pumpkin dip

If you’re looking for that easy, no-bake, semi-healthy appetizer for this year’s Thanksgiving party, snack for the kiddos or even a treat to share at the office this week, look no further. This pumpkin dip is delish.

Pumpkin Dip
recipe adapted from friend and former colleague, Elizabeth

1 8oz package cream cheese
1 can {15 oz} pumpkin puree
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ginger

 Serve with ginger snaps, apples, graham crackers and pears.

{images via Tutto Bella}

Pumpkin Cheese Ball Recipe

I just realized that Thanksgiving is almost one week away. For some reason, I thought it was the 29th this year…I’m blaming it on my mommy brain/fog. So, now I am frantically trying to get all my fun and festive Thanksgiving ideas to you throughout the next week – everything from recipes to favors – we hope to share it all in time for this year’s Thanksgiving feast.

Today, an easy and yummy appetizer…and an upgrade from your standard cheese ball.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball
recipe by friend, Bean

16 oz cream cheese
1.5 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons of minced onion
3 tablespoons salsa {whatever kind you prefer}
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno {canned or fresh}

How To
Combine all ingredients together in a medium bowl.

With your hangs, shape ingredients into a ball.
Crush Nacho chips in a plastic bag and lay out on counter top.

Roll cheese ball in crushed Nacho chips on counter.

Make indentions around the entire cheese ball with a finger to look like a pumpkin.

Cut the stem of a green bell pepper and place on top {to look like the stem of a pumpkin}.

Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.
Serve with either tortilla chips or crackers.

My mommy brain also spaced taking a photo of the app served with its accompanying crackers…mama mia! Use your imagination. All you really need to know is that its cute, delish and super easy.

{images via Tutto Bella}

perfect party plates

We recently celebrated our grandma’s 76th birthday {btw, she still looks fabulous and has more energy than us most of the time}, and we brought some appetizers for the family to enjoy during the celebration. Among the thousands of options, we went with a delicious foursome – Pepperoni Roll, Avocado and Bean Salsa, Baked Brie Bites and a Veggie Tray served with Knorr’s Veggie Dip.

Take note {these are secret family recipes} and add to your recipe book.

Pepperoni Roll
{family recipe}

8 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
4 oz. Italian Cheese Blend
About 1 tablespoon Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 loaf Rhodes Dough {buy in frozen section and thaw before rolling out}

How To
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Rub a drizzle of olive oil to the bottom of a cookie sheet
Flour the table surface you plan to roll the dough on
Use a rolling-pin to roll out the dough into a rectangle

Add one layer of Pepperoni to the dough, covering the entire surface

Add the Mozzarella Cheese and Italian Cheese Blend on top of the Pepperoni

Roll the dough and its ingredients from the bottom to the top, like you would roll a cinnamon roll

Once you get to the end of the roll, pinch the seams together

Place the roll seam-down on the cookie sheet
Massage the entire roll with olive oil
Use a fork to pierce the length of the roll. Pierce through the roll and the ingredients inside until you hit the bottom of the cookie
sheet. {Pierce every 2 or 3 inches, so you will have about 10-20 fork marks}

Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese on top of the roll
Cook in oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown
Let it cool for about 20 minutes
Once cool, slice and place on a beautiful platter
I promise this is so easy…when my sisters and I had to learn to cook when we moved out of our parents house, this was the only app we could make. If we could do it as inexperienced cooks, anyone can do it!
P.S. This will be gone ASAP at a party, so we always make 2 rolls.

Avocado and Bean Salsa
{family recipe}

5 Avocados {more firm than soft} chopped
1 can White Shoepeg Corn
1 Jicama {small to medium-sized} chopped
1 Serrano Chili chopped
1 red pepper diced into small pieces
1 can black beans
1 small red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 limes
Salt and Pepper to taste

How To
Add all ingredients to bowl and mix
Add olive oil, lime, salt and pepper
Mix with a spoon
Serve with chips

Note: If you want to make hours ahead of time, add White Shoepeg Corn, Jicama, Serrano Pepper, Red Pepper, Red Onion and Black Beans to a bowl. An hour or so before the party, add Avocado and season {Olive Oil, Lime, Salt and Pepper}.

Baked Brie Bites
{original recipe by Plain Chicken, but you can also find the recipe at Pizzazzerie}.

1 package mini fillo sheets
4 oz. Brie
Chopped Pecans
Brown Sugar

Visit Pizzazzerie for the directions on how to make. This recipe is a MUST. Seriously, it’s so good and a quick, easy and fabulous go-to recipe to keep on file.

Hope you and your lucky guests enjoy these delish apps!

{images via Tutto Bella}