- 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
If i want to freeze the meatballs, do i add the sauce first and then freeze, or sauce ’em when serving?
I have been making those cookies for years, we call them Forgotten cookies. My son & I decided to try something different this year & add mini marshmallows along with the chips…not a good idea. Gave it a different texture that just wasn’t appetizing. Also made the cookies stick to the pan quite bad.
I love the recipes but I am diabetic and would love to see some recipes for diabetics here as well. Love your newsletter!!
I, too, need to know about the sauce. Do you dip the meatballs and freeze them then save the rest of the sauce for later? Sounds like a greatrecipe.
You could freeze them sauce and all although some sauces separate slightly and get watery. What I usually do is make up and freeze the meatballs then a few days or a week before Christmas you can make up the sauce and store in the fridge. It will easily keep that long. Then just warm with the meatballs when ready to serve.
Okay, this might be a stupid question BUT, is the stove top dressing “prepared” or is right out of the box(dry)??? Sounds like a good recipe I would like to try…I just want to do it right!!!
No stupid questions on this website Melinda. That is what we are here for. I have had to ask the same types of questions myself. You don’t prepare the stuffing. Most meatballs and things like meatloaves need some type of bread, cracker etc. in them so the dry stuffing takes place of the bread in the recipe and the spices in the stuffing help with the flavor.
Are you still following the gluten free diet? If so, it must be difficult for you at this time of year with so many non gluten free recipes abounding.
Yep, I’m having a hard time. Not so much the gluten for me but the sugar. So many candies!!!!
Jill and Tawra,
What happened to the links for the recent comments that used to be at the bottom right hand side of the page? I haven’t seen that in a couple of days. Maybe it’s just an issue with my computer.
Mike is working on changing the site some and we had a meltdown. Hopefully we can get it fixed soon. Sorry!
If adding peppermint how much do you add, also would these ship well? This is easy enough for my granddaughter to make to send to mommy and her friends that are overseas right now.
The meatballs sound like they would be to die for so I think we will be adding them to our Christmas eve dinner. Could these be put into a crock pot after baking to keep warm till serving time or would it make the sauce funny?
You add 1/4 tsp. peppermint. As far as shipping I’m not sure what to tell you. They are like divinity candy or a meringue cookie. I would think they would do as well as any other type especially if you carefully pack them. It depends to on how long it takes things to get there. When we were overseas (100years ago) it could take as long as a month for us to receive things but I think shipping is faster now.
You could the meatballs easily on low or warm in a crock pot.
Ok…it’s not just my computer then. No biggie, just wondering. Thanks!
I have used my creamer for a gravy boat in a pinch.
Those meatballs sound great!
I made the Christmas Meatballs and they are so good. I even had some left-over sauce, so I added a little honey, and used it to top some ham slices I had yesterday. So good.
On the casserole dish…does it call for ground sausage or sliced link sausage? Could the sausage be brown a bit first, in order to drain a lot of the grease?
Thanks. Love the site.
Kelly it is ground sausage. If a recipe calls for bulk sausage that usually means ground and if it needs links it calls for links. Hope that helps clear it up some. And yes you can brown it first. The recipe says to brown the onion and sausage together and then drain. You may have just over looked that.
For diabetics and baking goodies.
I am not a fancy baker so most of my cookies are drop ones and my pies are more custards with no crusts or store bought ones.
My husband and I are both diabetic and he has a real sweet tooth that comes in binges. Can go months without wanting any and then suddenly he wants to buy out the sweets dept.
To combat this I simply use splenda instead of sugar. Most recipes don’t object to the change but a few do so go through your recipes and see the more basic ones that do the change well.
I have not had sugar in the house except for a small box for when a couple friends come over who are telling me I am killing anyone who so much as touches my cookies. I have the sugar for their coffee and keep the treats out of sight.
Pumpkin pie with the brown sugar splenda actually tastes better as the splenda has a mapley flavour. You can even make peacan or butter tarts with it.
I make apple or fruit crisps all the time the bs splenda is wonderful. I sweeten the fruit with it if necessary and then the crust is bs splenda and oatmeal with a drizzle of butter over it all.
