Tag Archives: appetizer recipes

Keeping it Real – Fails in Food Blogging? And an Appetizer if You Want it…

It’s the first day of a new year.


Let’s just begin this year with complete honesty.   Food blogging isn’t always the pristine beautiful final shot of gourmet food that ends up on the page you read.

Sometimes the blogger is surrounded by a kitchen full of mess.  Sometimes eggs are mistakenly cracked  on the floor,  and the KitchenAid mixer swirls out of control. while flour is not thrown only on the bloggers face and clothes, but on the cabinets overhead also.  Does this sound like personal experience?

I  can tell you I recently wiped a small spatter of sweet potato puree off the ceiling.

Hey, food bloggers are human, just like the rest of you!

Especially this food blogger.

I made these appetizers recently.  I found them in my new Pampered Chef Easy & Impressive Appetizer Recipes Cookbook.  I made them for Christmas Day actually.  I think they were a failure but I’m not sure. I thought they were okay, but I’m one of those people who has yet to find a food I dislike, so I have to go by the leftovers still in a baggie in the Fridgidaire.

Sun-Dried Tomato & Goat Cheese Puffs.

But maybe kids under 25 don’t appreciate those tastes?

The sound of these sent my taste buds spinning.  I could just see them perched cutely and evenly spaced along a long rectangular Hors d’oevre platter, their tantalizing filling bursting out of the top of fluffy little biscuits, light as air.


Here’s how it went.

I heated some water, butter and thyme and tossed in a little salt and pepper in a saucepan.  Then I let it come to a boil and added some flour.

Upon adding the flour, I stirred vigorously until it pulled away from the sides of the pan, about one minute.    It kind of forms a ball of sorts, that’s when you know it’s ready.  Spoon it into a bowl and crack in some eggs.  Stir again like crazy until everything is nice and smooth.

I had a kitchen towel under a glass bowl in these pictures.  Looks kinda strange…

Spray a mini-muffin pan with baking spray.  Scoop some dough into each one and bake for 22-25 minutes or until they tops turn a golden brown. Remove from the oven and cut a small slit in the top of each puff.

In another bowl, mix some goat cheese, cream cheese and milk until smooth, stir in some sun dried tomatoes that you’ve finely chopped.  Spoon this mixture into a pastry bag or a ziploc with the end snipped off and pipe down into the center of each puff where you’re cut the slit.

Tada.  The finished product.

My take?

I liked them.  But I also adore the twang of goat cheese, and I can eat sun-dried tomatoes straight out of the jar. I am a foodie and I love gourmet tastes and textures.

Our kids? They like the pop in the oven appetizers you buy at Sam’s Wholesale like Bagel Bites.

Perhaps I need to try them again on a more foodie defined audience?  One thing I’m not a fan of – thyme.  For some reason, it’s not my spice – maybe some nice basil next time to compliment the tomato flavor?

Any suggestions?

I think this is a fail…what do you think?

Katie’s Printable Recipe- Sun-Dried Tomato & Goat Cheese Puffs




Filed under appetizers

Spinach Artichoke Dip- Why BUY It?

Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Even if they don’t like spinach all that much, most people truly love this concoction.

Mr. Wonderful and I have this favorite low-maintenance Friday night supper when we’re home alone.  Friday nights seem to cause teenagers to disappear out of the house.  We buy one of those roasted chickens, a frozen package of TGI Friday’s Spinach Artichoke Dip and some blue corn tortilla chips.

Here’s what you do – you scoop up some of the dip on a chip, then you place a good size bite of roasted chicken on top.   It’s heaven I tell ya.

But here’s the thing.  It’s like $3.00 or something for one little tiny package of the dip.  I knew that I could make it myself and do a lot better than that!  So here goes.

Take one package of frozen chopped spinach. Place it in a bowl and microwave it for about 2 minutes.  Times will vary depending on your microwave.

Remove, squeeze and drain.

How, you ask?  Either place it in a tea towel or other thin cloth, and draw up the towel around it and squeeze, or do it my way, if you don’t feel like washing a nasty spinach filled towel.

Toss it into your ricer, if you have one and press.

This works beautifully.  And it gives you another use for that pesky ricer that takes up so much room in your pots and pans drawer.

Take one can of artichoke hearts and chop them up a bit.  It’s really to your preference on the size.

Eat about 10 of these while you chop if no one’s looking.

Just kidding, but I truly love artichoke hearts.

Now, the rest is easy. Just measure and dump:

-the spinach
-the artichoke hearts
-one 8 oz. block of cream cheese
-one 8 oz. container of sour cream
-3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
-one cup of your cheese of choice – I wanted mozerella but only had monterey jack on hand.
-one melted stick of butter
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-And just for kicks, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

I highly recommend doing this in a mixing bowl that is not the one you’ll be serving it in.  Learn from my experience please.

Mix everything up really good.  I actually decided to use my hand mixer.  The cream cheese was a little too hard.

Spread it in a 2 quart baking dish.

And just for fun, add a little more cheese on top.

Pop it into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes on 350º or until it begins to bubble around the edges and the cheese is melted on top.  I took mine out and sprinkled it with some chopped tomatoes, just for some pretty color.

T.G.I. Fridays, watch out.

There’s a new kid in town.

And she doesn’t cost and arm and a leg.  And there’s wayyy more to her.

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Spinach Artichoke Dip

Cooking with Love,


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Filed under appetizers