Snacks and Appetizers

Let’s get this party started! Within limits, of course, because you don’t want the guest of honor to keel over from the excitement. Here are recipes for a few snacks and appetizers that people can nibble on before the pureed mush is served.

Retirement Cat Food


4 cups Rice Chex

4 cups Wheat Chex

2 cups cheese-flavored crackers 

2 cups pretzel twists 

6 tablespoons butter 

2.5 tablespoons hot sauce 

1 packet ranch dressing mix 

2 teaspoons celery seed 

How to prepare:

Mix cereal, crackers and pretzels in a large bowl, then set aside. Microwave butter uncovered in another bowl until melted. Stir in hot sauce and seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated.

Microwave uncovered on high 4 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool.

Meals on Wheels

(a/k/a Sausage Cheese Balls)


3 cups Bisquick

1 pound bulk pork sausage 

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

1/2 cup milk 

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed 

1.5 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes 

Barbecue sauce or chili sauce

How to prepare:

Heat oven to 350. Lightly grease bottom and sides of jelly roll pan. Stir together all ingredients. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place in pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm with sauce for dipping.

Perpetual Left Turn Wings


48 split chicken wings

1 cup buttermilk

12 teaspoons hot pepper sauce 

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper

How to prepare:

Combine buttermilk and hot pepper sauce. Season chicken wings with salt and pepper and marinate covered in refrigerator. Pat dry. Place on greased baking sheet and bake uncovered 40-45 minutes, turning halfway. Place on preheated grill about 400 degrees under indirect heat for 30 -35 minutes, turning halfway.

Bingo Bars


2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons soda

3 eggs

1.25 cups oil

1 small jar applesauce

1 cup chopped pecans


6 oz cream cheese

6 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 teaspoons salt

3-4 teaspoons powdered sugar

How to prepare:

Grease and flour cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Ice when cool.

Shriveled Wieners


1 lb bacon (14 slices) 

1 pound cocktail-size smoked link sausages (40 sausages) 

3/4 cup ketchup 

1/2 cup granulated sugar 

1/2 cup packed brown sugar 

1 tablespoon white vinegar 

1/4 teaspoon onion salt 

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 

1/4 teaspoon pepper 

How to prepare:

Spray 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spray broiler rack and pan with cooking spray. Cut each bacon slice crosswise into 3 pieces. Wrap each piece around 1 sausage, securing with toothpick. Place on rack in pan.

Broil with tops about 6 inches from heat 12 to 16 minutes, turning once, until bacon is crisp.

Mix remaining ingredients in one-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and mixture bubbles.

Heat oven to 350. Transfer sausages from broiler pan to baking dish. Pour sauce over sausages. Bake 20 minutes.