When our family and friends get together for holidays or other occasions, I serve this appetizer. It's always a success. If you prefer, try a Swiss cheese spread instead of the cheddar. And, if you enjoy garlic, substitute a small clove of minced garlic for the garlic powder. —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
Topped with toasty pecans, this sweet-and-savory cheese ball makes a festive hostess gift for holiday parties. Says Heidi: “It’s always a hit; there’s never anything left over, and everyone asks for the recipe.” At home, make it ahead of time for convenience, then bring to room temp and serve.
Heidi Blaine Hadburg - Safety Harbor, FL
“My son taught me how to make hummus, which is a great alternative to calorie-filled dips," says Nancy Watson-Pistole of Shawnee, Kansas. "This recipe is simply delicious. Fresh roasted red bell peppers make it really special.”
Cherry tomato quarters form the wings of these adorable little ladybugs dreamed up by our Test Kitchen. The delightful creatures are perched on crunchy crackers spread with a seasoned cream cheese mixture.
Good-for-you things come in small packages when you make a batch of the tiny apple pie treats shared by Mary Kelley, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sweet and cinnamony, these mouthwatering morsels are a delightful addition to a dessert buffet or snack tray. For convenience, you can prebake the shells a day or two ahead of serving.
This quick taco dip from Rhonda Biancardi of Blaine, Minnesota is a definite family favorite. In fact, she says, “This recipe has been made more times than I can count! It just looks very colorful to a table, and it never lasts long.
I'm a high school football coach who also likes to cook and garden. This black bean and corn salsa is a hit with my wife and our four kids, and when we entertain friends and fellow coaches. —Mike Bass, Alvin, Texas
Our college-age daughter, two of her friends and a nephew ate a quart of this salsa with chips in one sitting. They loved it so much that they each took a quart home with them. So be sure to make lots! —Carol Carpenter, Jansen, Nebraska