Best Appetizers for a New Year

Assorted appetizers

Appetizer season is upon us. With many highly-anticipated events on the horizon, I have found that an arsenal of finger food recipes is a necessity.  From New Year’s Eve to the Superbowl to the Grammy’s to the Academy Awards, chances are you’ll be hosting or attending some sort of party in the next few months.

Whether an informal sports gathering or a fancy dinner party, I’ve put together a round up of our most favorite appetizers from the blog that are reliable crowd-pleasers!

Oh, and, as a prerequisite, they’re EASY to make too.

Hope you enjoy:


Judy’s Baked Brie

A deliciously warm and sweet appetizer to compliment any party.  No one expects the “kick” provided by the honey mustard and ginger snap combination.  Mom made this all the time and graduated from using little wheels of brie to one large wheel since it’s gobbled up so quickly.  You can also top the brie with anything from brown sugar to raspberry jam. Make sure when you’re baking the brie, you place a cookie sheet underneath the cheese.  If there are any holes in the crescent crust, the cheese will ooze out, making a mess.

Click here for brie recipe.


Seven-Layer Dip

Offer a big bag of tortilla chips to help scoop up all seven amazing layers of this dip.  There’s no heating or reheating involved, just add the layers and serve immediately.  If you’re an olive fan, top it off with some sliced olives too!

Click here for seven-layer dip recipe.


Hot Crab Dip

A must for all crab lovers! This dish tastes best if you splurge for the lump crab meat– don’t used imitation pasteurized meat.   It’s best served very hot (until it’s literally bubbling in the oven) with Crostini rounds and lots of Old Bay spice sprinkled on top. Feel free to leave out the slivered almonds if you aren’t a nut fan. Bet you just can’t have one.

Click here for hot crab recipe.


Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

These Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are not only easy to make, they’re not greasy and quite tasty too.

If you’ve made turkey burgers or chicken burgers, you’re in luck, you’ve essentially made a version of meatballs. I used ground chicken breast for the base and some generous portions of Panko bread crumbs combined with egg, butter to help bind the meatballs, and lots of hot sauce to help give it that KICK.  Serve with Blue Cheese and they’re perfection.

Click here for Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs recipe.


Slow-Cooked Drunken Meatballs

If you want to do as little work as possible—Slow Cooked Drunken Meatballs fit the bill. These meatballs are DELICIOUS and quite unique due to the addition of whiskey, which provides a nice lingering subtle smoky flavor (obviously reduce the amount if you’re serving minors).  All you need is a slow cooker and you’re set.

These meatballs were gobbled up immediately.  You’ll be surprised at how quickly 60 meatballs can vanish!

Click here for Slow-Cooked Drunken Meatballs recipe.


Broccoli Cheese Dip

My family loves Mom’s broccoli casseroles so I figured this would be another hit. It’s brilliantly cheesy with just a mild hint of broccoli.  I serve the dip with pieces of sliced fresh Italian bread or flat bread.

Click here for Broccoli Cheese Dip recipe.


Spinach Artichoke Dip

I was surprised this dip was voted second best to the crab dip since no one in my family likes artichoke.  Apparently its muddled green color and the fact that it contains two vegetables was not a deterrent for my kids.  Serve this hot with colorful tortilla chips, it’s fab!

Click here for Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe.

While I’ve now got you hooked on artichokes, you must try this:


Artichoke Squares

The prep for this dish is very easy.  And, the finished product tastes amazing, almost like an artichoke egg quiche.  In addition to adding an additional 10 minutes to Mom’s cook time, next time around, I would definitely sprinkle breadcrumbs over top the mixture before baking.  Otherwise, this recipe is near flawless and the squares are a perfect addition to your appetizer selection.

Click here for Artichoke Squares recipe.


