Holiday Favorites

Hello blog world!

Apologies for my absence. I know it’s been about a month since my last post. I was on the road 13 days in November and the past week has been so busy that I just haven’t been cooking.
But that came to an end with a holiday potluck my friends and I threw together. I wish I’d taken a full picture of our spread. We had chili, black bean and beef stew, a Brazilian chicken dish, 7-layer nacho dip, sausage balls, stuffed mushrooms, crab meatball with crackers, salad, chocolate chip cookies, rum punch, champagne, wine, beer, soda. Basically, we had a ton of stuff.

My contributions were the sausage balls, crab meatball and cookies.  Sausage balls are my favorite hors d’oeuvres to eat during the holidays. My mom has been making them for years and taught me how to do them a few years back. It’s basically sausage, bisquick, cheddar cheese and water mixed into balls and baked. Delicious.

Ingredients: 1 lb hot or sweet Italian sausage, 1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (if you need to think about conversions, 1 lb = 16 ounces, and one pack of cheese is about 8 oz), 3 cups Bisquick, 3/4 cup water

Directions: Brown sausage after removing casing, drain well and let cool. Make sure the sausage is broken up into small pieces.  Mix remaining ingredients, add sasuage and roll into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on greased (or foiled) baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes. (I only needed 12)

Sadly, I didn’t take that many pictures of my second dish, the crab ball. This is another mom holiday standard. And until yesterday, I had never made it. So, of course there was a quick call to her to see how to make it and then another one at the grocery store because I had forgotten to write down whether I needed one can or two of crab meat.

I actually had no idea how simple this was.

It’s basically crab meat, onion and cream cheese.

(Sorry for the blurry photos. I was playing with the settings on my camera last night and a few pics turned out not so well)

Ingredients: I can of crab meat, 8 oz cream cheese, 1 small onion

Directions: Drain crab meat and then rinse  with cold water and drain again. Dice onions (I was trying to save time, so I literally just put a bunch of slices in my mini food processor instead of taking time to dice them). Put crab meat, cream cheese and onion into a bowl and mold into a ball. Refrigerate for one hour. Serve with cocktail sauce and crackers.

And finally…chocolate chip cookies!

I’ve put these on the blog a few times, but in case you want the recipe again, here it is. I grew up with these cookies every Christmas and they were frequently left out for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Side note: My mixer completely broke in the middle of the cookies. So, I had to make them the old fashioned way, stirring them with a wooden spoon. Much tougher!

Ingredients: 1 cup shortening (2 sticks of butter or margarine), 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp hot water (I don’t know why it says hot, and I don’t think it really matters. But who am I to argue with the wisdom of a great aunt), 2 cups rolled oats, 2 cups chocolate chips, Optional use of  chopped walnuts

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and spray cookie tray with cooking or baking spray. Cream shortening, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add eggs and mix thoroughly. Combine the baking soda, salt and flour and add to the mixture. Add oatmeal and chocolate chips and stir until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12- 15 minutes depending on your oven.

OK, that’s it! Anyone have recipes they make every holiday season?


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