Tried & True …

If you’re like me, especially this time of year, my brain is on overload. Ask me to think and literally nothing surfaces! It’s like the swirly thinking icon on the computer… I’m trying to process and pull up the file, but the swirly thing just goes on and on and on and eventually succumbs to “file not accessible” or an “error” message!

Seasonal demands tend to shut down my brain! Ughhhh, it’s a tough place to be and frustrating!

Today, I’d like to ease some “searching” your brain might be required to do this month!

Here are some tried and true favorite appetizers with easy to moderate preparation. These are in my “repeat holiday pocket”!

Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

You can make these with small party size rolls or larger luncheon rolls. We have these for lunch every Christmas Day… a huge Family Favorite!

I DO NOT substitute any ingredient.
Why mess with perfection?!


1 pkg. Dinner rolls (potato)

1 pkg. Sliced White American cheese

1 pkg. ham lunchmeat (med. Thickness)

1 1/4 stick margarine/butter melted

1 tbsp. mustard

1 tbsp. Poppy seed

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 bunch green onions chopped

Cut rolls in half lengthwise.

Put bottom of rolls in 9 x 13 pan. Layer ham and cheese. Top with top of roll. Cut all rolls apart and separate a little in pan.

Mix remaining ingredients and pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 30 minutes, until cheese in melted and browned.

For full deliciousness, they must sit overnight, or even two nights in the frig. Then, all the butter gets absorbed into the bread, putting the flavor over the top. I normally assemble them on the evening of the 23rd or morning of the 24th. Slip them in the frig… voila’ … Christmas Day lunch has no prep.


This is a make ahead delight and fits on any menu theme… it’s a ramped up savory Chex Mix!                                      


1 lb pecan halves

1 lb dry roasted salted peanut

1 (12 ounce) boxes Crispix cereal

1 (12 ounce) boxes Cheese Nips

6 cups miniature pretzel twists

1 (6 ounce) packages bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces

1 cup butter, melted,

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 250°.

In 2 large roasting pans (or lasagna pans) combine pecans, peanuts, cereal, cheese crackers, pretzels, and bagel chips.

In a medium bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, rosemary, paprika, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and salt. Pour evenly over pecan mixture, tossing gently to coat.

Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.

Texas Caviar (Also called Cowboy Caviar)                         

A hearty easy dump, chop and done dip!


1 can Black Eyed Peas, washed & drained

1 can White Corn, drained

1 red onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

Grape tomatoes, quartered

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing


Add all 5 ingredients in desired amounts. Add dressing to coat.

Add healthy sprinkling of fresh or dried cilantro.(at least a few tablespoons)

Mix well. Refrigerate for a while to marinate. Serve with Fritoes Scoopers or Tortilla scoops!

Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites

These are quickly assembled, delicious, with a festive red and green hue!

Click Here for Recipe

For a healthier option:

Caesar Salad Wonton Cups

You can throw salad in a bowl; it never seems fitting for an appetizer affair. Don’t let the wonton cups scare you. They were simple. Yes, a few broke, but I made extra. Make them a few days ahead and store in an airtight container … no problem!

Click Here for Recipe

Pigs In A Blanket

Make these early in the month and keep them in the freezer!

Click Here for Recipe

Hope these help your brain stop swirling and provide a solution to “overload” in this fast-paced season!


Tell us your favorite “Go-To” appetizer! Give us the recipe or a link in the comments!

Blessings on the weeks ahead as you celebrate!! Don’t miss it by busyness and distractions.

Fighting the Swirlies,

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