Presidential Favorite Appetizers

The 8th United States President, Martin Van Buren (term from 1837 to 1841), reportedly named the following appetizer as his favorite.

U.S. President Martin Van Buren

U.S. President Martin Van Buren

Midnight Edam Cheese Spread


  • 4 oz. Edam cheese
  • 1/4 lb. sweet butter
  • 2/3 c. beer
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 c. plum tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. green onions, finely minced
  • Toast slices

Directions: Cut a 2″ slice across the top of cheese and set aside. Scoop out the inside of the cheese. Using a blender or food processor, mix together the scooped-out cheese and butter. Slowly add beer.

Mix in Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, tomatoes, garlic salt and onions. Fill the shell with the cheese mixture and cover with the reserved 2″ cheese piece.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve with toast slices.

Yield: 6 servings (approximately 1/4 c. spread)


The following recipe was considered a favorite of the 19th U.S.President, Rutherford B. Hayes (term from 1877 to 1881).

Curried Cucumbers & Crab Meat


  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 c. crab meat
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 6 thin slices of bread
  • 1/2 c. black olives (pitted and chopped)
U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes

U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes

Directions: In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, curry powder and crab meat. Peel cucumbers and cut them into thin slices.

Using a start circle-shaped cookie cutter, cut out small circles of bread. Spread bread circles with the curry-crab mixture. Place a cucumber slice on each bread circle and top with a small amount of curry-crab mixture. Top with chopped olives.

Yield: 24 slices

Zesty Appetizer

Italian-Style Sausage Cheese Balls

Makes: 20 servings (2 balls each)

Italian-Style Sausage Balls - appetizers

Try these tasty sausage balls this holiday season.


1 pkg. Jimmy Dean® Regular Flavor Pork Sausage Roll

3/4 cup all-purpose baking mix, such as Bisquick®

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

1 c. packed fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 c. finely chopped red bell pepper

1 lg. clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dried oregano


Preheat oven to 375° F. Mix ingredients just until blended.  Shape into 40 (1-inch) balls; place in single layer in two lightly greased shallow baking pans. Bake 12-14 minutes or until done (160° F). Serve with toothpicks.

Sausage balls can be shaped ahead of time and frozen.  When ready to serve, heat oven to 375° F.  Place frozen balls on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake (160° F) for 16-18 minutes at or until done.

If using 1 pkg. Jimmy Dean® Italian Flavor Pork Sausage Roll (rather than regular flavor), omit the oregano.