Parties & Entertaining

#HEBJoyville Virtual Progressive Dinner Party: Appetizers

by Shawnda on December 10, 2014

in Appetizers,Parties & Entertaining

Bacon, Brie, and Cranberry Sliders

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time to talk appetizers for the #HEBJoyville Virtual Progressive Dinner Party! This week, I’ve joined 4 other Texas bloggers to talk you through some of our favorite entertaining tips, food, and drinks this holiday season:

Monday – Table Decor by Handmade Mood
Tuesday – Drinks & Wine by Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine
Wednesday – Bacon & Cheese!
Thursday – Main Course by A Zesty Bite
Friday – Desserts by The Baking Fairy

You, too, can join in the delicious fun and be entered to win a $100 gift card and a $50 Prize Pack! Here’s how it works:
1. Instagram photos of your favorite holiday dish, drink, and/or decor.
2. Tag it with #HEBJoyvilleSweeps
3. Tag @HEB.

Easy enough, right? And one winner will be chosen each day! Now let’s talk appetizers.

Cranberry and Red Wine Meatballs

My formula for putting together a party spread generally goes something like:
Cheese plate
Hot Dip
Baked sliders
Something Meaty
Something Wrapped in Puff Pastry
Vegetables w/Cold Dip (this is Texas so that means Ranch Dressing)
16 Kinds of crackers (because you can never have too many crunchy, crispy dipper thing)

This isn’t the time I opt to make my own puff pastry – there are baseboards to be cleaned and crayon marks to be magic-erased. I use a mix of pre-made and homemade to keep things efficient and convenient.

Cheese Plate

My love for cheese cannot be understated. And the cheese plate is where I have 57% of the non-margarita fun:
Goat cheese – room temp, with honey drizzled over top just before guests arrive
Brie – sometimes baked, sometimes not
Cranberry Gouda – tis the season!
Berries – whatever is in season and on sale
Nuts – the Spiced Texas Pecans you see up there are fabulous
Crackers – pick up a box of those Rosemary & Date crackers, you won’t be sorry
Something Smokey/Spicy – Smoked Gouda and Chipotle Cheddar are two of my favorites

Now let’s talk about the other 43% of non-margarita joy.

Bacon, Brie, and Cranberry Sliders

Two words: Baked Sliders. You can heat 3 dozen or more in the oven at once. No matter how many of those 3-bites-of-heaven you make, you will never, ever have enough. This year’s sliders are filled with crispy bacon, creamy brie, and tangy cranberry sauce and topped with a bacon vinaigrette. Yeah. I know. And you can get the recipe below.

Crab & Artichoke Wontons Crab & Artichoke Dip

Don’t be afraid to reinvent the wheel. Crab & Artichoke dip is a huge crowd pleaser around here, by why stop at “just” dip? Spread it over a halved loaf of crusty bread or drop a spoonful into a wonton wrapper and bake in a mini-muffin tin for a two-bite treat.

Crab & Artichoke Bread

Use that slow-cooker! It will keep meatballs hot, crab & artichoke dip creamy, and queso the perfect consistency so that you get the maximum drippage when you drop it on the front your shirt. Pro-tip: those slow-cooker liners are magical when making queso. Too bad they don’t make shirt liners.

Cranberry and Red Wine Meatballs

Put a bow on it! Okay, so not an actual bow. Add a festive touch to an old favorite. You know those sweet and sour meatballs that use grape jelly? I know you do – they were everywhere in 1995. You couldn’t out run them if you tried but you didn’t try because then someone else would get to eat your meatballs. Try an updated, more sophisticated version that uses cranberry sauce and red wine.

Pesto Palmiers

Less can be more, and just as delicious. A sheet of puff pastry + a small jar of pesto = Pesto Palmiers.

Now that we’ve talked appetizers, let’s get ready for the big show. And don’t forget to Instagram your favorite #HEBJoyvilleSweeps holiday shots!

Bacon, Brie, and Cranberry Sliders

Sliders filled with crispy bacon, creamy brie, and tangy cranberry sauce and topped with bacon vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen dinner rolls, split horizontally
  • 2 lbs bacon, cooked to a crisp*
  • ~2 cups whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 24 ~1.5 inch strips of brie from an 8oz wheel
  • Bacon Vinaigrette (I used Better Than Good brand, purchased)
  • *I make the bacon in the oven on a rack in a large baking pan. Two batches, 425 until crispy.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a baking pan with foil.
  3. Spread cranberry sauce over the split halves of the rolls.
  4. Break the slices of bacon into 1/3rds and spread evenly over the rolls.
  5. Top with a slice of brie and the roll top.
  6. Brush bacon vinaigrette over the top and bake for ~15 minutes.
  7. Serve hot, warm, or cold. You'll have no leftovers but they allegedly reheat very well.

Notes

Yields: 24 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from H-E-B for my time and participation in the H-E-B Virtual Progressive Dinner. Although we have material connection to H-E-B, any publicly stated opinions of H-E-B and their brands remain my own.

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It’s December and, around here, that means my weekends are packed solid with get-togethers with friends, more friends, fringe friends I see once a year at these parties, and family. It also means goodies abound! And if those goodies aren’t loaded with tequila, butter, or sugar, then you know what that means:

Bacon. And cheese.

