Appetizers

Easy Caprese Salad Skewers with Balsamic Glaze

This quick and easy appetizer is sure to be a hit at your next party. Traditional elements of a Caprese salad, tomato, basil and mozzarella are arranged on a short skewer for an instant and savory appetizer.

This quick and easy appetizer is sure to be a hit at your next party. Traditional elements of a Caprese salad, tomato, basil and mozzarella are arranged on a short skewer for an instant and savory appetizer.

I like to think of this appetizer as a deconstructed Caprese salad. You can have this colorful appetizer ready in just minutes. I like to use varied tomato colors just to make it that more interesting, but you can totally use just red tomatoes and it will still be eye-catching!

Make sure you keep a set of these 6-inch skewers on hand to make this quick and easy appetizer. This is one of those appetizers that is perfect for just about any type of party or special occasion. Works well for summer BBQs, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s celebrations. See why I mentioned keeping a set of skewers on hand? 😉

Drizzle the balsamic glaze on it just before serving to give it the finishing touch. Note: The warm balsamic glaze will start to melt the cheese on contact, so wait until you’re ready to serve it to add it.
This quick and easy appetizer is sure to be a hit at your next party. Traditional elements of a Caprese salad, tomato, basil and mozzarella are arranged on a short skewer for an instant and savory appetizer.

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Easy Caprese Salad Skewers with Balsamic Glaze
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This quick and easy appetizer is sure to be a hit at your next party. Traditional elements of a Caprese salad, tomato, basil and mozzarella are arranged on a short skewer for an instant and savory appetizer.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 red grape tomatoes
  • 8 yellow/orange grape tomatoes
  • 32 medium fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 16 mini-Mozzarella balls
1 c. balsamic vinegar
  • Optional:
  • 

2 T. high-quality extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle
Instructions
  1. Thread one tomato onto a wooden skewer. Next, fold one basil leaf in half, dark side facing out, and add it to the skewer. Add one mini-Mozzarella ball, followed by another folded basil leaf, and end with another tomato in an alternate color.

  2. Repeat Step #1 with the remaining tomatoes, basil, and Mozzarella until you have 16 completed skewers. Arrange on a serving platter and set aside.

  3. To prepare the glaze, add balsamic vinegar to a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vinegar is reduced to about ⅓ of its original volume.

  4. Remove glaze from heat and let cool slightly. Drizzle over the skewers, along with some extra virgin olive oil, if desired. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

DON’T FORGET TO PIN AND SHARE!

This quick and easy appetizer is sure to be a hit at your next party. Traditional elements of a Caprese salad, tomato, basil and mozzarella are arranged on a short skewer for an instant and savory appetizer. Drizzle with a rich balsamic glaze and serve.
This quick and easy appetizer is sure to be a hit at your next party. Traditional elements of a Caprese salad, tomato, basil and mozzarella are arranged on a short skewer for an instant and savory appetizer. Drizzle with a rich balsamic glaze and serve.


1 Comment

Easy Homemade Organic Salsa

This easy and healthy organic homemade salsa recipe uses all fresh ingredients and comes together in just 20 minutes. Amp up the heat factor by adding more jalapeño. Keeps well in the refrigerator, so make a double batch for later!

Homemade Organic SalsaThis post contains Amazon affiliate links.

This easy homemade organic salsa is a must for all your Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes, but we like to keep it around to snack on with our favorite tortilla chips. I’ve also been known to use it as a salad dressing. (ahem). What? It’s just that good.

What I love about it is that it’s all natural and fresh. I like to buy organic tomatoes, peppers, onions, limes and cilantro for this recipe, that way I know I’m really making a super healthy salsa. Your local farmer’s market is a great place to find fresh tomatoes and peppers if you don’t grow them yourself, or have a neighbor who likes to share their bounty with you. 🙂

Homemade Organic Salsa

The salsa ingredients spend a little time in the sauté pan (I use my cast-iron skillet) to really bring out the flavor as well as help them blend a bit more. To chunk it up a little further, after the ingredients have cooled, I use an immersion blender like this one to make it less chunky. You could also throw it in a blender, but I like the immersion blender for two reasons: 1) less cleanup (hooray!) and 2) I have more control over how thin or chunky I want the salsa to be.

Homemade Organic Salsa

Serve it up in a pretty bowl and enjoy!
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Easy Homemade Organic Salsa
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This easy and healthy organic homemade salsa recipe uses all fresh ingredients and comes together in just 20 minutes. Amp up the heat factor by adding more jalapeño. Keeps well in the refrigerator, so make a double batch for later.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium organic yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 medium organic green bell pepper, diced small
  • 
1 medium organic jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large organic tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 
½ t. dried Mexican oregano
  • ¼ t. smoked paprika
  • ¼ - ½ t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ c. water
  • 2½ T. fresh organic lime juice
  • 2-3 T. fresh organic cilantro, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and peppers become soft, around 4-5 minutes.


  2. Add tomatoes, Mexican oregano, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, and water. Stir to combine and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 4-5 minutes 



  3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Once slightly cool, puree mixture with an immersion blender, leaving slightly chunky, or transfer to a regular blender or food processor and pulse a couple of times until just blended.


  4. Transfer salsa to a bowl and stir in fresh lime juice and cilantro. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately or cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Enjoy!

DON’T FORGET TO PIN AND SHARE!

