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hot appetizers

Appetizers/ HotApp

Escargot in Parsley-Garlic Butter

Escargot for Christmas. 

Oh, no! not snails. Not those little slimy things that wiggle on the sidewalk that we use to pour salt on when we were kids. Ahh, yes.

Well, they are similar. The ones we prepared for Christmas dinner were Helix snails from France and were nice fat/plump ones.  The ones that use to get salted are common brown garden snails and probably not enough meat to even get stuck between your teeth but still edible. Snails are low in fat except, of course, for all the butter you put on them before baking in the oven. This is only my third time making escargot and I think they get better each time I make them. (Don’t use jumbo ones though, that wasn’t my favorite.) I like them garlicky, buttery (of course) and the best crunchy bread I can find.

I first had escargot on a cruise years ago and I remember after eating them one night we ordered 2 orders each every meal for the rest of the cruise. I found my escargot on Amazon because they were much cheaper than the $7.50/can/dozen at my HEB market (and those were the jumbo ones). And I have already reordered them so I would have on hand for a last minute appetizer. They were $16 for 48 snails.

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Appetizers/ HotApp

Sausage Cheese Dip

Cheese, Sausage and lots of other good stuff.

How many different cheese dip recipes have you tried? How many grandmothers would drive over an hour to pick up her twin granddaughter’s favorite cheese dip from Poncho’s restaurant in Memphis? Ours did and it wasn’t anything like the above dip. Their dip was so good but like most cheese dips and had lots of cumin in it and thin enough you might want to drink it.

I made this cheese dip when we had company over for the superbowl and I was in such a hurry to get things on the table I didn’t get a picture of chips in my acrylic cowboy hat that looks great piled full of chips or snacks.

When it comes to cheese dip, most of my life I used Velvetta cheese and Rotel tomatoes and simply melted it and ate it. Then I started using a stick blender on it so there were no hunks of tomatoes and even later I would put it cold in my Vitamix and blend the cheese, Rotel and add some water, cumin, black pepper and garlic salt. I really like the taste that cumin gives to cheese dip and when I make it thin enough we don’t even like it heated like in the “old” days.

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Appetizers/ HotApp

Spanakopita

(Posted by my daughter, Alexis.)

I like when football season rolls around here in Austin, but not necessarily because I’m a huge sports fan.  Living in a college town, the city definitely becomes a little more alive during the fall.  But mainly, the games are a chance to hang with friends, “watch” the game, eat some good food and partake in a few beverages.

Instead of the usual football watching fare(pizza, queso, etc), I wanted to make one of my favorite appetizers the other weekend for the TX-OU game.  I thought that the spanakopita might resemble mini footballs.  Think junior high.  I remember guys folding notebook paper into “footballs” and flickingthem across classrooms through their friend’s hands forming a “field goal”.  Well anyways, that’s what I imagined while making these.  I tried to get a shot of one of the phyllo triangles being punted through the field goal when Texas kicked one of many field goals during that game.

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