Starter

Starter

Starter Recipes

If you’re not in the mood for a soup or salad to begin your meal, these starters make great foray into an evening of dining. 

 

Roasted Yellow Pepper and Feta Dip

Roasted Yellow Pepper Feta Dip

Taking A Dip Roasted Yellow Pepper and Feta Dip Starter Before I met Tom, I had a roommate who didn’t particularly like to cook. It was great because she did want to do the dishes, which worked out perfectly! The one thing Colleen did make was an excellent roasted yellow pepper dip, which she served with crunchy veggies. This creamy dip only has three ingredients (plus seasonings), comes together quickly, and only gets better the next day. A couple of tips: Don’t use “less fat” cream cheese or “reduced fat” feta cheese, because the dip will be dry. Buy the feta cheese in a block in brine (not marinated). Crumbled feta has additives in it to prevent it from clumping … Read more…

Tiffany’s Cream Cheese & Cheddar Cheese Toast (and Dip!)

The Cheesiest! Tiffany’s Cream Cheese & Cheddar Cheese Toast (and Dip!) Starter Ok, here is probably the easiest recipe I have ever posted, courtesy of my sister-in-law, Tiffany.  We have been making this recipe for years, um, decades, and it never fails to please.  I have also used this as a stuffing for mushrooms (brush mushroom caps with olive oil, fill and bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted). Or, you can even just bake the cheese spread in a small skillet or oven proof dish until bubbling and use crostinis or sturdy crackers as a dipper.  (Bake uncovered at 400°F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling, let cool before serving.)  If not serving … Read more…

Donna Jean’s Tropical Pork Carnitas Mini Tostadas

Bet You Can’t Eat Just One Donna Jean’s Tropical Pork Carnitas Mini Tostadas Starter For Tom’s 65th birthday party in July, we decided to celebrate with a fiesta catered by the terrific La Cabañita Restaurant in Montrose (technically Glendale).  Since La Cabañita was only bringing dinner items, I needed to prepare a few appetizers for the party.  In addition to guacamole and chips, I made Grilled Watermelon Gazpacho served in shot glasses, Black Bean Salsa and Salsa Baked Goat Cheese Dip. However, I felt this wouldn’t be enough food to soak up the muchas margaritas, sangria, and cerveza we were also serving.  (Did I mention we were expecting 65 people?)                                      … Read more…

Salsa Baked Goat Cheese and Chorizo Dip

Starter Recipes

Olé! Salsa Baked Goat Cheese and Chorizo Dip Starter This recipe is adapted from a Rick Bayless recipe that I found in a Williams-Sonoma booklet in 2002.  It has been a consistent winner over the years, but I got bored with it and decided it needed something …. something to take it up a notch or two.  Hmmm, chorizo! Disclosure:  I am a reluctant fan of chorizo.  Tom loves it, but I don’t like to think about what it is made from, and I also hate cooking with it … too much grease.  But thank goodness for Trader Joe’s.  They sell a delicious soy chorizo (soy chorizo should also be available at your neighborhood grocery store) that has all the … Read more…

Steakhouse Spinach Artichoke Dip

Tracy’s “Secret” Recipe Dip Steakhouse Spinach Artichoke Dip Starter There are lots of really good spinach artichoke dip recipes out there.  This one was given to me years ago and allegedly is the “secret” recipe of a famous steakhouse (although the restaurant was never divulged).  This recipe never fails and is a party favorite.  For large parties, I double the recipe and serve it in a crock-pot to keep it warm. The best thing about this dip is it is made ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld and to free up the kitchen and you.  Just bring it to room temperature before baking.   And because there aren’t enough calories and deliciousness in this recipe, next time I … Read more…