Appetizers…..for Christmas?

What’s your Christmas  meal tradition?  We change ours every 3 years as far as our menu goes.  Last year was the Baked Potato Bar and boys howdy do we bring on the toppings. Everything from Steak, to fajita chicken to chili, to steamed broccoli and cheese topping, and taco seasoned ground beef with all the other toppings for that, sauteed mushrooms, well, I could go on and on!  We make sure we have small baking potatoes so we aren’t too full to go back for seconds on the toppings!

Next year the kiddos and grandkiddos come over for a “formal type” of setting…. Christmas dishes, sit-down service, we cook a fabulous meal and serve all of them like they were in a high end restaurant.  They seem to love it….and the grub! 

This year,well,  this is our Appetizer Christmas!  We all bring our favorite munchies and dig in!  Sort of like tailgating on Christmas night.  We have a blast, with a huge variety of items to choose from.  

One item I will be making is BBQ Chicken Dip.  Love, love LOVE this stuff.  This recipe is one I came across on the web from another blogger I follow and tried it and fell in love with it and the ease of making it.   Make you some and serve it up for the National Championship game. Serve with some Fritos, Tostitos, or your favorite crackers.  

BBQ Chicken Dip

12 oz cooked chicken, chopped (I use a rotisserie chicken, makes it quick and easy and then use the rest of the chicken for something else)

1 (8-oz) block cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup bbq sauce

1/4 cup ranch dressing (any store bought brand or home made works fine)

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 green onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl combine chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, and 1 cup cheddar cheese.  Pour mixture into a lightly greased 8×8 baking dish.  Top the dip with chopped green onion and remaining cheese.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly

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Look who’s shopping now!

drum roll…………(I hope all the pics get added in…sometimes this machine lets me decrease the size of the picture and sometimes it doesn’t and they all don’t fit!)

Anyhoooooo——

The lucky winner of the first $100 gift card is…

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#24…Joy Priester!

 

And the second one drawn by random.org for the second $100 gift card is…

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#12…Tricia Manning

 

Now for the $50 gift cards…..(just as spendable, by the way!)  – the first winner of one of these is

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#26….Theodorerex72

 

And the last gift card for $50 goes to…

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#28..bigkitty75!

 

I will email all winners and make arrangments in getting the gift cards to you!

Congrats to all of you and happy spending!

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Shopping….are you through?

Have you finished with your Christmas shopping yet? Have one or two more to finish up?  

I like to get through as early as I can so I can enjoy the season…and if truth be known, avoid the traffic, avoid the packed stores, and avoid last minute “what do I get them now?” Syndrome.  Some love to shop late, love the Christmas Eve crowds and selecting gifts close to the 25th.  Not me.  I want to be done…completely done. The sooner the better!

To help you finish up, or get that “extra” something for someone special or just for you, I am giving away two $100 Visa cards and two $50 Visa cards to four (4) winners! Maybe this will put a little “jingle” in your shopping! This way you can shop where you choose, select what you want, or make sure someone has a nice stocking stuffer.

Want a chance at one of the four Visa gift cards? Just post a comment below and tell me if you are through shopping or still have some more shopping to do. Four winners will be selected and posted Wednesday morning, December 18. Happy shopping!- 

Company’s coming!

Are you having company over for Christmas or New Year? Or do you want a simple but great casserole waiting for you when you wake up Christmas morning?  

I plan on making this – can’t wait to change it up a bit also – make it into a Southwestern flair. (change the mushrooms and use a small can of sliced black olives, use Monterey Jack cheese, and maybe throw some chopped jalapeno peppers in and serve with some spicy salsa on the side! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!)

 

Company Breakfast Casserole

1 (16-oz pkg) shredded frozen hashbrowns, thawed and divided in half

1 onion, choped and divided in half

1 lb ground pork sausage, browned and drained

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 (4-oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided in half

1 dozen eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste  (one option is to use garlic salt instead of salt- would add another level of flavor)

Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking pan. Spread half of the thawed hash browns in the pan and layer on top 1/2 of the chopped onions, the browned pork sausage (use all of the sausage) , the mushrooms, and 1/2 of the shredded cheddar cheese.

In a bowl, whisk together the dozen eggs the milk, and the seasonings.  Pour over the hash brown mixture in the pan.  Layer the rest of the hash browns and top with the remaining cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.  

