Appetizer Round-Up: New Year’s Ideas

I can’t believe New Years Eve is one day away! 2012 has been a really great year for me, rx especially the last half of the year with the start of college. I am happy to celebrate this past year and look forward to the year to come :)

My family usually does a bunch of appetizers on New Year’s eve and then we movies until midnight. This year we are going to a friend’s house for a party, side effects so we are doing our appetizers and movies tonight. In this post I’m rounding up some of my all-time favorite appetizers!

Tonight we are making Jalapeno Popper Dip. This is one of my family’s favorite dips- it’s spicy, creamy, and crunch!

jalapeno popper dip web2

We are also having Mini Corn Dog Muffins which are super tasty and easy to make.

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Even easier than the Mini Corn Dog Muffins is this Easy Peasy Ranch Dip. You just mix a few things together and you have a delicious dip for veggies!

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This Christmas I made Hot Spinach Dip and was reminded of how much I love it. So tasty!

spinach dip web1

And every Thanksgiving I make this Pumpkin Pie Dip. It’s sweet which is a nice change from all the savory dips.

pumpkin pie dip web2 copy

These Cheeseburger Pockets are also super tasty! The filling for the rolls is so good, you could even just eat that as a dip! (Don’t judge these by the pictures, they really are yummy!)

hamburger pocketsSo there we have it! Some of my favorite appetizers. Do you have any New Year’s traditions? Do you stay in or go out?


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Easy Peasy Ranch Dip

Hello there! Long time no see! I’ve been so busy the past couple of weeks between finishing up school, order graduating, writing speeches, throwing parties, visiting with family, and lots of other really great stuff. I’ll write more of that later but for now, I just want to share this really easy and tasty dip.

Yesterday I was at my friend’s graduation party, and her mom had made a veggie dip. She was nice enough to give me the “recipe” which ended up not being a recipe but just two ingredients mixed together. Since our oven isn’t working pretty much at all now and summer is approaching, I’m looking for lots of no-bake recipes. I made this tonight to have along with dinner (hamburgers, grilled veggies, chips, corn, watermelon :).

I loved eating this with carrots and tortilla chips!

Easy Peasy Ranch Dip

16oz sour cream

1 (1 oz) package of ranch powder


Mix together and enjoy! Eat with veggies and chips. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Jalapeno Popper Dip

I love this dip. I’ve made it three times now (for New Year’s Eve, diet the Superbowl, search and one time randomly for dinner) and each time my family has loved it. We used to make Jalapeno Poppers a lot, health but this dip is just as good (maybe even better) and really easy to make.

Sometimes jalapenos are not spicy at all. And sometimes they are. I was trying these jalapenos to see how spicy they were (to decide how many to put in the dip), and I just placed a tiny piece on my tongue and thought I was going to die. I was drinking milk and eating sugar and seriously nothing would help the pain!

In general, though, this dip is not very spicy. I put two (large) jalapenos in it and we like it that way, but you could always put more if you like things extra hot. This dip is creamy and cheesy with pieces of bacon and jalapeno, topped with a crunch breadcrumb/Parmesan topping. The texture and taste are perfect! We usually eat it with tortilla chips, but I also like eating it with carrot sticks and crackers :)

Jalapeño Popper Dip


8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise (low-fat is ok)
4 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped up (I’ve used real bacon and microwave bacon…both work great)
2-3 jalapeños, minced (if you can’t get fresh, substitute a 2-ounce can diced jalapeño peppers, drained)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, bacon, jalapenos, garlic, cumin and cheddar cheese in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into a 8 by 8in baking pan or 5 by 9in pan.
  3. Combine the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter in a small bowl, mixing together with a fork (or your hands) until everything is incorporated. Sprinkle evenly over the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the dip is bubbling. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, crackers, vegetables, etc.

Note: These are the directions for half of the original recipe. It makes the perfect amount for my family (usually there are 3 people eating it). To make more of the dip, double the recipe and bake it in a 9 by 13in casserole pan.

Recipe slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker :)

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Mini Corn Dog Muffins

One time my youth group leader showed us a video of how hot dogs are made. It was gross. I don’t know that the lesson was effective, phthisiatrician though, ed because I don’t remember the Biblical tie in to the video and I still eat hot dogs. I’ve never liked corn dogs, but these slightly-healthier and cuter versions are super tasty. My whole family loved them. The cornbread creates a tasty, crispy outer coating for the tasty hot dog pieces inside. I love dipping them in ketchup.

Fenway wishes he could eat these…but the hot dogs are 100% beef and Fenway is allergic to beef. (I promise I won’t become one of those people who posts about their pets all the time, but come on! How cute is he! He always comes over when I’m taking food photos and looks all pitiful).

I call this piece “Corn Dog with Ketchup.”

And this one is “Two Corn Dogs with Ketchup.”

I’ve made these twice now. They’re fun and easy to make appetizers for any occasion :)

Mini Corn Dog Muffins


1/4 cup melted butter (4 TBS)
1/4 cup sugar (I use 1/4 cup minus 1 tbs because I don’t like my cornbread very sweet)
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3-4 all-beef hot dogs, cut into 1? bites


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine butter and sugar in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add egg and whisk to incorporate. Add the buttermilk and whisk to incorporate.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt, and stir to combine. Slowly whisk into the wet ingredients.
  4.  Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray, and spoon 1 Tablespoon of batter into each mini muffin cup. Place one hot dog bite into the middle of each cup.
  5. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until cornbread is golden brown. Cool in mini muffin tin for 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, and re-heat for 20-30 seconds before serving.

Note: I halved the original recipe. You can easily double this if you want more :)

Makes 18-24 mini muffins (original recipe says 24 but I can only get 18 out of the batter)

Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats :)

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Cheeseburger Pockets

Yesterday morning I got up at 6am. I am not a morning person, surgery but I got up so I could take pictures of the sunrise over this beautiful field. I drove to the field and ended up having to walk for like a quarter mile in the 18 degree weather. Then a cop stopped to see if I was running away from home which was interesting. And then I ended up not getting the picture I wanted. Sometimes I don’t like being a photographer one bit. But most of the time I love it.

I made these Cheeseburger Pockets for New Year’s Eve. They were super duper delicious! The filling was so good that my sister and I used the leftover filling as a dip. They’d be great for any get together or the Super Bowl. My family is not into football, here but we watched the Patriots vs. Bronco game. I just felt bad for the Broncos!

How do you celebrate the Super Bowl? Who are you rooting for?

We’re from Boston so I’m rooting for the Patriots. Our church has a chili cook-off and dessert competition on Superbowl Sunday which I love. I’m trying to figure out what to make for the dessert competition. Suggestions?

Have a great week!

Cheeseburger Pockets


  • Enough dough for 12 crescent rolls (or another kind of pre-made dough)
  • 1/2 pound bacon, website like this diced
  • 1 poundground beef
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoonpepper
  • 1/2 pound process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoonsbutter, melted
  • Ketchup or barbecue sauce, optional (for dipping)


  • In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels.
  • In another skillet, cook the beef and onion until meat is no longer pink. Add the salt and pepper. Drain the excess fat.
  • Add in bacon and cheese. Cook and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
  • Unwrap the crescent rolls and lay out the sheet of dough. Push together the seems so it’s one rectangular sheet of dough.
  • Cut the crescent roll sheets into squares (two triangles to a square). Add a couple spoon-fulls of the meat mixture to the dough. Fold the corners up and press it together to form a little pocket.
  • Bake according to the crescent roll package instructions (usually for about 10 minutes).


Makes 12 pockets.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

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