When making appetizers for a social event, like a New Year’s Eve party, I have three requirements: It must be easy to make, taste great, and appeal to enough of my guests that there are no leftovers. The following recipes are not original, but they fit my requirements, and I always get requests to bring them to parties.
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
1 lb. Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
1/4 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese
40 fresh Button Mushrooms
Snap the mushroom stems out and discard, leaving only the caps. Arrange on cookie sheet.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Fry sausage in skillet over medium heat until browned, drain fat. Remove from heat and add bread crumbs and mozzarella cheese. Stir lightly until mixed. Stuff into mushroom caps (Easier to do using clean hands). Bake in 350 degree oven 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and begins to turn golden on top. Serve warm.
Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
1- 8 oz can water chestnuts, drained
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
8 slices of bacon, cut in half
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Marinate the water chestnuts in soy sauce for one hour and then drain. Roll in brown sugar and then wrap each one with bacon. Use a toothpick to secure. Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Mexican Cheese Dip (Queso)
1 can Rotel Tomatoes with Diced Chilies
16 oz Velvetta Cheese
Tortilla Chips or Fritos
In saucepan, pour Rotel and the Velvetta (Cut into pieces and it will melt faster). Over medium heat, stirring constantly, mix until cheese is melted and it is warm and well blended. Serve with chips.
16 Vanilla Wafers
2- 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake papers. Place one vanilla wafer in the bottom of each cup.
In a mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Pour over vanilla wafer in cupcake papers. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until set. Top withyour choice: a spoonful of strawberry preserves, cherry pie filling, or chocolate chips.
These recipes give you the perfect combination of savory, salty, and sweet. That pretty much covers everyone’s cravings. For most gatherings, I make more than one recipe of each, because they tend to go fast. Of course, that depends on how many people are attending and how much your friends like to eat! Have a great mixed cocktail, some beer, and a virgin drink for those who prefer that (and your designated drivers!) and enjoy! Don’t forget the music! Happy New Year!