When it comes to the holidays, my family shares very traditional meals. We tend to serve the same dishes year after year, including the appetizers. That might sound boring, but everything is tried and true – and we look forward to enjoying the same menu year after year. Today I’m sharing some of my family’s favorite hors d’oeuvres – appetizers I grew up with and still enjoy today. While I can’t promise these recipes are healthy, low calorie, or safe from food sensitivities – I can promise you they’re delicious! Best of all, they’re simple and sure crowd pleasers!


Shrimp Pate

4 (7 ½ oz) cans shrimp
½ c. butter melted
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 small onion, minced
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Dash of Tabasco sauce

1 c ketchup
2 Tbsp horseradish
2 tsp lemon juice

Mash shrimp well and add onion. Pour butter over shrimp and onion. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce. Mix and pack into a mold. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Unmold and pour sauce over pate.

Serve with crackers. Makes 2 ½ cups

Stuffed Mushrooms

24 mushrooms
2 Tbsp butter
½ lb pork sausage
¼ c. chopped onion
½ Tbsp garlic powder
2 ½ Tbsp picante sauce
1 (8) oz package processed cheese (your choice)

Clean mushrooms, place in baking dish and brush with melted butter.

Cook sausage, onion and garlic powder in skillet. Drain and return to skillet, stir in the picante sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes. Spoon mixture into each mushroom, add cheese on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.

Stuffed Tomatoes

*Not only are these good, but they look very festive on your table during the holiday!

40 Cherry tomatoes
1 (4) oz can chopped green chiles
1 tsp sugar
2/3 c. diced celery
salt to taste
3 Tbsp finely chopped onion
3 Tbsp wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste

Clean out the tomatoes and stuff with the relish.  Refrigerate.

Artichoke Dip

1 jar marinated artichokes
1 jar non marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 small can chopped chiles
2 cloves garlic

Shred artichokes, mix together and bake until bubbly. You can make ahead of time and freeze.

Bacon, Bread & Cream Cheese with Chives

Loaf of bread
Cream cheese and chive spread
Package of bacon

Take a loaf of bread and cut the crust off the slices of bread. Spread cream cheese and chive spread on each slice of bread. Cut each slice of bread into thirds. Roll each third of bread together. Take a package of raw bacon and cut each slice of bacon in thirds. Wrap the bacon around each rolled bread with the cream cheese and chive spread. Bake at 350 until crispy (about 5 to 10 minutes). You can make ahead of time and freeze.

Crab Dip

2 (6 1/2 oz) cans crabmeat
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 (8 oz) cream cheese
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup mayo
2 tsp. minced onion
2 tsp. minced chives
1 tsp garlic powder
4 drops Tabasco
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Drain crab meat and soak in 1/2 cup lemon juice. Mix all other ingredients together. Add crabmeat. Bake at 350 until brown and bubbly. You can make ahead of time and freeze.

Dip for Veggies and Chips

1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp onion flakes
1 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp beau monde seasoning

Combine, chill and serve!