This easy and healthy organic homemade salsa recipe uses all fresh ingredients and comes together in just 20 minutes. Amp up the heat factor by adding more jalapeño. Keeps well in the refrigerator, so make a double batch for later.This easy and healthy organic homemade salsa recipe uses all fresh ingredients and comes together in just 20 minutes. Amp up the heat factor by adding more jalapeño. Keeps well in the refrigerator, so make a double batch for later.

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Creamy Cilantro Avocado Jalapeño Sauce

Cilantro shares the stage with creamy avocado and zesty jalapeño to create a truly versatile sauce that can be made in minutes! You can use it on salmon, tacos, meats, and even use it for dips for fries or chips. Truly addicting!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Cilantro lovers, rejoice! Here’s a quick and versatile recipe that you will make again and again as you find new uses for it. Flavorful cilantro really shines in a base of avocado and plain yogurt. Jalapeño and a little apple cider vinegar give it a zesty kick. Salt and garlic round it out to create an addicting little sauce that will become a family favorite.

Here’s how it comes together:

Using a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec (here’s what I use) or a food processor, add all the ingredients except for the olive oil. Blend (or pulse) until smooth. Add the olive oil and blend again. If you would like more of a sauce consistency, add a little more olive oil. If you like it thick like a dip, leave as is.

We like to use this as a sauce for salmon and chicken. We love it as a dip for fries or crackers or chips! It will keep in the fridge for a few days, tightly covered, if you have any leftovers. Blend some up today!

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Creamy Cilantro Avocado Jalapeño Sauce
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Creamy Cilantro Avocado Jalapeño Sauce
Author:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 avocado, pitted
  • 1 -2 jalapeños, seeded (may also use jarred jalapeño slices instead of fresh)
  • 1½ cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 
1⁄2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove minced garlic (or ½ tsp. garlic powder)
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. To a high speed blender or food processor, add all ingredients except the olive oil.

  2. Blend (or pulse) ingredients until smooth.

  3. Slowly add olive oil to machine while blending on low. (If you like your sauce thinner, add a bit more olive oil.)

  4. Sauce may be stored in fridge for up to 2 days, tightly covered.

 

DON’T FORGET TO PIN AND SHARE:
Cilantro shares the stage with creamy avocado and zesty jalapeño to create a truly versatile sauce that can be made in minutes! You can use it on salmon, tacos, meats, and even use it for dips for fries or chips. Truly addicting!

Cilantro shares the stage with creamy avocado and zesty jalapeño to create a truly versatile sauce that can be made in minutes! You can use it on salmon, tacos, meats, and even use it for dips for fries or chips. Truly addicting!

2 Comments

Layered Hot Pizza Dip

This easy Layered Hot Pizza Dip is perfect for game day parties or anytime you need a cheese fix! Packed with a variety of cheese, veggies and pepperoni, this dip is perfect for Super Bowl parties and beyond.

Layered Hot Pizza Dip

So basically, this is a crustless pizza, and because of that, it’s gluten-free. This dip / appetizer is packed full of veggies, cheeses, and pepperoni goodness and I promise, you won’t miss the crust at all!

Layered Hot Pizza Dip

I used my favorite rectangular baking dish, but you can also use an oval or round dish.

The layers are easy to assemble starting with a kicked-up cream cheese layer, followed by pizza sauce, then more cheese and spinach (optional – could sub with sausage if you prefer a meaty dip), then layer on the pepperoni, hit with diced onion and green peppers and finish with topping of mozzarella cheese.

Pizza Dip Collage

Slide the layered dip into the oven and bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and browning on the edges.

Serve it up with pita chips, bread, crackers, veggies…basically whatever floats your boat and is dip-able.
Layered Hot Pizza Dip

Did I mention you won’t miss the crust? I mean, look at all that pizza topping and cheesy goodness! What crust?!

Layered Hot Pizza Dip

Here’s a simple video of the process:

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Layered Hot Pizza Dip
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Layered Hot Pizza Dip
Author:
Cuisine: Appetizer
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅓ cup feta cheese
  • ½ cup wilted spinach - optional (I lightly saute mine)
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 10-12 pepperoni slices
  • ⅓ cup cooked Italian sausage (optional)
  • 
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 
1/4 cup chopped onion
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or spray a baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix the softened cream cheese with1/2 cup cup parmesan cheese, ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Stir well to combine.

  3. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the baking dish.

  4. Next, spread the pizza sauce over the cheese mixture.

  5. Sprinkle the feta cheese, remaining parmesan cheese and spinach over the pizza sauce to cover it.

  6. Then layer on the pepperoni and crumbled sausage (optional).

  7. Next, add the onions and bell pepper.

  8. Finish by sprinkling the remaining mozzarella cheese on the top.

  9. Bake for 20-20 minutes until cheese is melted, bubbly, and browning on the edges.

  10. Remove and let cool just a bit before serving.

 

DON’T FORGET TO PIN AND SHARE!

This easy Layered Hot Pizza Dip is perfect for game day parties or anytime you need a cheese fix! Packed with a variety of cheese, veggies and pepperoni, this dip is perfect for Super Bowl parties and beyond.This easy Layered Hot Pizza Dip is perfect for game day parties or anytime you need a cheese fix! Packed with a variety of cheese, veggies and pepperoni, this dip is perfect for Super Bowl parties and beyond.This easy Layered Hot Pizza Dip is perfect for game day parties or anytime you need a cheese fix! Packed with a variety of cheeses, plus pepperoni, pizza sauce, green peppers and onions, this dip is perfect for Super Bowl parties and beyond.

4 Comments