appetizer recipe

Simple Sweet BBQ Meatballs Recipe + Simple Party Menu

Tis’ the season for lots of holiday hosting which can get really overwhelming in a hurry.  I don’t know about you but when I entertain I want simple recipes I won’t screw up and won’t take me away from my main priority, my guests!  This simple sweet BBQ meatballs recipe is one of my go-to’s when I host!  It will be yours too, I promise.

I even make these delicious meatballs as a meal served alongside rice and steamed veggies for a simple weeknight meal.  They also reheat great for leftovers.  Need I say more, you must try them!  


sweet bbq meatball recipe ingredients

Simple Sweet BBQ Meatball Ingredients – 

1 18 oz bottle BBQ Sauce (choose your favorite)

1  32 oz package of frozen meatballs (either homestyle or Italian work great)

1 cup grape jelly (8 oz)


frozen meatballs in slow cooker sweet BBQ meatball recipe with jelly and bbq sauce

Simple Sweet BBQ Meatball Directions – 

Pour the frozen meatballs in your slow cooker.  Pour over the entire bottle of BBQ sauce and 1 cup grape jelly.  Mix together with a spatula.  Turn the slow cooker on low for 4 hours.  When the meatballs are done, just turn the slow cooker setting to warm until your guests arrive or it’s time for dinner.  Before serving mix well one more time.

Try This Variation –

I use this same sauce recipe for little smokies.  I just use two packages of little smokies and add it to the BBQ sauce and 1 cup grape jelly.  Don’t have grape jelly on hand?  Never fear, you can also mix it up with any jelly or jam you have. 

simple party foods on counter

What Other Appetizers Can You Serve it With?

Are you hosting a party and need some more simple appetizer ideas.  

Simple Full Party Menu – 

6 Ingredient Spinach Artichoke Dip (check out the recipe here)

Baked Mexican Dip (check out the recipe here)

Chips, store-bought guacamole & fresh store-bought salsa

Extra Sharp white cheddar cheese, gouda cheese and sliced summer sausage (all store-bought)

Cut vegetables and ranch dressing dip (store-bought)

Cream puffs (store-bought)

Chocolate peanut clusters (Spanish peanuts & almond bark)

Just Remember…

I love to entertain but years ago my grandma gave me some advice I took to heart.  She said, “heath bars taste great on silver platters.”  What did she mean by that?  It’s okay to buy store-bought, bring it home and dish it up on one of your platters.  So, now when I host gatherings I usually buy 75% of my food store-bought and cook 25% simple and easy dishes.  This simple sweet BBQ meatball recipe is one I always make because it’s just 3 ingredients, a crowd favorite and did I mention SIMPLE?  Enjoy!

Try These Other Party Favorite Recipes – 

Apple Nacho Bar

Walking Tacos

6-Ingredient Magic Bar Recipe

Make Now Serve Later Simple Quiche Recipe

Apple Chicken Salad Recipe

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Simple Snack Tray Supper


Snack trays are the family-friendly version of the ever-popular charcuterie boards and I have never met a charcuterie board I didn’t like.  Snack tray suppers are going to be your new best friend.  Try a snack tray for your next family meal and your kids will think you are a genius, you are welcome!



Snack Tray Supper – A Happy Accident

Our Sunday night snack tray supper tradition started by accident which is usually how all good traditions get started!  We were running low on food since I grocery shop on Monday mornings.  We are on a tight budget at the moment since we are adopting so going out to eat was not an option.

So, I just gathered up all the random leftovers and pantry staples we had on hand and put them on a big tray.  To make it a little more fun, since I wasn’t sure how it would go over, I pulled out a waterproof picnic blanket and we ate our snack tray supper in the living room.



Love at First Bite

It was love at first bite!  Not only could my kids pick what they wanted to eat off the tray, but we also sat on a picnic cloth in the family room.  From my perspective, I fell short and from their perspective I was genius!  Just goes to show, we can be awfully hard on ourselves as moms!



A Weekly Tradition

I now write “snack tray supper” for every Sunday on my weekly meal planner (get yours here).   The snack tray is never the same week to week because it’s based on what we have leftover.  Some weeks it’s heavy on the popcorn (because I always have popcorn in the pantry) and other weeks it’s heavy on refrigerated leftovers.    I thought I would share a few ideas to help you get started with your own snack tray supper tradition.



