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NORTHWOODS COOKS: Appetizers to ring in the New Year

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. These recipes for appetizers from will help kick off the new year with a burst of flavor.

Spinach artichoke dip made in a slow cooker and served warm with tortilla chips is an easy appetizer to serve for New Year's Eve munching. (Adobe Stock)

Cape Cod Cocktail Meatballs

2 lbs. ground beef

1 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 eggs


2 Tbsp. grated onion

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

16-oz. can jellied cranberry sauce

1-1/2 cups ketchup

2-1/2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, grated onion, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Pinch off about 2 teaspoons of meat mixture per meatball and roll into small meatballs. Arrange meatballs in a large, deep baking dish.


Bake in the preheated oven until the meatballs are browned, about 25 minutes. Drain excess grease.

Combine jellied cranberry sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir the sauce until cranberry sauce has melted and brown sugar has dissolved.

Pour the sauce over meatballs and bake until sauce forms a glaze and meatballs are no longer pink inside, 25 to 30 more minutes.

Best Ever Jalapeno Poppers

12 oz. cream cheese, softened

8-oz. package shredded Cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp. bacon bits


12 oz. jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved

1 cup milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup dry bread crumbs

2 quarts oil for frying

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves.

Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.

Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees. Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel.

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

9-oz. package frozen spinach

8-oz. package cream cheese

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup milk

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Combine artichokes, spinach, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, milk, salt, and pepper in the bottom of a slow cooker.

Cover and cook on high, stirring occasionally to combine, for 2 hours.

Bacon Cheese Puffs

1 lb. sliced bacon

2-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp. prepared mustard

1 cup mayonnaise

1 pound sliced pumpernickel party bread

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

Preheat the oven to broil. In a medium bowl combine the bacon, cheese, mustard and mayonnaise. Stir well. Arrange party bread on a cookie sheet. Spoon mixture onto each slice of bread. Broil for 5 minutes, or until bubbly.

Quick and Easy Party Pinwheels

1/2 (17.5 oz.) package frozen puff pastry, thawed

8-oz. package cream cheese, softened

6 oz. deli-sliced ham

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust a flat work surface lightly with flour. Unroll puff pastry and roll out to a rectangle. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese over the puff pastry. Cover with ham slices, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll puff pastry up tightly like a jelly roll.

Slice puff pastry roll in 1/4-inch-thick slices and lay on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven on the center rack until lightly browned and puffed up, 15 to 20 minutes.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Related Topics: FOODRECIPES
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