium-sized baking dish, top chips with 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, and drizzle 3-4 tablespoons taco sauce over the cheese and chips.

4. Next, top the cheese-chip mixture with chicken and squeeze fresh lime juice over the mixture, top with remaining cheddar cheese. Place in preheated oven for 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. (You will have two layers of cheese cooked into this recipe.)

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5. Remove chips from oven and drizzle sour cream mixture over them. Top with buffalo wing sauce, followed by diced tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, and fresh cilantro. Serve while warm.

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Hot out of oven ready to eat!


Easy-to-Make Sesame Garlic Humus

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Sesame Garlic Humus

Sesame Garlic Humus is another quick and easy appetizer to make, and it is actually healthy for you, too. It is made with peanut butter and sesame oil instead of the traditional Tahini. I like to use peanut butter and sesame oil because they are more readily available and easier to use.

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Blend ingredients in food processor until smooth.

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Tasty Sesame Garlic Humus, goes great with crackers

Ingredients:

• 1 16-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained (ave liquid for later possible use)
• 4 teaspoons sesame oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup hot sauce (use your favorite)
• 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
• 1 clove crushed garlic
• 2-4 tablespoons water, or liquid from can of garbanzo beans, if needed
• 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
• 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (or little less for your tastes)

Instructions:

1. Drain garbanzo beans and set aside the liquid for later use.

2. Add drained garbanzo beans, sesame oil, salt, hot sauce, peanut butter, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes to food processor and process 3-4 minutes, until creamy. If mixture appears a bit dry, add couple tablespoons of the liquid drained from the canned garbanzo beans, or a couple tablespoons of water. (The moisture content in the garbanzo beans may vary a little per brand.) Blend in food processor for an additional 2-3 minutes until smoothed to desired consistency.

3. Humus can be served right away, however, letting it set for an hour or longer will allow the seasonings to flavor the humus to a better flavor.


Famous Artichoke Dip with Chilies

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Restaurant quality, tastes absolutely amazing!

Amazing Artichoke Dip is an awesome-tasting dip; it is so delicious and very easy to make. It's just a matter of adding the ingredients to a baking dish and placing the dish in the oven until all is melted and gooey! This wonderful dip has a special ingredient, green chilies, which add just the right amount of zest to blend perfectly with the cheeses in this recipe. Green chilies add a wonderful, unique flavor to this traditional dip. Once you taste this dip with green chilies, you will never want to go back to an artichoke dip without them!

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Famous Artichoke Dip with Chilies

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Use fresh kale, Parmesan cheese and canned artichokes

Ingredients:

• 1 14-oz. can of whole artichokes, chopped into one-inch pieces
• 1 8-oz. pack of cream cheese
• 2 cups fresh kale, cooked, or one package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
• 1 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 2 Anaheim chilies or large green pepper

Instructions:

1. Place chilies or green pepper in oven preheated to 400 degrees F. Cook along enough to blister pepper skin, turning it a couple of times. Remove charred pepper from oven and place in a covered bowl. Let sit a few minutes. Then peel skin from pepper and dice into small pieces. Don't worry if you don't get all the skin off the pepper; it will still be good.

2. Chop fresh kale into one-inch pieces, add to a sauce pan with 2 cups of water added, bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Or, if you use frozen spinach, you do not need to cook it; simply defrost it and squeeze all the moisture out.

3. In a separate, large bowl, add chopped artichokes, cream cheese, cooked kale, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, pepper flakes, and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together — mixture does not have to be perfectly blended. (Once the ingredients start melting together in the oven, it will be easier to mix them together.)

4. Add mixed ingredients to medium-sized baking dish, place in oven at 325 degrees, and bake for 20 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and stir ingredients together until nicely blended. Place back in oven for an additional 10 minutes.


Green Onion Shrimp Dip

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Green onion shrimp is an easy, quick dip to make. Simply mix French onion dip with cream cheese and add shrimp! This dip can be made in less than five minutes; it is ready to serve once you have the three ingredients blended together. Wow, how easy is that? Tastes great on crackers or potato chips.

Ingredients:

• 1 4-oz. can of shrimp, drained
• 1 8-oz. container of French onion dip, from dairy case
• 4 oz. cream cheese

Instructions:

1. Mix together French onion dip with cream cheese until smooth. Smashing the mixture with a fork works well.

2. Next, blend in the drained shrimp. Ready to serve with potato chips or crackers!

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For more delicious recipes, see my food blog: Sliceoftaste.com.