Cheesy Chorizo Cornbread Balls with Chipotle Dipping Sauce

If you’re anything like me in the way that your one, truest of all true loves happens to be Mexican food, and your second truest of all true loves happens to be appetizers in their many forms, then do I have a treat for you!  Also, we have a lot in common.  We may be kindred cooking spirits.

Cheesy Chorizo Cornbread Balls with Chipotle Dipping Sauce.  The upgraded version of Sausage Balls-- so good for parties.  Must have for the Super Bowl. | hostthetoast.com… 

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Crispy-Skinned Baked Chicken Wings + Honey Chipotle Garlic Sauce

I am not what we’d call “proper” when it comes to table manners.  I rest my elbows on the table.  I devour my dinner in record time.  If I chew on gristle or bone, I’ll stick my hands right in my mouth and pick it out without a second thought.  When I eat, I can guarantee that I will make a mess in my wake.  I lick the sauce off of my fingers.

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings + Honey Chipotle Garlic Sauce.  You don't have to fry your wings to make them delicious!  A secret ingredient renders out all of the fat to crisp up the skin as the wings cook!  No added oil!  Perfect for the Super Bowl.

Essentially, I’m not the sort of person that fits in at a fancy restaurant (although that doesn’t stop me from trying occasionally).  I’m much more myself with a big bowl of sticky wings in front of me.  What’s more natural than chowing down on chicken wings and throwing caution and utensils to the wind?

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Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets Stuffed with Beer Cheese

It was almost exactly three years ago that I was spending my Winter Break at Rutgers, hanging out with whichever of my sorority sisters were still around, wasting countless hours at James’ fraternity house, and singing and dancing to Christmas songs with all of our friends who decided to stay in New Brunswick.

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets Stuffed with Beer Cheese.  These make the perfect Super Bowl appetizer or party treat.  Grown-up chicken nuggets that make your taste buds smile. | hostthetoast.com

James and I weren’t dating yet.  In fact, I don’t think I even really realized that I had an actual crush on him at this point.  That, or I was avoiding admitting it because I had gotten out of a rocky relationship a couple of months prior and was still very, very firmly in the “I just want to be single and not deal with anyone’s crap” stage.

Regardless, I subconsciously started coming up with friendly excuses to hang out with James more, like making dinner for him and his fraternity brothers who I was good friends with as well.  After all, what college student would turn down a free meal?  I had mastered the art of boiling water and could make some passable pasta dishes, but after a few days of spaghetti I decided I should probably learn some more recipes if I was going to pretend to know how to cook.

Despite serious Google research into any meal I attempted to make, most of the time it didn’t work out well.  But sometimes– sometimes– I wound up surprising myself and nailing the recipe, like when James suggested I make Pretzel-Crusted Chicken.

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Cajun Shrimp Dip

A few months ago, on the Host the Toast facebook page, I asked people what their favorite recipes on the web were.  I got some great responses from people telling me about “Chocolate Lasagna” and “Banana French Toast Cupcakes” and other things that are making me too hungry to think about on a Monday morning.

Then, of course, James decided to comment to tell me to “make more dips”.  That’s not what I was asking, but okay.  The man knows what he wants, I guess.

Cajun Shrimp Dip.  Amazing on bread or chips, and would work with crawfish or chicken, too!  Perfect as a game day appetizer this football season! | hostthetoast.com

James also insists that I “give the people what they want” which always miraculously lines up with his own personal taste.  Sure, James, the people.  If I’m making something with walnuts, he’ll tell me “the people hate walnuts”.  If I’m thinking about making cake, he’ll remind me that “the people LOVE chocolate cake”.  And so on.

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Slow Cooker Sausage, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about that Spinach and Artichoke Dip Alfredo I made last year.  And the oft requested Crab and Artichoke Dip.  Oh, and Spinach Dip Bites, too!  Mainly because they’re all freakin’ delicious, but also because I have an obsession with any recipe that uses a ton of cheese, spinach, and/or artichokes.

Slow Cooker Sausage, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip.  This super cheesy crock pot dip is going to be your new favorite appetizer for parties, tailgates, and more.  Best of all, it's so simple to whip together! | hostthetoast.com

I thought about remaking all of those recipes so I could enjoy them again, but I told myself, “NO, MORGAN.  IF YOU’RE GOING TO COOK, YOU NEED TO MAKE SOMETHING NEW FOR THE BLOG.  GET IT TOGETHER.”  I just don’t have the time or patience to cook the same thing more than a few times when there’s so many new recipes to explore.

So you know what I did?  I came up with this awesome Slow Cooker Sausage, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip, and then I made it again.  And then I made it AGAIN.  So much for not repeating recipes!

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