Monthly Archives: November 2011

The 25 Recipes of Christmas Are Coming!

Last year, I posted 25 Cookies of Christmas. I’ve always loved advent calendars, and the cookie recipes mailed out by the folks at Taste of Home and Food Network inspired me to create my own list. I wanted to continue the tradition this year, but knew that finding 25 more cookie recipes would be a challenge.

After polling some friends, I decided to focus on appetizers and snacks this year. Starting on December 1, I will post one snack or appetizer recipe a day. I’ve focused on appetizers that I could see the family actually eating. You will find no fancy nonsense like pate or caviar. You also will not find seafood, since I don’t like much other than the occasional fish and chips. There are mainly handheld savory snacks with pork or beef. There is lots of cheese, and there are a few dips.

I hope you find something that interests you in this year’s collection of appetizers, but if you were thinking you wanted something sweet instead, you can always try one of the 25 Cookie recipes:

  1. Pumpkin Cookies
  2. Preacher Cookies
  3. 7 Layer Cookies
  4. Ethel’s Sugar Cookies
  5. Blueberry Oat Bars
  6. Original Girl Scout Cookies
  7. No-Bake Candy Cups
  8. Orange Cookies
  9. Hidden Mint Cookies
  10. Chex Snack Bars
  11. Brownie Bon-Bons
  12. Glazed Nut Bars
  13. Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies
  14. Golden Oatmeal Bars
  15. Carrot Cake Cookies
  16. Triple Chocolate Brownies
  17. Butter Pecan Cookies
  18. German Chocolate Cookie Bars
  19. English Cookies
  20. Chocolate Chipped Brownies
  21. Paula Deen’s Magical Peanut Butter Cookies
  22. S’mores Snackin’ Cups
  23. Pineapple Cookies
  24. Oatmeal Carmelitas
  25. Monster Cookies

 

Corn, Ham and Potato Scallop

This simple crockpot casserole from Betty Crocker recipe (original here) is a warm and cheesy treat. The Expert Tips with the recipe suggest that you can “Substitute cooked roast beef for the ham.”

Ingredients

  • 6 cups 1-inch cubes peeled baking potatoes
  • 1½ cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 can (15¼ oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons instant minced onion
  • 1can (10¾ oz) condensed Cheddar cheese soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Mix potatoes, ham, corn, bell pepper and onion in 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker.
  2. Mix soup, milk and flour in small bowl; beat with wire whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour soup mixture over potato mixture; stir gently to mix.
  4. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 7 to 9 hours.

Hamburger Hash

This Betty Crocker recipe (original here) is described as an “Easy hamburger dish that’s made in slow cooker—perfect for a dinner.” Certainly worth a try. The Expert Tip with the recipes says, “This recipe is a tried-and-true kid pleaser. Take it to Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts or school events, and there’s little chance you’ll have leftovers.”

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato puree
  • 1 can (10¾ oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can (10½ oz) condensed French onion soup with beef stock
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 bag (28 oz) frozen O’Brien potatoes with onions and peppers, thawed
  • 4 medium carrots, diced (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Cook beef in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain.
  2. Mix tomato puree and mushroom soup in medium bowl.
  3. Stir in onion soup and water.
  4. Spray 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
  5. Reserve 1 cup of the potatoes.
  6. Gently mix beef, remaining potatoes, carrots, salt and soup mixture in cooker.
  7. Sprinkle with reserved 1 cup potatoes.
  8. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 9 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  9. Hash will hold on low heat setting up to 2 hours.

Variations

  • NOTE: For tender potatoes, make sure to thaw them before adding to the slow cooker.

Senate Bean Soup

Don’t let this pork and bean soup recipe from Betty Crocker (original here) trick you. This isn’t pork and beans. This is the real thing—a warm soup made with great Northern beans and ham, thickened with mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried navy beans or Great Northern beans (1 lb), sorted and rinsed
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 ham bone, 2 lb ham shanks or 2 lb smoked pork hocks
  • 2½ cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 medium stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Directions

  1. In 4-quart Dutch oven, heat beans and water to boiling.
  2. Boil uncovered 2 minutes; remove from heat.
  3. Cover and let stand 1 hour.
  4. Add ham bone.
  5. Heat to boiling; reduce heat.
  6. Cover and simmer about 2 hours or until beans are tender.
  7. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  8. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
  9. Remove ham bone; let stand until cool enough to handle.
  10. Remove ham from bone. Remove excess fat from ham; cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces.
  11. Stir ham into soup.

Variations

  • Add 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon ground cumin with remaining ingredients in step 7. Top soup with salsa if desired.

