Cold appetizers make a delicious start to any meal, or a great snack to keep the family’s fingers out of the main dish while it’s cooking.
1. Camp bell’s Shrimp Dip
A creamy dip made with shrimp soup, cream cheese and hot sauce is perfect for scooping with veggies or crackers. I like to serve it with red and green veggies for a festive touch!
- 1 pkg (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Camp bell’s Condensed Cream of Shrimp Soup
- 1/2 tsp Louisiana-style hot sauce
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 tbsp finely chopped onion
- Crackers, chips and/or fresh vegetables
Stir the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in the soup, hot sauce, celery and onion. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with the crackers for dipping.
2. Turkey Lurkey
This cute recipe is perfect for kids and any holiday party. Making homemade candy turkeys is a great way to start the holiday season.
- 1 bag candy corn or Indian corn
- 1 bag Reese’s mini peanut butter cups
- 1 can whole cashews
- 2 oz chocolate morsels with almond bark
Remove all the wrappers from peanut butter cups and place them in a small bowl. In a separate small microwave safe bowl, put chocolate and almond bark in a microwave on high for 1 minute, then stir to a smooth consistency. Put a small amount of the chocolate on the large part of the peanut better cups and attach 5-7 candy corns, tips inward, starting in the middle. When they are dry, add a drop of chocolate to the front of the cups and attach the cashew so the curve represents the neck of the turkey.
3. Sushi Cake
Sushi rice is the base of this cake. The addition of scrambled eggs, avocado spread, and smoked salmon adds flavor and color. This makes a fun presentation.
- 2 cups uncooked Japanese rice or sushi rice
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 avocado
- 2 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 8 oz smoked salmon
- 12-14 leaves fresh spinach
Rinse rice several times in running water until water runs clear. Drain in a colander. Cook in a sauce pan with a lid, or rice cooker, according to package directions. Add just a little bit less water than package directions so that rice is cooked a little bit harder. While rice is cooking, in a small bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar and salt, then mix well. Prepare finely scrambled eggs. In a lightly oiled frying pan, pour the beaten eggs and stir with 4-5 chopsticks, quickly and constantly, to make finely scrambled eggs. If no chopsticks, make sure to stir quickly and constantly with a fork, but not to stir roughly. In a bowl, scoop the avocado pulp and mash.
Add the cream cheese, lemon juice, and mayonnaise, then mix well. When rice is done, transfer to the medium bowl and add to the vinegar, sugar, and salt mixture, then mix gently. Don’t stir too much. Let it cool. In a cake pan, place plastic wrap in the pan, and add the scrambled eggs. Add half of the sushi rice. Flatten the rice with fork, wet with water. Spread the avocado cream cheese mixture on the sushi rice, and add the rest of the sushi rice. Press with a wet fork, hard to settle. Let stand for about half an hour until it sets. Turn the cake pan upside down onto the plate. Remove plastic wrap. Put smoked salmon shaped roses and some leaves of fresh spinach on top.
To make rose-shaped smoked salmon, cut salmon into 1-2 inches slices, and roll one piece by one with fingers until the size you want to create. It turns out to look like roses naturally.
4. Fresh Figs with Prosciutto and Spiced Balsamic
Warmed fresh figs are wrapped in prosciutto and arugula and drizzled with an outstanding balsamic vinegar sauce.
- 2 figs, cut into 1/4ths
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. honey
- pinch salt
- pinch ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- Prosciutto or other cured ham
1. In a small cup combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt, pepper and garlic stirring until the spices have combined well into the vinegar. Rinse both the arugula and figs, cut each fig into 1/4 pieces. 2. Heat a nonstick pan, grill or griddle over medium heat. Place the figs skin down and cook for 2 minutes, drizzle a little of the vinegar mix over each piece. Turn the fig pieces on their sides, cook for another 2 minutes and drizzle a little more vinegar mix.
Repeat one more time to cook on the last remaining side. Remove from heat and allow to cool until you can comfortably handle. Place one arugula leaf on top of the fig piece then wrap a piece of prosciutto around the fig and arugula. Repeat until each fig pieces is wrapped. Serve as an appetizer alone or alongside a small salad and baguette.
I have to admit that I like this dish so much that I will just have it as my dinner. I serve it with a small salad made of the extra arugula and balsamic glaze drizzled over it and fresh baked baguette from the corner bakery. Add a glass of your favorite red wine, now that’s heavenly!