All Recipes

"I had these recipes that say do this, do that.  Who MAKES these rules?" - Emeril Lagasse

Shrimp Salsa

Baked Brie

Hot Artichoke Dip

Chocolate Cookie Cheesecake



Spicy Cheese Dip

Creamy Beef-cheese Dip

Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce

Instant Pesto Torta with Bread and Vegetables

Buffalo Chicken Dip


Shrimp Salsa

5 plum tomatoes, diced

¾ lb cooked medium shrimp, chopped

2 medium avocado’s, peeled and diced

¼ medium red onion chopped

1 jalapeño seeded, minced

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoon cocktail sauce (I use McCormick)

1/3  cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Kosher salt


Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.  This actually better if you let it sit for a couple of hours.  Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips.

Baked Brie

1- 8" round of Brie

3/4 cup dried cranberries (I use Craisins)

3/4 cup pecan pieces

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 c. Honey


Combine cranberries, pecans, and brown sugar.  Cut the rind off the top of the brie.  Cover with cranberry mixture.  Drizzle with honey.  Microwave for 2 minutes.


Tip:  If you don't have an 8 inch round of Brie,  mix the topping and use enough to cover the brie that you do have.  Refrigerate remaining mixture until next use.


Hot Artichoke Dip (top)

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese softened
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts drained
2 cups mayonaise
1 3/4 cups shredded Parmesan Cheese (Tip:   buy the zip top bags, they work better than grated)

Beat cream cheese at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth.
Mash artichoke hearts, add to cream cheese, stirring well. Stir in mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. Spoon into a greased 11 X 7 inch baking dish.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes until thoroughly heated and the edges brown a little. Serve with assorted crackers. 6 servings


Chocolate Cookie Cheese cake (oreo) (top)

2 2/3 Cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (about 28 cookies) (I generally put these in the food processor)

1/3 Cup butter or margarine, melted

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese Softened

1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

16 Chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely crumbled

1 1/2 cups sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine cookie crumbs and butter, mixing well.  Press firmly on bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  Chill.


Beat cream cheese until fluffy in a large mixing bowl; gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth.  Stir in eggs, mixing well.  Add 1 tablespoon vanilla.  Fold crumbled cookies into cream cheese mixture.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake at 400 for 5 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 325 and continue baking 55 to 60 minutes.  (Top will be set and center may be soft but will firm when chilled.)  Combine sour cream, sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; stir will.  Gently spoon sour cream mixture evenly over cheesecake, and spread evenly to edges of pan.  Bake an additional 10 minutes.  Cool to room temperature; cover and chill overnight.  Use the excess cookies for decoration.

Eggnog (I don't even like eggnog and I like this) (top)

From:  Camilo Rodriguez


     4 eggs

     1 1/2 cups of sugar

     4 oz white rum

     6 oz brandy/cognac

     1 tablespoon vanilla extract

     2 cans of evaporated milk

     heavy cinnamon to taste


beat the eggs until fluffy (dissolve the bumps). Mix in everything else except the milk. Mix the milk by hand to minimize foam.   chill..enjoy


Spicy cheese dip (This goes fast at any gathering) (top)

From:  Lynn Clemmons Steele


1 lb. browned spicy sausage

1 8 oz. philly cream cheese

4 oz velvetta

1 can Rotel Tomatoes


Drain the liquid from the Tomato’s.  Keep the liquid in reserve.  Mix all ingredients and ¼ c. of the liquid .  Melt the cheese.  Serve with Scoop fritos.

Creamy Beef-cheese Dip (top)

From:  Arlene Krueger

1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese

1 (2 1/2 - ounce) jar sliced dried beef, finely chopped

1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons green pepper, finely chopped

2 tablespoons milk

3/4 teaspoon pepper


Unwrapped and place block of cream cheese in a 1 quart glass casserole dish.  Microwave at HIGH 45 seconds to one minute, or until cheese is softened.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. 

Cover and microwave at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes. Stir. Microwave at MEDIUM an additional 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.  Serve with Wheat Thins or other crackers.


Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce (top)

From:  Susan Becker

1 small onion

1/4 cup vodka

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup whipping cream

1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound pasta

1/4 tsp crushed red peppers

Parmesan (to sprinkle)

Chives (to sprinkle)


Melt butter with olive oil.  Add onions and saute until translucent.  Add tomatos until little to no liquid remains. (about 25 minutes) While reducing the tomatoes, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.  Add cream, vodka, and red pepper.  Boil until thickens. (2 minutes).  Pour over cooked pasta.  Sprinkle parmesan and chives.


Notes:  You can use any type of pasta.  I use either bowtie or penne.  You can also add shrimp, salmon, chicken or other toppings to your taste.


Instant Pesto Torta with Bread and Vegetables (top)
By Rachel Ray on food network
Vegetable spray
4 pieces sun-dried tomatoes
4 leaves fresh basil
3 tubs, 6 ounces each, soft garlic and herb cheese (recommended: Alouette brand)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato tapenade
1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
1 baguette or whole grain baguette, pre-sliced at the bread counter

Line a small shallow dish or bowl with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Coat wrap with vegetable spray. Arrange a pattern in bottom of the dish using the sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Add 1 1/2 tubs of garlic and herb cheese (about half a pound) to the dish and smooth over, then layer in the sun-dried tomato spread and the pesto. Spread the remaining cheese on top of the pesto. Place a serving plate over the bowl and invert the bowl. Hold on to the edges of the waxed paper or wrap to release the cheese. Remove the waxed paper or plastic wrap. Arrange the sliced baguette along 1 side of the torta.
Arrange carrots and tomatoes along the opposite side of the torta.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

From: Beth Davis

1.25 lbs chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 6 oz bottle of Frank's red hot (more if you like it spicy)
1 3 oz brick of cream cheese  (more if you like it creamy)
2 C shredded white cheddar cheese (shredded block cheese is best...not bag)
Ranch or blue cheese dressing
Fritos scoops


--Add Franks Red Hot to chicken in a ziploc bag.  Marinate at least 2 hrs, preferably overnight.
--Soften cream cheese and spread along bottom of an 8x8 glass/ceramic dish  (you can zap it in the microwave to make it spread more easily)
--Add marinated chicken on top of cream cheese layer
--Spread 2C of cheese on top of chicken
--Back in over at 350 for 30 minutes
--Spread ranch/blue cheese on top (I sometimes do both and put a celery dividing line in the middle)
--Serve with Scoops!


Cestaro Family Sangria Recipe (top) -

1 gallon jug of Burgundy wine

1 c. frozen orange juice concentrate

1 c. sugar

Dark fruits (strawberries, raspberrie, peaches)

lemons & limes

Seltzer or tonic water

24 hours in advance:

Pour the wine into a serving container.  Add 1 cup frozen orange juice concentrate.  Add 1 cup sugar. Mix.

Cut up fruits. (Cestaro's note: one peach, hand full of strawberries and some raspberries)

Cut 1 lemon and 1 lime in quarters. 

Mash all of the fruit together to get the juices flowing and addd to the wine mixture.  Store overnight in the refrigerator.  Chill the seltzer or tonic water.

When ready to serve: 

Taste wine mixture to see if it's sweet enough for your taste.  Add OJ or sugar to taste.  The mixture will be strong.  Pour 2 liters of seltzer/tonic water into container.  Mix and serve over ice.