Category Archives: Appetizers

Your Next Favorite Party Food: Beer-Braised Cocktail Sausages

Beer Braised Cocktail SausagesI don’t know if you caught my recent post about the awesome and totally fun party game, Personalogy, but if not, you should check it out!  As you know, any party needs great snacks so I tried out this fabulous recipe from Triple Slow Cooker Entertaining by Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss.  The book has over 100 recipes and even has 30 plans for parties.  I modified the recipe to fit my own tastes and greatly enjoyed it.  Hope you love it too!






2 packages cocktail sausages

1/3 c packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce

1/2 c beer (I used Dos Equis)

3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


  1. Place sausages in one slow cooker stoneware.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all other ingredients and mix well.  Pour over sausages.
  3. Cook on low for 2-4 hours or on high for 1-2 hours.

I’d love to hear your modifications, thoughts and what you served it with!  Hope you enjoy it!


Originally posted 2016-06-13 07:36:00.

Pick’Ams: Super Tasty Quick Simple Appetizers


The first time I had these was when I was a kid at my Great Granny’s house.  She and some ladies had a regular Bridge night where they all brought easy to eat and super yummy snacks.  Granny let me and my cousin Krystle have some before we were sent off to let the grown ups have their game time.  From then on, I was in love!  Later, I introduced them to my bestie Stacy and it was our go to snack for an entire summer.  Fabulous that it’s a cold one on hot days, but works wonderfully on cooler days as well!  I am pretty certain we brought stocks in Atkins Dill Pickles up a notch that summer!

Two things before I get started:

  1. These never had a name, I made one up.  Previously they were those ham roll thingy’s.  If you have a better name, PLEASE leave it in the comments!  I’ve been trying to come up with a fitting one for a while.  Pick’Ams pays homage to my Granny’s Southern Belle heritage, so I used it.  LOL
  2. I’m always looking for simple appetizers!  If you know of any, leave a link or suggestion or something!  Seems like I have a hard time coming up with them!

Now, without further ado I will give you the recipe.  Cherish it, enjoy it!  The recipe will always be close to my heart.  Your guests will love it!PickAms1


1 Jar of Dill Pickles

Cream Cheese, softened (I use low fat)

1 Package Ham of Choice

Mayo (optional)


In a bowl, mix cream cheese and mayo.  If you aren’t using mayo, then simply ensure the cream cheese is at a spreadable temp.

Lay out ham and pat dry.

Using a spatula, spread the cream cheese mixture over the ham.

Place pickle on ham and roll it.  Chill for 24 hours or more.  The chilling helps harden the cream cheese back up and holds it together.

After it is chilled, slice and enjoy!




Originally posted 2014-04-03 04:23:39.

Cheesy Party Pops Recipe: Your Next Party Hit!

Monkey made these for our Thanksgiving gathering and they were amazingly yummy!  They would be great for any party, as they went super fast!  Don’t be nervous about the blue cheese, the flavors meld so well that even people who said they don’t normally like it said they loved it!  They were gone pretty fast!  Enjoy!


8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup (about 3 oz) crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups pecans

Pretzel Sticks


IMG_49711. Use a spatula and stir together cream cheese, blue cheese and cranberries.  You may need to smash up some of the blue cheese chunks to ensure the mixture is smooth.

IMG_49732.  Dampen your hands with water to keep them from sticking to the balls, then use your hands to make teaspoon sized balls.  Place on parchment paper (we used plastic cutting boards), cover with plastic wrap and chill them for at least 2 hours.  This can be done the night before also.  😀

IMG_49743.  While the cheese balls are chilling, toast the pecans at 350 degrees F.  It will take about 8 minutes (you’ll smell them!).  Let cool completely then finely chop them.  Place them in a bowl.

4.  Roll each ball in the pecans, place a pretzel stick in each one and enjoy!  Be sure and keep the balls chilled until serving!

Please Note: Recipe is from Family Fun Magazine, December/January 2014 issue, Pg 20.

Originally posted 2014-01-04 04:24:46.

Pineapple Cheese Dip/Ball Recipe

Pineapple Cheese Dip

 This recipe is perfect for parties and for Holiday gatherings!  Hope you enjoy as much as we did!!!

Print Recipe
Pineapple Cheese Dip/Ball
Great as an appetizer! We had it with crackers at the party and I ate some of the leftovers on a bagel. They can also be made ahead and frozen.
Course Appetizer, snacks
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Course Appetizer, snacks
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
  1. Put 3/4 cups of pecans and all other ingredients together, mixing well.
  2. We had ours as is but you can also make them into balls if you like. For Pineapple Cheese Balls, continue on! Form into 1 or two balls.
  3. Roll in remaining pecans, pressing them into the ball(s).
  4. Chill and serve with crackers.
Powered by WP Ultimate Recipe

Originally posted 2013-11-12 00:12:59.

