Saturday, November 17, 2007


Christmas Wassail

I love the holidays! There is nothing like sipping something hot by the Christmas Tree watching the lights.
2 qts. of apple juice
2 cups of orange juice
1 cup of lemon juice
1 and one-half teaspoon of whole cloves
5 cups of pineapple juice
Sugar or honey to taste
1 cinnamon stick

Heat all the ingredients in a large pan or crock-pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove cloves and cinnamon stick. Serve in a crock-pot to keep warm. Light a candle, put on a Christmas CD and enjoy!

They do make packaged cider mix that is really tasty and easy, but this recipe is something extra special (and not quite as sugary).

Spinach Dip

1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed (do not use fresh)
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 c. mayo
1 (4 oz.) pkg. dried vegetable soup mix
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped (I’ve used chives, also)
Loaf of round bread ( I used sourdough, but you can use pumpernickle,etc.)
Squeeze spinach until dry. In medium bowl, stir together spinach, sour cream and soup mix. Add finely chopped water chestnuts and green onions. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Cut slice from top of round loaf of bread, hollow out loaf to leave shell to contain dip. Use bread removed from shell and top slice to cut into bite size pieces. Butter inside of bread shell, fill loaf with dip and place on platter and surround with bread pieces and/or variety of raw vegetables.

Chocolate Fondue

Now this is a Pampered Chef recipe and I hope I am not infringing on any copyright codes by sharing it with you, but this is one of the most popular party dishes I have ever taken anywhere. Just serve with fresh fruit, marshmallows, cookies or whatever tickles you fancy. I love Pampered Chef and own many of their cookbooks as well as cooking gadgets, serving pieces and other odds and ends I have a rectangle baking stone that I absolutely love!
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping (thawed)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 rum or vanilla extract (optional)
Place chocolate morsels and half of the whipped topping in a small bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 1 minute or until chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring after each 20-second interval. Fold in remaining whipped topping, cinnamon, and rum extract, if desired; mix until smooth. Cover; refrigerate at least 30 minutes. To serve, spoon fondue into small bowl.
Yield: 2 cups

The Best Ever Cheese Dip

This is a really good nacho dip. I can’t count how many youth parties and church get-togethers I have been asked to bring this dip. I think the mushroom soup makes the difference-you decide.

1 pound of ground beef or sausage, browned and drained
1 pound of Velveeta cheese
1 can of Rotel
1 can of cream of mushroom soup

Add all the ingredients to a crock-pot. Set on high and let it cook up, stirring often. It can be cooked quicker in the microwave if you need to, but it isn’t as good. Be sure to turn the crock-pot off or on low. It will burn if you are not carefully.


“Why make salsa when you can buy it at the store,” you say? You have never had this salsa! It was first introduced to us by a family that we knew from Venezuela. I have also seen Martha Stewart make a version of it on her show. We eat buckets of this stuff in the summer time.

4-6 tomatoes
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of one lemon
Optional: green or yellow pepper, cilantro, and oregano

Chop up all fresh ingredients in the food processor. Be sure to pulse some of the tomatoes so that you still have some “chunks.” Add the lemon juice and salt to taste.

You can eat this stuff with chips, on eggs, over steak. It’s wonderful!

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