What to Put on the snack tray?

Nothing is off limits and the options are endless.  Literally, start by pulling out leftovers from your fridge and your pantry.  I try to include lots of different food groups but some weeks the pantry and refrigerator are a little leaner than others.   Here’s a list of popular favorites for our family!

Raw sliced vegetables

Fruit – Dried and fresh cut

Cheeses – string cheese, sliced cheese, block cheese, spreadable cheeses

Cured meats – salami, summer sausage, braunschweiger, jerky



Pita Chips



Dips – Hummus, Salsa, Guacamole, Queso Aldi’s Frozen Buffalo Chicken Dip, Aldi’s Frozen Spinach Artichoke Dip, Ranch Dressing, layered dips, yogurt dips


Trail mix



You can even add in desserts and candy or you could make a separate dessert snack tray!  Now that I say that out loud, my kids are going to want that stat.  The options are endless when it comes to snack trays.  You can be as creative and in as many things as you want.  It’s perfect finger-food and kids love the chance to choose their own adventure when it comes to dinner.


Snack Trays Are Not Just for Dinner

Snack trays aren’t just perfect for dinner, they are perfect for lunches and get-togethers too!  Summer is coming, save on the dishes and make up a snack tray and eat on the driveway or outside in the grass.  Avoid sweeping and your kids will think it’s the coolest thing ever!  Take it on the road!  The options are endless.


Before you know it, your kids will be making snack tray suppers for their dolls!  How cute is that pint-size snack tray supper?


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Snack Tray Supper Must-Haves

You might also like…

7 Steps to Meal Planning 
Aldi 7-Day Meal Plan + Grocery List
25 Simple Dinner Ideas
10 Kids Lunch Ideas
Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip
Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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Simple Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe

Appetizers are my love language.  You give me a dip and chip and I am yours forever.  SERIOUSLY!  Spinach artichoke dip has always had my heart.  Do you remember TGI Friday’s?  They had good spinach artichoke dip, I digress.  It seems I am not the only one in the I love spinach artichoke dip camp.  It’s a crowd favorite so it’s the perfect appetizer to take with you.  It’s sure to please!  This easy spinach artichoke dip recipe makes enough for a crowd or you can split in half and freeze for another occasion.  Let’s get cooking, it won’t take long!

spinach artichoke dip ingredients

Spinach Artichoke Dip Ingredients –

16 oz bag of mozzarella cheese (reserve 1/4 cup or 1 handful for garnish)

8 oz container sour cream (softened)

8 oz cream cheese

10 oz frozen spinach (thawed & dried)

4 oz can diced green chiles

14 oz can artichoke hearts (drained & chopped)

Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Prep-time –

This dip is so easy to make, you can whip it up in 10 minutes and let cook for 30 minutes!

mixing spinach artichoke dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip Directions –

In a mixer, slowly mix together the mozzarella cheese (except for 1/4 cup), cream cheese, and sour cream.  Then, drain and chop the artichoke hearts to bite-size pieces so it mixes in well.  Add the artichoke hearts to the bowl and mix.  Next, add in the green chilis.

It’s time to thaw the spinach according to package directions.  You are going to dry the spinach which freaked me out at first, how does one dry spinach?

Dry the spinach by squeezing the water out.  I wrap the spinach in a couple of paper towels and squeeze the majority of the water out over the sink.  I was amazed at how much water I squeed out.   Then, it’s time to add the spinach to the mixer and blend all ingredients together until they are well-incorporated.

Grab a large round casserole dish (like this) and spray with cooking spray.  Then, dump the dip into the baking dish.  Garnish liberally with parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place dip into the oven and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.  The dip is done when the cheese is lightly browned and it’s bubbling on the edges.

spinach artichoke dip in casserole dish

Spinach Artichoke Dip Serving Instructions –

It’s time to eat.  My mouth is watering.  Serve it warm right out of the oven with crackers, tortilla chips or bread.  You can also use the dip as a spread on sandwiches.

