Friday, December 28, 2007

Savory Ranch Chex Mix

My mom makes Chex mix every year; it's a good munchy to have on hand to cut the sweetness of all those cookies and candies. I made this ranch-flavored mix for book group a few months ago and it was so delicious.

9 cups Chex (Corn, Rice, Wheat or a combination of all three)
2 cups mini pretzels
1 bag cheddar Goldfish (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated, not shredded)
1 packet ranch dressing mix

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Melt the butter in the microwave, stir in the dressing mix and the cheese. Combine the other ingredients in a large pan with sides and pour the butter mixture over them. Stir to coat everything well, then bake for about 20 minutes, stirring at least once. Cool before serving. The last time I made this I left out the pretzels and added a few cups of popcorn after baking it. That was yummy too.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Chocolate Truffles

I just got this recipe from a friend. I haven't tried it yet myself, but it sounds good and looks really easy considering the potential product...

8 oz. softened cream cheese
8 oz. room-temp butter
4 C. powdered sugar
4 C. semi-sweet chocolate
4 oz. dark bittersweet baking chocolate
3 tsp. Vanilla or other flavoring

In a large bowl, beat 8 oz. softened cream cheese and 8 oz. room-temp butter until smooth. Gradually beat in 4 c. powdered sugar. Stir in 4 c. melted semi-sweet morsels, 4 oz. melted dark bittersweet baking choc., and 3 tsp. vanilla or other flavoring. Stir until no streaks remain. Refrigerate for one hour. Form into 1-inch balls. Roll in cocoa, coconut, ground nuts, or powdered sugar. Keep refrigerated. Makes about 100 truffles. Freezes up to 1 year!

Easy Frango Mints:

*1/2 c. butter * 3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
*1 1/2 c. powdered sugar * 2 tsp. vanilla
*2 eggs * 1 tsp. peppermint extract

Line a 8 by 8 pan with foil, then using a stick of butter, coat the foil with a thin layer of butter. Melt 2 c. chocolate chips (set aside the extra 1 c.) in the top of a double broiler. In mixing bowl cream butter & pwd. sugar together. Add eggs and beat well. Add melted chocolate, vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add peppermint and mix well. Chill in foiled pan. When completely stiff, melt then melt 1 c. chocolate chips and spread a thin layer on the top. Chill again. (If desired, you can flip, and add another layer on the bottom.) After hardened cut into small squares. These make great neighborly christmas gifts.

Hot Wassail Pot:

*46 oz. orange juice *1 Tbs. whole cloves
*46 oz. pineapple juice *6 cinnamon sticks
*6 c. apple juice *1/2 c. cinnamon candy
*1/2 c. sugar *1 tsp. all spice

Combine all ingredients in a 5 qt pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, cook 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain before serving. Great for parties. I like to use my crockpot and instead of using the spices I use mulling spices (Williams & Sonoma) and a tea infuser. This makes your house smell of Christmasy goodness!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

cranberry salsa

this is one of my very favorite recipes, and probably one that is most requested. i make is at least every thanksgiving and christmas. serve with tortilla chips.

Cranberry salsa

1/3 c. fresh lime juice
12 ounces fresh cranberries
2 jalapeno peppers seeded and minced (i usually only do one)
2 tablespoons grated onion
½ cup sugar
4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Blanch cranberries. Cover and cook until they pop open. Drain immediately. Add all other ingredients and process or blend. Chill until cold.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

here we go again

not very many people were posting, so i didn't know if there was a desire to continue or what. BUT, by popular demand (and a 2 month hiatus), we are back!

the new category is CHRISTMAS GOODIES. (thanks kim)

i realize that we already have a cookies/bars section, so you can just remind people of the recipe that you already submitted. but think of foods that you like to have around the holidays, it doesn't necessarily have to be sweet. the possibilities are endless, so get cooking! (and submitting)