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Entertaining Ideas with Holiday

VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 6

									        Substituting Satisfying Scrumptious
           Appetizers for Holiday Supper
Any Holiday season calls for family and friends gathering together whether this time of
year you are contemplating get-togethers for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzah, or New
Year’s Eve.

In the spirit of the season, I’d like to share ideas with you that make entertaining fun by
keeping it all simple and inexpensive. Consider an appetizer party in lieu of a dinner for
an informal evening of social mixing and delectable tidbits. A selection of appetizers is
as filling as a meal in a fun, informal, relaxed atmosphere. You can choose your
selection of appetizers based on your budget, and I am sharing with you recipes for
substantial eating while keeping it all in a slim budget. Feel free to add your favorites.
And it’s always socially acceptable to give a holiday party where each guest brings a
favorite appetizer to round out your table’s bounty, so feel free to make your favorite
appetizers and have guests bring theirs!

To enjoy stress-free entertaining, take the time to make a written plan. Depending on
your guest list and whether you are making all the appetizers or going potluck, see if you
have a good balance of different types of appetizers. Fill in with bowls of crunchy snacks
(also on sale) and holiday sweets. Make a plan of what you’ll need to buy, prep ahead of
time, and what you’ll make the day of the party. All the recipes below can be made
ahead of time and take advantage of items on sale at Jungle Jim’s, namely cream cheese,
shredded cheese, sour cream, sausage, bacon, ground chuck, day old bread, and jumbo
shrimp. Depending on what staples you have on hand, you can do this appetizer menu
for around $50 and there’s something for everyone! Decorating and setting the table
ahead of time greatly reduces last minute stress as well. Remember, it is your party, so
plan to do what is best for you and please plan to enjoy your party – that’s the most
important thing!

Here are 8 Quick and Easy Appetizer Recipes for your cocktail parties at home or even to
take with you to a party.

First, this is a fun and clever way to serve Shrimp Cocktail (no double dipping here!):
                              Shrimp Cocktail Shots
1 lb.                  Cooked Jumbo Shrimp, 21/25 size,
                       shelled, deveined, with tail left on
1                      recipe of your favorite cocktail sauce (see below)
                        Tall Shot Glasses

This is all about the presentation and makes Shrimp Cocktail easy and fun to serve
whether on a tray at the table or presented to the guests by a server.
 Add a small spoonful of Cocktail Sauce (see below) into each shot glass (disposable shot
glasses make clean up easy) and top with one Jumbo Cooked Shrimp – tail side up.

Basically, for Cocktail Sauce, I usually add fresh horseradish to ketchup with a splash
each of Worcestershire Sauce and fresh lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper to taste –
the amount of drained fresh horseradish you use will determine the “heat” in the Cocktail
Sauce or you can also economically purchase cocktail sauce.


This is a fun take on an old appetizing favorite:
                               Cheese Salami Cones
               ¼ lb.           Sliced Salami (as round shaped as possible – not too large)
               1-2             8 oz. Packages of Cream Cheese, softened
               1 Tab.          Grated Parmesan Cheese

Combine the softened cream cheese with the Parmesan and scoop into an icing bag or
press with a large star tip.
Using kitchen shears, cut a slit halfway through the salami slice from outside edge to
center. Twist cut salami slice to form a cone shape. Repeat with each slice. Pipe the
cream cheese filling into the cones in a spiral fashion and refrigerate until serving time.
(They will look like little ice cream cones.)


This is a favorite holiday appetizer surrounded with crisp gingersnaps and red & green
apple or pear slices:
      Praline Kahlua Brie with Gingersnaps and Apple Slices
               1               13-15 oz. Brie cheese round (Baby Brie)
               ½ Cup           Pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
               2 Tab.          Kahlua (Coffee Flavored Liqueur)
               2 Tab.          Brown Sugar

Remove packaging and then slice rind from top of cheese round and place on an oven or
microwave safe plate or dish.

Combine pecans, Kahlua, and brown sugar. Spread over the top of cheese. Bake at 350
degrees for 3-5 minutes or just until soft, or microwave on High for 30-60 seconds, just
until soft, but not melting.

Serve warm or at room temperature with gingersnaps and slices of red and green apples
or pears.
This dip is always requested and yes, it does tastes just like a yummy BLT:
                                         BLT Dip
               1 lb.           Bacon
               1 Cup           Mayonnaise
               1 Cup           Sour Cream
               1               Tomato, peeled, seeded and diced**


Using a large, sharp knife, slice entire pound of bacon in ½ inch slices and separate into
pieces in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until bacon pieces are browned and
crisp. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer bacon pieces to paper towels and allow to
drain and cool. (I find this method easier than cooking bacon slices separately until crisp
and then having to crumble them, but you can do it that way if you prefer.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and the sour cream. Stir in the crisp,
cooked bacon pieces, reserving a few for garnish. Cover and refrigerate until serving
time. Add the diced tomatoes to the mixture right before serving.
Top with reserved bacon and tomato pieces.
Serve with crackers or chips and watch it disappear!

