Caprese Appetizers for Two – A Mediterranean Herb & Cheese Snack

Cheese & Herb Appetizer

Got a kitchen herb garden? Make a Mediterranean basil and rosemary appetizer with cheese. This Caprese recipe is easy and quick. Eat it as a light snack for two, or make more if you choose. The more you make, the more you’ll want to eat.

kitchen herb garden
Mediterranean Herb Garden Caprese Appetizer

Kitchen Herb Gardens

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Kitchen gardens, especially one with herbs, are treasures to home chefs. Grow your own herb garden. It’s pleasant to take a walk through an herb garden and run your hand lightly over lemon balm leaves, rosemary twigs, or lavender. Intoxicating! Read more

Chocolate-Filled Strawberry Buttons

Happy Valentine’s Day❣

Looking for a quick appetizer to make today? Try a different twist on dipping strawberries in chocolate. Easy. Delicious. Fast.

Valentine's Day
Strawberry Appetizers

You’ll have enough time to make it as a treat today or an after-dinner dessert if you wish.

Strawberry buttons vary from the typical dip-in-chocolate method as you can see from the pictures.

Valentine's Day
Strawberry Buttons

Originally, I intended to dip the strawberries in chocolate by using my friend’s daughter’s recipe with cream cheese. We were shopping in Target, and I was looking for the chocolate squares I’ve used previously for chocolate dipping. There were none available, so I purchased dark chocolate chips.

Valentine's Day
Dark Chocolate Chips

My friend, Barbara, said her daughter made the strawberries with a cream cheese filling. “Great!” I told her, remembering that I had just picked up cream cheese recently. I was all set. However, when I later was in the middle of slicing my strawberries and melting chocolate chips, I pulled out the unopened cream cheese from the fridge. Herbs and onion! Uh-oh. Herbs and onion cream cheese with strawberries and chocolate didn’t sound very appetizing. All of a sudden, my improvise method kicked in.

Barbara’s daughter made yummy strawberries fills with cream cheese (doesn’t that sound incredibly delicious?). I didn’t want to go to the store again that day. Therefore, I decided on filling the strawberries with chocolate.

First, I cut the crown of each strawberry. Next, I sliced the bottom tips off so that the strawberries would not fall over when placed on a plate.

Valentine's Day
Preparing strawberries for filling

The chocolate chips were placed into a deep bowl and into the microwave for about a minute, stirred, then back in for another thirty seconds.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Chocolate-filled Strawberries

Fill the strawberries, place the strawberry bottom tips (buttons) on top. Serve like that, or dip in chocolate if you choose. My husband and I had an early Valentine’s dinner and enjoyed the filled strawberries as you see in the photos. I did dip some in the melted chocolate, but our favorites were the filled strawberries that weren’t dipped in the chocolate.

Strawberry dessert
Chocolate-Filled Strawberries

Chocolate-Filled Strawberry Buttons

Easy and quick-to-make chocolate-filled strawberries

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 1 Package Strawberries
  • 1 Package Dark Chocolate Chips

Instructions

  1. Cut off the bottom tips (buttons) of the strawberries so they can be placed flat onto a plate. Cut the crown of the strawberries off and discard.

    Valentine's Day
  2. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for about a minute, stir, then put back into the microwave for about another thirty seconds. Fill the strawberries, and place the buttons on top. Voila!

If you make the chocolate-filled strawberries, let me know your variations.

 

See more strawberry recipes on kitchenhospitality.com.

French Toast with Strawberries

Strawberries in a Pudding

Caramel Apples in the Slow Cooker

A Caramel Apple Recipe

caramel apples
Caramel Apple Event, CARES Team

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Need a fun food idea for an event? Try caramel apples with your slow cooker. It’s easy to do, and event attendees will love the apples. The photo below is a caramel apple event of a CARES team.

CARAMEL APPLES
A CARES Team Caramel Apple eVENT

Get bakers’ caramel bits. If you can’t find them, use the individually wrapped caramels. It’s more time consuming, but it works. You can buy short apple sticks at the store or order them through Amazon. They’re like skewers but shorter and thicker.

My daughter, Cristen, made this recipe as a team member in the CARES program at an apartment complex. I was visiting her and her family once when she made the caramel apples. I had fun helping unwrap the caramels.

