Thursday, November 12, 2009

November: Holiday Appetizers and Thanksgiving Specialties

Another delicious night with the scintillating sisters of the Coal Creek Ward. Tonight we filled up on creative appetizers for the holidays and Thanksgiving specialties. Thank you to Kim for opening up her home to us. Recipes will be appearing soon.

Join us on Dec. 10 at 7:30 at Natalie Wilson's house for a cookie exchange. Bring three dozen cookies of your favorite recipe that we'll divide up amongst the sisters, and a few extras on the side to eat then and there; everyone will go home with the best cookie platter ever.


2 pkg. cream cheese (soft)
1 pkg. crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 tsp. mayonnaise
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Mix cream cheese, blue cheese, Celery, onion, mayonnaise and half of the walnuts. Shape into A ball. Roll the ball in the Remaining chopped walnuts.
Serve with crackers.


1 pkg oreo cookies
8 oz cream cheese
1 bag chocolate chips or chocolate candy melts

Crush oreos to a fine consistency. Add cream cheese and mix well. Shape into bite sized balls. Place in freezer for 15-20 min to make them easier to work with. In the meantime, melt the chocolate. Take bon bons from the freezer and dip in chocolate. Place on wax paper to dry. If you want, add a white chocolate decoration on top. Makes about 60-80 bon bons, so cut the recipe in half if needed.


12 cherry tomatoes
12 small fresh mozzarella balls
24 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
fresh cracked pepper
sea salt
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
garlic (optional)

Cut cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls in half.
Skewer a piece of tomato, two of the half basil leaves and a piece of mozzarella and onto a toothpick. It is prettiest with the basil in between the cheese and tomato.
Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste.
Serve with a dipping bowl of balsamic vinegar and a dipping bowl of olive oil.


10 large fresh basil leaves, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 loaf French baguette

Heat over to 425 F
Stack 5 basil leaves one on top of another. Roll up. Slice crosswise thinly. Repeat with remaining basil. Combine tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and sliced basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine olive oil and garlic in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High 30 seconds. Cut bread into slightly angled 1/4" pieces. Brush with olive oil mixture, place on baking pan. Bake about 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Just before serving, drain excess liquid from tomatoes. Spoon tomato mixture evenly over bread slices.

The only change I made to this dish wash I used olive oil already infused with basil, but you could also use one infused with garlic to save a step.


36 dried apricots (pick out the plumpest and softest ones)
1 5-oz brick of marzipan
1 ½ C dark chocolate, chopped (or use semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips)
3 Tbl vegetable shortening

Use a paring knife to make a small slit in each of the apricots. Cut the marzipan into 36 pieces. Roll the marzipan pieces in the palm of your hand, then insert each one into an apricot, pulling the fruit closed over the marzipan. Heat the chocolate and shortening in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 45 seconds, until melted. Dip the apricots in the chocolate mixture, removing and draining them slightly on the tines of a fork. Place the chocolate-covered apricots on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle tops with chopped almonds, apricots, or garnish of your choice. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm.


1 package cream cheese, softened
1 jar caramel topping
1-2 toffee bars (such as Heath), crumbled
2 green apples

Spread cream cheese onto a plate or platter. Pour caramel sauce over cheese, and top with toffee crumbles. Slice apples and sprinkle with a little lemon juice. Place them around the edge of the platter of caramel sauce. April recommends dipping skin-side in so that the caramel sticks instead of sliding off.


1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, in juice
1 pkg (3 oz each) raspberry gelatin
1 can (16 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
2/3 cup chopped walnut pieces
1 apple, chopped

Drain pineapple, reserving the juice. Add enough water to juice to measure 2 1/2 cups; pour into saucepan. Bring to boil. Pour over gelatin mixes in large bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in pineapple, cranberry sauce, walnuts and apple. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.
Refrigerate 2 1/2 hours or until firm. Remove liners

You could also put this into a jello mold instead of making the minis.



2 large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large parsnips, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch coins
1 HUGE chunk or ginger (like almost the size of your fist), peeled and sliced as thinly as possible
4 Tbl butter
1 C half and half
1 ½ tsp salt
Optional: 1-2 Tbl maple or agave syrup (depending on how sweet you like your sweet potatoes)

Place sweet potatoes, parsnips and ginger in a steamer basket and steam for about 20-25 minutes or until pierced easily with a fork. If the ginger slices still seem crispy, you can simmer them a few minutes longer in the steamer water. Drain vegetables, reserving ¼ cup steaming liquid. Put vegetables, steaming liquid, butter, half and half, salt (and syrup if desired) into food processor or blender and blend until smooth. You may need to blend in several batches if your processor is smaller. This is a great dish to make ahead of time and reheat.


1 package little smokies sausages
1 package crescent roll dough
optional: cheese slices
optional sauce: mustard mixed with mayonnaise

Cut each crescent roll into three triangles; wrap each around a little smokie. If desired, place a small slice of cheese between the sausage and the dough before rolling. Bake according crescent roll package instructions, 13-15 minutes. Serve with sauce if desired.


½ of a whole fresh jalapeno (remove stems & seeds, finely chop, use gloves!)
1c. raspberries, smashed
1 ¾ cup of finely chopped peppers (red & green combined)
1 ½ cups cider vinegar
1 tbs. crushed red pepper
6 ½ cups sugar

Put everything (except the crushed red pepper) into a saucepan, bring to rolling boil. Stir in 1 package of pectin (Certo) and the red pepper together and return to rolling boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Ladle quickly into prepared jars… etc. etc. (follow typical canning instructions from here).

I serve the jam over a block of cream cheese with Wheat Thin crackers. It's also great on leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches.


40 oz. can yams, drained
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 stick margarine/butter
1/3 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Mash yams in mixer. Add eggs, sugar, & salt. Melt margarine or butter & add to mixer. Add milk & vanilla; mix well. Spray 8 1/2x11 pan. Put soufflé in pan.

1/2 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. flour
1/3 stick margarine/butter
1 C. chopped pecans

Mix topping & sprinkle on top of soufflé. Bake @ 350 for 1 hour.


corn arepas (or you could use corn bread or english muffins)
shredded taco meat
fresh salsa
fresh guacamole

Stack up the ingredients and get snackin'.


I apologize to April for not getting a proper picture of her tree. It had a trunk made of pretzel sticks and was resting on a beautiful cloud of mushrooms.

Broccoli florets
Yellow pepper
Cherry tomatoes
Pretzel sticks
Mushrooms or cauliflower

Arrange the broccoli florets into the shape of a Christmas tree. Use cherry tomatoes as ornaments, pretzel sticks for the trunk, and cut a star shape out of the yellow pepper for a tree topper. Use mushrooms or cauliflower for the base. Serve with the dip of your choice, such as hummus or ranch.