By Guest Blogger Jenny Stauffer

Fall is in the air! I am not sure about you, but Fall is probably my favorite time of the year! I love the change of seasons, yet this particular time of the year packs a lot of punch and excitement….back to school, sports, and Halloween is the usher of holidays to come, all condensed into two exciting (yet busy) months!

It seems that so often, our schedule is packed with social events, from tailgating to hanging out with friends on the weekends enjoying the weather. For that reason, maybe a few appetizers or sides that can go with you to a get-together would be a good idea for the Tasty Table collection this month. I personally can struggle with the “what to take” dilemma quite often!!

Happy Fall, Y’all! Enjoy!


Cocktail Rye Appetizer
My mom made these and kept them on hand in the freezer. They are easy to eat and carry.

1 lb hamburger
1 lb pork sausage
4 green onions
16 oz Velveeta (light is fine)
1 green pepper, diced
1 tsp. oregano
2 loaves cocktail rye bread

Brown meat and drain. Return to skillet and add the rest of the ingredients (you may not use all of it). Bake 350 for 15-20 minutes or until brown. (Can freeze before baking, bake as directed).

Crab Dip
1 (5 oz.) jar processed Sharp American cheese spread, such as Kraft Old English
8 oz package of cream cheese
1 (7.5 oz). container lump crab, drained and flaked
¼ cup light cream
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. cayenne

Over a double broiler combine cheese spread and cream cheese. Stir until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and heat until well blended, stirring occasionally. Serve hot in a fondue pot or chafing dish (or sterno!). If mixture becomes too thick, add more cream as needed. Serve with pita chips, bread, or crackers.

Lighter Buffalo Chicken Dip
Adapted from

4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup Texas Pete (or whatever hot sauce you like)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
2 cups (2 breasts) cooked shredded chicken

Mix the first 5 ingredients together until smooth. Add the chicken and put this in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours. Serve warm. Makes 5 1/2 cups.

Side Dishes

Wild Rice Salad
1 7oz pig wild rice mix, cooked and cooled
4 oz. pkg. crumbled feta
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped yellow pepper
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts (or toasted slivered almonds, which are cheaper these days)
1/3 cup olive oil
2T tarragon wine vinegar
S and p to taste

Combine all. Best if left to “marinate” a few hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Oriental Slaw
Whenever I make this, I receive requests for the recipe. It is even good leftover!

1 pkg beef Ramen noodles
¾ cup sunflower seeds (optional)
¾ cup slivered almonds
16 oz. coleslaw
½ cup green onions, sliced

½ cup vegetable oil
2T and 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1/2 T soy sauce
Flavor packets from Ramen noodles

Mix together oil, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and flavor packets. (I do this in a plastic container with a lid and just shake it all at once)

Preheat oven to 300. Spray baking pan with Pam; spread out sunflower seeds, almonds, and Ramen noodles. Toast in oven until golden brown. Mix together coleslaw, green onions. Add sunflower seed mixture to coleslaw and set aside.

When ready to serve, add dressing to slaw and combine well.

**If serving later, reserve “crunchies” in a baggie and add to cabbage with the dressing so that they stay crisp.

Ina Garten’s Chinese Chicken Salad
My best friend’s mom always hosts wedding and baby showers for those of us who grew up together, and this is always a hit. It looks more complicated than it is, and you can always use a rotisserie chicken instead of roasting your own. Wouldn’t it be nice to have this at a tailgate as an alternative to the “usual” fare? Place it in a disposable foil pan and there you go!

4 split chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound asparagus, ends removed, and cut in thirds diagonally
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded 2 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted

For the dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup good apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub with the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces.

Blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain. Cut the peppers in strips about the size of the asparagus pieces. Combine the cut chicken, asparagus, and peppers in a large bowl.

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add the scallions and sesame seeds and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Want to see more blogs like this and also get notifications on local events and happenings? Subscribe to our free weekly newsletters here.

Credits for above recipe: 
©Television Food Network G.P.
All Rights Reserved.