Sunday, December 24, 2017

Last Minute Recipes for a Christmas Eve Gathering

Happy Holidays Everyone!
So its Christmas Eve and you have a family dinner/get together that you must attend.  And you find out that you need to bring something for the party.  Oh my! 

Well never fear, the Frugal Femme is here to give you some easy recipes that you can whip up in minutes and have ready for a party!  These are just some tried and true recipes that I have on hand so that I can whip them out for parties - some of them may be modified from your grandmother's recipes. 

Oyster Crackers

This is one of my husband's favorite things.  So much so that his mother usually makes them every year and includes them as part of his Christmas present.  This year, his parents came down for Thanksgiving and not for Christmas so it was up to me to carry on the tradition.  I don't know who's recipe this was originally, but I'm fairly certain most of us have some version of this recipe, hand written and stashed in a family cookbook.  Me being me, I had to modify the recipe just slightly.  So here is my version of a Christmas Classic.

1 (1 ounce) package Ranch dressing Mix (I like Hidden Valley)
1 tsp. dried dill weed  (If you don't love dill as much as I do, you can put 1/2 tsp and it tastes just as good.)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. truffle oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
5 cups osyter crackers

1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2.  In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients.  Whisk with a fork until all of the ingredients are blended together.
3.  Add the oyster cracks and toss with a spoon until all of the oyster crackers are covered with the oil mix.
4.  Spread the oyster crackers evenly on a baking sheet.

This is after they have come out of the oven, but you get the picture.
5.  Bake for 10 minutes in the oven.  After 10 minutes, rotate the pan and stir with a spoon, redistributing the oyster crackers on the pan.
6.  Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven when the oyster crackers are a golden brown.
7.  Allow to cool completely before serving.  (Put in an air tight container to store.)

So how easy was that?!?!?!

This next recipe is one of my favorite recipes of all time and is a go to for all sorts of functions.  I break it our for parties, holidays and sometimes just because I want to eat it.  I honestly thought that I had already posted this recipe, but when I went back into the Frugal Femme archives, I realized that I have not.  So here it comes, my favorite cheese ball recipe of all time.

Cheddar Cheese Apple Balls

These cheese balls have no apple in them.  They are called apple balls because that is the way that they are shaped.  One recipe will make two cheese balls, you can easily half this recipe and make only one.  I do this all the time so that I can make two different flavors of cheese balls.
This is another recipe that I just slightly modified from a family recipe.  I'm not sure who first made it up.

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. finely chopped onions
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Cinnamon Sticks
Fresh Sage Leaves or Bay leaves

1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, onion, Worcestershire, and mustard in a large bowl until blended. 

2.  Mix in the cheddar cheese.

3.  Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm enough to shape.
4.  Divide cheese mixture into two halves.  Take one of the halves and form into a ball on waxed paper.  Repeat this step on the other half of the cheese mix.

5.  Sprinkle another piece of waxed paper with paprika.  Roll cheese ball in paprika, coating thoroughly.  Repeat this step with the other cheese ball.

6.  Mold paprika covered cheese ball into an apple shape.  Repeat.
7.  To garnish, make a small depression in the "top" or the stem ends of your apples.

 Cut a cinnamon stick in half.  Insert cinnamon stick half into depression to make the "stem" of the apple.  Insert sage/bay leaf next to the cinnamon stick. 

8.  Serve with crackers.

And voila!  You have a beautiful and delicious cheese ball that looks like an apple.  A note of warning for this dish, people find it so pretty that they are afraid to cut into the cheese ball.  I find that, when I put the cheese ball out to serve, I have to make an apple "slice" into the cheese ball.  Otherwise, people don't want to mess up the pretty.

So there you have it!  Two quick and easy recipes to bring to a party that you can whip up at the last minute.

Have a happy Christmas Eve!

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