Kale Dip

Forget what everyone is saying, that Kale was so 2014.  We LOVE kale and it will always be on our table somewhere.  You must try this dip that’s refreshing and also, drum-roll, low-cal too.  It’s a nice counterbalance to many of the calorie-laden appetizers.  Try it with carrots or even some crunchy celery stalks!

Click here for Kale Dip recipe.


Homemade Hummus

We’re a blue-corn-loving-chip-eating family.  There’s rarely a time when there isn’t a bag of chips open and some sort of dip on the table while we’re watching a show on the television.  Last year I decided to make some hummus at home instead of buying our favorite store-bought variety (Sabra).  It is amazing and quite simple to make.

Click here for Hummus recipe.


Mango Guacamole

Apparently tomorrow, November 13th, is National Guacamole Day. I’m not quite sure who coins these days but, if it gives me another excuse to make and celebrate guacamole then, I’m happy.

It’s hard to believe 3 years ago I had never even purchased avocados from the store.  Now I feel as though they’re staples on my kitchen counter.  It’s also rare that you’ll find me without one or two avocados ripening in a brown paper bag in the pantry.

I still enjoy watching one of my first videos on “How to Make Guacamole”:

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And, once you’re comfortable with basic guacamole and you’re ready to step up your game, you must try this flavorful recipe for Mango Guacamole:


Check out the lava rock Molcajete at

Brazilian Shrimp Soup



Today’s recipe comes from Serena- author of the soup blog Seriously Soupy.  Since the blog started, Serena has given soup tours and has taught soup classes and has a catalog of over 100 soups on the site!  You can join Serena on her Soupy journey at and twice a month you can find her here, at My Judy the Foodie, sharing her wisdom and helping demystify the world of soup.

Here’s what Serena has to say:

I first learned about this quick soup recipe from my run-down about National Soup Month. I loved how easy it was – but also how it included so many rich flavors from the creamy coconut milk and the spicy red-pepper flakes. I didn’t have any rice, so that part was omitted but I still found it to be a hearty and satisfying soup that did fine without the starch. Enjoy!


What soups from Brazil have you made?

Grilled and Chilled Peach Soup

chilled peach soup

Even though I’m starting to get solicitous emails for Halloween costumes, I refuse, on August 1st, to admit that summer is ever ending.

The farm stands are bursting with a cornucopia of fresh fruits, veggies and herbs.

The corn is almost as high as an elephant’s eye.

The frothy surf is just a tad bit warmer.

In my mind, summer is FINALLY here.

To celebrate the season, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying grilling fruits and vegetables outside.  Have you grilled any Kale yet?  Watch my video:

if reading via email or reader, head to site to watch video 
My favorite grilled fruits recipes are for peaches, pineapples and bananas.  Today, Seriously Soupy will share her her simple yet refreshing recipe for Grilled and Chilled Peach Soup.

Don’t forget, there’s an abundance of chilled soups waiting to be tried.  Once you do try them,  you’ll get hooked and your soups will undoubtedly become a fixture to your picnic table alongside the burgers and dogs.

Here’s what our resident expert Seriously Soupy has to say:

Chilling various fruits and vegetables is a great way to create new soups while staying cool. I want to test out a few this summer and started with a grilled and chilled peach soup. This soup-like blend took two days to make, which began by grilling the peaches with fresh mint, basil and lavender. The mixture was then cooled overnight in the fridge and blended together with some water and chilled in a freezer for a tangy/sweet soup-like blend that is sure to be a hit this summer. Enjoy!

peach soup IMG_0124 IMG_0129

About Seriously Soupy: Serena is the author of a blog called Seriously Soupy.  Serena started Seriously Soupy as a creative outlet for herself after her first daughter was born, which combined her passion for cooking with an interest in learning more about soups and soup making.  Since it started, she has given soup tours and taught soup classes and has a catalog of over 100 soups on the site!  You can join Serena on her Soupy journey at and twice a month you can find her here, at My Judy the Foodie, sharing her wisdom and helping demystify the world of soup.


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