Southern Hors d'Oeuvres

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• 1 (10-oz) package Cheddar cheese
• 1 lb. hot bulk sausage
• 2 1/2 cup Bisquick

Shred cheese in large glass mixing bowl. Add hunks of sausage into bowl and heat briefly in microwave--just until the mixture warms, maybe thirty seconds. Return to counter and gradually cut in bisquick, mixing well with your hands as if you're kneading bread. (The heat from the microwave is a neat trick to help mix the ingredients.) Form into small balls; place on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. May be frozen before baking.


• 1 egg beaten
• 1 cup milk
• 3 and 1/2 cups flour
• 1 qt. sliced dill pickles
• vegetable oil
• salt and pepper to taste

Combine milk and egg in a bowl. Put the flour in a freezer bag and add salt and pepper. Dip drained pickles in egg mixture and then shake in flour. When pickles are coated well, deep fry in oil until they turn golden brown and float.

Spicy and Sweet Pecans

• 3 egg whites
• ¼ cup water
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon ground cloves
• ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or black pepper to taste
• 1 and ¼ pound whole pecan halves

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together three egg whites and a fourth cup of water. Stir in two cups of sugar,, two tablespoons ground cinnamon, one teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon each of ground cloves, salt and cayenne pepper. Blend spices and egg whites well. Now, fold in one and one fourth pounds of whole pecan halves, tossing to coat thoroughly. Spread pecans out on a baking sheet, one layer deep. That’s very important. Bake about twenty minutes stirring every ten minutes. Spread on wax paper to cool before serving.

Louisiana Caviar

• 1 large jar hot picante sauce
• 2 cans black eyed peas (drained)
• 1 can hominy or sweet corn (drained)
• 4 green onions
• 1 white onion
• 1/2 bell pepper (diced)
• 2 fresh tomatoes (diced)
• 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped fine
• 5 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
• 2 tablespoons ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon sugar

Mix all this together. Refrigerate for about 24 hours to allow flavors to meld and serve with crispy tortilla chips. If you have a family of cheese lovers, you might want to sprinkle some sharp cheese across it first. 

"Spicy Party Crockpot Meatballs"

• 1 (12 ounce) jar cocktail sauce
• 1 (10.5 ounce) jar jalapeno jelly
• ½ small sweet onion/minced
• 3 pounds frozen cooked meatballs

Combine one twelve-ounce jar of cocktail sauce with one ten and a half-ounce jar of jalapeno jelly in a large crockpot. Stir until the jelly melts and the mixture is smooth. Add half of a finely minced sweet onion and three pounds of frozen cooked meatballs. Cook on low until the meatballs are thoroughly heated.

Stuffed Mushrooms

•1 pound (half-dollar size) mushrooms
•1 cup of bread crumbs
•2 tablespoons margarine
•1 16oz. Pork sausage, browned and drained
•1/2 white onion, diced
•1/2 green pepper, diced
•1 teaspoon oregano
•1 teaspoon minced garlic
•Salt and pepper to taste
•Parmesan cheese

Wash your mushrooms, remove the stems, place the little caps on a cooking sheet and spray 'em well with non-stick butter flavored cooking spray. Next, sauté your diced onions and peppers in 2 tablespoons butter along with one teaspoon minced garlic and the chopped mushroom stems. Combine with one pound of browned and drained pork sausage. Mix in 1 cup of bread crumbs, a shake or two or salt and pepper, and a teaspoon of oregano. Take this well-blended stuffing and fill the individual mushroom caps. Sprinkle 'em with Parmesan and bake 15 minutes at 350'.

Southern Salsa

• 4 or 5 ripe fresh tomatoes
• 1 bunch green onions diced
• 2 t. diced garlic (fresh chopped garlic in jar in produce dept.)
• 3 cans diced Mexican (blue can) Rotel tomatoes
• Juice from a fresh lime
• Salt to taste
• Dash of oregano

Chop four to five of the ripest, freshest tomatoes you can, being careful not to lose a drop of that precious juice. Add at least three cans of Mexican Rotel, four cans will make it even hotter! Dice a bunch of green onions very small and add to the tomato mixture along with two teaspoons diced garlic. (It's fine to use the chopped garlic you find in the small glass jar in your produce department.) Add the juice of one lime, a teaspoon of oregano and salt to your individual taste.

Shellie Overstuffed Jalapeno Bites

• 12 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
• 1 (8 ounce) package whipped cream cheese
• 12 slices bacon, cut in half
• Teaspoon Tony Chachere’s
• Dash of Panola pepper sauce

I've preheated the oven at 400 degrees and I've just finished halving 12 fresh jalapeno peppers, lengthwise. Now, we'll wash ‘em and clean all the seeds out. (Remember to use gloves for that step! Those peppers can burn your skin!)

