Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday's Must Have

Easy Appetizers

I love this time of year. It's full of Oxford trips, pool days, and cookouts or crawfish boils with friends.The guys are always in charge of the meats and beverages. The ladies are responsible for anything else we may want to eat. We usually end up with a few appetizers and dips. Nothing too exciting but it is always delicious! I could live off of party food. Here are two super easy recipes that you can throw together from things in your pantry or refrigerator. The bacon appetizers are from Pioneer Woman. I can never make enough of these. They are always a hit! 

The second recipe is a very simple and yummy dip. I have no idea how I know the recipe but I'm sure that you have eaten this dip at a church or school party sometime in your life!

Let's start with the bacon one. Because bacon is fabulous.

Here's what you need:

1 Package of Club crackers 
( FYI: I tried the Kroger brand and they were not cute and fell apart too easily during the assembly)
2 Packages of Bacon
1 Canister of Grated Parmesan cheese. (yes, the kind in the can)
Brown Sugar
Cooling Racks
Rimmed Baking Sheets

 1. Lay the Club crackers onto to a drying rack over a cookie sheet. You can make as much or as little as you desire.This cookie sheet doesn't have to be rimmed. 

2. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Place one teaspoon of brown sugar or Parmesan cheese on top of each cracker. 

 3. Slice the package of bacon in half.

4. Take a strip of bacon and wrap it around the cracker. Make sure to cover the middle of the cracker by overlapping the edges of the bacon. Check out Pioneer Woman's pics on how to perfectly wrap each cracker.

5. Take the cooling wracks with the appetizers on them and place them on top of a rimmed baking sheet. 

This is mandatory. 
I neglected to use a rimmed pan last time and my entire house was filled with smoke from the bacon grease burning on the bottom of my oven. It's not cute to smell like a grease fire at a party.

On the left = WRONG    On the right = RIGHT

6. Bake for 2 hours at 250 degrees. 

7. Take the pan out of the oven and plate them. 

The next recipe is even easier. You basically just cook the stuff in a pot. 

Here's what you need:

1 Package of Jimmy Dean Sausage (I get the "Regular" kind but you can use "Hot" too)
2 Blocks of Cream Cheese
1 Can of Rotel (Again, you can get the "Hot" version here too)
Tostitos or Fritos

Helpful Hint: I do not recommend using both "Hot" Jimmy Dean Sausage and "Hot" Rotel. 
It simply does not taste good.

1. Brown the Jimmy Dean Sausage in a skillet and drain all of the grease from the pan. 

2. Watch out for psychotic Cavalier King Charles Spaniels while cooking the sausage. 

3. Add the two blocks of cream cheese and browned meat into a medium sized pot. I usually let the cream cheese sit out for a little while to let it soften. It makes it much easier to work with and melt faster. 

4. Once the cream cheese has melted down some and is more manageable, add the can of Rotel into the pot. 

5. Keep the heat down so that the dip doesn't burn onto the bottom of the pot. 

6. Once everything has combined, transfer the dip into a crock pot. Heat and serve with Tostitos or Fritos. 

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