Countdown to 2016: Appetizers & Snacks

countdownto2016Last year I participated in a Countdown to 2015 and it’s that time of year to start the countdown again. This time to 2016!

Sarah, blogger at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes, is hosting the countdown again this year and I’m so glad she is. I stumbled upon her invitation at the perfect time, too! I was looking at my planner and trying to figure out what recipes to share the last week of the year. Instead of sharing new recipes I get to look back on 2015 and share yours and my favorite recipes and posts. I hope you join me on this ride.

Today we’re talking Appetizers & Snacks. I hope you find something to fit your New Year’s Eve celebrations and to munch on during the College Football Playoffs and bowl games.

Black Bean and Beer Queso

Brussels Sprout Crostini

Black Bean Dip

Hummus and Pita

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Spanish Chorizo Croquetas

2015 Appetizers & Snacks Round-Up v2

SRC: Black Bean and Beer Queso

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Today is another Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the secret recipe club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

This month I was assigned A Calculated Whisk written by Becky. Becky cooks and bakes gluten-free and mostly paleo foods. Those dietary restrictions don’t have any impact on her recipe index and I found myself pinning 7 dessert or breakfast recipes! (Maple Apple Spice Cake, Srawberry Creamsicle Sherbet, and Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cupcakes to name a few)After #BrunchWeek I really couldn’t justify making another sweet in my kitchen – I’ll be on a sugar time-out for a while. I turned instead to Sweet Potato and Roasted Garlic Hummus (Actually, if my husband knew that was an option I’d probably be in trouble right now for not picking it. Don’t worry, it’ll happen!) or Creamy Beer and Black Bean Queso.

I decided on the queso along with the idea of turning it from an appetizer into a meal. I had two chorizo links in the freezer and thought of using the queso for tostadas. Instead I decided on nachos. Tortilla chips, chorizo, black beans, and mushrooms were covered with creamy beer and black bean queso and baked for about 5 minutes then topped with fresh lettuce, tomato, and scallions.

I actually found the texture of the queso to be more of a fondue. I don’t know if that’s because I let too much of the beer evaporate or if it’s supposed to be that way. Either way it was delicious and I would happily serve it with bread, veggies, and apples in a fondue pot! (It could be the use of alcohol that made me think fondue.) I had halved the recipe as it was just the two of us, but honestly – we could have easily eaten another tray of nachos – not because we needed to but because it was that good! I will be making this queso again!

Black Bean and Beer Queso

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (I removed half of the seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 C Mexican beer
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded

Steps:

  1. In a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat saute shallot and jalapeno in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Add the black beans, beer, and cumin. Cook 5 minutes until slightly reduced.
  2. Stir in the cream cheese until melted, I find it’s best to do this a couple spoonfuls at a time. When cream cheese is fully incorporated melt in the shredded cheddar, again in batches. Stir until melted and creamy.
  3. Serve as a dip or as nachos (pictured).

*This recipe is adapted from Becky at http://www.acalculatedwhisk.com/2013/05/creamy-beer-black-bean-queso.html*

Black Bean and Beer Queso | Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

#10DaysofTailgate: Chile con Queso

Tailgate LogoIt’s Monday and it’s still #10DaysofTailgate hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. That means my #10DaysofTailgate post gets a Mexican Monday twist!

Okay, it’s not really Mexican. It’s actually far from being real Mexican. Queso is definitely an American Mexican appetizer. BRMLogoVectorFull4CProBob ESOPAnd this one uses processed cheese. But there is Chipotle involved.

ElDiablo_Logo_Color_TaglineToday’s dip features two of our wonderful #10DaysofTailgate sponsors: El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustard and Bob’s Red Mill. Combine their products with Velveeta and you have a dip fit to make any tailgater happy.

Bob’s Red Mill provided us with a bag of their 13 Bean Soup Mix. With it, I made 13 bean chili to do a play on my mandatory tailgating dip. I even added El Diablo Chipotle Mustard to give it another depth of flavor – a tiny bit of heat and a mustardy bite of vinegar.

Chile con Queso

Ingredients for the chili:

  • 1 1/2 C 13 Bean Soup Mix
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 C canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Steps for the chili:

  1. Soften beans by boiling for five minutes. Remove from heat and soak at least one hour. Drain.
  2. Cover beans with 5 C water and simmer until tender 2-3 hours.
  3. Brown ground beef. Add onion and garlic, cook until translucent. Drain.
  4. Add beef, tomatoes, chili powder, and S+P to the beans. Bring to a gentle boil and cook 50-60 minutes.

Ingredients for the Chile con Queso:

Steps for the Chile con Queso: 

  1. In a saucepan heat up chili.
  2. Melt in cheese.
  3. Add mustard and stir until combined.
  4. Keep warm in slow cooker. And serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Chile con Queso

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more tailgating recipes today:

Starters
BBQ Sausage & Cheese Plate by The Spiffy Cookie
Vegified Hot “Wings”  by Curious Cuisiniere
Fried Polenta Cakes with Grilled Tomato and Mozzarella Salad by Love and Confections
Smoky Karma Stovetop Beans by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Mains
Kicking Karma Veggie Fajita Pizza by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
BBQ Chickpea Sliders with Apple Slaw by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili by The Pajama Chef
 Beef Kabobs by A Day in the Life on the Farm