Category Archives: Starters & Snacks

Seven Layer Bean Dip

This is a very flexible recipe, so feel free to adjust the layers if you’d like.

1 can refried beans (or homemade Refritos)
1/2 cup salsa (store-bought or homemade Salsa)
1 large container of sour cream
1 package of taco seasoning mix (regular or spicy)
2 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly
1 can black olives, chopped
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

  • Mix beans and salsa and spread in a 9-inch square pan.
  • Mix sour cream and taco seasoning mix, then layer on top of bean layer.
  • Follow with layers of colby jack cheese, green onions, black olives, cheddar cheese, then finally the tomatoes.
  • Serve with tortilla chips.
  • Can be made the day before and refrigerated, but wait until the last moment to add the tomatoes.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad

8 oz. (3 c.) uncooked rainbow rotini (spiral pasta)
1 (6 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 c. creamy Caesar salad dressing
4 c. fresh spinach leaves, cut into thin strips
1 c. julienne-cut carrots
1 c. julienne-cut red bell pepper
1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion
1/2 t. salt
1-2 T. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 t. coarsely ground pepper

  • Cook rotini to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain; rinse with cold water.
  • Meanwhile, drain artichoke hears, reserving liquid. Add reserved liquid to salad dressing to equal 3/4 cup; set aside. Chop artichoke hearts.
  • In large bowl, combine cooked rotini, artichokes, spinach, carrots, bell pepper, and onion; toss gently. Add dressing and salt; toss to coat. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and pepper on top, then serve.

Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

These are just estimates for amounts. They can be varied widely depending upon your personal tastes.

3 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/3 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1-2 Serrano peppers, depending on how hot you like it
1 T. lime juice
1 t. salt
1 t. dried cilantro

  • Place all items in a food processor and blend until no chunks are left. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. The more peppers in it the longer it will last.
  • Finely chop by hand and omit the food processor step to make a Pico de Gallo.


3 lbs. lean meat cut thin
1 t. garlic powder
1 t.onion powder
1 t. pepper
1 t. salt
1/2 t. red pepper
1/3 c. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. liquid smoke
1 T. mustard

  • Combine all ingredients except meat and stir well.
  • Add meat to marinade and allow to marinate overnight.
  • Place marinated meat on cookie sheets lined with foil. Cook in 175º oven for 8-10 hours. Allow to cool.
  • Serve immediately or wrap in plastic to store.

Broccoli Ham Ring

From the Pampered Chef Classics cookbook:

“Buttery crescent rolls bake up golden and flaky around a classic mixture of ham,
Dijon mustard, fresh vegetables, and cheese”.

4 ounces ham, chopped (1 cup)
¼ pound broccoli, chopped (1 cup)
¼ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, snipped
1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss or Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place chopped ham, broccoli, and onion in mixing bowl. Add parsley, cheese, mustard, and lemon juice to ham mixture. Mix well.
  • Unroll crescent dough; separate into 16 triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle with wide ends of triangles overlapping in the center and points toward the outside. There should be a 5-inch diameter opening in the center of circle.
  • Scoop ham mixture evenly onto widest end of triangle. Bring outside points of triangles up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of ring. (Filling will not be completely covered.)
  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until deep golden brown.