Crabmeat is a favorite when it comes to appetizers. Your guests are sure to enjoy this flavorful recipe!

2 6-ounce cans crabmeat
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup green pepper
2 green onions
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (Colemans preferred!)
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Finely grate or shred the Cheddar cheese. Wash and mince the green pepper and green onions. Drain the crabmeat; pick over and remove any bits of shell.

In a large bowl combine the crabmeat with the cheese, pepper and onions. Mix in the garlic powder, salt, dry mustard and cayenne. Add the mayonnaise and stir to combine thoroughly.

Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for two hours or more. Serve with a selection of crackers or thinly sliced breads.

Yield: approximately 3 cups

*Magic: this recipe is exclusive to I Love You Recipes. It is from my personal, unpublished collection.

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Spinach dip loaded into fresh sourdough from your local bakery served with cold cuts and freshly sliced vegetables is a perfect warm weather meal.

10 ounces frozen spinach
2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 shallot
2 – 3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 1-1/2-pound round loaf sourdough bread
1 – 2 tablespoons butter

Thaw and drain the spinach; lightly press out the excess moisture. Peel and mince the shallot and garlic cloves. Mince the sun dried tomatoes.

Mix the shallot, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese with the mayonnaise and sour cream. Place in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, cut the top from the bread round and remove the soft center to form a cavity. Cut the removed bread into bite-sized pieces. Spread the bread cavity lightly with butter. Place the bread “bowl” on a pretty serving platter and fill the cavity with the spinach dip. Arrange the bite-sized pieces of bread around the cavity for dipping. This is a very good dip for fresh vegetable strips, too.

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Shrimp with dill sauce is an appetizer recipe that fits into a busy schedule. Perfect for the busy holiday season or summer outdoor parties, this recipe can be made a day or two ahead.

Shrimp boil:
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 clove garlic
24 medium raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

Dill Sauce:
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon dill, freshly chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 clove garlic

Prepare the shrimp:
Place 1 quart of water in a Dutch oven and add the celery, carrot, salt, cayenne and garlic. Juice 1/2 lemon into the water and toss the rind in, too. Bring to a lively boil and cook for 10 minutes. Add the shrimp to the pot. When it returns to a boil, remove and drain the contents in a colander. Discard the vegetables. Remove the shrimp and chill.

Prepare the sauce:
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, dill in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly blended. Season with salt to taste and add the garlic clove. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed jar for 8 hours. Remove the garlic clove for extended storage.

To serve, chill a serving platter and condiment bowl. Remove and discard the garlic from the dill sauce. Place the dill sauce in the condiment bowl on the platter and arrange the shrimp around the bowl. For a little color contrast, try placing the shrimp on a bed of lettuce leaves or tucking parsley sprigs about the plate.

Yield: 6 servings

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This fast-fix recipe can be whipped up as an appetizer or dessert. Fresh strawberries served with this lightly lemon sour cream dip will awaken your taste buds!

1 cup sour cream
1 – 2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 cups strawberries

Rinse and drain the strawberries.

In a small bowl, mix the sour cream with 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest, lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar. Adjust lemon zest to taste.

To serve, place the dip in a pretty serving bowl and add to a platter of arranged strawberries. Alternately, spoon the sauce over the fruit on a platter or individual dessert plates.

Yield: 6 – 10 servings.

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Tasty without being fussy, this recipe for hot wing appetizers is an easy success. Double the recipe and have appetizers for a dozen people on the table in less than an hour.

2 pounds chicken wing pieces, exclude wing tips
1/4 cup hot sauce, Crystal sauce preferred
4 cloves garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly cracked and ground

Preheat oven to 425°. Generously grease a 9″ X 13″ pan.

Clean and mince or crush the garlic cloves, crush the rosemary.

In a plastic bag or lidded container large enough to accommodate all of the chicken, combine hot sauce, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss the wings to evenly coat; transfer to the prepared baking pan.

Place the pan, uncovered, into the preheated oven. Turn the wings, scraping the glaze from the pan, at 10-minute intervals to brown all sides. Bake for approximately 30 – 40 minutes; the juices will run clear when done.

Yield: 4 – 6 servings.

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