Guacamole: Julie’s Famous Recipe

Julies Famous Guacamole
Before my youngest daughter could speak in more than one word sentences, she’d
formed an intense love affair with guacamole. Ate it with a spoon. And when she’d
licked her bowl clean, screamed for more. No matter how spicy I made it, she
would wolf it down, tears streaming down her plump little apple cheeks. I’m not
sure exactly when the tradition started, but since my girls were small, Guacamole
Friday has been a long-standing ritual in the Ford home. In fact, if family and/or
friends invite us for supper on a Friday, we respectfully decline. My daughters,
now teenagers, still schedule their busy social calendars around this particular
meal. Then, a few years ago, we bought a quesadilla maker, and Guacamole Fridays
morphed into Quesadilla Fridays.

Julie’s Famous Guacamole:

(Four-five makes a medium sized bowl. The avocados are the most important
ingratiate so choose wisely. Too hard will be tasteless and also kill your hand
when smashing. Too soft will be rotten when you slice them open. Ew! When
choosing avocados, squeeze, pressing firmly with your thumb. The meat right
under the skin should be soft but grow firm the deeper you press.)
Roma Tomatoes, diced.
(One less than the amount of avocados you’re using. Roma tomatoes are the
best choice because they are less juicy than other varieties.)
Finley chopped Yellow Onion to taste.
(About two tablespoons for a medium bowl.)
Chopped, fresh Cilantro.
(Don’t skip the cilantro. If you don’t like cilantro then don’t eat guacamole.
Sorry, I have unreasonably strong opinions about this and very little patience
for people who say they don’t like cilantro. It’s the best herb ever!)
Jalapeno to taste.
(I use dried, but pickled work too. Fresh is harder to control the intensity of
the heat. Two or three seeds from a fresh jalapeno will likely pack a sufficient
Garlic Powder to taste.
(I usually just shake some over the top, mix and taste. Tasting is the best part.
Sometimes I taste a few extra times just to make sure. It never hurts to be
thorough J)
Lime juice.
(Squeeze half a lime over the top.)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and then stir with a fork, smashing down on the
firmer chunks of avocado, until combined.


Flour tortillas.
(For obvious reasons, you’ll need two for each quesadilla.)

Pico de Gallo.
(Finely diced Roma tomatoes, yellow onion, cilantro mixed together.)
Shredded Cheese.
(We use a mixture of cheddar and pepper jack. For those of you who are
lactose intolerant, I’ve found that the veggie shreds, cheddar/pepper jack
mix, work well as an alternative.)
Cubed, Seasoned, Sautéed or Grilled, Chicken or Beef.

Layer bottom tortilla with chicken or beef, Pico and then cheese. Don’t over due it
with the cheese. It’ll just melt, run out from between the tortillas and make a mess.

Grill. Lightly brushing the top of the tortilla with oil will make it brown and crispy.

Unless you possess an aptitude for flipping hot, floppy tortillas stuffed with chicken,
Pico and cheese without the contents spilling out, you’ll need a quesadilla maker. I
bought mine at Target—the most magical place on earth.

Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter. Top with Julie’s Famous Guacamole.

And, do you what goes really well with quesadillas and guacamole?

A book. More specifically, my newest novel, Replacing Gentry.

A modern, Southern twist on the classic Gothic romance novels of Rebecca and Jane
Eyre, Replacing Gentry follows a woman’s precarious journey as she learns the truth
about the man she married.


Replacing Gentry

When Marlie agrees to attend a cadaver ball at Vanderbilt Medical School, she did not expect to actually see any cadavers. Or, that a strange apparition would issue her a chilling message.

Despite the cadaver’s warning, Marlie is married a year later to Tennessee State Senator, Daniel Cannon, and living in a plantation-style mansion with two step sons. Add to the mix her growing suspicion that something is amiss with the death of Daniel’s first wife, Gentry; and newlywed Marlie is definitely in over her pretty Yankee head.

What begins as an innocent inquiry into her new husband’s clouded past, ends with Marlie in the midst of a dangerous conspiracy.

A modern twist on the classic Gothic romance novels of Rebecca and Jane Eyre, Replacing Gentry follows Marlie’s precarious journey as she learns the truth about the man she married.

Price: Check on Amazon

Julie Ford: Author

Julie N. Ford graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science and a minor in English Literature. In addition, she has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a Marriage & Family Counselor. She is the author of two women’s fiction novels, The Woman He Married and No Holly for Christmas, published in 2011. In addition, she wrote a romance/chick-lit novel, Count Down to Love, also published in 2011. Count Down to Love was a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. Her next novel, Replacing Gentry, is due for release April 9th, 2013.

Currently, she lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, two daughters and one hedgehog.


Originally posted 2013-04-10 22:15:00.

Thai Crab Bites


Hey Everyone!  With the holiday season in full swing, I thought it would be a great time to post this fabulous recipe.  The folks at Robert Rose were kind enough to provide this!  If you don’t have a Babycakes maker, don’t worry, just make it in the oven!  😀  If you are loving this and have to have more (and you know you do!) then go here and get your copy now!  You won’t regret it!

