FD: Dixie Burmeister Column December 03, 2008

Recipes with plenty of good taste for your holiday celebrations

Thanksgiving turkey and leftovers should be but a memory by now. If they’re still in the frig, say goodbye and toss ‘em.

Due to Thanksgiving insecurities, however, I have enough cranberries in the freezer to last until National Turkey Month in June 2010 and my pantry is stocked with enough pumpkin to open a pie shop.

But wait ... it’s time for Christmas entertaining!

The trend this year seems to be smaller gatherings in a more casual atmosphere with good friends, family and the warm, cozy feel of the holiday lights and decorations to take us away from it all.

Downsizing the holidays seems to be a reality of the times, but that doesn’t mean downsizing good taste.

Here are some tested and loved recipes. Enjoy.

Holiday Bread

So easy, so good!

1 box Krusteaz Apple Oat Bran Muffin Mix (lowfat variety))

1 cup canned pumpkin (a 14- to 14.5-ounce can)

1 and 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (yes, I have plenty of this, also)

1 cup water

3/4 cup raisins or craisins
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix dry ingredients, water, pumpkin and spice. Gently fold in the packet of apple filling included with the muffin mix along with raisins and nuts, if you are using them. Place in a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40–45 minutes. Spread with glaze or serve cut in squares with whipped cream (I like to whip it with a bit of brown sugar and vanilla).

Ultimate Party Meatballs

1 16–ounce can Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce

1 12–ounce bottle Heinz Chili Sauce

1 2–pound bag frozen, pre-cooked, cocktail-size meatballs

Combine sauces in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Add meatballs. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until meatballs are heated through, stirring occasionally. Makes 30 appetizer servings.

Slow cooker preparation: Place meatballs in a slow cooker. Combine sauces and pour over meatballs. Cover and cook 4 hours on high.

Make-Ahead Snowman Cheese Ball

From http://www.bettycrocker.com. All holiday appetizers should be this fun.

3 8–ounce packages cream cheese, softened

4 cups (16 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons basil pesto

1 tablespoon grated onion

1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard

2 drops red pepper sauce

1 container (4 ounces) whipped cream cheese, softened

Decorations and assorted crackers and vegetables

1. Mix three packages cream cheese and the cheddar cheese; divide into three equal parts. Combine two parts to equal two-thirds of mixture; mix in pesto. Mix onion, mustard and pepper sauce into remaining one-third mixture.

2. Cover mixtures. Refrigerate four hours or until firm enough to shape. Shape each cheese mixture into ball. Wrap each ball, label and freeze.

3. About 12 hours before serving, remove balls from freezer. Thaw in wrappers in refrigerator.

4. Arrange balls on serving plate with the smaller ball on top for head of the snowman. Frost the snowman with whipped cream cheese before serving. Decorate as desired. Serve with crackers. Store covered in refrigerator.

You can make and freeze this cute little snowman up to a month ahead of when you plan to use it.

Use imagination to decorate the snowman. Use fresh rosemary and dried cranberries (crown), olive pieces or raisins (eyes and buttons), pimiento or red bell pepper (mouth), carrot ribbon (scarf), celery sticks (arms).

June Glandorf’s Rueben Spread

Unbelievable delicious — 5 stars

1 16–ounce jar sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

1 8–ounce package cream cheese

2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

1 3–ounce package deli corned beef, chopped

3 tablespoons Thousand Island Salad Dressing

Snack rye bread, crackers or raw vegetables

Combine all ingredients. Place in a 1 1/2 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook for 1 and 1/2 hours to 2 hours. Stir to blend.


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