Appetizers

Recipe—Southwest Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

Every couple of months I get together with a fabulous group of ladies for a book club meeting. I don’t know why we really call it a book club meeting because about 20% of the time is spent discussing the book we read and the other 80% is spent drinking fabulous wines, eating delicious foods, and catching up with some good old fashioned girl talk. Maybe wine and food club meeting would be more appropriate? Either way, we always end with an awesome variety of the most wonderful treats. Our last meeting was on a Friday night right around dinnertime so I wanted to bring something filling and yet low carb (I try and cut out carbs from the food when I know I will be consuming plenty in the wine.) These were absolutely wonderful! They were light yet completely filling. The meatballs were packed full of wonderful Mexican flavors and they really complemented the turkey nicely. The refreshing creamy cilantro lime sauce is actually from a recipe I shared a couple months back for shrimp taco cups. I LOVED that sauce and wanted to make it again. I could put that sauce on everything. So tasty!

CREAMY CILANTRO LIME SAUCE INGREDIENTS
1/3 c mayonnaise
1/2 c sour cream
2 tbsp milk
2 oz. canned diced green chilies
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS
1.25 lbs lean ground turkey
1 jalapeño, deseeded, deveined, and chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/4 c panko or breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
salt and pepper

SAUCE STEPS

  • To make the sauce combine all sauce ingredients except the cilantro in a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Add in cilantro and pulse until combined.
  • Refrigerate sauce until ready to use.

MEATBALL STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 400º.
  • In a large bowl combine all meatball ingredients.
  • Using your hands mix well.
  • Using a large spoon, scoop a spoonful of the meat mixture and shape into 1”–1 1/4” round meatballs.
  • Place the formed meatballs into a greased baking dish making sure they don’t touch.
  • Bake for 16–20 minutes.
  • Serve hot with the cool cilantro lime dipping sauce.
  • Enjoy!
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Appetizers

Recipe—Creamy Chicken Enchilada Roll Ups

This is actually a recipe adapted from one my mother-in-law made back around the holidays. They seemed like such a great idea and were absolutely delicious. She brought her Mexican inspired wraps over all rolled up in Saran wrap and then just sliced them when she got to our house. They traveled great! When she put them out I could not stop eating them. They were so yummy! So when I was invited to a summer pool party a couple weeks back I knew these would be a hit! Me being the tinkerer I am I had to put my own twist on them. I added in the chicken, olives, and cilantro to help bulk up the filling. They were wonderful additions. If you have any parties coming up definitely keep these in mind. They are relatively easy to assemble and are the perfect finger food for a party of any kind.

Note: You can use a couple of tablespoons of my homemade taco seasoning or just part of an envelope of taco seasoning you would pick up at the store. If you like a little heat add in a chopped jalapeño.

INGREDIENTS
2-8 ox packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp taco seasoning
10 oz can Rotel tomatoes and chilies, drained
rotisserie chicken, skinned and chopped
1/2 c cilantro, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
4.25 oz chopped black olives
1 package burrito sized tortillas

STEPS

  • Using an electric mixer beat together cream cheese, shredded cheese, garlic, and taco seasoning until well blended.
  • Fold in the canned tomatoes, chicken, cilantro, green onions, and chopped olives.
  • Lay a tortilla out flat and place a heaping spoonful of the creamy mixture in the center.
  • Use a rubber spatula and spread an even layer of the filling out to the edges of the tortilla.
  • Roll up the tortilla and as you finish each place on a cutting board or plate.
  • Continue until the filling is gone.
  • Place the rolls in the freezer for 30–45 minutes allowing them to firm up. (I do this step so that when I slice them they keep their round shape.)
  • Slice the rolls into 1 inch thick pieces and arrange on a plate.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Appetizers, Dinners

Recipe—Chicken Cordon Bleu Rollups

My son loves chicken strips dipped in honey mustard and he also loves croissants. (Who doesn’t, really?) I whole-heartedly made this for him because I knew it would be a hit with the munchkin. Turns out the whole family loved them! This recipe is so simple, quick, and cheap to make. My little guy was even a wonderful helper in assembling them, and of course he made sure to be on quality control check while we were putting them together. Little rascal. I just served these with a big green salad for a balanced dinner. We had plenty of leftovers and they reheated extremely well in the oven. I’m definitely keeping these in mind for appetizers too. They were a perfect finger food and were fun to eat and make!

