Appetizers

Beer and Cheddar Cheese Dip

Beer and Cheddar Cheese Dip

Beer, cheddar cheese, and pretzels — what more could you want? How about that it’s only got two ingredients and you can make it in ten minutes or less?

Coctel De Camaron: Sonoran Style Shrimp Cocktail

Coctel De Camaron: Sonoran Style Shrimp Cocktail

Mexican style shrimp cocktail is a festive yet casual affair. It’s traditionally served layered in the kind of glass used for ice cream sundaes, along with the customary long spoon, and since I make mine with Bloody Mary mix and hot sauce it’s ready in about 5 minutes.

Parmesan Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

Parmesan Pepperoni Crustless Pizza

If you bake a layer of Parmesan cheese in the oven it will crackle and pop after a while, turning into a crispy, brown cheese cracker that’s much tastier than any pizza crust I’ve encountered. I topped this baked cheese crisp  (which is a popular dish called Frico in Italy) with pizza spices and toppings before sliding it into the oven. The results: crustless pizza!

Layered Lasagna Dip

Layered Lasagna Dip

A creamy, warm, vegetarian layered dip that tastes like lasagna. This recipe is loaded with cheese. Serve with fresh veggies.

Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

Parmesan Crisps with Caviar and Crème Fraîche

Festive enough for New Year’s Eve, this pretty appetizer only takes about 5 minutes to make. Bacon infused caviar adds a unique smokiness that will intrigue your guests and is fairly inexpensive, but any decent quality caviar will do. The one-ingredient parmesan crisps are a savory, no-carb alternative to blini.

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin salsa is an all-purpose salsa that can be used for dipping, for seasoning, and as a taco sauce. A little goes a long way, so if you prefer a milder salsa, cut the amount of chiles down by a half or a third. This recipe is from the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers.

Buffalo Chicken Rumaki Bites

Buffalo Chicken Rumaki Bites

Whatever happened to Rumaki, that vaguely Polynesian appetizer that they used to serve at tiki themed parties in the 70s? Maybe making buffalo-style rumaki will help modernize them a bit and bring them back into the public lexicon? Let’s all try serving this recipe at our next soiree and see what happens.

The Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

The Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

The cheese crisp is the perfect comfort food. A cross between a Mexican pizza an an open-faced quesadilla, Southern Arizona restaurants started selling the dish more than 50 years ago and it’s become a staple of our local Sonoran style cuisine. 

Sweet Pepper Poppers

Sweet Pepper Poppers

How To Make Sweet Mini Pepper Poppers. I first developed this recipe for the Food Network.

Snack of the Day: Cincinnachos! Cincinnati-Style Chili Cheese Nachos

Snack of the Day: Cincinnachos! Cincinnati-Style Chili Cheese Nachos

Ohio meets Arizona! Cincinnati style chili cheese nachos, “Cincinnachos” as they will henceforth be known. The best of everything for snacking season. Start with My Recipe for Cincinnati Style Turkey Chili, substituting ground grass-fed beef or vegetarian ground beef crumbles if you prefer.

Sprinkles Fairy Bread Sandwiches

Sprinkles Fairy Bread Sandwiches

Make any day a celebration! Just barely sweet, these sparkly sandwiches make a fun breakfast surprise, after-school snack, or party food.

Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “Fairy Bread” from A Child’s Garden of Verses, fairy bread is a popular treat at children’s parties in Australia, New Zealand, and other little pockets of the world.

This recipe is from my book Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts. The photograph is previously unpublished

Sparkling Cranberry and Brie Crostini

Sparkling Cranberry and Brie Crostini

Visually stunning sugared cranberries are a study in contrast. The tart, dark berries which appear to have been encrusted in tiny jewels, add a magical quality to these brie crostini.

Consider the Artichoke

Consider the Artichoke

There was a basket of cute purple and green baby artichokes in the produce section of the market. My intent was to buy the larger globe artichokes for my recipe but these charmed me. I figured that I would grill these up and serve them with lemon-butter. Then I realized that was all wrong. They needed to be marinate, not dipped and scraped like their larger counterparts. So, I boiled them up and placed them in a big bell jar with a simple italian style marinade.

Fennel, Blue Cheese & Spanish Chorizo Mini Pizzas

Fennel, Blue Cheese & Spanish Chorizo Mini Pizzas

The fun thing about pizza is that I can throw a bunch of seemingly unrelated items together and make something new. I’ve been experimenting and have found that almost any combination that tastes good on a salad will also be good on a pizza.  For these mini pizzas I started with a classic herb and cheese crust. I used good olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead of tomato sauce. For the toppings I did a hot layer of fennel and blue cheese, and then a cold layer once it came out of the oven. of meats and fresh tomatoes.

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole Recipe

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole Recipe

Chunky Guacamole for the win! I swear the recipe from my cookbook Taste of Tucson is the best ever… it’s spicy, salty and creamy yet crisp and bright with lots of citrus and just a tiny bit of crunch from the fresh Serranos.

Some people avoid avocados because they are higher in calories than other fruit, but they are filled with the good fat, the kind that’s been shown to actually help you lose weight and lower cholesterol levels. Here’s some more information on avocado nutrition from Hass. Avocados are really good for you!

Black and White Nachos

Black and White Nachos

This recipe makes a white nacho cheese sauce instead of the traditional yellow. Black beans add contrast, fiber and a bit more protein. There are more colors here than just black and white. but you get the point.

Spicy Deviled Eggs

Spicy Deviled Eggs

I’ve been having an unyielding urge for deviled eggs. Since I like a salty-spicy combo I’ll use caviar for a garnish when I’m feeling fancy. Otherwise I’ll just use capers. I feel that it’s important to buy organic eggs and I always try to buy eggs that come from chickens that are fed flax seed, giving their eggs a healthy dose of Omega3. They’re a great idea for vegetarians.I learned how to make hard boiled eggs from Martha Stewart (not in person… on her website). Here’s the link if you want to check out her instructions.This recipe serves one as a snack. For a crowd, multiply the recipe by the number of people expected to eat them.

Recipe Index

Visit Jackie Alpers @ The Food Network

Jackie Alpers for the Food Network

Order Jackie’s Newest Cookbook: Taste of Tucson

taste of Tucson cookbook cover

About Jackie Alpers

Portrait of Taste of Tucson Cookbook author in her Mexican tiled kitchen

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