Slow Cooker Barbecued Beans and Polish Sausage

Here’s a Betty Crocker recipe (original here) that is perfect for a chilly night, and since it’s a crockpot meal, you can serve it up as soon as you get home.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15.5 oz each) Green Giant® great northern beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) Progresso® black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ring (1 to 1¼ lb) fully cooked smoked Polish sausage

Directions

  1. Spray 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Mix all ingredients except sausage in cooker.
  3. Place sausage ring on bean mixture.
  4. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 5 to 6 hours.

Variations

  • To simplify serving, remove the sausage ring and slice into chunks then return to the crockpot to keep warm.
  • Substitute your favorite sausage. We like kielbasa.
  • Chunks of bacon would also be a nice addition to the crockpot.

Dirty Rice

I’ve only ever made Dirty Rice from a mix, so this simple recipe from the June 2003 issue of Southern Living (original here) caught my attention. The mixes are pretty easy, but this looks easy enough that I will probably give it a try eventually.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can beef broth
  • 3/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Cook ground beef, garlic, celery, onion, parsley, and green pepper in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink.
  2. Stir in salt, red and black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, mixing well.
  3. Add rice, broth, and 3/4 cup water, stirring well.
  4. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender.

Barbecued Frankfurters

Today is my sister Kerri’s birthday, so I’m sharing one of her favorite meals. The spiral macaroni in the meal came to be known in the family as “Kerri curls” because her hair fell in perfect little ringlets when she was young. They looked just like the macaroni, only a lovely strawberry blonde.

Mom found the recipe years and years ago on a box of Mueller’s pasta. She made it so often that she cut the recipe off one of the boxes and taped it up inside one of the kitchen cabinets so she didn’t have to find it in the recipe box.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1 lb. frankfurters, cut in 1" lengths
  • 8 oz. (3½ to 4 cups) Mueller’s twist macaroni (rotini)

Directions

  1. In saucepan, combine ketchup, water, onion, brown sugar, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire, and garlic. 
  2. Cover; simmer 10 minutes. 
  3. Add frankfurters; cover and simmer 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Meanwhile, cook macaroni as directed; drain. 
  5. Serve barbecued frankfurters over macaroni.

Variations

  • Mom usually doubles the sauce portion of the recipe to ensure everyone has as much as they want.

Time Required: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6

Paula Deen’s Broccoli Casserole

Here’s another recipe I discovered during the Food Network Thanksgiving shows a few years ago. During the show where Paula makes this casserole, she says it’s not Thanksgiving unless it’s on the table (original here).

Ingredients

  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs.
  4. Mix well with a metal spoon.
  5. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
  6. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

Variations

  • We’ve also tried this recipe with Cream of Chicken & Mushroom soup and with Cheddar Cheese soup to vary the taste.
  • Add some chopped chicken or turkey for a main dish.

Mini Pumpkin Biscuits

Here’s a cute biscuit that makes me think I’ll consider Jack’o’lanterns for Thanksgiving. How could you not want to make such cute biscuits? The photo and the recipe are from the Betty Crocker website (original here).

Ingredients

  • Mini Pumpkin Biscuits2 cups Bisquick® Original baking mix
  • 3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 whole cashews
  • 36 raisins
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 drops red food color

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Stir baking mix, sweet potatoes, water and sugar until soft dough forms.
  3. Turn dough onto surface dusted with baking mix; gently roll in baking mix to coat.
  4. Shape into ball; knead 10 times.
  5. Shape dough into 12 balls.
  6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Insert round end of cashew into top of each ball.
  8. Make face of pumpkin by inserting raisins for eyes and nose in side of each ball.
  9. Mix egg and food color; brush over pumpkins.
  10. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm.

My Sausage Stuffing

After watching enough Thanksgiving specials on Food Network, I created my own recipe for sausage stuffing. It’s influenced by Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, and Bobby Flay.

Ingredients

  • Nonstick spray (Pam)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • 1 pound maple sausage
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 to 4 slices whole grain bread, torn or cut into ½ -inch cubes or chunks
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or bouillon and water)

Directions

  1. Spray skillet with nonstick spray, and saute onion and celery.
  2. Add sausage, breaking apart, and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Drain any fat.
  4. Add poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Add torn bread to pan, and stir to combine.
  7. Allow to warm through and serve.

Variations

  • I prefer the rustic look of torn bread, so I simply tear the bread as I throw it into the pan.
  • To simplify the vegetable prep for the recipe, I often gather my onion, celery, and carrots from the grocery store’s salad bar.
  • Use the sausage of your choice. I like the sweet and savory taste of maple sausage in this dish, but I’ve also used sage sausage.