Slow Cooker Caramel Apples

Slow Cooker Caramel Apples

Caramel Apples

Ingredients

  • apple sticks
  • 50 apples
  • 10 packages Kraft Caramel Bits
  • fruit wash
  • Optional: slow cooker liners

Instructions

  1. Wash the apples with fruit wash or the caramel won't stick to the apples because of the wax on them.
  2. Cut the stems off.
  3. Insert the short sticks into the apples.
  4. Put the caramel in the slow cooker, and turn it on low or high untilcaramel melts.
  5. Stir it every 15 minutes or so until it's smooth.
  6. Then turn your slow cooker on the buffet setting if it has that option.
  7. Dip your apples in.
  8. Add your toppings (nuts, M&Ms, etc.)
  9. It's best to use slow cooker liners.
  10. If you don't buy liners, scoop as much as you can out with a cup, wipe the excess off the sides with a hot wet wash rag, and then you can turn the crock pot off.
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Cristen and her husband ran out of the caramel bits and had to buy the individually wrapped ones. It was all worth the effort when apartment residents came to get their apples dipped in caramel and toppings.

Host your own caramel apple event. It’s great for community, family, birthday party, and other events.

caramel apples
CARES Team Caramel Apple Event

 

 

9 Super Appetizers for the Big Game

What is on your menu for the second-largest day of food consumption in the U. S.? The big game is coming up on February 7, 2016. Try these 9 super appetizing foods for your party:

  1. Nachos Bar – Have everyone coming to your party bring an item they like on nachos. Imagine the amazing nachos deluxe that you and your friends will enjoy.
  2. Potato Bar – Bake potatoes and have each guest contribute one or two toppings. Ideas for toppings: real bacon pieces, grated cheese, sauteed veggies, sour cream, butter, chopped green onions, chopped barbecue beef and any other creations you can come up with.
  3. Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches (cut in small triangles), chips and dips, and Root Beer floats
  4. Stuffed Mushrooms – Mushrooms seem to be a popular lighter side entree lately. Stuff them with multiple types of cheese and  pop into the oven. Variations: use cooked ground breakfast sausage and cream cheese or bacon pieces and grated cheese
  5. Party Wings – Gotta have wings for the big game party. Barbecue, lemon pepper, Buffalo, garlic and ranch make good wing topping options.
  6. Texas Sheath Cake – This is the best chocolate cake EVER (not that I’m from Texas or anything like that)!!! Really, though, it is the best chocolate cake in Texas.
  7. Fruit pizza – If you’re ordering pizza, make a fruit pizza for dessert.
  8. Little Smokies Biscuits – Easiest and quickest hors-d’oeuvre to serve at a party. Insert Little Smokies into biscuits, twist the biscuits around the little links, pop them into a 350-degree oven for about 10-15 minutes and they’re done.Slow Cooker Barbecue Little Smokies – Prepare a few packs of Little Smokies ahead of time by putting them into a slow cooker of barbecue sauce. Offer toothpicks and crackers or Pumpkernickel bread to serve with the mini sausages.
  9. Creamy Tacos – This is similar to Velveeta cheese dip but with several more ingredients. Keep it warm in a crockpot for serving. Serve with plain tortilla chips.

Creamy Tacos

Creamy Tacos

Creamy Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 lb lean ground beef or Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
  • 2 lb Velveeta Cheese
  • 2 cans evaporated milk
  • 2 cans red kidney beans
  • 2 cans Ro*Tel tomatoes with green chilies
  • Tortilla chips
  • Optional: 1 can whole kernel corn
  • Optional: Use pinto beans instead of red kidney beans

Instructions

  1. Season and brown the beef.
  2. In separate pot melt Velveeta cheese with th
  3. Add other ingredients except chips.
  4. Crunch chips and put in serving bowls.
  5. Pour beef/cheese mixture over the chips, and you've got Creamy Tacos!
  6. Make it creamier by only using 1 can of beans, and skip the corn.
  7. Make it chunkier by adding the 2nd can of beans and 1-2 cans of corn.
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Blog Parties I’m linking to:

Miz Helen’s Full Plate Thursday

 

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