4 Moms: snacks and appetizers for a crowd {linky}

4 Moms, 35 Kids

Snacks are a Sunday evening tradition for us.  After a big weekly fellowship meal at church, we just aren’t in the mood for a formal dinner.  We would rather share snacks and appetizers, and if we do it right we find that we have a party even when it’s just the 12 of us!

A big part of what makes it a party rather than an evening snack is variety.  Instead of making enough of one dish to fill up 12 bellies, we like to create a variety of appetizers.  This may be a little more work, but work can be fun and the results are more appealing.  It also makes it easier to feed a crowd when you don’t feel the need to have/find enough ____ to feed everyone.

Just picture it: one bowl of popcorn and a movie = family night.  Sausage balls, bacon wrapped jalapenos, apples with dip, cheese & cracker platter, veggie tray = Party!

We love to work together in the kitchen as a family, with knives flashing, food flying, and music playing.  If we make a mess, we have enough hands to clean it up.

I already shared our recipe for sausage balls.  Here are some of our other favorites:

Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

Relax, and don’t let the jalapenos scare you.  With seeds removed, they’re just not that hot.

  • 12 small or medium sized jalapenos
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 6 oz. cream cheese

Carefully slice jalapenos in half lengthwise.  Cut out center with seeds and webbing.  Wear gloves if you have very sensitive skin.  Use a gentle touch if you don’t like too much heat – it’s on and around the seeds, so the more they touch the walls of the jalapeno the hotter your end product will be.  If you like a little heat, let the 5yo do this job, but warn him not to pick his nose, rub his eyes,  or put his fingers in his mouth afterward.  Do you think it sounds mean to even let a 5yo touch a jalapeno?  Relax.  I’m probably just kidding.

Now that your jalapenos are prepared, use a teaspoon to load them with cream cheese.

Here’s the good part.  Wrap each jalapeno with half a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.  Bacon makes everything better, right?  Even chocolate, but especially jalapenos.

Place on a cookie sheet with sides or a baking pan.  Don’t use a pizza pan or cookie sheet without sides, because the bacon grease will drip, filling your house with smoke and setting off your fire alarm.  Then you’ll have to open the doors and windows even though it smells really good inside and it’s 38 degrees outside, and your smoke alarm will keep going off anyway while your family alternately laughs at you and complains about their burning eyes.

So…bake on something with sides for 30-40 minute at 400.  When the bacon is done to your liking, they’re ready.  Enjoy, and try to share.

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Perfect with apples, or eat with a spoon when nobody is looking.  If they catch you, hand them a spoon and swear them to secrecy.

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Stir and enjoy.  You won’t believe 3 simple ingredients can taste this good.

What is your favorite snack or appetizer recipe?  How do you like to feed a crowd – one mega recipe or several smaller ones?
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  1. The fruit dip sounds great. My husband might like the bacon-wrapped jalepenos, but anything w/much spice at all isn’t my thing. Love that you do snacks for a mealtime Sun nite. 🙂 Thanks to all of you for keeping the 4 Moms thing going. I enjoy it and learn from it too.

  2. Bacon wrapped around water chestnuts and baked in the oven until the bacon is cooked is
    FABULOUS! You need to try it.

    • Jamie, you’re right. I need to try it because I think I’m the only one in my house who likes water chestnuts. I could have it all to myself! 😉

  3. I love bacon wrapped jalapenos. I make the same fruit dip but I add some nutmeg. You should try it!

  4. When we lived in Texas there was a restaurant that served bacon wrapped jalapenos, very similar to the recipe you shared, except I think they used cheddar cheese spread inside. Since the restaurant was called the Armadillo Grill this was their signature appetizer called armadillo toes. They were still tasty though. Perhaps your little boys would get a kick out a new name for this appetizer. 🙂

  5. At a thrift store I picked up a cook book with ‘copy cat’ recipes. We love to copy some of the things in our favorite places. Like Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster….Slider burgers from Applebees. ETC….lots of good ideas

  6. we make the fruit dip with cream cheese, marshmellow fluff and orange juice. also very yummy

  7. I don’t like bacon. I know, I’m weird! I make a receipe with Jalapenos and cream cheese though! I seed the jalapenos like you, then chop them up and mix them with cream cheese. Then, take the mixture and stuff it in crescent rolls. It’s soooo good!

  8. No matter how “not hot” a jalapeno is it’s still a pepper, and unless it’s a sweet pepper I don’t even try it! However this looks like a great recipe for what will be a new tradition in our family game day with the Florida Gator beat up on the Texas Aggies! I can’t wait to see this rivalry (and game snacks) play!

  9. Cream cheese fruit dip sounds so good! We are big cream cheese lovers, so I know that snack would hit it off in this house. I am constantly looking for new fun snacks, so thank you for the link up!

  10. We do a snack dinner on Sunday evening as well. My guys like little smokies, cheese squares, fruit on toothpicks and veggie sticks. We also love pretzel sticks dipped in different sauces like caramel, honey butter, yogurt and more.

  11. Try adding a little smokie coctail sausage to your jalepeno poppers….adds a whole new meaning to the word Yum!

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