I hope everyone is having a very Happy Holidays!!! Like I've mentioned before, on Christmas Eve my family has an appetizer party instead of dinner. I decided to post the menu now because any of these recipes would be great for upcoming New Year's Eve parties. My mom and I went a bit overboard for 15 people, but there were surprisingly few leftovers! As obvious from this list, I love dips! Sometimes I joke that dip is my favorite food - it's so versatile in terms of the type of dip and the things you can dip in it :)
I've provided a brief explanation below with each item and a picture or link. I've been so busy in St. Louis with family and apartment hunting for our move in May/June (we put a deposit down on a townhome this week!!!). Needless to say, I haven't been a good blogger lately in terms of posts and keeping up with Google Reader. Hopefully I will be back in full force in January. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's!
Each year we always make this punch on Christmas Eve, and we have the leftover punch with brunch on Christmas morning. In respect of the kids, this punch is always kept non-alcoholic, although each individual is welcome to add some alcohol to his/her own cup (this year my cousins' used Amaretto and thought it was a great combination!)
Christmas Punch is always a favorite, and everyone looks forward to it. It is super sweet, but absolutely delicious. Kids love it - why wouldn't they, it has about 5 pounds of sugar! But it's Christmas so it's ok! You can even try playing around with the amount of extra sugar added - the recipe calls for 1 cup, but I'm sure you could reduce it (or even eliminate it altogether) because of all the other fruit juice sugars.
1 package cherry Koolaid
1 cup sugar
1/2 large can (~6 ounces) frozen orange juice
1/2 large can (~23 ounces) pineapple juice
3 ounces lemonade concentrate
2 quarts (8 cups) water
7 ounces ginger ale
1/2 quart orange sherbet
1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a punch bowl.
2. Scoop the orange sherbet, and plop onto the punch.
3. Pour the ginger ale over the sherbet to make a nice, bubbly foam.
4. Serve and enjoy!
Source: My parents' friend Jeanette A.
I've seen these on several blogs, and I know they are a popular party snack. I started doing them the way that the recipe and comments on Allrecipes suggest, then my mom showed me how to stuff them from the stem side, which is how she's seen them before - I actually thought these looked better! I did both for the platter to give a variety. These were a big hit!
1 quart fresh strawberries
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1. Beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar with electric mixer or by hand.
2. Wash and dry the strawberries. Either make a criss-cross cut down each strawberry starting at the pointed end and ending shortly before the stem, OR hull the strawberry and use a paring knife to make small hole in the strawberry where the stem was.
3. Add the cream cheese mixture to a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe into each strawberry. Serve on a platter.
Source: Adapted from Allrecipes.com
Dill Dip in Rye Bread Round
This is a popular recipe but always a must for us on Christmas Eve - it's soooo delicious! This year I had some leftover fresh dill, and it was a nice touch. Not necessarily much different than dried dill though, so use what's more convenient. If you've never had this dip, you must try it!
3/4 cup mayonnaise (regular or light)
3/4 cup sour cream (regular or light)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1 teaspoon beau monde
1 teaspoon dried dill weed (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
1 round of rye bread
1. Combine all dip ingredients in a bowl and chill for at least 1 hour.
2. Cut a whole in a round of rye. Fill the opening with the dip and break or cut the removed bread into chunks for dipping.
Cocktail [Turkey] Meatballs
I've made these meatballs for many years. The fam always forgets they are made of turkey, and I don't remind them. I find that people have preconceived notions about turkey and that affects how much they like the meatballs. So I just labeled them "Cocktail Meatballs." They loved these this year, and I revealed at the end of the night that they were turkey - they were surprised that they didn't know the difference! I do find that you don't get nicely round ball shapes with ground turkey, so if you are going for presentation, ground beef is probably the way to go. You can even buy frozen meatballs at the store and make the sauce at home - no one will know but you! :)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup minced onion
1/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon snipped parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound ground beef or turkey
extra-virgin olive oil
1 12-ounce jar chili sauce
10-ounces grape jelly
1. Combine first 8 ingredients and mix well. Add meat and mix until evenly incorporated.
2. Form 1-inch meatballs, and place on waxed paper-lined plates.
3. Heat oil in a skillet and fry the meatballs until browned on the outside but not cooked through. Drain on paper towels for a few minutes and transfer to a slow cooker.
4. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine chili sauce and grape jelly, and stir frequently until jelly has melted completely.
5. Pour sauce over meatballs and cook on low for at least 3-4 but up to 8-10 hours. Stir occasionally. Alternatively, add the meatballs to the saucepan, stir to coat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Source: Adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook
Hot Artichoke Dip
My mom found this recipe this year in a cookbook she recently acquired. Typically homemade artichoke dips that I've made have been very greasy, but this one was less so, probably because it's predominantly cream cheese rather than mayonnaise. We used light cream cheese and regular mayo, but I'm sure it's be great with light mayo as well. I love artichokes so I knew I'd enjoy this - it was a very tasty dip!
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1. Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Spoon into 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish.
2. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until very lightly browned.
3. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, pita chips, or vegetables.
Source: Philadelphia Cream Cheese Classic Recipes cookbook
Buffalo Chicken Dip - one of the favorites of the night!
Double Tomato Bruschetta - another favorite that ended up being my mom and my dad's choice for top appetizer of the night!
Ro-tel Dip - I think most people have had or at least heard of this dip - you just mix 1 can of Ro-tel tomatoes with 1 package of Velveeta. We keep it in a small crockpot when we serve it because the warmth helps maintain the right consistency. I'm not sure how I feel about Velveeta in general, but this dip is just plain good!