Now, for the stuffing, let’s take an 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese and whip in a teaspoon of Tony Chachere’s (or your favorite season-all) and a dash of Panola pepper sauce. Once it's stirred up well we'll stuff our jalapeno boats with it. Finish by wrapping a half slice of bacon around each stuffed pepper. Then we’ll place ‘em on a single layer on a baking sheet and bake ‘em for forty-five to fifty minutes or until the bacon is brown and crisp!

"Super Duper Dixie Nachos"

• 2 10-inch flour tortillas
• ¾ cup salsa
• One four ounce can green chiles, drained and diced
• ½ cup sliced black olives
• 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack

Place two ten-inch tortillas on an ungreased baking sheet and spread a tablespoon or so of your favorite chunky salsa out to the edges. Combine one can green chiles with a ½ cup of sliced black olives and sprinkle over the salsa before topping with some shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until the tortillas are crisp and the cheese is melted. Use a pizza cutter to slice 'em in 8 wedges. You've got sixteen delicious appetizers. Just repeat the process for a crowd. You'll be the "toast" of the party!

Southern Style Crabmeat Quesadillas

•1/3 cup butter
•¼ cup safflower oil
•1 clove minced garlic
•½ cup chopped onion
•3 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
•1 pound fresh lump crab meat
•¼ cup mayonnaise
•½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
•1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
•16 flour tortillas
•Dash of salt

I’ve got us started by melting 1/3 cup butter with ¼ cup safflower oil. I poured all but a couple tablespoons in a small cup and set it aside for later. Now we'll chop up a half cup of onions and a clove of fresh garlic and sauté ‘em in this saucepan with the remaining oil and butter…

When the onions are clear, we’ll stir in a pound of fresh lump crab meat, a ¼ cup of mayonnaise, a tablespoon of fresh chopped cilantro, a dash of salt—oh, and our jalapenos! I’ve seeded and diced several fresh jalapenos that my friend, Steven Stapleton brought me from his garden.

We're almost there. We’ll take our reserved butter and oil mixture and brush our flour tortillas. Then we’ll flip ‘em over, spoon a healthy serving of our crab filling in each, top with a little grated Monterey Jack cheese and fold ‘em in half. All that's left to do now is shoot ‘em in our preheated oven for about five to six minutes. (It’s preheated at 475 degrees.)

Kicking New Shrimp Dip

•1 pod minced garlic
•1 small onion, minced
•2 ribs celery, minced
•1 can shrimp
•1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
•One tablespoon French dressing
•1 teaspoon Lea & Perrin’s steak sauce
•1 teaspoon mustard
•½ teaspoon horseradish
•½ teaspoon Red Pepper

We need our veggies minced really well for this, so prepare ‘em for the food processor and give ‘em a whirl. You'll need a small onion, two ribs of celery, and a pod of garlic.

Next, we'll take a mixing bowl and combine one eight ounce package of softened cream cheese with one tablespoon of creamy French Dressing, one teaspoon of mustard, a ½ teaspoon of horseradish, and a four ounce can of shrimp.

Then we’ll add our minced veggies to our shrimp and cream cheese base and season it with a teaspoon of Lea & Perrin’s steak sauce, and a ½ teaspoon red pepper. Let’s stir this up really well and slide it in the refrigerator to chill.

Wined and Dined Mushrooms

•1 pound of fresh mushrooms
•2 cloves crushed garlic
•1 cup olive oil
•½ cup red wine vinegar
•2 teaspoons tarragon
•2 teaspoons grated onion
•1 teaspoon celery salt
•Salt and pepper to taste

First snip the dried ends off of a pound of fresh mushrooms and wash 'em well. While they're draining we'll start on the marinade.

For our base, I’m gonna take a cup of olive oil and combine with it a half-cup of red wine vinegar. (It’s best to put this in a top and shake it. You have to force the oil and vinegar to get along, you know, kina of like cats and dogs…) Then we’ll grate in a little onion and add a couple cloves of fresh garlic…Then we'll season the marinade with a teaspoon each of celery salt and dried tarragon. Stir, add salt and pepper to taste and pour over the mushrooms. We’ll chill ‘em about six hours, stirring ‘em every now and then and when our steak is ready, we’ll sauté’ them briefly in their own juices and layer ‘em over the top.

Spicy Chicken Drummettes

•3 Tablespoons vinegar
•24 chicken Drummettes
•¼ cup of hot sauce
•½ cup melted butter
•1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch original dry salad dressing mix

We’ll start by mixing up our sauce in a small bowl. Now, stir together three tablespoons of vinegar, a half cup of melted butter, and a ¼ cup hot sauce. Pour over the Drummettes that you’ve layered in your crock pot and sprinkle one package Hidden Valley Ranch original dry salad dressing mix across the top. That’s it! Cook ‘em on low for 4 to 5 hours and enjoy.

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