Three Stress Free Appetizers- Happy New Year!

It is hard to believe another new year is upon us! 2013 sure was a wonderful year where God really blessed our little family and took us down roads we would not have ever predicted.  It was not the easiest year, however, it was a year where we grew as a couple and continued to learn that despite our best efforts to be in control and plan our own destinies, God truly is in control and has the best plan. I am excited to see what 2014 has for us!

For New Years this year we got the special gift of my sweet sister. Danielle is currently a junior in college and we are lucky enough to have her for the last few days of her break! We spent last night watching the classic Dick Clark New Years Eve Special and enjoying each others company. We made a few fun and easy appetizers to celebrate the night as well. Isn’t it fun that food and family/friends seem to always go together? I’ve noticed food is always so much better when shared with these special people as well :).   Here are the three recipes we enjoyed last night :).

Mexican Party Pin Wheels

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Ingredients:

1 block of cream cheese

1/4 cup of sour cream

1 cup of black beans

1 cup of corn

1/2 cup of green chilies

1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1 cooked and shredded chicken breast

3 flour tortillas

Directions:

1. Cook chicken breast and Shred.

2. In mixing bowl add cream cheese and sour cream. Mix until combined. Add cheese, green chilies, corn and chicken. Mix until well distributed. Add black beans and mix.

3. Add spread to tortillas. Wrap then cut into pinwheels. Repeat until spread is gone.

4. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes then serve.

Cheesy Meatballs

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Ingredients:

1 lb of Ground Beef (Can also use ground turkey or sausage)

5 saltine crackers

1 egg

1 tbs brown sugar

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of pepper

Directions:

1. Mix ground beef with egg and add salt and pepper as well as brown sugar.

2. Crush cracker then add to meat and egg mix. Add shredded cheese. Use hands to mix together.

3. Form small meatballs. Place on a greased pan in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

4. Insert toothpicks for easy serving.

Ben’s Cheese Fries

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Ingredients:

5 Russet potatoes

2 cups of Colby Jack cheese

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1. Use a fry cutter on potatoes for best fries.

2. Salt and pepper well then place in oven at 400 degrees. Cook for 2o minutes or until fries are tender. Be sure to flip fries after about 10 minutes. You can also cook these on the stove in vegetable oil instead of cooking in the oven.

3. Add cheese and cook for 5-10 more minutes. Then serve hot.

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Baked Ziti

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This meal is a household favorite. I originally got this from The Girl Who Ate Everything and adapted it to fit our taste buds. This is a fairly easy dish. It isn’t quite as hands off as some of the other recipes I post but the end result it worth the work!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
  • 2 jars (26 ounces each) spaghetti/tomato sauce
  • provolone cheese, sliced ( 6-9 rounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown  beef  over medium heat. Drain the fat. Add minced garlic and cook for a minute or so. Add spaghetti sauce and Italian seasonings, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, 1/2 sauce mixture, Provolone cheese, sour cream, remaining ziti, remaining sauce mixture and then mozzarella cheese. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted. You may want to cover it for the first 20 minutes with foil and then let the cheese melt and brown for the last 10 minutes.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound Italian sausage ( or ground beef…I like sausage better)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
  • 2 jars (26 ounces each) spaghetti sauce ( I used one Garlic and Onion and one Sausage)
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced ( 9 rounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown onion and sausage (or beef ) over medium heat. Drain the fat. Add minced garlic and cook for a minute or so. Add spaghetti sauce and Italian seasonings, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, 1/2 sauce mixture, Provolone cheese, sour cream, remaining ziti, remaining sauce mixture and then mozzarella cheese. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted. You may want to cover it for the first 20 minutes with foil and then let the cheese melt and brown for the last 10 minutes.

Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/03/baked-ziti.html#SFrwGXVFyEMMVt8u.99