The Cooking Mom creates easy-to-make holiday appetizers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Get your holiday party started with some classic Christmas appetizers.

The Cooking Mom, Amy Hanten, joined ABC7 with some easy-to-make recipes to get everyone in a festive mood.

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a small casserole dish with cooking spray. In a bowl place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise. Beat until smooth. Mix in garlic, lemon juice, artichoke hearts, spinach, mozzarella and cup Parmesan cheese. Spread evenly into baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cup Parmesan cheese on top. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes until slightly brown and bubbly. You can also hollow out a loaf of sourdough bread and place mixture in the center. Wrap in foil and bake on a cookie sheet until bread gets a little crispy and dip is warmed through. Serve right away with extra sliced fresh bread for dipping.

Cranberry Meatballs
1 can (14 ounces) jellied Cranberry Sauce
1 bottle (12 ounces) Chili Sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/4 cup Pinot Noir or dry red wine
2-pound bag frozen, pre-cooked, cocktail-size meatballs

Whisk together first 4 ingredients. Place frozen meatballs in a slow cooker. Pour sauce over the top. Cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours. Serve with tootpicks as an appetizer. Also great over mashed potatoes for dinner.

For more recipes from The Cooking Mom, visit
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