Hot Artichoke and Gruyere Spread
14 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained
1/4 C Sour Cream
1 T. Mayonnaise
Dash cayenne pepper
1 C. grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Using a rubber spatula, fold out into greased, decorative, oven safe baking dish. Place in over for 15 to 20 minutes checking often. The dip should appear bubbly, and golden brown. Carefully remove from oven, arrange with sliced french bread or with crackers.
1/2 lb smoked chicken or turkey
1/2 C. hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
4 oz. Oregon blue cheese crumbles
1 Granny Smith apple, diced medium
1 small, sweet red pepper, diced fine
2 T. fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/2 head red leaf lettuce
For Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
¼ cup pomegranate juice
¼ cup raspberry vinegar
1 small shallot, peeled
1 egg white
1 ½ cups olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Place shallot, egg, vinegar and pomegranate juice into a blender or food processor. Puree until the shallot is well chopped. While food processor is running, slowly drizzle in oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Cut each of the half heads of lettuce, cut into salad size pieces and rinse with cold water, drain and dry. In a separate large bowl, combine lettuce with chicken, apples, craisins, and desired amount of prepared vinaigrette. Toss thoroughly. To make the wreath shape, use a large, decorative shallow bowl or platter and place an inverted drinking glass in the center. Using your hands or tongs, firmly stack the salad around the glass. You can use all the salad, stacking it as high as possible. Your last step is to add your nuts, blue cheese and diced red peppers to the top by carefully sprinkling them over. Place the cherry tomatoes decoratively on top and slowly remove the glass. Serve.
Individual Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Molasses
Cilantro and Corn Mashed Potatoes
1 lb of fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels – do not use canned
1 1/2 C. cream
8 cooked, peeled potatoes
1 clove peeled garlic, minced
2 T butter
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup finely sliced cilantro
Prepare the corn as you normally would and set aside. Place the potatoes in a large, glass bowl. Add cream and butter and mash thoroughly*. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in corn and cilantro. Place over hot water bath with lid to keep hot.
* For a smoother texture, you can also use a food processor to cream the corn by placing 1/2 the corn, cream and melted butter and cream until smooth, adding back into the potato mixture.
pomegranate seeds (optional)
Mix together first three ingredients in a pitcher. Pour in pretty glasses over ice. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Share with friends and enjoy.
The Cookie exchange was also a lot of fun and saves a cookie baker a lot of time in the kitchen. A cookie exchange is a good idea. You bring home dozens of cookies that you don’t have to make yourself. One way to share in a cookie exchange is to put tall the cookies out on trays on a big table covered with a festive tablecloth. The guests make up their own box by selecting cookies of choice. Another way is to package them up yourself and offer each of your guests an invididually wrapped package of cookies. One of the best parts was to see the different packaging that was chosen to present them. Wrappings ranged from boxes and cellophane to stockings and holiday craft covered jars. What a great way to start the holiday season! I know I will be wrapping presents and snitching cookies off the tray to have with my cup of holiday cheer!