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Category Archives: appetizers

Spinach Cheese Squares

Whisk together in a bowl:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Mix together in a bowl:

  • 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeeze out water
  • 1/2 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

In a saute pan: this step is optional

  • Melt 1 Tbsp oil
  • Saute 1 small onion and/or 2 cloves minced garlic

Combine 3 mixtures in 1 bowl.
In a 9 x 13 inch baking pan melt 2 tbsp margarine in the oven or use oil.
Add the spinach mixture to the pan and spread mixture evenly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Cool and cut into squares.

This originally was an appetizer cut into 1 inch squares. I make larger squares as lunch or dinner.

NSF 2010

Spanish Salsa

  • 1 or 2 ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped Spanish onion
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley ( flat leaf)
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika ( we have this)
  • Salt and pepper

Add smoked hot paprika to taste

NSF 2010


  • 1 ½ cups pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tsp minced garlic or less
  • 2 tablespoons capers or less
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Mince together 1st 3 ingredients in a food processor or emersion blender. I prefer it chunky and do not process this very much. Slowly add olive oil. If you prefer a thicker spread, omit or use less of the oil.  When making a light appetizer, a thinner Olivada will spread like butter.  A chunkier Olivada with less oil can be piled on like a bruschetta and even served as lunch with a salad. My neice Irina ate this for lunch through her childhood! Spread on French bread, hearty whole grain crusty bread or crackers.

Nutrition Notes: Olives are a great source of monounsaturated fats which are also found in nuts, olive and canola oils and avocados. Monounsaturated fats improve blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease, and they may help with keeping blood sugar levels in check (potentially helpful for appetite control and reducing the risk for diabetes). A few studies have looked at monounsaturated fats as being beneficial for specifically reducing belly fat, but firm findings are lacking.  To take it a step further, replace saturated fats with whole plant food sources of fat instead of refined plant oils which are stripped of their fiber, vitamins, minerals & phytochemical compounds. Whole plant foods rich in mono and poly unsaturated fats are olives, avocado, nuts, & seeds from plants like sunflowers, olives, soybean & safflower.

The olives are high in salt, so balance this with less salty foods thru the day.



Mango Salsa

  • 2 mangos, peeled and cut up into medium diced pieces
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ cup red onion, cup up into small diced pieces
  • ½ red pepper, cup up into small diced pieces
  • ½ cup green onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine ingredients and serve with tortilla chips or as a salad.

NSF  6/2010

Cheese Ball

Cheese Ball is a classic appetizer from the 1960s and 70s. I have added some pretzel sticks to bite size mini cheese balls for a lollipop version.

Pictured here are the ingredients for a double batch of cheese ball. This makes about 4 baseball size cheese balls. They freeze very well wrapped in plastic. But don’t roll them in the nuts until just before serving. The nuts will get soggy.

This is a single recipe of the cheese balls. 

Bring these ingredients to room temperature. Combine it all in a medium bowl and blend with a stand or hand mixer.

  • 8 oz. block cream cheese
  • 4 oz. Kaukauna Spreadable Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp or more minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp or more Worcestershire sauce

I added extra onion. You can shred on a box shredder or mince the onion very fine.

My Kitchen Aid mixer blends this up quickly.

Blend with mixer. Scrape into a smaller bowl. Cover. Chill. Form into 2 -4 balls. Roll in chopped walnuts before serving.

Cheese ball is usually served with crackers. The mid-century classic are Ritz crackers. Another option is to roll into small bite size balls. Freeze or chill on a flat tray. Roll in the walnuts and or chopped parsley. Then insert a small pretzel stick into each ball. Serve right away.