November 18, 2010

More Holiday Recipes...

So last week I shared a few of my favorite holiday breakfast recipes.  This week I am going to share my favorite appetizer and side dish recipes.  Two of these recipes are from the fabulous Martha Stewart, or as my mom would say "MY MARTHA"...hehe... :)  I think cheese and crackers is a good little appetizer, plus everyone likes cheese (for the most part).  But I like to take it up a notch and make cheeseballs.  This is a Kraft recipe, and one of my favs.  I also make this recipe for office parties all the time. 

Holiday Cheese Truffles
(fancy name for cheeseballs)

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
Dash ground red pepper-cayenne
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers (I use the red peppers you sprinkle on your pizza)
2   green onions, sliced
1-2/3 cups chopped PLANTERS Pecans
BEAT first 4 ingredients with mixer until blended. Divide in half. Add roasted peppers to half and onions to other half; mix each until blended.
REFRIGERATE several hours or until chilled.
SHAPE into 24 (1-inch) balls. Roll in nuts.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with crackers.

Now for my two favorite holiday side dishes (besides my mom's super secret stuffing and garlic mashed potatoes).

Orange Scented Cranberry Sauce
(way better than that stuff out of the can- trust me, and it's from MY MARTHA)

2 bags (12 ounces each) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 wide strips orange zest, plus 1 cup fresh orange juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
(Makes 3 1/2 cups)


In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest, and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice. (To store, refrigerate, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
*Super easy huh?  And I made it the same day last Thanksgiving, I didn't store anything.

Sweet Potato Casserole
(SO good...just sayin)

3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 8), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup whole milk (I use 2% milk)
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups mini marshmallows or chopped regular marshmallows
*Crushed Pecans (I add these on top, not part of the original recipe....but good)
*Brown Sugar (I also add this, not part of the original recipe....sorry Martha)
*Serves 8

•Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water by 1 inch; salt generously. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, and return to pan. Heat over medium, stirring, until liquid has evaporated and a thin film covers bottom of pan, about 2 minutes.
•Remove pan from heat; add milk, butter, and nutmeg. Mash until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Transfer sweet-potato mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. (To make ahead, refrigerate, up to 1 day.)
•Top casserole with marshmallows; bake until center is warmed through and marshmallows are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes

And now I'm hungry....  :)

Have a fabulous day!





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