I prefer the brown sugar sweetened things to the white sugar but that is just personal preference as the white splenda does just as well.
My grandchildren and the other little ones that eat my cookies always come back for 2nds and 3rds.
My husband is a diabetic, and I have a daughter with ADHD so I use Splenda to bake with alot. It taste so good and when other people eat it in my dishes, they think I used sugar. I would love to exchange some recipes with you for SF dishes if you would like to.
I used your recipe for the Christmas meatballs the other day. Since it was late and needed to get dinner on the table quickly, I made meatloaf instead and cooked it in the microwave. Everybody enjoyed the meal with mashed potatoes and green beans. I will definitely make this again. Thank you for sure a nice change-up to our regular meatball/loaf recipe. Thoroughly enjoy your website and your cookbook, Dining on a Dime.
grizzly bear mom
Rub a little butter under the lip of the gravy boat so it doesn’t drip.
I like the meatball recipe too but may use chili sauce instead of bbq.
I wanted to share a Polish recipe for Christmas.
Christmas Eve Noodles with Poppy Seeds
1 pound egg noodles
1 cup milk OR water
1 cup dried poppy seeds
1/2 cup sugar OR 2 tablespoons honey, or a combination of both.
Cook noodles until tender in boiling salted water. Drain. Scald milk or water and mix in poppy seeds with sugar or honey. SImmer 5 minutes, stir in noodles and serve hot.
Your recipes for the meatballs and cookies sound so good. We have to adapt for no dairy and no gluten for one grandchild. I was wondering what could substitute for the stuffing mix? Any gluten and dairy free recipes would be most appreciated too.
I LOVE the recipes in this months news letter and can’t wait to try some of them. Not only do the sound so tasty, they also look so easy. I struggle lately with finding something new that will taste good. My husband is a meatball and sausage fanatic so you have hit the nail on the head for me.
I took the time to forward your newsletter to my daughter so that she can sign up as well. We both love the ideas under the gift wrapping heading. Please keep up the wonderful work you are doing!
Hi I am celiac too. I would simply use a bag of gf croutons, or bread crumbs and my own seasonings. It is pretty simple. for stuffing mix italian seasoning , roasemary, garlic, and thyme to your liking. change the seasonings according to the sauce or preference. These recipes sound wonderful! Thank you!
Do you use gluten free croutons … I didn’t know they were available.
Yes, you can find them gluten free and your can make your own really easy. Just take GF bread and cut into pieces. Add olive oil and spices and put on a cookie sheet. Bake for 350 until dried usually 15-20 mins.
grizzly bear mom
I use oatmeal in my meatloaf. About 1 cup to 1 pound of beef. Oatmeal is very good for you. I don’t believe its has gluten and it pulls fat out of your bloodstream.
Oatmeal itself is gluten-free. However, it is generally processed in the same facility as gluten-containing foods. Depends on your sensitivity. Certified gluten-free oats can be found
Jill, Thought you might like this recipe.
9 refrigerator biscuits
4 ounces of chocolate squares
fat for frying
Cut each biscuit in half. Place 1 square of chocolate in the center of each half. Bring edges of dough over chocolate and pinch together tightly. Fry in hot fat until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Roll in confectioners sugar. Makes 18 puffs.
Oh Yum Bea those do sound so good.
Yea, Easy and chocolatey. Yummy.
Here is another interesting recipe, if you like coffee.
3 tablespoons sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons instant coffee
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar, instant coffee, and water in a small saucepan. Place over low heat and stir about 1 minute or until sugar dissolves. Cool slightly. Meanwhile cream butter until soft and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar mixture to the butter. Add vanilla and blend thoroughly. Use as spread for toast or pancakes.
Jill, do you know if Splenda would work in the Cookies While You Sleep? If so, they would be fairly low carb, at least compared to most of the cookies, candy, etc. at this time of year.
I really can’t say for sure Cindy because I don’t use it myself. I have heard that it might work in soft meringue but not hard meringue which is what these cookies are. Some have said you can maybe do half sugar and half Splenda but again I have not tried this myself.