Veggie Squares

2 Pillsbury crescent rolls
1 bar cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix
pre-made salad mix of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower, chopped

Veggie SquaresFlatten and pinch together crescent rolls on a cookie sheet in a rectangular shape. Cook according to package directions in the oven. Cool.

In a small bowl, blend cream cheese and Hidden Ranch dip mix. Spread over crescent rolls.

Sprinkle chopped veggies on top. Cut into squares and cool in refrigerator for 1 hour. By Patty.

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Cheryl’s Crab Appetizers

1 lb. imitation crab meat
1 bar cream cheese, softened
6 green onions, finely minced
1 t. garlic powder
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper, freshly ground
1 pkg wonton wrappers
2 T. olive oil
butter flavored non-stick cooking spray

Combine crab meat, cream cheese, green onions, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper.
Spray two muffin pans with non-stick spray. Place one wonton wrapper over a well.
Using the tart shaper or fingers, gently push one wonton wrapper per cup. Spoon 2-3 T. of crab meat mixture into each wrapper. Brush edges of wontons with olive oil.
Bake filled wontons in 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Can sprinkle cayenne pepper or ground chipotle on top for spicier appetizers. Our friend Cheryl made this for a choir social and we all felt like kings and queens–it made a wonderful impression on all of us and tasted marvelous!

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Onion Rings and Dippin’ Sauce

6 c. crisco Oil
4 vidalia onions, sliced and separated into rings
2 1/4 c. bisquick or baking mix
1 c. Amber Bock beer
2 t. salt
2 eggs

Heat oil in fryer or large stock pot to 375 degrees f. Toss sliced onion rings in 1/4 c. of bisquick mix. In mixer, blend 1 c. beer, 2 c. bisquick, 2 t. salt and 2 eggs. Dip onion rings in one at a time and drop by groups of about 6 at a time into the hot oil. Turn once, so that it is golden brown on each side. Take out and place on paper towels. Continue process until all onions are fried.

Sauce:
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. chili sauce
2 t. horseradish
1 t. cayenne pepper

Blend all thoroughly. Wonderful sauce for onion rings and very good on a hamburger, too!

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Spinach-Artichoke Dip

My friend Holly shared this with me years ago, when we lived in Arkansas. I have it written on cool, “official” House of Representatives notepaper.  It makes me think of good times with our friends as young-marrieds, every time I make this delicious dish.

13 oz. can artichoke hearts (not marinated), chopped
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 c. grated Monterrey jack cheese
1 medium garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine, artichokes, spinach, mayo, Parmesan, 1 c. Monterrey jack and garlic. Stir well.

Pour into a baking dish (9X13 inches or 9 inch round deep dish pie). Sprinkle rest of Monterrey jack cheese on top.

Cook in oven 15 minutes. Serve with bagel chips or small round Tostidos.

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Asian Style Dip

This dip is from Sophie in the Siesta Fiesta Cookbook. It is a very yummy dip to go with all your favorite vegetables.  Eating vegetables is good for you, right?

½ c. mayonnaise
¼ c. sour cream
2 T. soy sauce
½ T. dried basil
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. toasted sesame seeds
1 T. rice vinegar
¼ t. dried ginger
1 t. sugar
½ t. dry mustard
1/8 t. ground red pepper
Assorted cut-up vegetables (carrots, red bell peppers, sugar snap peas, cucumber, broccoli, etc.)

Combine first 11 ingredients in a small bowl; whisk to blend.
Cover and refrigerate.

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Mississippi Sin Dip

This recipe is found in the Siesta Fiesta Cookbook from Melanie aka Big Mama (my Aggie Sister in Christ!) written in her own very funny style.  It is far and above our very favorite go-to recipe for football gatherings and other get-togethers–that is, if I can keep my Chris out of the bacon bits!

1 loaf French bread
8 oz. container of French onion dip
4 oz. can green chilies, drained
1 pkg. of bacon bits
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, softened

And yes, all this cheese makes it seem very fattening, but think of all the calcium!Plus, the bacon bits provide some protein.

Anyway, cut out top of French bread and scoop out insides. Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl. Put the dip inside the loaf of French bread and put the top of bread back on. Wrap the whole thing in foil and bake 1 hour at 350.

I personally love this served with Fritos Scoops, but it would be great with crackers too.

I can guarantee I’ll be making this a lot during college football season, because watching the Aggies while eating fattening foods is what fall is all about!

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Hill Country Pecan Spread

This recipe comes from Pat, who shared it in The Siesta Fiesta Cookbook. She found this recipe at the Peach Tree Tea Room in Fredricksburg, Texas. This appetizer is a sure-pleaser!

1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 T. milk
2 oz. dried beef, chopped
1/4 c. green pepper, chopped
2 T. minced onion
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 t. minced garlic
1/4 t. black pepper
1-2 T. pickled jalapeños
2 T. butter
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Using an electric mixer, blend together softened cream cheese and milk.  Stir in dried beef, green peppers, onions, sour cream, garlic, black pepper and jalapeños. Mix well. Pour into 1 qt. baking dish.

Melt butter in a small skillet; add pecans and sauté over medium heat until light brown. Spread over cream cheese mixture and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

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Fried Bow Tie Pasta

We first enjoyed these tasty appetizer at Copeland’s in Shreveport many years ago.  They are crisp and flavorful–a great “scoop” for your favorite dip.  Serve with spinach artichoke dip or 3 cheese fondue or just eat by themselves!

8 ounces bow tie pasta
2 eggs
3 T. milk
Italian bread crumbs (recipe below)
2/3 c. olive oil
12 slices bread (cook for 15 minutes at 250 degrees to dry), grate finely with food processor
Add in:
1 t. oregano
1 t. sweet basil
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
4 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

Boil bow tie pasta in boiling water for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Mix eggs and milk in a small bowl. Dip each piece of pasta in egg mixture, then roll in Italian bread crumbs in a large bowl. Set on a plate.

Heat oil on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Place a handful of pasta in oil. Cook for 2 1/2 minutes and turn. Cook another 2 1/2 minutes. Set aside on a plate with a paper towel to drain excess oil.

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Corn Dip

This is an appetizer that my Chris’ family has long loved to share around their beautiful kitchen-block table.  We have shared stories and laughed until we had tears in our eyes over this very tasty dip! You will love the combination of flavors.

2 cans Mexi-corn (corn mixed with red and green peppers)
1 c. sour cream
1 c. mayonnaise
10 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
2 small cans chopped green chilies
4-5 green onions, chopped
2 jalapeños, chopped

Mix all together thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Chill overnight. Serve with garlic bagel chips or Frito’s.

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