IDEA ALLEY: Hash brown bites, black-eyed pea dip are easy, delicious party foods

(Illustration by Kelly Brant)
(Illustration by Kelly Brant)

Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Brooks Beazley offers the following suggestions for anyone planning to make the Caramel Glazed Pear Cake shared by J. Bar published in late October.

Beazley has made the cake twice in recent weeks.

"The cake is very good, but I would like to [make] two suggestions. The first one is to add about 20 minutes to the cooking time. The second one is to only use half the ingredients for the caramel glaze. I had way too much glaze left over when I made the first cake."

Joe Riddle shares two recipes this week that are perfect for entertaining.

"This recipe is from my sister Ann," Riddle says. "These sausage bites would be a good appetizer for any get-together."

Sausage Hash Brown Bites

  • 1 pound hot pork sausage
  • 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cups Bisquick or any baking mix
  • 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (see note)
  • 4 cups frozen hash browns, thawed

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using your hands, combine sausage, softened cream cheese, Bisquick, shredded cheese and thawed hash browns in a medium size bowl.

Roll mixture into balls, about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Place on parchment paper spaced so they don't touch.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, making sure they are cooked through and have a golden brown hue.

Allow bites to cool slightly before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Note: For best results, don't use bagged shredded cheese as it doesn't adhere to the other ingredients as well. Shred your own.

"This recipe is from Pam Stroud, an old family friend who is more like my fourth sister," Riddle says.

"She makes this dish for our family get-togethers and it is usually all gone when we clean the kitchen. This is presented as a cold dip but would also be good as a warm side dish."

Pam's Caviar

  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans black-eyed peas with peppers, drained
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel, drained
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • ½ purple onion, diced
  • ¾ cup zesty Italian dressing
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together and serve with corn chips.

Email recipe contributions, requests and culinary questions to: [email protected]

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