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Midsummer Appetizers

Acapulco Sunset Spread

1 16 oz can refried beans
1/2 cup Old El Paso Homestyle Garden Pepper Salsa
1 8 oz pkg Neufchatel cheese -- softened
1 avocado -- pitted,, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 pound small shrimp -- cooked
1 tomato -- chopped
chopped fresh cilantro -- optional
tortilla chips

In medium bowl, combine beans and salsa; mix well. Spread bean mixture onto serving plate.

In food processor bowl with metal blade or blender container, combine cheese, avocado and lime juice; process until well blended. Spread cheese mixture over bean mixture.

Top with shrimp and tomato; garnish or sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe: Pillsbury's Make It Easy Mexican

Asparagus with Wasabi-Mayonnaise Dip

You can substitute wasabi powder for the wasabi paste in this recipe, but we find that the paste imparts a fresher flavor. Force the wasabi powder through a very fine sieve before using.

3 pounds thin to medium asparagus, trimmed
1 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons wasabi paste

Blanch asparagus in 2 batches in a large saucepan of boiling salted water 1 minute. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking. Drain well and pat dry.
Whisk together mayonnaise, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, and wasabi paste until sugar is dissolved.
Serve asparagus with dip.

Bagel Toppers

4 ounces whipped cream cheese
2 ounces smoked salmon -- cut slivers
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh dill,minced or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 ounces whipped cream cheese with chives
2 ounces ham -- diced
2 teaspoons honey mustard
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup radishes -- diced
1/3 cup cucumbers, seeded -- dice
1/4 cup parsley -- chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon peel -- grated

pizza snack

1 6 ounces can tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
5 whole wheat or white bagels -- split
1/2 cup green bell pepper
1/2 cup black olives -- chopped
3 ounces mozzarella cheese -- shredded

This is for 4 bagels, halved and toasted.

NEW YORKER-Combine cream cheese, salmon, sour cream, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper.

MIDWESTERN-Combine cream cheese, ham, mustard and pepper.

CALIFORNIAN-Combine ricotta, radishes, cucumbers, parsley, salt and lemon peel.

PIZZA SNACK-Heat oven to 450F. In small bowl, combine tomato paste and oregano. Spread each bagel half with 1T paste mixture. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Top each with bell pepper; sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 450F for 6 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted

Celestial Chicken Wings

1 c. soy sauce
1 c. pineapple juice
1 clove garlic, pressed
3 T. minced onion
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 can beer
1/4 c. butter or oil
2 pkg. chicken wings, cut, tips discarded

Combine first 8 ingredients and stir until dissolved. Pour over chicken and marinate overnight or at least 8 hours. Be sure sauce covers all pieces. Drain and save marinade. In a large skillet, heat a small amount of oil and brown chicken on all sides over medium heat. When brown, add 1/2 cup marinade; cover; reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. Stir and add more marinade if necessary. This may be cook4ed a day ahead and then reheated in oven before serving. Add marinade to moisten before heating. Serve hot in a chafing dish. Serves 8-10.

Cold Veggie Squares

2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup chopped fresh broccoli
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 tablespoons salad seasoning mix

Without separating the dough, roll out both packs of crescent rolls onto a baking sheet, forming them into a single, flat surface. Bake according to the directions on the package. Allow the finished rolls to cool.
In a bowl, Mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, basil and garlic powder. Spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the rolls. Spread the broccoli, cauliflower and carrots on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the salad seasoning mix over all. Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 16 servings

Daylily Hors d'oeuvres

1 cup diced cooked chicken
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 (3 oz) package cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

Gather the blooms early in the day. Trim and wash them and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Mix all ingredients well. Fill each blossom with mixture and set them upright in a pretty serving dish.

Honeyed Chicken Pockets with Chilli Crab Filling

Drumsticks can be prepared a day ahead. Storage: Covered, in refrigerator. Freeze: Uncooked chicken pockets suitable. Microwave: Not suitable.

12 chicken drumsticks
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon honey
Crab seasoning
30g butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 small fresh red chilli, chopped
1 green shallot, chopped
170g can crab meat, drained
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
Using sharp knife, cut and scrape meat down bone of each drumstick, working towards the thick end. As you do this, the meat will turn inside out. Cut across bone, leaving flesh attached to knuckle; discard bone. Turn meat again, so skin is on the outside. Fill pockets with chilli crab seasoning, secure with small skewers or toothpicks.

Just before serving, barbecue or grill drumsticks, brushing frequently with combined oil and honey, until browned and cooked through.

Crab seasoning: Heat butter in pan, add ginger, chilli and shallot, cook, stirring, until shallot is soft. Remove from heat, stir in crab meat and sauce.

Makes 12

SOURCE:From The Australian Women's Weekly The Great Chicken Cookbook.

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