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Festive Holiday Appetizer and Snack Recipe

December 18, 2013

One of my many favorite things about the holiday season is hearing about the various traditions that families have to celebrate.

Particular songs, one special type of cookie, driving around to see lights, delivering baskets to those in need, gathering the neighbors for eggnog... there are just such a wide variety that I can't help but smile every year as I hear more.

However, one thing that I've always noticed is that the most common tie between the traditions involves one aspect that is near and dear to all of us: eating.

Baking cookies, decorating cookies, eating and relaxing afterward, having a big Christmas dinner, mugs of steaming hot cocoa — there is just something about celebrating traditions and family gatherings by coming together to enjoy all things food... and the holidays are an especially perfect time to do that.

But while the festive dinner or grand lunch might take center stage, it can be just as important to be sure to include scrumptious appetizers to start. From finger foods like bruschetta passed around while guests mingle to luscious snacks like cheese balls that put the finishing touches on the dinner table, I'm always on the lookout for amazing recipes that will keep my family and friends smiling and happy. This year I was looking for something that would be enjoyed by adults as well as kids and would have the appeal of a familiar, much-loved dish... but with a modern twist.

Tall order? I thought so.

Until I began browsing the appetizers at KraftRecipes.com and found a ton of delicious options. And, when I stumbled on a cheesy dip that was sweet enough that the kids would love it yet have enough of a little kick that the adults would enjoy it as well, it was time to say Aloha!

Cheesy Hawaiian Dip
Prep Time: 10 minutes • Cook Time: 5 minutes • Servings: 36 servings, 2 Tbsp. each

Ingredients:
1 (1 lb.) round loaf Hawaiian bread (or similar)
1 lb. (16 oz.) VELVEETA, cut into ½"cubes
1 can (10 oz.) RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
⅓ cup chopped red onions
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
1 pkg. (8 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Smoked Ham, chopped

Directions:
HEAT oven to 350˚F.

CUT a slice from the top of the bread loaf; remove center of loaf, leaving 1"-thick shell. Cut removed bread into bite-size pieces; cover and set aside for later use. Place bread shell on baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 min. or until lightly toasted. Cool slightly.

MIX VELVEETA, tomatoes and onions in large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high 5 minutes or until VELVEETA is completely melted, stirring after 3 minutes. Stir in ham and pineapple. Pour into bread shell.

SERVE with reserved bread pieces and assorted fresh vegetable dippers.

Although I did omit the ham for the vegetarians in my household, this dip was still a huge success! I love the way that it is easily passed around a table if it were a part of a meal, yet is versatile enough that it could be part of a party spread so that folks could help themselves while they chat. Either way, the cheesy VELVEETA goodness is just the right complement to the sweet crushed pineapple and the kick of the chilies and onions and it was as popular with the bread cubes as it was with tortilla chips, veggies and more!

This holiday season, there are sure to be plenty of occasions that will be filled with entertaining. Whether you're the host or you are bringing a dish to share, check out the huge selection available at KraftRecipes.com for inspiration, ideas and more!

For more recipes and ideas, visit my blog at www.thanksmailcarrier.com.

Festive Holiday Appetizer and Snack Recipe
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