Make Ahead and Serve Later –

If you don’t have a large crowd, you can divide the dip in half before you cook it and freeze half for a later date.  When you are ready to bake it, thaw ahead and put the dip in an oven-safe dish to bake.  I just did this since we were hosting friends for appetizers and we will be serving appetizers at our family Christmas in a week.  I love when you can kill two birds with one stone and this dip fits the bill.

Here are a few more recipes you might love –

Easy Baked Mexican Dip

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Easy Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

Ice Cream Pie

Oreo Cream Pie

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easy baked spinach artichoke dip

Enjoy this yummy and easy spinach artichoke dip recipe with friends and family.  Seriously, forget the meal and just serve appetizers.  They are the fan-favorite anyway.  Like, I said I have never met a chip and dip I didn’t like!  What are your favorite appetizer recipes?  Share in the comments!

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Easy Baked Mexican Dip


The Super Bowl is this weekend and it’s always a scramble to figure out what to make because let’s be honest I am all about the halftime show, the commercials, and the food.  I plan on making this easy baked Mexican dip recipe because it’s always a fan favorite and great served with guacamole, salsa, and chips!


Ingredients –

1 8 oz Bag of Taco Blend Cheese
1 small bottle of mild taco sauce (Taco Bell is the only brand I can find that has the smaller bottle)
1 can diced green chiles
1 can Traditional refried beans
1 lb. ground beef (I use ground turkey)

Directions –

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and then brown your ground meat and chop until finely ground.  After its cooked, I like to rinse it to get out the excess grease and then add the taco seasoning packet and add water according to the package specifications.  Then cook through.
While your meat is cooking, you can add the refried beans to the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.  Spread the refried beans into a thin bottom layer.
Add your seasoned ground meat on top of the refried bean layer and then sprinkle the green chiles over top of the ground beef to make a 3rd layer.  Then, pour the entire bag of shredded cheese on top to make an even 4th layer.
Finally, evenly pour the taco sauce over the top.  The oven should be pre-heated and its ready to cook.  Since everything is cooked through, you really are just warming it all up.  You will cook the dish at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You know when it’s done if it’s bubbling on the sides.

How to serve it –

Take it out and allow to set for a few minutes.  Then you can dish it on to a plate and serve with taco chips or you can spoon into tortillas with lettuce and toppings if you wish.

Perfect for a weeknight meal or appetizer!

This easy baked Mexican dip recipe makes a great casserole for a quick weeknight dinner or a great dip to take with you to a party with your friends.  It can be made ahead and stored in the fridge until you are ready to make it and it makes great leftovers.  You all know we live on leftovers for lunches during the week so I often make this early in the week.  Don’t forget the guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos and salsa for fun sides!
Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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Simple Black Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe

This time of year, there’s always a party you have to go and you need to bring a dish to share! If you are like me, you want it to be simple to make but full of flavor.  This black bean and corn salsa is an easy, fan-favorite recipe.

The recipe came from my friend Emilie.  She is the queen of dips and appetizers.  It is so easy that the kids can help make it and great for anything where you need to take a dish to share.



Can of diced tomatoes with green chilis
Can of black beans
Can of whole kernel sweet corn
Lime Juice to taste (we used 1/4 cup) – alt. 2 squeezed limes
Bunch of cilantro
2 ripe avocados, diced

Prep time 

Under 15 minutes

Utensils Needed –


Recipe Directions –

Open the cans of black beans and corn, rinse and drain.  Place in a mixing bowl.
Open can of tomatoes (do not drain), dump into the mixing bowl with beans and corn.
Add lime juice (either 2 fresh squeezed limes) or about 1/4 cup lime juice or to your taste.
Next, add fresh cut cilantro, about 1/3 cup loosely packed.  Dry will work as well.
Mix in the diced up avocado and stir gently until mixed well.  Let sit in the fridge or on the counter to allow the flavors to meld together for best taste.  Best served within a few hours of making.

It’s Time to Serve it!

Serve with tortilla chips, as a topping to your favorite Mexican dishes, or as a side salad for your next BBQ.  Don’t expect leftovers, it’s that good!


You Might Like These Simple Recipes Too –

Ice Cream Pie

No Bake Oreo Pie

5 Ingredient Strawberry Shortcake

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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