Recipes - Appetizers

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Many people have not experienced Middle Eastern Food and are missing out on hummus, traditionally served with warm pita bread. This wonderful appetizer (bean dip) is fun and easy to make and is so healthy for you, kids love it. Perfect for a mid afternoon snack so try making some and experiment with different flavors and ingredients.  There are even recipes with pumpkin, walnuts, almonds or black beans and flavored with spices such as cumin, red pepper, orange zest and fresh herbs.  Remember when using fresh garlic to only store in the frig for a few days, otherwise freeze the remainder.  Do a google search for lots of recipe variations.  Here's how I make it:
2 cans garbanzo (chick peas) beans
1 1/2 t. sea salt
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic (depending on size of cloves and how much YOU like garlic, but don't leave it out)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. oil
2 T. chopped parsley, divided

Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth using 1 T. parsley.  Scrape into a serving bowl and top with 1 T. chopped parsley.

Pineapple Cheese Spread

This recipe always brings requests for a copy. I've served it many times as an appetizer and it's so easy to make variations to fit your menu.

2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese (softened)
8 oz. can crushed pineapple (drained well)
1/4 c. finely chopped red or green bell pepper
2 T. minced green onion
1-2 t. seasoning salt (I like Tony's)
1 c. fine chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together well and store in frig. Before serving mound on tray and garnish with extra chopped nuts and fresh chopped parsley, serve with crackers.
Vary the recipe by adding shredded cheddar, chopped dried cranberries or other dry fruit, substitute sliced almonds for pecans or add 1/2 c mayo for a softer spread.
The pineapple is the special ingredient; I have even used a large can (15 oz.).

Sweet & Sour Black Eye Peas

This recipe is so versatile. It can be served cold as a salad or hot as a side dish and keeps very well in the frig. Shared by a dear, sweet lady and wonderful cook who has been a close friend in Tim’s family for many years.  Thanks Billye for sharing one of your family favorites.
Combine these ingredients:
3 cans black eye peas – rinse and drain
1 can carrots – rinse and drain
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 jar pimentos, drained
1 clove garlic, minced

Dressing: combine and mix with vegetables
¾ c. sugar and ¾ c. vinegar, stir to dissolve
2/3 c. oil and 1 can tomato soup
5 T. Worcestershire sauce

Chill covered for several hours or bake at 350 for 45 minutes and serve hot with a slotted spoon.  I have found that the dressing will cover a double batch.