Because ’tis the season, y’all.

Next week, I join some fabulous bloggers and we’ll be talking recipes, tips, entertaining ideas – and while I cannot speak for the other bloggers, at least I will be talking about bacon :) for the #HEBJoyville Virtual Progressive Dinner Party!

Monday – Table Decor by Handmade Mood
Tuesday – Drinks & Wine by Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine
Wednesday – Appetizers by me!
Thursday – Main Course by A Zesty Bite
Friday – Desserts by The Baking Fairy

You, too, can join in the delicious fun and be entered to win a $100 HEB Gift Card and a $50 Prize Pack! Here’s how it works:
1. Instagram a photo each day of your favorite holiday dish, drink, and/or decor.
2. Include the hashtag #HEBJoyvilleSweeps
3. Tag @HEB.

Easy enough, right? And one winner will be chosen each day!

Be sure to give a follow on Pinterest as we’ll be curating our favorite holiday dishes and decor ideas throughout the week!

Happy Friday! And bacon.

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from H-E-B for my time and participation in the H-E-B Virtual Progressive Dinner. Although we have material connection to H-E-B, any publicly stated opinions of H-E-B and their brands remain my own.

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Guacamole with Goat Cheese, Grilled Mexican Corn, and Bacon

Let’s be honest here – anything more than salt, lemon, a little lime, and avocado isn’t really necessary to make guacamole. It’s pretty perfect, just like that. But that doesn’t mean you have to – or should – stop there. I know I almost never do.

Guacamole with Goat Cheese, Grilled Mexican Corn, and Bacon

For this year’s Cinco (Cuatro) de Mayo Bash, I was thinking of doing a “guacamole bar” al a my friend Josie with bowls of fun toppings for guests to top their own smashed perfection, things like:

Pico de gallo
Chopped jalapenos
Grilled pineapple
Goat cheese
Bacon
Mexican grilled corn, cut off the cob
Grilled tomatillos
And a mountain of cilantro.

Because I’ve yet to discover that line where “too much cilantro” is actually too much cilantro. (As long as chocolate isn’t involved, I’m not sure that line exists.)

Guacamole with Goat Cheese, Grilled Mexican Corn, and Bacon

For this batch, I took three of those ingredients: The kernels cut from two Mexican grilled corn cobs, some tangy goat cheese, and a couple slices of salty, smokey, crispy bacony bacon. And I made what was quite possibly the best guacamole combo ever. (You know, aside from “best guacamole ever” that is simply the bare minimum.)

Guacamole with Grilled Corn, Bacon, and Goat Cheese

Guacamole studded with grilled Mexican corn, tangy goat cheese, and smokey bacon.

Ingredients

  • 3 large avocados, seeded and diced.
  • Juice of 1 small-ish lemon (~2-3 Tbsp)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt
  • Kernels cut from 2 Mexican grilled corn cobs
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 slices of thick cut bacon, crumbled
  • Large handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Tortilla chips for serving

Instructions

  1. Smash the avocado with lemon juice, lime juice, and salt.
  2. Fold in the corn, goat cheese, bacon, and cilantro.
  3. Serve cold or room temperature.
  4. For breakfast or a party.
  5. Or lunch.

Notes

Yields: ~3 cups

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

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Tangelo Margarita

It’s probably no surprise to any of you, but when I see a new fruit come in season – or priced low enough that I can’t resist hoarding – the first thing that comes to my mind is:

I have tequila at home, right?

Because, really now – what fruit doesn’t make a good margarita? (Besides kiwi. I’ve pretty much given up wasting tequila on that one.)

But tangelos were on fire-sale again so I decided it was time to officially make this one margarita recipe number Twenty…. 22! And just in time for Cinco de Mayo.

Tangelos are a cross between tangerines & pomelos, both of which have been immortalized in margarita form here already. Taste-wise, they’re far closer to tangerines so that’s the route I took.

Tangelo Margarita

And speaking of the holy Spring holiday that’s coming this weekend, our Taquitos & Tequila pool party is on Sunday! We’re serving:
Brie & Brisket Quesadillas
Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Chicken Taquitos
Guacamole
Pineapple salsa
Classic Lime Margaritas*
Grapefruit Margaritas*
Blue Margaritas*
Guanabana Margaritas*
Dulce de Leche ice cream

*the skinny versions

And guests have claimed some fabulously delicious dishes like queso and jalapeno poppers. So I’m headed off to do work. I have 100 limes to juice. And a floor to mop.

And if I have time, like 3 walls to de-crayon. But if I hand out margaritas when guests walk through the door, I think I can get away with leaving The Little’s art work up, right?

Tangelo Margaritas

A beautiful orange margarita using fresh lime and tangelo juice.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Stir margarita mix, tangerine juice, and tequila together in an oversized glass or small pitcher.
  2. Run a lime or tangerine wedge around the outside of 2 glasses and dip in salt.
  3. Fill glasses with ice and pour margaritas over.
  4. Rinse and repeat.

Notes

Yields: 2 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 10 minutes

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