MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS HORS'DOEUVRES

We have a tradition with our neighbors of getting together and exchanging gifts for Christmas.  We alternate years and this year it is our turn to host.  We dress up and have a formal dinner at the dining room table and then exchange gifts.  I wanted to share the hors'doeuvres and the recipes for them that I am making.  The Artichoke Dip is a tradition for our family, but the others are new to us this year.  I couldn't resist the Potato Chip Snack Blend which is a little spicy, and the Marinated Olives with garlic and orange zest!

Potato Chip Snack Blend

(this is insanely good)

3 (5 ounce) bags plain potato chips

1 cup salted cashews

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons honey (I used Chipotle honey)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Put potato chips in a large bowl.  Transfer 4 cups of chips into a large resealable plastic bag.  Add cashews.  Remove air from bag and seal.  Lightly crush potato chip mixture in bag, then add to bowl of whole chips.

In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat until brown, swirling occasionally, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, add honey, and mix well.

Drizzle brown butter and honey mixture into potato chip bowl and combine well.  Sprinkle with salt and chipotle powder.  Spread on prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly golden, 5 to 8 minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes before serving.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

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The butter should be brown and it happens really quickly!

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This is the honey that I used, but any kind of honey will work!

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The hot potato chip mixture.

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Marinated Olives with Orange

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon thinly sliced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 quart mixed olives

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

In a large skillet, heat the oil.  Add the garlic orange zest and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the garlic is softened, about 2 minutes.  Add the olives and cook, stirring, until hot, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the orange juice.  Let cool completely stirring occasionally.  Serve at room temperature.

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Artichoke Spread

15 ounces water packed artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped

6 1/2 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped

2 ounces diced green chiles

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

Pepper

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, reserving 1/4 cup for topping

Crackers or Pita Crisps to serve

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients except cheese for topping and blend well.  Spread into an oven proof serving dish.  Sprinkle top with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Serve with crackers or Pita Crisps.

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The green chiles give this Artichoke Dip a Southwestern flavor!

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Enjoy!

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(via Pinterest)