Showing posts from January, 2015

Great Party Appetizer Recipes: cheese and wheat crackers, Furikake chex mix, meatballs in tangy sauce, sweet potato pancakes, copy-cat Kirby Queso

We threw a New Year's Eve party this year and it was lots of fun with some good friends.  I love trying out new recipes when I've got plenty of people to give me opinions, so I tried a few that I'd been saving up.  I worked New Year's Eve, so I did want to make sure I could either semi-home-make some or prepare them ahead of time.  None of these recipes are season specific, so they would be great for any party.
My menu fore New Year's.  Click on link for recipes
Cheese from Antonelli's Cheese Shop (brie, gruyere, gouda, and blue cheese) with homemade wheat crackers: why let crackers be an after-thought?Meatballs in tangy sauce: Reid's grandma introduced me to this easy and delish meatball appetizerFurikake Chex Mix: sweet, salty, umami, addicting! Pop over to my friend's blog for the recipeMeyer's Elgin Pork Sausage on pretzel sticks with mustard: no link, you can figure this one out!Sweet Potato Pancakes: bite-sized sweet potato latkescrudit√©s plat…

Copy Cat Kerbey Queso

You cannot be a proper Tex-Mex lover without eating at least 1 quart of queso per year.  I'm pretty sure I started the year off in the right direction by making this copy-cat Kerbey Queso for NYE.   Kerbey Lane Queso is my favorite in Austin.  So creamy, so cheesy, and so good.  White queso with pico and a scoop of guacemole in it that you kind-of have to dig around in, which makes it soooo good.  Have I said how good it is?

That being said, I've tried so many queso recipes.  I've made beschemels, I've used expensive, good cheeses.  No queso seems to hold that creamy consistency very well.  So when one of my friends, Rachel, was back home in Austin from her now home-town in Seattle she asked one of the servers what's in it.  She just had to know.  The server leaned in close to her and whispered, "it's white processed cheese."  OMG, my mind was blown.  No wonder it's so flippin' good.  I think the HEB brand white queso is better than Velveeta, …

Meatballs in Tangy Sauce

This is so good and soooo simple!  I watched Reid's grandma, Mimi, make it for Christmas and it is so good.  I probably ate way too many meatballs because of this sweet, sour, salty sauce.  And, it has 3 ingredients!  Little old Southern ladies know where it's at!  Thanks, Mimi!


frozen, store-bought meatballs1/2 jar of any tart jam (IE: cherry, strawberry, blackberry), I used blackberry1/2 c. ketchup Directions:

Defrost/cook meatballs according to directions.  Combine jam, ketchup and sauce in a small Crock pot.  Stir and serve!

Homemade Wheat Crackers

I have a Martha Stewart magazine subscription and it always inspires me to try new things.  Like baking my own wheat crackers! The recipe sounded easy enough, so I thought I'd try to make them for our NYE party.  And the description really won me over, something along the lines of, "don't let your crackers be an after-thought."  I definitely changed the original recipe quite a bit, as the original recipe did not have enough wet ingredients for me to keep the dough together.  I ended up using about twice the amount of cream that the recipe called for.  It did end up really tasty, though! And, you can make extra to store in the freezer for up to 3 months!

A great accompaniment to delicious cheeses from Antonelli's Cheese Shop, our neighborhood cheese shop.  Their cheese mongers are the best and helped Reid pick out a good Gouda, Brie, Gruyere and blue cheese.


1 c. whole wheat flour2 tbs. sesame seeds, plus more for sprinkling2 tbs. sugar4 tbs. cold, uns…

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet potato pancakes, or latkes, would also be great for a Hanukkah party.  We served them at our New Year's Eve party and they were definitely a hit.  They were especially good right after I fried them, but were decent room temperature, too.  The original recipe from Food52 also had the option of topping with caviar, but I thought that was a bit decadent.


4 c. coarsely grated sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sized sweet potatoes)1/2 c. grated onion (1/2 medium sized onion)3-4 tbs. fresh lemon juicefreshly ground pepper, to taste4 eggs, beaten1/3 c. flourcanola oil for fryingGreek yogurt or apple sauce, for servingfresh chives, minced, for sprinkling Directions:

Use a food processor or box grater to grate sweet potatoes and onion.In a large bowl, combine sweet potato, onion, lemon juice, eggs, flour, and pepper.  Can be made ahead of time and stored up to 2 days covered in refrigerator.Heat a large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat.  Test a small dollop of mixtur…