Appetizers & Gift Treats

Need a delicious appetizer for that neighborhood get together?  Want to pack up a delicious treat for your kid’s teacher?  Check out these ideas from Michelle Huxtable’s book, The Gathering of Friends.

Spiced Nuts


1 c. sugar
1/3 c. boiling water
½ tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. Karo™ syrup
2 c. whole nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.)
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp ginger
½ tsp. cloves

Combine sugar, water, syrup, salt, and spices, bringing to a boil until syrup spins a short thread. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and nuts. Stir until mixture sugars. Turn onto a flat surface and separate the nuts. Spread out on wax paper.

Chex Mix Muddy Buddies


½ c. peanut butter
¼ c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. (1 c.) semisweet chocolate chips
2 c. powdered sugar
9 c. Chex™ cereal (rice, corn, or wheat)

Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave 30 seconds longer or until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy (be careful not to overcook). Fold in vanilla. Pour over cereal in large bowl, stir until evenly coated. Pour into a large plastic food-storage bag; add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated.

Guacamole Shrimp


3 ripe avocados
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. Tabasco™ sauce
½ tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
fresh cilantro for garnish
1 lb. shrimp
5 oz. thin crisp crackers
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Mash avocados and add lime juice, Tabasco™ sauce, cumin, salt and pepper. Fold in gently minced cilantro. Lightly sauté shrimp in butter until pink. Place a spoonful of guacamole on cracker, place a sautéed shrimp on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.

Bacon Tator Tots and Basil Tomato Bites

Bacon Tator Tots

1 lb. bacon (14 slices )
42 frozen Tater Tots™

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut cold bacon in thirds. Wrap a piece of bacon around a frozen Tater Tot™. Secure bacon with toothpick if desired. Spread on large cookie sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Serve immediately.

Basil Tomato Bites

2 c. cherry tomatoes (1 c. = 25 tomatoes)
12 oz. fresh basil leaves
1 lb. mozzarella cheese
50 toothpicks

Create mozzarella balls by using a melon baller to cut cheese balls. Build Basil Tomato Bites starting with basil, mozzarella ball and tomato (as pictured).

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