Makes 17 to 19 crab bites

Served with Wasabi Mayo Sauce, these Asian-inspired crab bites make a fantastic appetizer.

round buttery crackers (about 2 inches), finely crushed
2 tbsp finely chopped green onion 30 mL
1 tbsp chopped drained pimento
1 tsp finely minced ginger root
1⁄4 tsp garlic powder
1⁄4 tsp crab boil or seafood seasoning
1⁄8 tsp cayenne pepper
1large egg white
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
6 oz backfin (lump) crabmeat, drained and picked over to remove cartilage
Freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup panko bread crumbs 125 mL
2 tbsp vegetable oil 30 mL
Wasabi Mayo Sauce (see below)

1.  In a large bowl, combine cracker crumbs, green onion, pimento, ginger, garlic powder, crab boil
seasoning, cayenne, egg white, mayonnaise and mustard. Gently stir in crabmeat. Season to taste with black pepper.
2. Using wet hands, lightly shape mixture into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls. Roll each ball in panko.
3. Brush cake pop wells with vegetable oil. Place one crab bite in each well. Bake for 8 minutes. Carefully place the fork tool between each crab cake and the edge of the well and gently turn the crab cake over. Bake for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Repeat with the remaining crab mixture. Serve warm, with Wasabi Mayo Sauce.

If you don’t have buttery crackers on hand, you can substitute 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) more panko bread crumbs, saltine cracker crumbs or dry bread crumbs.

You can use a 6-oz (175 g) can of lump crabmeat, drained, for the crabmeat.

In step 2, use a small scoop (one that holds about 1 tbsp/15 mL) to spoon out just the right amount of the crab mixture, then lightly shape the mixture into a ball with your hands.

Wasabi Mayo Sauce

Makes about 2⁄3 cup (150 mL)

Wasabi, a Japanese horseradish, adds great flavor to this sharp, spicy mayonnaise, which partners perfectly with
Thai Crab Bites (page 153).

1⁄2 cup mayonnaise 125 mL
2 tbsp prepared wasabi paste 30 mL
2 tsp finely minced ginger root
1 tsp soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, wasabi, ginger and soy sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate overnight.

You can use wasabi powder instead of prepared wasabi in this recipe. In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp (30 mL) wasabi powder and 11⁄2 tbsp (22 mL) cold water until well blended. Let stand for 10 minutes or until wasabi powder has dissolved. Proceed with the recipe.

Excerpted from 175 Best Babycakes Cake Pop Maker Recipes by Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss © 2012 Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Originally posted 2012-12-13 06:00:00.

Pizza Rolls

I made these for a church function and they were a huge success.  Everyone loved them!  I hope you’ll enjoy them too!

1 pkg Filo Dough
olive oil
1 jar Pizza Sauce
1 pkg shredded cheese
ground beef, pepperoni, etc
(whatever ‘toppings’ you’d like)

Lay filo dough out flat.  CAREFULLY peel 1 layer of dough off and set aside, then peel another layer.  Brush first later with olive oil, then carefully place the second layer on top.  It tears really easy so take your time and be really careful!
Spread a small amount of sauce into a line close to the edge of the dough, leave space for ends of rolls.  Otherwise they’ll overflow. 
Place cheese and toppings on top of sauce.  Remember, it doesn’t take much!!!
Roll dough over the toppings until if forms a little roll. 
Use olive oil to seal the edge, cut off additional dough.
Slice roll into desired size.
Repeat until out of ingredients.
Bake at 350 until dough is lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.

What are your favorite pizza toppings???

Originally posted 2012-06-28 05:00:00.

Baked Taquitos

Quick, simple recipe.  Right up my alley
I made them the other night thanks to Chief Zoo Keeper’s request!  The turned out way better than I thought (as taquitos are normally deep fried!)  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!!!

flour tortillas
ground meat
taco seasoning
1 can green chilis
non-stick cookie spray
minced garlic
chopped onion (opt.)
chopped bell pepper (opt)

1.  Brown 1-2 lbs of ground beef or ground turkey with onion, bell peppers, and or garlic if desired.  We used turkey.  As for the amount, just use however much you normally would!  Remember that these will freeze really well to have for future meals, also Monkey took one to school and ate it cold for lunch.  She really enjoyed it!

2.  Once you’ve browned the meat, drain grease and add taco seasoning.  If you used ground turkey, I suggest using low sodium beef broth to simmer it in, but it’s up to you!  The broth adds a lot of great flavor!  We typically use broth.  Let it simmer until seasoning has soaked into the meat.

3.  Next, mix in a can of green chilis.  Stir well.  Once the juice has simmered into the meat you have options.
             A. Mix in shredded cheese, stir, then proceed
             B.  Proceed, then add cheese
             C.  Skip the cheese altogether

 4.  Spray a cake pan or cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.

5.  Roll a small amount of meat mixture up into the tortilla shell.    Lay into baking sheet and spray the tops.  of the taquitos.

6.  Bake for about 6-10 minutes, flip over and repeat until lightly  browned to your taste at 350!  Enjoy!

My Suggestions to go with them:
Mexican or Spanish Rice
Refried Beans

I always hate trying to come up with side dishes!  For some reason or another, it stresses me out!  What else do you suggest to serve with it???  I’ll take all the tips I can get!!!

Originally posted 2011-12-21 13:58:00.