Awful Appetizers

Bleeding Heart Bruisetta​

1 package dried mission figs

1/2 cup ruby port

1 package prosciutto

1 tub mascarpone

1 baguette

olive oil

In a small saucepan heat the port and then add the fig. Stir to coat evenly. Cover and tunr off heat. Let sit for 30 minutes.


Slice baguette at an angle and brush both sides with olive oil. Toast on a grill pan or under a broiler. Set aside to cool.


Spread mascarpone on toast slice, spoon fig on top and top with a slice of prosciutto.

Harvest Corn Cups

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, softened

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream butter and cream cheese until well incorporated and pale yellow. Combine flour, cornmeal, and salt in a small bowl. Add gradually to butter mixture, mixing constantly until well incorporated.

Divide dough into 1-inch balls and press into mini-muffin tins, forming wells in the middle. Dough cups should be as even as possible and come up to the top of the tins. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Fill with Malachi's Corn Salsa.

Monster Meat Balls 

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small sweet onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced 

1/2 cup Heinz chili sauce

1 cup KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce

1/2 cup honey

salt and pepper, to taste

1 package frozen Italian-style meatballs


In a large saute pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium. Add diced onion and cook until tender. Then add garlic and continue cooking for a couple minutes longer making sure not to let the garlic brown. Add a chili sauce, barbecue sauce, honey, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to low simmer. Add the meatballs and toss to evenly coat. Transfer to crock pot, and let the meatballs slowly heat through. Serve.

Devil's Queso

1 tbsp butter

1 tsbp olive oil

1 sweet yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can green chilies, diced

4 roma tomatoes, diced

1 large brick Velvetta Cheese, cut into cubes

1/2 cup half-n-half

tortilla chips, for serving

In a large saute pan, over medium heat butter and olive oil. Add onions and a pinch of salt, saute until translucent. Add garlic, green chilies and tomatoes and continue sautéing.

Reduce heat to low. Slowly add Velvetta cheese cubes a few a time, stirring constantly. As soon as one those melt, add a few more. Add half-n-half and stir until well combined. Keep warm and serve with tortilla chips.

Ectoplasm Crackers

1 jar pepper jelly
green food dye, optional
1 tub whipped cream cheese 
whole wheat crackers


Add green food dye to a jar of pepper jelly and carefully stir until well incorporated. 

Lay crackers on a tray and spread about of 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese on each one. Spoon the pepper jelly over the crackers and serve. 

This is one of the easiest and fasted appetizers to make that everyone will love. They look ghastly but taste great. Look in farmer markets for different varieties of red pepper jelly. I love a pomegranate red pepper jelly for this recipe since it's sweet, spicy and slightly tart.

Trick 'r Treat Party Mix

3/4 box Chex (or Crispix)

2 cups pecans

1/2 cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1 cup bite-size pretzels

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup dark Karo syrup

Preheat oven to 350º. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside. 

In a large bowl combine cereal, pecans, pepitas, pretzels and cranberries.


In a small saucepan, melt butter, add brown sugar and Karo syrup. Bring to a boil and cook about 3-4 minutes. Carefully pour hot syrup over cereal mixture. Mix well, then transfer mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and stir while cooling to avoid lumping.

Malachi's Corn Salsa

1 (8oz) bag frozen corn, thawed

3 tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion, finely diced

2 limes, juiced

1 orange pepper

1 mango, finely diced

1 jalapeno, finely diced

1 tbsp of adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers en adobo*)

1 chipotle pepper (from a can of chipotle peppers en adobo*), finely minced

1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 tsp coarse salt

Heat broiler to low. Place corn on baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, and sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast 6-8 min until corn just starts turning brown. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, place red onions, lime juice and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and let sit several minutes.

Meanwhile, roast orange pepper directly on flame until all the skin is charred. Wrap with a wet towel. When cool enough to handle, use paper towel to rub away as much of the charred skin as possible. Remove membranes and seeds, dice, and place into the large bowl.

In a small bowl, with a fork mash together 1/2 of the mango, adobo sauce and a pinch of salt. Add mango mixture into the large bowl, along with the corn, jalapeno, black beans, the remaining diced mango, chipotle, and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine. Fill cups with 1/2 tsp of salsa.

*Cans of "chipotle peppers en adobo" can be found in the Mexican aisle. The smoked jalapeno peppers can be very hot, so adjust the heat to your liking.

Toes in Blankets

1 pkg Chicken Lit'l Smokies Cocktail Weiners (about 40 pieces)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
4 tbsp Dijon Mustard 
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 egg 
1 tbsp milk 
ketchup, for serving

Preheat oven to 400º. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

On a lightly floured work surface, unfold 1 (10x15") sheet of puff pastry and roll out out to about 16 x 11 inches. Spread the Dijon mustard over the entire surface to coat (it cooks down, so don't be afraid to use it). Season with a light dusting of cayenne pepper (or black pepper if you prefer).


Using a pizza wheel, cut in half, then half again (blue lines). Cut five strips lengthwise (orange lines). Cut each remaining strip diagonally to form a rectangle (dashed line). You should get 40 triangles.

Place 1 weiner at the fat end of the triangle and roll up. Place on prepared baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough and weiners.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 tablespoon milk until well combined. Brush the tops of the dough and bake for 15-20 minutes until dough is golden and puffed. Serve with bloody ketchup for dipping.

Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pies

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup pimiento green olives, chopped
3/4 cup golden raisins
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Several dashes hot sauce
1 large egg, separated
2 boxes of prepared pie crusts

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and saute until just brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove meat from pan and set aside. 


