EASY Appetizer for Football Sunday!

With NFL playoffs this weekend, I thought it would be a good day to share a great game-day app. It’s one of the easiest appetizers I have ever made. You can prep most of the ingredients ahead of time which makes them perfect for parties. Pop them in the oven when your guests arrive and in 30 minutes you’ll have a great snack ready. to eat I actually made these one Christmas Eve and my family really liked them. Be warned – jalapenos can be very hot, so be mindful of the seeds. Heat is not for everyone. These so easy that you don’t really need to follow a recipe.  Here is super easy spin on loaded potato skins!

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Spicy Potato Skin Bites

Ingredients

4 Medium Size potatoes

4 Jalapeno Peppers

1-1.5 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

4-5 Slices of Nitrate Free Bacon

Scallions

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Directions – The Prep

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice potatoes into rounds about 1/2 inch thick and place on baking sheet (note: do not slice potatoes ahead of time because they will turn brown (similar to an apple). I made this mistake and had to cut up more potatoes).

Slice japalenos into small rounds (keeping or discarding as many of the seeds as you like – the seeds hold the heat).

Use a kitchen scissor to cut the bacon into small bite sized pieces

Directions – The Assembly

Using a basting brush, VERY lightly spread olive oil on the top of each potato (the bacon will release oils). You just need enough oil to help the salt and pepper stick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper,

Place 1-2 jalapeno and bacon slices along with shredded cheddar on each potato.

Bake for about 30 minutes then top with fresh scallions.

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Spinach and Butternut Squash Tart

I am a huge fan of spinach and artichoke dip. It’s one of my favorite dishes to share with friends {get my recipe here}. Since I do make it so often, I wanted to change it up a bit and try something new for Christmas. My mind was set on incorporating butternut squash and I soon found myself fixated on attempting some kind of appetizer with a crust. Enter homemade gluten-free dough…what was I thinking?!

I openly admit I am not a huge fan of baking because it requires precise measurements and adhering closely to recipe instructions. Gluten-free baking is even more difficult and often seems like a science project, but I decide to give it a go for Christmas. For the tart crust I followed this recipe from King Arthur. To mix the dough I used my Kitchen Aid mixer with a paddle attachment. If I were to make this recipe again, I would probably use my food processor because I think it does a better job of cutting butter into the dough. After the dough was mixed I let it chill overnight and let it sit at room temperature before I began rolling it out.

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I am not sure where I went wrong, but the dough was not easy to work with once I began rolling. It just kept falling apart. I actually had to kneed {I use that term lightly} the dough before I had any luck with rolling it out. Since I had trouble rolling out the dough it did not end up being large enough to make individual tarts. Instead, I opted for a pie size tart. To my surprise, the dough cooked really well and provided a tasty crust with good texture for this dish. The filling was much easier to put together. I love how all of the flavors infused together. The filling ingredients below make enough for two tarts or one tart and a bowl of dip.

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Crust

For the tart crust I followed this recipe from King Arthur, but I actually used Bob’s Redmill Gluten-Free 1:1 flour  and omitted the xanthan gum and Instant Clear Jel.

Filling/Dip Ingredients

16oz frozen spinach

16oz frozen butternut squash

8oz Asiago

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp red pepper

1 small onion

2 large cloves of garlic

 Directions for Tart

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Follow the King Arthur recipe for the crust and roll each section of dough into a roughly 12 inch circle.

After thawing and draining the squash and spinach, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Once combined, spoon mixture on to the bottom crust on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush egg wash around the edge of the crush then place top crust over the filling. Use a knife to trim the crust if needed then use a fork to press the edges together.

Pierce the top of the tart with a fork to let steam escape and brush the top of the tart with the remaining egg wash.

Bake tart for 20-30 minutes or until top is golden.

Directions for Dip

Add 8oz cream cheese to the remaining filing and combine well.

Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased casserole dish then sprinkle with panko bread crumbs and Pecorino Romano cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes and serve hot with fresh tortilla chips.

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Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Dip | Gluten Free

The holidays are in full swing which means many of us will be attending party after party. Although you can’t go wrong with bringing a good bottle of wine (or two), it’s nice to bring one of your favorite dishes to share, and this one is mine! I have made this so many times over the last three years. I’ve been changing it up and must say, I’m pretty happy with my current recipe. I love to try new things and give recipes I’ve found my own spin. If you caught me making this on Instastories, you know I love making fresh chips to go with this dish too. This dip is filled with hot and cheesy goodness. Make it for your next party  and I’m sure your friends are going to love it.

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Ingredients

16oz frozen spinach, thawed, drained and chopped

16oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed drained and chopped

8oz smoked gouda

8oz fresh mozzarella

8oz cream cheese

1/4-1/2 cup of pecorino Romano (parmesan works too)

1/4 gluten free panko bread crumbs

1 small shallot finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1-2 tbsp EVOO

1/4 tsp black pepper, crushed red pepper & sea salt

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Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Thaw then drain spinach and artichoke hearts (the more water you can remove the better. Excess water will make your dip soggy). Roughly chop both.
  2. Sauté shallot and garlic in 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Grate mozzarella, smoked gouda and Pecorino Romano.
  4. In a medium size bowl combine spinach, artichoke, mozzarella, smoked gouda, 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, cream cheese, sautéed onions and garlic. Season with black pepper, red pepper and salt (remember, pecorino Romano and parmesan can make a dish salty, so be mindful of the extra salt you add).
  5. Very lightly grease the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil. I like to drizzle a little oil in then spread it around the dish with a paper towel.
  6. Add mixture to the dish and top with remaining Pecorino Romano and sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes (until dip is bubbling) then broil for 6 minutes and serve with your favorite chips, crackers or veggie sticks. Best if served warm!

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xo Miss Alyss