Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Eve Appetizers!

Mom & Dad came down from Raleigh to celebrate Christmas & New Year's with us!
I had a couple of new recipes I wanted to try out on them... and they all turned out very well!
Here they are!

Creamy Black Bean & Corn Salsa


  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed (I used white shoe peg)
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Tortilla chips


  • In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn, peppers, onion and parsley. Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar and seasonings; pour over corn mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve with tortilla chips. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes about (4) Cups.

Italian Sausage Puffs

  • 1/2 of a 17.3oz package puff pastry (1 sheet) thawed
  • 1/2 Pound Italian Sausage (sweet, hot or mild)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12x9-inch rectangle. Cut lengthwise into 3 (3-inch) strips.
  3. Divide the sausage into thirds. Shape each into a cylinder the same length as the pastry. Place 1 piece sausage on the long edge of each pastry rectangle. Roll up the pastry around the sausage and press the seams and pinch the edges to seal.
  4. Cut each roll into 12 (1-inch) slices, making 36 in all. Place the slices, cut-side down, onto a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown and the sausage is cooked through. Remove the pastries from the baking sheet and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes.
**I made these ahead of time and after step (3) I placed the three rolls into the freezer for 1 hour. I took the rolls out and cut each into 12 slices, placing them back on the original tray I froze them another hour. I think took them out and packed them in freezer bags in sets of 12. When we were ready to eat them I baked them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Mushroom Puffs

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened*
  • 1 (8-oz.) can mushroom pieces and stems, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  1. 1. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Stir in mushrooms and next 4 ingredients. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours.
  2. 2. Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Roll 1 puff pastry sheet into a 16- x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut pastry in half lengthwise. Spread 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture down center of each rectangle; brush edges with egg mixture. Fold each pastry half lengthwise over filling, and pinch edges to seal. Cut pastries into 10 pieces each, and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining puff pastry sheet, egg mixture, and cream cheese mixture.
  3. 3. Brush remaining egg mixture over tops of pastry pieces; sprinkle with pepper.
  4. 4. Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned. Serve immediately.
  5. *I also made these ahead, like the sausage puffs. I made the rolls, and then froze them (1) hour before slicing. After slicing, I put them back in the freezer an hour before putting in freezer bags. Straight from the freezer bake at 400 degrees 20-25 minutes.
Spinach Dip en Phyllo
*I made this recipe up because I had a "vision" for what I wanted but couldn't "find" anything similar, I didn't measure anything... sorry for all the approximates!

  • Phyllo Pastry Sheets (thawed) approx 8
  • 1 Box Frozen Chopped Spinach (about 10 oz) thawed & water squeezed out of it
  • Approx 1/3 Cup Onion Chopped
  • (1) Clove Garlic Minced
  • Approx. 5 oz Cream Cheese (softened)
  • Approx. 1/4 cup sour cream (I used light)
  • approx 4 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
  • Red Pepper Flakes (approx 1 tsp)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray Miniature Muffin Pan cups lightly with cooking spray.

Sauté Onion & Garlic in some olive oil until golden brown.

While Sautéing Onion & Garlic, combine spinach, cream cheese, sour cream, parmesan cheese, red pepper, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add Onion & Garlic when done. Mix all together well. ( I used a fork to shred the spinach more as I was mixing). Transfer cream cheese/spinach mixture to Ziploc bag and cut a medium sized hole in one corner (to pipe out of).

Un-roll thawed Phyllo Sheets (do not take out of fridge until you are ready to work with them.) (I put plastic wrap down on the counter to lay the sheets on as I worked). Lay one Phyllo Sheet on prep surface and spray with vegetable oil. Lay another sheet on top and spray with veg oil. Repeat (2) more times so you have (4) total layers. Next, I used a pizza cutter and cut the stacked sheets into 12 equal squares. Place square stack of (4) sheets in each muffin cup and press down. (I actually took the top two sheets from each stack and offset them before I put them in the tins so they would have more points when they cooked). Repeat above to make a second stack of phyllo sheets and 12 more stacks to finish the muffin tin.

Pipe the cream cheese/spinach mixture into each phyllo cup evenly.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until phyllo is golden brown.

Marinated Cheese


    • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1 dash salt ( to taste)
    • 1 dash black pepper ( to taste)
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
    • 1 (2 ounce) jars diced pimentos, drained
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 3 tablespoons minced green onions
    • 3 garlic cloves, pressed


  1. Cut cheddar cheese and cream cheese into 1/4 inch slices, then again in half.
  2. Using a small dish, place cheese slices on end alternating cheddar and cream cheese.
  3. Make the marinade by combining sugar, basil, salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, pimento, parsley, onion and garlic.
  4. Pour marinade over cheese, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Serve with crackers.
    **I also added Vermont White Cheddar Cheese into the recipe- I used about 4 oz of the White Cheddar and 6oz regular Cheddar.

1 comment:

  1. so I am asked to make this for every family and/or friend gathering. this is an absolute favorite and everyone loves it.... so I was just wondering if it mattered what parsley you use? I have always used the Italian parsley but yesterday I noticed that there are two different types (I think) - Curly and Italian (which looks a lot like cilantro) so what do you think Ms.... Fallis