Christmas Appetizers


Christmas Veggie Tree

2 bunches curly endive
Florist picks
1 (9-inch) plastic foam cone, about 18 inches tall
1 carton cherry tomatoes
1 zucchini, sliced
1/2 head cauliflower, separated into florets
4 carrots, cut into 2-inch sticks
Radish roses
Wooden picks

Wash and separate endive and remove the tough ends of each leaf. Begin to form the tree by attaching leaves to the bottom of the cone with florist picks and move upward, completely covering cone with endive. Attach vegetable to endive-covered cone with wooden picks, arranging in desired pattern to resemble a decorated Christmas tree. Place tree on a tray or cake stand; arrange extra vegetables around the base, if desired. Serve with onion dip.

Cheese Ball

This is a wonderful cheese ball. It is very easy to make and simply delicious. Serve with an assortment of crackers.

Yields 1 large cheese ball.

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (1 ounce) package Ranch-style dressing mix
2 cups chopped pecans
4 pecan halves

In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, and dressing mix. Form into one large ball or two smaller balls. Roll in chopped pecans to coat surface. Decorate the top with pecan halves. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Makes 32 servings

Coconut Shrimp Wonton

1 cup shrimp, cooked and chopped
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (9.75-ounce) jar shrimp sauce, divided use
60 won ton wrappers
vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey

Combine shrimp, coconut, cream cheese and 1/2 cup shrimp sauce in mixing bowl. Place about 2 teaspoons shrimp mixture onto one corner of one won ton wrapper; moisten edges with water. Fold in half to form triangle; press firmly to seal. Repeat with remaining won ton wrappers and shrimp mixture.

Pour oil into large skillet to 1/4-inch depth. Heat over high heat for 1 minute. Fry won tons for about 30 seconds on each side or until light golden brown. Remove from skillet; drain. Combine remaining shrimp sauce and honey in small bowl. Serve with won tons.

Makes 60 appetizer servings.

Cream Cheese Christmas Wreath

6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1/2 cup green onion, finely chopped
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
Green olives
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT olives and pimentos. Shape mixture into a wreath on a plate. (Start out with a ball, and shape the middle with a spoon or glass.) Add olives around the side. Make a bow, using pimentos. Chill and serve with crackers.

Tis The Season Party Munchers

A combo of pretzels, nuts, crackers and cereal is seasoned with Parmesan cheese and herbs and are toasted for a flavorful snack.

1 cup salted cashews
1 cup salted peanuts
1 cup (1-inch square) cheese-flavored crackers
1 cup bite-sized shredded wheat cereal
1 cup bite-sized pretzels
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat oven to 350F. Combine cashews, peanuts, crackers, cereal, pretzels and Parmesan cheese in large bowl.

Combine all remaining ingredients in small bowl. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture; toss to coat.

Spread mixture onto ungreased 15x10x1-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 18 to 23 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. Makes 20 servings.

Appetizer Ribs

3 1/2 pounds spareribs cut into individual pieces
salt and pepper
2 cups water
garlic salt
8 ounces bottle Russian salad dressing
6 ounces can pineapple juice

Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Place in slow-cooking pot; pour water over them. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or until tender. Drain. Arrange ribs on broiler pan; sprinkle with garlic salt.

Make sauce by combining salad dressing and pineapple juice. Brush ribs with half the sauce. Broil until brown; turn, brush other side and brown.

Crabmeat Appetizer
8 ounces cream cheese softened
1/4 cup cocktail sauce
8 ounces crab meat

Spread cream cheese on serving plate. Pour cocktail sauce over cream cheese; top with crab meat Serve with crackers or cocktail rye bread slices.

Parmesan Chicken Wings

1 cup Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Heaping, finely chopped fresh
1 Parsley
1 tablespoon Fresh, oregano or marjoram chopped or 1 tsp. of either
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Fresh ground pepper
2 pounds Chicken wings cut up
1/2 cup Butter melted

Preheat oven to 375 deg. Mix cheese, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper together and place on a dry tray. Dip each piece of chicken into the butter, then roll in the cheese mixture, coating well.

Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, turning when brown. Wings will freeze well. Thaw in refrigerator, and heat in a 375 deg. oven. Makes 4 main course or 8 appetizer servings.

Stuffed Mushrooms With Crabmeat

12 each Large Mushrooms
1 each pkg. Vegetable Soup Mix
6 ounces Frozen Crab Meat
1/2 cup Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt
3 tablespoons Plain Dry Bread Crumbs
1 tablespoon Snipped Fresh Dill **
Dashes Hot Pepper Sauce
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
2 tablespoons Butter Or Margarine, Melted
** Substitution: 1 t Dried Dill Weed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove and finely chop mushroom stems. In medium bowl, combine chopped mushroom stems, vegetable recipe soup mix, crabmeat, sour cream or plain yougurt, bread crumbs, dill, hot pepper sauce, and pepper. Set aside. On lightly greased baking sheet, arrange mushroom caps; stuff with crabmeat mixture, then brush with butter. Bake 15 minutes or until tender. Makes about 12 appetizers.

Make Ahead Directions; Mushrooms can be partially prepared up to 1 day ahead. Simply prepare and stuff as above. Cover and refrigerate. To serve, brush with butter then bake as above.

Sweet Sour Meatball Appetizers

1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1 each egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons minced onions
2 tablespoons milk
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2/3 cup chili sauce
2/3 cup red currant or grape jelly

Combine first 8 ingredients. Form into 40 meatballs. Brown lightly in oil. Cover; cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Drain excess fat. Combine chili sauce and jelly; pour over meatballs. Heat, stirring until jelly is melted. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes, until sauce thickens, basting occasionally. Makes 40 appetizer meatballs.

Southwest Guacamole

5 each Avocados; Ripe, Peel & Pit
4 each Cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped
1 cup Tomato; Chopped, 1 Medium
1/4 cup Lime Juice
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Mash avocados in a medium bowl until slightly lumpy. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Makes 3 cups of dip.

Fresh Fruit Delight

Fresh Fruit in Season (apples, melons, kiwi)
Cocktail toothpicks
Cream Cheese
Marshmallow Cream

Combine fresh fruits in season. Use cocktail toothpicks to dip in equal parts of cream cheese and marshmallow cream mixed together. A delicious appetizer.

Christmas Cooking and Baking

Cooking Notes



  Cooking Notes 2006