Because I Want To Affirm You And Your Cream Cheese-Related Goals

When Janie and I were trying to get our ducks in a row for this trip, my husband actually suggested that instead of fixing big meals at night, we could round up something for the boys and then have a little appetizer fest for the grown-ups. Janie and I thought this plan was sixty three kinds of brilliant because, well, YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THAT WE ENJOY US SOME APPETIZERS.

So. I feel that it’s only right and fair for me to bring you up-to-speed on this trip’s Featured Appetizers.

(I just totally made up that whole “Featured Appetizers” business.)

(But sometimes I just like to pretend like I’m writing on the chalkboard at The Olive Garden.)

(After all, when you’re here, you’re family.)

Hot Bacon Swiss Dip

2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
5 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, Swiss cheese and green onion. Spread mixture in a round Pyrex pie plate. Top with crackers and bacon, then bake at 350 until bubbly. Serve with your favorite chip.


Chili Bean Dip

2 packages cream cheese, softened (ARE YOU NOTICING A PATTERN?)
1 can Hormel turkey chili
2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese

Spread cream cheese on bottom of square baking dish. Top with chili, then cheese. Bake on 350 until cheese is melted and everything is nice and bubbly. Serve with Fritos.


Paula’s Black Bean Salsa

PW’s Jalapeno Bacon Thingies

PW’s Chili Con Queso

PW’s Pico de Gallo & Guacamole


So. That all ought to do nicely, don’t you think?

(Also: please know that we’re making these over the course of five nights. However, if you feel led to make these over the course of, say, one night, then please know that I completely support – and lo, even admire – your decision.)

And even though the boys haven’t partaken of our appetizers, they have enjoyed untold volumes of sliced turkey, Cheetos, chocolate chip cookies and Sprite. And cereal. OH SWEET MERCY at the cereal.

Finally, this:

There is not a doubt in my mind that he has made some of the happiest memories of his life in the last three days.

And this:

God pretty much showed out with the whole where-the-water-meets-the-sky thing, didn’t He?

Happy Tuesday, y’all.

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  1. I love the ocean, too!
    The appetizer instead of meals idea is delightful! I wish my hubs would go for that, he is a must have meat at every meal kind of guy.
    I am gonna try the Frito dip soon though, because I love how you feel like the whole room can tell when you are eating a Frito but they are so good you can’t help it!

  2. I just made my Hot Bacon and Swiss Dip for work yesterday! How weird! BUT, I only use one package of cream cheese, and add mayo. As well as, MORE BACON. But… either way you make it… it’s bacon and cream cheese and couldn’t be more delicious.

  3. Those dips sound yummy. ANd you little boy is just precious.

  4. You people are my heroes.

  5. Amen to the water meets the sky bit…how can anyone look at the ocean and doubt God exists?

    Here is a yummy appetizer…so easy and fab and conveniently made with cream cheese.

    1 pkg. cream cheese
    1 jar sundried tomatoes drained and chopped
    1 small jar pesto
    toasted pine nuts

    I always make this in a quiche dish so use something similar. Spread the cream cheese. Spread the pesto on top of that. Spread the sundried tomatoes on top of that. Finish by topping with the toasted pine nuts. Serve with crackers. It is totally fabulous.

  6. Geez, that is some kind of (my kind of) party girlfriend. Any time cream cheese is in the picture and on the menu, it’s a PAR-TAY!!!!


    Another good one: Cream cheese, creamed!, add a can of salmon and some dill weed……spread on some yummy crackers…..yummy!

  7. Thank you (x100) for the Bacon Cream Cheese dip. My future husband would send you a thank you gift basket if he knew you. I swear. : )

    And the whole water meets the sky thing? Oh, honey, you need to make your way to MN–land of 10,000+ water-meeting-the-sky!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I think I could eat appetizers for dinner every night!

  9. An Appetizer Fest! How fun is that?! Glad y’all are making great memories and are enjoying God’s creation. Thank you for sharing all the appetizer recipe goodness!