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees  for 45 to 60 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.   Let set for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  

The possibilities for this one is endless!   Change out what you put in this and change the flavors completely.  Have fun with this one!

 

 

Salad night

Do you ever have those nights where you have salad?  And nothing else?  We do and we love it.  This recipe is one that was a favorite at church Wednesday night suppers – only I like to add ground beef to mine (or in my case, ground turkey).

It is wonderful as is and a great recipe and side dish to take to a pot luck dinner – add the seasoned ground beef or turkey and you have a complete meal – vegetarian?  Leave the meat out and complete for you as is.  This makes a big bowl full so if you are wanting to make only one serving, you will have to adjust to your plate.   

Mexican Salad

1 head lettuce, chopped medium fine

1/2 head cabbage, chopped medium fine

1 onion, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 carrots, grated

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 cup grated cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

5 tablespoons sugar

salt and pepper

1 small pkg nacho chips, crushed

Catalina dressing

And if you are adding meat, 1 lb. ground beef or turkey, browned with a package of taco seasoning mix.

Mix first 10 ingredients. (along with the browned ground meat, if using).  Add crushed nacho chips and serve in individual salad bowls or large salad bowl.  Sprinkle with Catalina dressing.  Serves 6-8.   

When we served this at church, we would drizzle the Catalina dressing on the salad just before putting on the table for serving and stir it all in together .  We have also used crushed fritos in it.   Just as good!  Kick it up a notch by adding some chopped jalapeno pepper.

 

Great salad – give it a try!  

 

Owls……how cute can they get?

When I saw these…..I couldn’t resist…..

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Please, oh please, overlook the fact that I left the gorgeously cute big fluffy owl pillow in the plastic bag so as not to get anything remotely on it (my mother’s side coming out in me….heaven help me because she left plastic on new sofas FOREVER!) and the cuteness may be somewhat hidden from the shineyness of the bag.

But look at those cute little cups…those are measuring cups! They nest inside each other, and have a little pouring spout on the side.  So Cute!   and the hand soap dispenser or lotion dispenser…..precious!    

So someone is going to get all three – just shout out your favorite Christmas Carol below and you are in the running!   These will be given away Friday morning!  Can’t wait to see your favorite Christmas Carol!   I’m humming right now!

Sausage & Cheese Bread – mmmm mmmmm good

We ate in our Sunday School Class room this past Sunday.  Who would have thunk it??? Especially so close after Thanksgiving!  But we combined our November and December birthdays and had a party!  We old-timers know how to party.  And since I had seen this floating around on the net I wanted to try it.  But I kicked mine up a notch….you know, get us old geezers going….no Geritol for our class….just make a recipe and substitute with some hot sausage and you got it made!

this is so much easier than making individual sausage balls, and to me, is so much more moister.  Try it and see what you think.  Serve with your favorite soup, Make it for Breakfast,  Eat it for tailgating or a brunch. Or have it with a spot of tea. The possibilities are endless.  Our Sunday School teacher was pulling people out of the hallways to come and get a taste! He’s a character, anyway!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and also hope you will give this a try!

Sausage & Cheese Bread

1 lb pork sausage (I bought the hot sausage – the class loved it!)

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (use the grated kind in the cheese section – or grate fresh – so much better)

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon Texas Pete Hot sauce (I still used this for flavor in mine even though I used hot sausage)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash of red pepper flakes (I left this out with the hot sausage for this class – I would use it if I use regular sausage, though)

2 cups Bisquick baking mix

2/3 cup milk

1/4 cup mayonnaise (I know some don’t care for mayonnaise but you can’t tell it is in here – it is for moisture – use it – you won’t be able to tell it’s in the recipe – I promise!)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

Coat a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. (I actually used two small loaf pans and have frozen one of my loafs! yea me!)

Crumble sausage into a skillet of choice and cook with chopped onions until brown.  Drain on paper towels and cool.

In a large bowl, combine egg, cheeses, hot sauce, salt and red pepper flakes;  mix well.  

Add baking mix, milk, and mayonnaise.   Stir.

To the mixture, add the sausage and onions.  Mix just until combined.  

Pour into loaf pan(s) and bake for 45 to 50 minutes (may take only about 40 minutes if you use smaller loaf pans).

Let rest in pan for 10 minutes.  Turn out to plate, slice and serve.

 

Let me know how you enjoy! And, oh, by the way……..watch the blog as there will be some quick give-a-ways for Christmas.  Get ready!