Ask the Swag Gal – August 3, 2011
Today’s question comes from a Swaggernaut looking to spice up her entertaining recipes:
“Hi SwagGal,I play Bunco once a month with a bunch of friends and we all bring something wonderful and yummy to eat. I am running out of fantastic foods to take to these events. Salads are getting boring, already made frozen meals are, well, just frozen meals. I’m tired of those meatball things, the little weeners in a blanket, puddings and plain old bags of candy, chips etc. Can you suggest some out of this world, quick and inexpensive to make, and easy to transport dishes? I have just plum run out of great ideas.Thanks”
It can be quite difficult to come up with a new and exciting recipe every single month. Many of us strive to come up with different, unique, and fun dishes to keep our guests full and happy. But when you’re looking to spice some things up (no pun intended), sometimes you have to think outside of the box. Here are some great recipes that are perfect for a party, a barbecue, or just a simple night with friends and family. I looked to Kraft Recipes for my inspiration:
total time – 20 minprep – 20 minservings – 12 servings, about 1/2 cup salsa and 5 crackers each
Ingredients3 tomatoes, seeded, finely chopped1 can (15.5 oz.) black-eyed peas, rinsed1 can (11 oz.) corn, drained8 green onions, thinly sliced2 avocados, chopped1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro4 slices OSCAR MAYER Baked Cooked Ham, finely chopped1/2 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
WHEAT THINS Baked with 100% Whole Grain CrackersDirections
Combine all ingredients except crackers.
Serve with crackers.
Prepare using KRAFT Balsamic Dressing.SERVING SUGGESTIONToss with 1-1/2 qt. (6 cups) torn mixed greens just before serving. Or serve on lettuce leaves.
Make-Ahead Spinach Phyllo Roll-Ups
total time – 55 minprep – 30 minservings – 30 servings or 5 logs, 6 servings each
1 egg, beaten1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained1 cup ATHENOS Traditional Crumbled Feta Cheese1 tub (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Garden Vegetable 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese4 green onions, finely chopped15 sheets frozen phyllo (14×9 inch), thawed
1/3 cup butter, meltedDirections
Mix first 5 ingredients until well blended; set aside. Brush 1 phyllo sheet lightly with butter; top with 2 more phyllo sheets, lightly brushing each layer with some of the remaining butter. Place remaining phyllo between sheets of plastic wrap; set aside.
Spread 1/5 of the spinach mixture along 1 short side of phyllo stack; fold in both long sides then roll up, starting at 1 of the short sides to make log. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets and spinach mixture to make 4 more logs. Brush with remaining butter. Make small cuts in tops of logs at 1-inch intervals. Place in large freezer-weight resealable plastic bags or wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove desired number of logs from freezer. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, several hours or overnight until thawed. Unwrap, then place on baking sheet. Bake in 375°F-oven for 25 min. or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet 5 min.; transfer to cutting board. Use serrated knife to cut each log into 6 slices.
total time – 15 minprep – 15 minservings – 7 servings, 1 cup eachIngredients
4 large cucumbers8 radishes, thinly sliced1/2 cup ATHENOS Crumbled Feta Cheese with Basil & Tomato1/3 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives1/4 cup chopped red onionsDirectionsUse vegetable peeler to cut 1 cucumber into long thin ribbons.
Peel remaining cucumbers; cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss with remaining ingredients.
Spoon cucumber mixture onto center of platter; surround with cucumber ribbons.
total time – 15 minprep – 15 minservings – 8 servingsIngredients
4 cups kettle potato chips (4 oz.)1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese1 small tomato, chopped2 green onions, sliced4 slices OSCAR MAYER Center Cut Bacon, cooked, crumbled1/4 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour CreamDirections
Spread chips onto large microwaveable plate; top with cheese. Microwave on HIGH 1 to 2 min. or until cheese is melted.
Top with remaining ingredients.
Pizza Pasta Salad
total time – 1 hr 50 min
prep – 20 min
servings – 10 servings, 1 cup each
Ingredients3 cups penne pasta, cooked, cooled4 tomatoes, chopped12 slices OSCAR MAYER Hard Salami, chopped1 cup KRAFT Finely Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend1/2 cup sliced fresh basil1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese1/2 cup KRAFT Tuscan House Italian Dressing and MarinadeDirectionsCombine ingredients.
Refrigerate 1 hour.
total time – 15 minprep – 15 minservings – 8 doz. or 24 servings, 4 squares eachIngredients
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine1 pkg. (10-1/2-oz.) JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows (about 6 cups)1 pkg. (12 oz.) NILLA Wafers , coarsely crushed (about 5 cups)1 cup PLANTERS Cashews, chopped1/2 cup dried cherriesDirectionsLine 13×9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; spray with cooking spray.
Microwave butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 45 sec. or until melted. Add marshmallows; toss to coat. Microwave 1-1/2 min. or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring every 45 sec.
Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Press onto bottom of prepared pan; cool. Use foil handles to lift dessert from pan; cut into 1-inch squares.