Add olive oil to hot pan, swirl to coat, then immediately add onions and yellow bell pepper. Saute until the onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cumin and cook for another minute. Stir in the olives, raisins, honey, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Add meat and any juices back into the pan, and cook 1-2 minutes until well-combined and liquid has mostly evaporated. Cool completely, and refrigerate if not using immediately.


In a small container, whisk the egg white until foamy and add to COOLED meat mixture. In another small container whisk the egg yolk with 1 tbsp of water, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and lightly spray a muffin pan (or mini muffin pan) with non-stick spray, if needed.


Unroll each pie crust onto a floured surface. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out 2-inch circles of dough from each pie crust (size of the circle depends on the size of pan you use). Place one round in each cavity of the muffin tin, and press into the bottom and sides. The dough should come up to the top of the cavity. Fill with meat and gently pat down. Place another round of dough on top of and press down along the edges to seal. Brush the top lightly with egg yolk wash, then prick each pie with a fork to vent. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Blackened Bat Wings

1 pkg whole wings

olive oil

salt & pepper

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 

1/2 cup ketchup 

1/2 cup brown sugar 

1 garlic clove, finely minced 

2 tsp Dijon mustard 

salt & black pepper 

Preheat oven to 400º. Line baking tray with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Rinse wings with water and pat dry paper towels. Place on prepared baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides. Bake 30-35 minutes until cooked through.

Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Remove wings from oven and turn on broiler to low. Brush wings lightly with BBQ sauce (both sides) and return to the oven. Crisp under broiler 3-5 minutes until glaze begins to crackle. Remove from oven and arrange on serving platter to resemble bats.

Witches Brew Salsa 

2 poblano peppers 

1 jalapeno chile 

1 Hass avocado, peeled and pitted 

1/4 cup olive oil 

1/2 cup chopped red onion 

1/4 cup cilantro leaves 

1 garlic clove

Juice of 1 lime 

1/2 teaspoons coarse salt 

3-4 tablespoons water

tortilla chips

Using tongs, hold the Poblano chile over a direct flame (gas stoves work best) and char the skin of the chile until black and puffy. This can also be done under the broiler setting in your oven. Quickly wrap the chile in a damp paper towel and place in a small bowl. Cover immediately with a damp paper towel. Let the peppers steam until they are cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. With paper towel, rub pepper to peel off the blackened skin, and discard. Cut peppers in half, removing the stem, ribs and seeds. 

Place the peppers in a blender along with avocado, olive oil, chopped onion, cilantro leaves, garlic, lime juice, salt, and 3-4 tablespoons water. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate at least 3 hours to allow flavors to blend.

Anti-Vampire Dip 

1 (15oz) can cannellini bean

2 cloves garlic 

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

1/3 cup olive oil, plus a drizzle for the pita bread 

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves 

Salt & pepper

1 package pita bread 

Preheat the oven to 400º. 


Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and place in the food processor. Add the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.


Cut each pita in half and then into wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss, spreading out the wedges evenly. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden. Serve the pita toasts at room temperature with the bean puree.

Flesh and Gore-ganzola Tart

1 round of pie dough
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ounces Gorgonzola,softened
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped 
salt & pepper 
2 tablespoons butter 
3 small pears, sliced thinly
red food dye 
2 ounces prosciutto, sliced into thin strips 

Unroll and place the pie dough into a 9" tart pan. Dock the bottom with the tines of a fork, then place parchment paper on top. Fill with pie weights and bake the pie shell at 425º for 18-20 minutes until golden. It must be fully baked before serving. Let cool. (For more directions on "blind baking" a pie shell visit Let cool. 


Meanwhile, in the food processor, combine the cream cheese, Gorgonzola, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pulse to thoroughly combine and whip the cheeses together. Set aside.


In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the pears and cook until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in red food coloring coating completely. It's okay if the pears get smashed a little.


When the tart crust has cooled slightly, gently spread the cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the tart. Pour the pears smoothing out over the cheese, leaving little mounds throughout. Sprinkle the thin strips of prosciutto over the top. With a sharp knife, slice into wedges and serve.

Chopped Zombie Salad

1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
black food coloring 
3 strips bacon
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
1 large head of broccoli, well-chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 Granny Smith apple, diced

Place raisins and cranberries in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 30 minute. Drain and rinse. Add 2-3 drops of black food coloring and stir to coat evenly.


Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook bacon over a medium heat until browned. Drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tbsp of cooking fat. When cool, chop bacon into small pieces. 


Clean skillet with paper towel. Add onion and saute until translucent. Set aside.


In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, and pinch of salt. Whisk several minutes until sugar is fully dissolved and smooth. Add broccoli, raisins, apple, onions, seeds,and bacon and fold gently until everything is coated well, then cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours.

Autumn Pasta 

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced 

4 chicken & apple sausage links, sliced into rounds

6 garlic cloves, sliced

1/4 tsp red chili flakes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound rigatoni

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

1/2 cup pecans, chopped 

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup ricotta cheese

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400º. In a large bowl, toss squash, sausage, garlic, red chili flakes (adjust to make less or more spicy), salt & pepper with about 2 tablespoons olive oil until well coated. Pour onto a foil-lined baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes until squash is tender. Set aside. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt water and add pasta (cook according to package directions). Drain pasta when al dente, and place in a large serving bowl.


Meanwhile, make the brown butter sauce: heat a stainless steel pan over medium heat. Add butter, whisking until melted. Continue cooking about 3 minutes until butter solids foam and turn slightly brown. Add pecans and saute another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.


Sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan cheese, then top with the butternut squash, and sausage. Pour brown butter and pecan mixture over the top and gently toss with two spoons, making sure not to mash the squash. Serve with a dollop of ricotta cheese and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.