Browsing Tag



ten tasty appetizers to make and freeze

January 6, 2014

Tis the season of sports playoffs.  With all of the games coming up, there are some great opportunities for indulging in some yummy finger-foods…and beer…while shouting at the television with some of your besties.  Get a jump on the preparations so that you are sure to have appetizers aplenty when the guests come over.


Each of these tasty bites can be made anytime, frozen, and then reheated for your play-off party, Super Bowl party, or even your “I’m too lazy to cook dinner on this Sunday afternoon” party.

artichoke fontina

Artichoke Dip with Fontina via Martha Stewart

buffalo bites

Buffalo Chicken Bites via Seeded at the Table


Mac, Chicken and Cheese Bites via Weelicious


Totally Tender Meatballs in Tomato Sauce via The Kitchn


Mushroom Turnovers via My Recipes


Spicy Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms via The Pioneer Woman

pizza rolls

Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Rolls via Domestic Fits


Pork Pot Stickers via My Recipes


Italian Sausage Cups via Circus Berry

pretzel bites

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites via Two Peas & Their Pod

Do you have a favorite game day snack, either that you make ahead or the day of?  Or is there an appetizer that you are known for?  Do share!



italian sausage cups

January 2, 2014

Happy Thursday and a very Happy New Year!  The Circus Berry family has returned home safely from Disney and we are all getting back into the swing of things.  And getting back into the snowy, cold weather.  Brrrr.

The crazy holiday season is over but with the new year there is all sorts of fun coming up.  You might even find yourself entertaining again for the big game coming up on February 2.  Today I am sharing a simple, bite-sized, and freezable appetizer that it is a spin-off of one of my family’s favorites for any get-together…the sausage roll.  It’s perfect for a crowd and quite easy to make.  I actually made and froze these little bites before we left for Disney and we enjoyed them, reheated, on New Year’s Eve.


They require 3 ingredients and are a breeze!


Italian Sausage Cups
makes 24

1 pound Italian sausage (hot or mild)
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 sheet puff pastry dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 400º.  Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

Remove the sausage from the casing and cook in a large pan over medium heat until browned, stirring frequently to break up and crumble the large pieces.  Drain excess grease if needed.  Stir in cheese and set aside.

Unfold puff pastry into a rectangle, rolling out if needed to get a uniform thickness.  Using a 2″ circle cookie cutter, cut out 24 circles.  Gently fit the puff pastry into each of the prepared muffin cups, pressing the dough up the sides of the cup if needed.  Spoon the sausage mixture into the cup, filling to the top.  Bake for 15 minutes in the oven, until the pastry is browned puffed.  Remove from the muffin tins and allow to cool slightly on a baking sheet.  Enjoy warm.

If you are freezing:  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.  Transfer cups, in one layer, to a large cookie sheet and place in the freezer.  Once frozen, place the cups in a freezer bag and seal.  To enjoy, thaw for several minutes on the counter and reheat at 400º for about 10 minutes.


You could even line up some sauce for dipping on the side!  Yum!


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leek & butternut squash galette

November 22, 2013

Galettes are one of my favorite ways to serve up something warm and toasty and savory with little effort.  Each time I make one, I am reminded of how darn easy they really are to make.  For me, the non-pie-maker, it really works out because it is just a little fold here, a little fold there, and pop it in the oven.  This one smelled particularly amazing while it baked…


It came together one day because I was trying to make something using whatever I had on hand.  Now, I know my mother would not approve, but I like to keep a package of store-bought pie crusts in the freezer (when I remember to buy them) particularly for moments just like that.  There are lots of things you can make in a pinch.


Leek and Butternut Squash Galette

1 pie crust
1 large leek, green parts removed, cut in half lengthwise, cleaned, and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 roasted butternut squash, sliced
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400º. Roll out pie crust on a lightly floured surface and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In a medium skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and garlic and sauté on medium heat, string constantly, until the leeks and garlic are softened and start to turn translucent.  Salt and pepper to taste and stir in fresh thyme.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Spread the leek and garlic mixture in the center of the pie crust, leaving about 2 inches around the edges.  Top with the roasted butternut squash.  Top with the toasted walnuts.  Gently fold the edges of the crust in toward the center, working around until the entire crust is folded it.  Brush the crust with the egg.  Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.  Remove to a baking rack and allow to cool slightly.  Serve warm.


My mouth is officially watering.  Enjoy!


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