In the Kitchen :: FFC’s Favorite Appetizer Recipes

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, and I’m working on planning our celebration for the evening.  We celebrate the holiday in a Family Friendly sort of way – we invite a few people over and set the children up with movies, games and snacks and then the adults hang out together and catch up.  My favorite way to plan the menu for the evening is to forego a meal and just have appetizers to graze on all evening.  You see, I love appetizers, I think that given the right combination they can create a perfect meal.  My husband doesn’t agree (he’s a meat + potatoes kind of guy), but he endures it on New Year’s Eve, and often-times I’m able to come up with yummy finger foods for him to fill up on.

This year I wanted to add some new recipes to my collection and so I asked the ladies at Family Friendly Cincinnati to share their favorite appetizer recipes.  I thought I would share them with our readers in case you are party planning and looking for recipe inspiration!

Enjoy!  And please be sure to leave links in the comments section with your favorite recipe, I’d love to add some new dishes to our menu for the evening.

Karen‘s Appetizer ::  it’s a cheese ball of sorts. I don’t think it has a name, it’s something my neighbor made up. It’s not something most kids would eat. It looks odd and sounds out, but it will be the first thing gone on the appetizer table.

1 lb Sharp Cheddar
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Pecans
1 Medium Onion
2 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp Tabasco
1 cup strawberry preserves
Crackers to serve
I make this using my food processor….. First I put in my pecans and chop them up – fine but not to dust. Dump these into a work bowl and then use your food processor to shred your cheese. Dump this into the bowl. Next put your onion in your food processor until finely grated. Dump the onion into the bowl.
Next add the rest of the ingredients except for the preserves. Mix well and refrigerate until needed. Serve on a plate – hollow out a “bowl” in the center and fill with the preserves. Nestle crackers around the edge of the plate. This is a great recipe to make ahead of time – it will keep well in the refrigerator. Trust me, I know this sounds odd, but it’s delicious!

Katie’s Appetizer ::  I had a really hard time choosing just one favorite, as I said before, I’m a bit of an appetizer addict.  I went through all of my favorite appetizer recipes I have collected on my blog, and finally decided on the Basil Pesto Rounds.  They are quite perfect, and simple to make, and they are always a crowd pleaser.  I found the recipe on

1 (1 pound) loaf French baguette
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup basil pesto
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste


1.Preheat oven on broiler setting. Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place under broiler for 5 to 8 minutes, or until lightly toasted on one side. Watch carefully to ensure they don’t burn. Remove from oven, and flip bread slices so that the toasted side is on the bottom.

2.Set the oven temperature for 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, pesto, garlic, Parmesan and salt. Spread evenly over un-toasted sides of bread slices. 3.Bake in the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Set the oven to broil, and place the rounds under the broiler just until they begin to bubble and turn golden. Let cool slightly before serving.

Kristin‘s Appetizer :: Easiest recipe ever…..block of cream cheese, unwrap and put in nice serving dish then cover with either red or green pepper jelly. Serve with Ritz crackers.  Enjoy.

Amy Q’s Appetizer :: Here’s the one that everyone asks for, every single event – 7 Layer Taco Dip.  It’s not “mine” per se, I actually stole it from my sister and I have no idea where she got it (and I’ve tweaked how I make it here and there…really you just slap it together, so you are really free to your own interpretation), but it’s become the one dish everyone wants at parties.


4 cups refried beans (or 2 cans of refried beans.  I heat these up and add about .5 cup of jarred salsa as well)

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 packet taco seasoning, low sodium
2 cups guacamole or 2 avocados mashed with 2 Tbsp. of lemon or lime juice
4-8 oz. sliced or chopped black olives (depending on how well you like them)
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 bunch green onion, chopped, green and white parts
2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips to dipHeat refried beans and salsa and mix until smooth.  Spread evenly into the bottom of a 13×9 Pyrex dish or other container.  Mix mayonnaise and sour cream together and add taco seasoning (you can also ditch the mayo and just use one 16 oz. container of sour’s just as tasty).  Spread this mixture over the beans.  Spread guacamole or avocado over sour cream mixture.  Sprinkle with black olives, tomatoes and green onions and top with cheddar cheese.  It tastes better after the flavors have had a chance to “marry” a bit, so make it the night before but leave the cheese off then toss the cheese on right before you serve.  It’s delicious!!!!!


Phyllis’ Appetizer ::  She shares this simple yet delicious recipe with us – Tomato and mozzarella with basil and balsamic

Mix one part balsamic and one part extra virgin olive oil
on a toothpick place a cherry tomato, piece of basil, and a small mozzarella ball
arrange on plate, drizzle balsamic


Michelle’s Appetizer :: This one is super easy and best of all….no baking.

Slice one loaf of French bread.
Mix 1 cup sour cream with 1 cup cream cheese.  Mix in about 1/4 cup fresh basil (Fresh is very important!).  Spread mixture on each piece of bread.
Top each piece with one small slice of tomato.


What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?  Are they “family friendly” or are you escaping for an adult’s evening out?


Wander on over to to see what Katie and her little things are up to this week!
Share This Post
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Plusone