INGREDIENTS
1/4 c honey
1/4 c yellow mustard
1/8 c mayonnaise
1 lb chicken breast tenders
1 tbsp butter
2 cans crescent rolls
8 slices Swiss cheese, cut in half
8 slices ham cut in half lengthwise

STEPS

  • Combine together honey, mustard, and mayonnaise in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  • Place the chicken tenders in a large Ziploc bag and add in 1/2 of the honey mustard sauce and toss to coat.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the saucy chicken breast tenders flipping once until done, about 10–12 minutes.
  • Separate the crescent rolls into the individual triangles.
  • Spread the remaining honey mustard on each one.
  • Place a slice of the Swiss cheese on each crescent triangle and then top with a slice of ham folded in half.
  • Top each with a cooked breast tender.
  • Roll up the crescent starting at the wide end and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. (The parchment paper helps make cleaning up the melted cheese a breeze!)
  • Repeat with remaining chicken tenders and crescents.
  • Bake for 18–20 minutes or until golden brown.
Appetizers

Recipe—Chubby Chicken Taquitos

This is one of the snacks I whipped up for my Super Bowl get together a couple weeks back and they turned out AMAZING! I find many of the store bought taquitos are too much tortilla, not enough meat. That is not the case with these, hence the name chubby chicken taquitos. These things are stuffed with all sorts of delicious flavors. In fact they were so filling I think they would even make an awesome meal. These aren’t spicy in the least so they are great for the whole family. Keep these in mind for a fun dinner or even your next fiesta!

Note: The recipe is written for baked taquitos but I fried half and baked half just to compare. They were equally good but the fried ones had a nice light crisp to them that was wonderful. Feel free to use your preferred cooking method.

INGREDIENTS
3 chicken breasts
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c green salsa
juice from 1/2 a lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp sliced green onions
1 1/2 c jack cheese
10–12 soft taco sized flour tortillas
cooking spray
kosher salt

DIPPING SAUCES
salsa
sour Cream
guacamole

STEPS

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add chicken breasts.
  • Boil chicken breast for 20–25 minutes.
  • While the chicken is boiling, combine the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic in a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir in the cilantro, green onions, and cheese.
  • Set the filling mixture aside.
  • Remove chicken from pot and place on a large cutting board to cool.
  • Using a large fork shred the chicken breasts to pieces.
  • Preheat oven to 400º.
  • Heat 3–4 tortillas for 30 seconds in the microwave (This makes them soft and easier to work with.)
  • Spoon some of the chicken filling down the center of the tortilla and roll tightly.
  • Place the finished taquitos seam side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet making sure they don’t touch.
  • Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling until gone.
  • Spray the tops of the taquitos with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake for 15–20 minutes or until crisp and golden.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Appetizers

Recipe—Western Bacon Jalapeño Poppers

With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend I thought I would share one of my favorite finger food recipes. There are many variations of jalapeño poppers out there, but these are my favorite. They are absolutely evil and they are sure to start your Super Bowl party off with a bang. These are perfect balance of spicy, salty, and tangy. Make three times more than you think you will need, just trust me on that. Most people end up inhaling several. They really are that good.

Note: Poppers can be prepared a day ahead of time and kept in the fridge right before cooking if needed. These can also be finished off on the bbq instead of the oven to give them a nice smoky flavor.

INGREDIENTS:
5 jalapeños, seeded and deveined based on desired heat
5 slices (about 1/4” thick) of cheddar cheese cut in half lengthwise
5 slices of bacon cut in half
¼ c of your favorite bbq sauce

STEPS:

  • Preheat oven to 400º.
  • Place bacon in a large pyrex dish so that the slices do not overlap.
  • Pre-cook the bacon in the oven for 8 minutes flipping once halfway through. You do not want the pieces to be overcooked. They should still be partially raw and flexible so that you can easily wrap the slices around the poppers.
  • While the bacon is cooking, place a block of cheddar cheese in each jalapeño half. You may need to cut the cheddar block slightly shorter to fit within the pepper’s cavity. The pepper will fill in with the cheese once melted.
  • When all of the jalapeños are filled, and the bacon has cooled, wrap the half slice of bacon around each jalapeño. Secure the bacon with a toothpick if necessary.
  • Place wrapped poppers on a baking sheet and dab with bbq sauce.
  • Cook in the oven for 10–14 minutes or until bacon looks cooked through and cheese is melted and bubbly. If you want to give the bacon a little extra crisp turn on the broiler for a minute before removing from the oven.
  • Dab with additional bbq sauce before serving.