It's always nice to have a few appetizers or snacks out for guests as they arrive for a party, get-together or dinner at your house. These appetizers don't have to be fancy, cook-all-day affairs. In fact, I believe that simpler is better.
Here are some ideas for easy, no-fuss (but delicious) appetizers that take just a few minutes to prepare. All of them use the very versatile cream cheese!
Add your own great ideas to the comments section of this article.
Hot Mexican Dip:
1 large block cream cheese, softened
1 can of your favorite chili with beans
1 cup shredded cheese
In an oven-proof dish such as a glass pie plate, spread the softened cream cheese on the bottom, followed by the chili and the cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the mixture just starts to bubble. Serve with tortilla chips.
Restaurant Style Poppers
12 jalapeno peppers
cream cheese, softened
12 strips of bacon, halved
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, removing the seeds and stem. Stuff each with a little cream cheese. Wrap each one with a half-strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick. You can bake them on a rimmed cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is crisp or grill them on your gas grill.
Smoked Salmon Spread
1 small package of smoked salmon
1 4 oz. container of cream cheese
1 T chopped onion
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T capers, optional
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Place in a serving bowl and refrigerate for a few hours. Serve with hearty crackers or triangles of toast points.
Easiest Cheese and Spicy Spread
Take a small serving plate and place one large block of room temperature cream cheese on it. Pour one small jar of hot-pepper jelly over the cream cheese. Serve with crackers.