Easy Anytime Dips, Spreads and Toppings

Post by Vanessa

I am the queen of finding the fastest and easiest way to put out a delicious and appealing spread. I usually prepare one or two "fancy" recipes and then fill in quick, straightforward dishes that I know taste great but don't require much effort. Here are two favorite recipes of mine that are a nice example of my balance between delicious and easy.

Delicious and Easy Party Food

Cranberry Chutney & Goat Cheese

Prep Time: 10 Mins Total Time:  10 Mins Level: Easy

Cranberry Chutney & Goat Cheese

Cranberry chutney poured over goat cheese is one of my favorite appetizers. This is one of my more "gourmet" recipes, but it's still very easy to cook. To make it happen, I just have to throw a few extra items on the grocery list that I don't normally have lying around.

Ingredients:

  • 1shallot, finely chopped, or 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  • 1teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1can (14 oz.) whole cranberry sauce
  • 1/4cup golden raisins or raisins
  • 1tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/8teaspoon salt
  • 1log (10.5 oz.) plain goat cheese
  • Keebler® Town House® Original Crackers

Directions

  1. In small skillet cook shallot in oil over medium heat for 2 to 4 minutes or until soft.
  2. Stir in cranberry sauce, raisins, orange juice and salt. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring frequently.
  3. Place goat cheese on serving platter. Pour warm cranberry mixture over top. Serve with Keebler®Town House® Original Crackers.

    Yield: 1 1/2 cups cranberry mixture plus 10.5 oz. goat cheese; 13 servings; (1 serving = 4 crackers plus scant 2 tablespoons cranberry mixture plus .8 oz. cheese)

Italian Veggie Dip

Prep Time: 5 mins  Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins  Level: Easy

Italian Veggie Dip

The following veggie dip is beyond easy. You'll probably have the ingredients on-hand and it takes about two seconds to prepare.

Ingredients:

Directions

  1. In small bowl whisk together sour cream and salad dressing mix. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  2. Serve with Town House® Flipsides® Original Crackers and carrot sticks 

    Yield: 2 cups, 16 servings (1 serving=2 tablespoons dip plus 4 crackers)

During the holidays, there's so much pressure to squeeze in dinners and gatherings with friends. At these family affairs with lots of kids running around, we rarely make a full dinner. I prefer to keep things simple in the kitchen to have time to focus on socializing with friends. This is not the time to play "Martha" with puff pastry, so I often turn to crackers as a quick but delicious base.

The other night I made two crowd pleasers. The adults raved about the caramelized onion and apple cream cheese spread I put on simple butter crackers. Even the kids, went nuts for the sweet Sloppy Joe bites served on conveniently-shaped Toppers crackers.

Caramelized Onion and Apple Cream Cheese Spread

Prep Time: 40 mins  Total Time:1 hour, 10 mins  Level: Easy

caramelized-onion-and-apple-cream-cheese-spread-large

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
  • 2 cups chopped, sweet onions (about 2 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 medium cooking apples, cored, peeled and finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tub (12oz.) of whipped cream cheese
  • Keebler® Town House® Original Crackers

Directions

  1. In large nonstick skillet melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add onions. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 13 to 15 minutes or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes more or until onions turn light brown. Stir in brown sugar and vinegar. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 3 minutes more or until liquid evaporates. Remove from skillet. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, wipe skillet out with paper towels. In same large skillet melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Stir in apples and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium-low heat about 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Remove from heat. Cool at least 30 minutes.
  3. In medium bowl stir together apple mixture and cream cheese. Stir in about 3/4 of the onion mixture. Spread on Keebler® Town House® Original Crackers. Top with the remaining onion mixture.

    Yield: 2 3/4 cups cream cheese mixture; 22 servings (1 serving = 4 crackers plus 2 tablespoons cream cheese mixture

Sloppy Joe Bites

Prep Time: 20 mins  Total Time: 45 mins  Level: Easy

sloppy joe bites recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1/2cup finely chopped carrot (about 1 medium)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pureed tomatoes
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Keebler® Town House Toppers® Original Crackers or Keebler® Town House Toppers® Multi-Grain Crackers

 

Directions

  1. In nonstick Dutch oven cook onion, celery, carrot and garlic in hot oil over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from pan.
  2. In same Dutch oven cook ground beef over medium-high heat until brown. Drain off any fat. Stir in vegetable mixture, tomatoes, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered about 25 to 30 minutes or until very thick, stirring occasionally.
  3. Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of meat mixture on top of each cracker. (Or, transfer to serving bowl and serve with crackers.)

    Yield: 4 cups meat mixture; 32 servings (1 serving = 2 tablespoon meat mixture plus 4 crackers)

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