- If you are having a potluck or buffet, be sure to place the silverware, napkins and drinks at the end of the food table so your guests don’t have to juggle them while filling their plates.
- If you need a punch bowl, check out your covered cake dish. Many of them are designed so you can turn the base upside down and turn the bowl upside down to make a punch bowl out of them. If you are in a real bind, just use a large, pretty bowl.
- Don’t have a dipper? Set a fancy cup (not your husband’s football mug) on a saucer next to the punch bowl.
- Don’t have a gravy boat? Serve your gravy and sauces in small heat proof pitchers. I have seen some really cute pitchers and gravy boats at the dollar stores. This is one item that would be worth buying. Not only can you use it for gravy, but it is a nice way to serve chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, pancake syrup, melted butter, etc.
M&M Marshmallow Bars*
Today’s main dish recipe is a quick and easy one dish meal for these hectic days. Just mix it up, toss it in the oven and by the time you have your salad made and table set it will be ready. It’s also a great dish to make to use leftover potatoes and peas.
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 cup onion, chopped
2 1/2 oz. jar sliced mushrooms, undrained
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups potatoes, cooked, cubed
1 cup sour cream
10 oz. can buttermilk biscuits
1 cup peas, cooked
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a 10 inch oven proof skillet, brown sausage and onion, drain. Add mushrooms and flour. Over low heat, slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Add potatoes and heat till bubbly. Stir in sour cream. Arrange the 10 biscuits around the outer edge of the skillet and spoon the peas into the center. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until biscuits are golden. Serves 5-6.
Use red and green M&M’s on these bars to make a fun and different Christmas cookie. I haven’t tried it yet but in a pinch you could probably replace the first four ingredients with a brownie mix and just top with the marshmallows, M&M’s and peanuts.
*M&M Marshmallow Bars
1 (18 1/4 oz.) pkg. devil’s food cake mix
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup water
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup plain M&M’s
1/2 cup peanuts
Combine dry cake mix, butter, water and egg and mix well. Press into a greased 13×9 pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle marshmallows, M&M’s, and peanuts on top. Bake 2-3 minutes until marshmallows melt. Cool before cutting.
Extra Holiday Recipe
In the following recipe, you can add red or green food coloring to tint for Christmas or add another food coloring to tint for any other holiday you want. You can also add 1/4 tsp. of peppermint extract if you like chocolate and peppermint flavors together.
Cookies While You Sleep
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg whites until foamy; add salt and cream of tartar and beat until stiff. Very gradually add sugar, then vanilla and peppermint (if you are using it). Peaks should be shiny and stiff. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheet. Place in oven, turn off heat and leave oven closed until morning. NO PEEKING! or you will lose oven heat. Store in airtight containers.
It might be fun to experiment with these cookies and replace the chocolate chips with peppermint, butterscotch chips, chopped maraschino cherries or different types of crushed candy.
Make the meatballs from this next recipe and freeze them in a plastic bag. Lay the bag flat in the freezer to help make them freeze individually. They will keep for up to 3 months. They are so handy to keep on hand to take to a last minute activity, whether it is tailgating, a Christmas or New Year’s get together or as an appetizer for unexpected company.
2 lbs. ground beef
1 pkg. Stove Top stuffing for chicken
1 cup water
1 bottle barbecue sauce
1 (16 oz.) can cranberry sauce
Line 2 – 15 x 10 x 1 pans with foil and spray with cooking spray. Mix first 4 ingredients. Shape into balls the size of walnuts and place on pans. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until done. While they are baking, mix barbecue sauce and cranberry sauce in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add meatballs to sauce and coat evenly.
Photo By: André di Lucca