  10. If you lived closer, I’d SO run to Hobby Lobby and buy you a chalkboard for your kitchen. I’ve had one hanging in mine for years and write up the menu plans each week on it.

    I use regular chalk, but so want some chalk pens or whatever they use at Olive Garden or Starbucks or Chili’s.

    Maybe I”ll run out to Hobby Lobby later after all…



  11. Forget the recipes. Hand me that cream cheese and some triscuits and nobody gets hurt.

    oh, my love for cream cheese could write the songs that make the whole world sing.

  12. lavonda says:

    enjoy it, Boo. when they get older, those little fellers will be all up in your appetizers and you’ll have to – shudder – SHARE.
    because how do you say “no! back away! don’t touch my stuff!” to the fruit of your womb?! It’s the perverbial rock and the hard place, my friend. You can’t win.

  13. Thanks for the ‘appe-teaser’ recipes!

    (Yes, I have watched 3 seasons of The Office in the past week…)

    You know those questionnaires that our ‘friends’ email us? When it asks for ‘Favorite Food’, my response is always ‘Appetizers’.

    Is there anything better than the beach, pool and party food?!! Enjoy!

  14. That hot bacon swiss dip is a popular one in this family – we have a friend who calls it “heaven on a cracker” :)

    Enjoy your vacation – it looks wonderful!

  15. Mary Kat's Mom says:

    Do you know what you are doing to me? I am leaving for the beach at the beautiful white sands of the Gulf on Saturday for a week with my family and have my recipe book out going through and planning. I have now copied and pasted just about everything you have sent and am getting more excited by the minute! Thank you for pumping me up, like I needed it. Are you girls not going to make your Buffalo Chicken Dip one day? ? Didn’t you tell me I could use canned chicken since I ended up at the doctor with tennis elbow from shredding chicken with a fork last year? I surely hope so. Seriously, most of the things I plan on making are from you! Oh, and put a book on Howard’s head and tie it on tightly. He is just growing too fast. If he just wants to stay down there with me next week I would take very good care of him and put a lot of sunscreen on him! Love you!

  16. Cousins, water, appetizers. Heaven on earth. I love the “appetizers for evening meals on vacation” idea. Think I will try it too. Have fun.

  17. Our Christmas Eve tradition is appetizers. I must make over a dozen different kinds. Last year we had a church service so I knew it would be chaotic and tried something different. You would have thought I was making them eat bread and water rather than Pampered Chef taco rings (I thought this would be fun too!) These are adult children mind you.

  18. Pure Genius. All I have to say.

  19. Lovely!! Would love to munch and crunch with you all…sounds deee-lightful!

  20. Aaaaaaah. I cannot tell you how soothing it is to hear someone say, “showed out” It’s been way too long and my Southern ears really needed it. Thank you.

  21. Your menu looks fantastic. As a good southern girl, surely you are aware of this little recipe for happiness (it’s my go-to appetizer):

    thinly sliced deli ham
    cream cheese
    pickled okra

    Spread the cream cheese evenly over the ham, slap the okra on top and roll up like a pinwheel. Refrigerate and slice into bite size portions.

    The okra freaks some people out (my yankee in-laws in particular) until they try it.

  22. Wow! Thanks for the great appetizer suggestions. I love me some cream cheese, so I’ll be making those soon.

    Have a great vacation!

  23. I love reading your blog! You always have THE best tips and … schutff. :-)
    You are my hero!

  24. Oh. I’ve just got to try that Hot Bacon Swiss Dip. Yumm!!!

  25. the chili bean dip is really good when you use:
    vegetarian bean chili
    cream cheese
    chopped jalapeno’s
    choppd cilantro

    heat it up and enjoy with tortilla chips.

    too bad i already ate dinner or i would need to go make it. tomorrow may not get here fast enough.

    i think i need to post this over at ree’s new cooking site.


  26. I really like the idea of an appetizer fest! Often that’s what we order off the menu when we go out to eat for our “meal” :-D Nothing like a great cream cheese dip!

    Glad you’re having a great time away!