Here’s a quick and easy dip that’s a hit with kids of all ages – just zap it in the
microwave and it’s ready to go. Easy to transport to others’ party as well.
                                Pepperoni Pizza Dip
               1               8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
                               Can add a dollop or two of Sour Cream if desired
               1 jar           Ragu Pizza Quick Sauce
               1               Small Package of Sliced Pepperoni, cut into quarters
                               Sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese
               ½ Cup           Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (optional)

Spread softened cream cheese into an oven or microwave proof pie plate or dish.
Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese. Top with Pizza Quick Sauce. Add the quartered
Pepperoni slices all over the top of the sauce. (It can be covered with wrap and
refrigerated until serving time at this point.)
When ready to serve, cook in microwave until heated thoroughly – several minutes. Take
from the microwave when heated through and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Serve with crackers or crostini.

This next dip is all the great taste of Buffalo Wings with none of the mess – huge hit:

                          Kristi’s Buffalo Chicken Dip
               2               Skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts, cooked**
               1               16 oz. block of Sharp Cheddar, shredded
               1               8 oz. package of Cream Cheese, softened
               1 Cup           Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce***

** Can place chicken in low saucepan with water and a little salt and pepper, bring to
boil, reduce heat, and simmer until cooked through Or can cover with foil and bake
chicken breasts in 350 degree oven until cooked through Or can use chicken (no skin)
from one cooked rotiserre chicken bought at the store. After cooking and cooling, shred
chicken into bite size pieces.
***This is the only brand of hot sauce that will give you the authentic Buffalo flavor
you’re looking for in this recipe.

Combine the softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and hot sauce in bowl.
Stir in shredded cooked chicken. Place in an oven proof pan, deep pie or quiche dish or
any ovenproof ceramic dish or plate and cover with aluminum foil. Bake covered in
preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through.
Serve with tortilla chips, fritos or crackers.

I’m always being asked for a good Spinach Artichoke Dip and this one is quick, easy, and
affordable – and yeah, very yummy with a secret topping!:

                             Spinach Artichoke Dip
               1               10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
               1               13-14 oz. can of artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
               ½ Cup           Mayonnaise
               ½ Cup           Sour Cream
               1 Cup           Grated Parmesan
               1 Cup           Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded

Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, and grated parmesan. Stir in chopped spinach and
chopped artichoke hearts. (If you like it cheesey, you can also add ½ cup Mozzarella
cheese as well.)
Fold mixture into an 8 inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Top with the shredded Pepper
Jack Cheese.
Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes til nicely browned and
bubbly.
Serve with crackers or pita chips.

And last, but not least, this one I dug out of my old files for a viewer, and when I told my
family, I had to freeze a batch for us as well:

                                     Hanky Panky

       1 lb.           Lean Ground Chuck
       1 lb.           Lean Bulk Pork Sausage (Bob Evans is very lean)
       1 lb.           Velveeta Cheese, cubed
       1 tsp.          Worcestershire Sauce
       1 tsp.          Dried Oregano
       ½ tsp.          Garlic Salt

Depending on your taste preferences, you can omit the seasonings or substitute. You can
also use hot sausage if you want these to sport a little heat.) Believe me, you cannot mess
these up.

Brown the sausage and ground chuck. Drain. Add seasonings if desired and mix well.
Add diced cheese and stir mixture until cheese is completely melted and combined.

Spread mixture to the edges of the small bread slices – whether you use the little party
rye or utilize day old Cuban bread, sliced.

This can be made ahead and refrigerated. I prefer to make them ahead, freeze them on a
cookie sheet, and then bag them in resealable freezer bags.

Place in 350-375 degree oven for 15 minutes until hot and bubbly. Yummy Oldie but
Goodie --- thanks for the request, Sam!

Hope these ideas and recipes help make all your holiday entertaining fun, exciting,
simple, and affordable!

Before I sign off, I’d like to add a little trip through the Jungle to show you how easy it is
to simply shop for ready-made appetizers and ingredients – it’s definitely worth it!!

Here’s a quick Holiday Entertaining Shopping Trip through the Jungle:
Freshly made daily – Sushi! Who wouldn’t be impressed with a beautiful plate for fresh
Sushi!?!
Next stop – Olive Bar with so many olives and peppers and artichokes and antipasto to
serve in cocktail glasses or clever containers.
Also, a selection of homemade dips, spreads, and cheese balls across the way. There’s
even “trio of cheese balls” that you can display on a pretty plate --- some holiday
spreaders and a basket of crackers and you’re set – less than #10!
Don’t miss the freshly made and rolled Mozzarella Cheese in the deli along with the
wonderful homemade salads.
Across the way is the Salsa Bar with unique offerings for everyone.
The Cheese and Sausage Departments offer an endless array of cheese and sausages from
around the world – this selection will certainly entice you.
If you need libations, here you’ll find the most unbelievable selection of wine,
champagne, and beer in every price range, plus there is also a liquor section.
The bakery has desserts aplenty, plus you’ll find the Pan Cuban bread and the pretzel
bread here that I slice thinly and toast to make the best crostini, pannini, and sammies
ever.
The produce department offers an array of fresh fruits and vegetables from around the
world along with nuts of all sorts.
Wind your way through the seafood department for the freshest choices anywhere.
Aisles and aisles of international food provide unlimited choices to incorporate into your
party menu, while the Gourmet Galleria offers unique holiday serving pieces for display.
Give yourself some time to explore the Jungle and you will discover all types of treats
this holiday season.

               From Jungle Jim’s, WCPO Channel Nine Family,
                             and myself & my wonderful family,

         We wish you all the Happiest, Best Holidays Ever!!

                                                     Jungle Jim’s Margie Potts

								
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