Highlights of our Christmas Party:
1. The food - duh.
2. The great friends - duhh.
3. Yummy wine.
4. There may have been some beer ponging in the living room. (What??! - True story)
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 cups fresh cilantro leaves
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
In a food processor, combine chickpeas, cilantro, garlic, and avocado. Process until finely chopped. With machine running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, then add lime juice, and then add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with tortilla chips.
Spinach and Veggie Dip in a Pumpernickel Bowl
My Mom made this at all of her Christmas parties, and I remember sneaking into the dining room to steal some more of this because it is that good!
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed (do not use fresh)
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 c. mayonnaise
2 (4 oz.) pkg. Knorr vegetable soup mix
Loaf of pumpernickel bread
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and let season in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. Hollow out the middle of the loaf of bread with an electric knife if you have one, and then cube the bread to use for serving. I also served with some veggies on the side for more dipping options!
Bacon-Jalapeño Cheese Ball
(adapted from Tracy's Culinary Adventures)
6 slices bacon
1/4 cup chopped pecans
8 oz fat free cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 jalapeño (ribs and seeds removed), finely chopped and divided
crackers (for serving)
Cook the bacon in a large skillet set over medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Allow to cool slightly, then crumble and divide in half.
While the bacon is cooking, lightly toast the pecans in a small pan over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, or until fragrant.
In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, parsley, garlic, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, half of the minced jalapeños, and half of the crumbled bacon until well combined. Season the mixture to taste with salt. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to help when rolling into a ball.
On a large plate, stir the toasted pecans, remaining minced jalapeños and remaining half of the crumbled bacon together until evenly distributed. Shape the cream cheese mixture into a ball (the mixture will be sticky, I found it easiest to shape if I just barely wet my hands first). Roll the ball in the pecan mixture until coated on all sides.
Cover the ball and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Mexican Cream Cheese Sausage Dip
(adapted from The Two Bite Club)
I made the original recipe, but only larger, and it was a good thing I did, because everyone LOVED this dip. I also spiced the recipe up a little, because we like everything super-duper-spicy! If you prefer non-spicy, just omit the chile powder.
1 lb Hot Pork sausage
12 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cans Rotel tomatoes (Original), undrained
1/2 a taco seasoning packet
1 tablespoon chile powder
Brown sausage in a non-stick skillet, breaking it up into crumbles with a spatula until no longer pink. Drain the grease.
In a medium saucepan, heat the tomatoes and cream cheese over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until the cream cheese is completely melted.
Add the browned sausage to the cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.