Friday, December 14, 2007

good food and good friends make for a great night!

Every December the women's group in our church has its annual progressive dinner/bake-off, so for food for thought friday I'd love to recap the event. By about a week before the date we submit our favorite recipes, from appetizers to salads to desserts. These recipes are then pasted into a Word document, printed off, and punched with holes so they can be added to a binder chock full of recipes from years past. I even have some from 2001!

Last night was this year's progressive dinner and it was another successful year if you judge by the variety of dishes and great conversation. How does it work? We start at one house, split up into groups, and rotate among three or four houses sampling everyone's recipes. I've become an expert on how to pace myself so I'm not bursting at the seams by the time we arrive at the church for desserts and a program! I even take notes as I go, marking with two stars my favorites, one star the good but not great, and a dash for those I don't care for. I liked just about everything I tasted last night, but here are a few that I not only loved but are perfect for holiday entertaining. Enjoy!

The Holiday Sprite
16 oz. can orange juice
16 oz. can lemonade
1/2 can sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
1 liter Sprite
10 cans water

Mix ingredients together in large container and serve. Makes 18-20 servings. (How easy is that--and it was so good!)

Spinach Dip
1/3 of 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
2 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 T dry minced onion
1 tsp Accent
1/2 tsp salt
2 T chives

Mix ingredients in blender. Serve with various cracker or warmed baguettes or French bread broken in pieces. (Not your typical Knorr spinach dip but this was to die for! Could it be the cream?!?!)

Corn Pudding
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
1 (8.5-oz.) package corn bread/muffin mix
1/2 cup milk
1 (15-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14.75-oz) can cream-style corn

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in sour cream. Gradually add mix alternating with milk. Fold in corn, Pour into greased 3-qt. baking dish. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes or until set and lightly browned. (Reminds me of Chevy's corn cake!)

Cranberry Salad
2 cups cranberries, ground
3 cups miniature marshmallows
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups apples, diced
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 tsp salt

Combine cranberries, sugar, and marshmallows and let set overnight. Add other ingredients and fold in the cream and chill. (Sweet, light and yummy!)

Baked Oatmeal Breakfast
3 cups quick oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine dry ingredients; then add wet ingredients. Pour into a 9x9 greased pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Crust should be golden and a bit crispy when done. Cut and serve in bowl. Eat plain or top with milk, raisins, dried or fresh fruit, nuts, etc. (This would be perfect for serving guests Christmas morning!)

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
1 egg white
1 tsp cold water
4 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly grease a 10x15 jellyroll pan. Lightly beat egg white. Add water and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts and stir until well coated. Mix sugar, salt and cinnamon and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat and spread evenly on prepared pan. Bake 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until golden. Allow to cool. Store in airtight container. (These were almost a clone of those tantalizing ones from the mall kiosk--I could eat them by the fistful!) --Emily
There is no love sincerer than the love of food. --George Bernard Shaw

1 comment:

the girls of gt said...

mmmm! I love the recipe for cinnamon almonds!