Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Portobello Mushroom Pizza

4 large portobello mushrooms (3 inches)

4 tsp. olive oil

1 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce

12 slices pepperoni, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided

1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend


1.  Remove and discard stems and gills from mushrooms; brush caps with oil. Place rounded sides down on an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the pizza sauce, pepperoni, green pepper and 1-1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning; spoon onto mushrooms. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining Italian seasoning. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and cheese is bubbly. Yield: 4 servings.


Enchilada Stuffed Mushrooms

20-24 baby bella mushrooms

6 oz. softened cream cheese

1/4 cup grated  Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon taco seasoning

1 green onion, sliced {white and green parts}

1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided

salt & pepper, to taste

1 cup red enchilada sauce

any desired toppings: sour cream, salsa, cilantro, etc.


***Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease baking dish with non stick cooking spray and set aside.***

1.  Remove stems from mushrooms and wipe caps with damp cloth to remove any dirt. Place into baking dish.

2.  In a small bowl, stir cream cheese to soften. Pour in parmesan cheese, taco seasoning, green onion, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.

3.  Spoon filling into cleaned mushrooms. Pour enchilada sauce over top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.

4.  Bake 20 minutes until browned and bubbly. Serve hot.

Stuffed Jalapeno

***Makes 2 dozen***


12 fresh jalapenos

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 T. dry ranch dressing mix

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 cup shredded cheese (I like Colby Jack)

6 slices bacon


***Preheat oven to 400 degrees***

1. Slice the tops off of the jalapenos.  Slice them in half and dig the seeds and membrane out.

2. Mix cream cheese, ranch dressing, garlic powder and shredded cheese.  Stuff into each jalapeno.

3. Slice bacon both length and width-wise.  I like to use my kitchen scissors for this.  Much easier than a knife.  Wrap each bacon strip around a stuffed jalapeno and secure with a toothpick.

4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.  (Can finish off under the broiler, too.  Just keep an eye on it!)


PF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Matt’s Spicy Sauce for Serving:

Mix the following together for a pouring sauce on the wraps:

1 tsp chili garlic sauce

1 tsp spicy mustard

1/2 tsp sesame chili oil

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

Soy sauce to taste.

Ingredients for stir-fry sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Ingredients for chicken stir-fry:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed to 1/2″
  • 1 – 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, minced (optional)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, minced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 6 large leaves of iceberg lettuce


To make the stir-fry sauce:

  1. Prep the stir fry sauce by mixing soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.

To make the chicken stir-fry:

  1. Combine oils and add to wok or large frying pan. Heat oil over high heat until it glistens, about one minute. Add chicken and saute until mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat under the wok down to medium-high.  Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, wait one minute, and then add garlic, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and the stir-fry sauce you prepared earlier.  Stir-fry everything until the mushrooms have cooked through, about 4 minutes, and remove to a serving dish.
  3. Serve stir-fry with iceberg lettuce leaf wraps and top with Matt’s Spicy Sauce.


Mozzarella Sticks

**Makes 50 sticks and takes 2 1/2 hrs to make**


1 1/2 cups Italian-style dried breadcrumbs

1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan

1 teaspoon salt

2 (16-ounce) blocks pasteurized mozzarella cut into 4 by 1/2-inch sticks

4 large eggs, beaten to blend

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Marinara Sauce


1. Stir the bread crumbs, 1 cup of Parmesan and 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl to blend. Dip the cheese in the eggs to coat completely and allow the excess egg to drip back into the bowl. Coat the cheese in the bread crumb mixture, patting to adhere and coat completely. Place the cheese sticks on a baking sheet. Repeat dipping the cheese sticks in the egg and bread crumb mixture to coat a second time. Cover and freeze until frozen, about 2 hours and up to 2 days.


2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the cheese until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the fried cheese to plates. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve with Marinara Sauce.

Hot and Spicy Hush Puppies

1 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup self-rising flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. cayenne

1/2 small sweet onion, finely chopped

1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped

4 green onions, sliced thin

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 cup grated Cheddar

1 cup buttermilk

Orange dipping sauce, recipe under “dips”


Preheat deep fryer to 375 degrees

1. Mix all the ingredients together into a large mixing bowl to form a thick batter.

2. Dip 2 tablespoon spoons into water. Using the spoons scoop up some of the batter and drop into the hot oil. Work in batches. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden and brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined sheet tray. Serve with orange dipping sauce.

Connie’s Stuffed Mushrooms

1 pkg. whole button mushrooms

1/2 pkg. sausage, browned

1 pkg. softened cream cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs

Parmesan cheese


1. Pull off stems of mushrooms and set aside. Place mushroom buttons on a baking sheet; stem side up.

2. Chop mushroom stems and mix with cooked sausage, cream cheese, and bread crumbs. Place mixture inside of mushroom caps.

2. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

*recipe from my mother-in-law