Chyrel's Recipes From Friends

Recipes For Hosting an Open House ( News Letter )

Recipes For Hosting an Open House ( News Letter ) Thu, 2 Dec 2004, at 10:21 p.m.
This newsletter is from an AOL food chat and posted here at Recipes From Friends with permission from food host Judee.

Welcome Back Around Our Kitchen Table! And a huge Welcome Home to Host Food Judee! She's back from her trip and I can see her sparkling smile from here!! Tonight, we're jumping right into the Holiday Season and have gathered everything you'll need for a successful Open House. Hosting an Open House on a weekend afternoon or evening is a wonderful way to entertain during the busy holiday season. Guests can come and go between their other commitments, your house doesn't have to hold many people for a huge sit down meal, and the snacks and treats can often be prepared far enough in advance for you to be able to enjoy yourself!

A couple of tips for successful event include remembering to keep it simple, plan out all your recipes far enough in advance that you can shop without stress that you forgot an ingredient at the last moment, and include a variety of sweet and savory, hot and cold, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages. Borrow a couple crock pots and fondue pots to keep hot appetizers or drinks warm all through the event. Make sure that over the festivities, your telephone in at least one location can be heard in case any guests get lost on the way, especially as it gets dark much earlier this time of year. Finally, of course, relax and enjoy the day with all your family and friends! Let's get started on our recipes!

Wine Coolers

These are very, very good, and not too sweet like many wine coolers.

1 cup cranberry-mango juice (or any cranberry juice blend -- we used Cranberry Raspberry)
1 cup orange juice
1 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
1-1/3 cup club soda
lime slices
orange slices

Mix first four ingredients. Pour into glasses and garnish with lime and orange slices.

This makes about three drinks, so multiply recipe as necessary.
***End of Recipe***

Strawberry Cream Punch

46 oz pineapple juice
3/4 C. sugar
6 oz can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 1/4 C. water
8 1/2 C. ginger ale
1 qt strawberry ice cream

Combine pineapple juice, sugar, lemonade and water in punch bowl. Mix well. Stir in ginger ale, and spoon in ice cream by smaller spoonfuls.

It is very pretty as the small spoonfuls of ice cream melt in, and is gorgeous in a holly patterned cake stand that turns over into a punch bowl.
***End of Recipe***

Mulled Cider

Keep this going in a large crockpot with the lid off; your guests won't be able to stay away from the warming, inviting aroma coming their way.

1 gal. cider
1/2 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
1 teas. whole cloves
1 teas. allspice
3 cinnamon sticks

Tie spices in cheesecloth and add to cider. Start on high for about 1 hour then turn to low. Refrigerate leftover and reheat in microwave.
***End of Recipe***

Christmas Party Pinwheels
Servings: 15

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (.4-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 cup minced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup minced celery
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup sliced stuffed olives
3 to 4 (10-inch) flour tortillas

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and dressing mix until smooth. Add red pepper, celery, onions and olives; mix well. Spread about 3/4 cup on each tortilla. Roll up tightly; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Slice into 1/2-in. pieces.
***End of Recipe***

Cheddar Pepper Crisps
Yield: 4 dozen

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups (6-ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons vinegar
Coarsely ground pepper

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in cheese. Sprinkle with water and vinegar. Toss with a fork until a ball forms. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour or until dough is firm. Divide into six portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough into an 8-in. circle. Cut into eight wedges and place on greased baking sheets. Sprinkle with pepper; lightly press into dough. Bake at 375' for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.
***End of Recipe***

Cajun Party Mix

Yield: 8 cups

2 1/2 cups Corn Chex cereal
2 cups Rice Chex cereal
2 cups Crispix cereal
1 cup mini pretzels
1 cup mixed nuts
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Combine the cereals, pretzels and nuts. Pour into an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. baking pan. Mix remaining ingredients; pour over the cereal mixture and stir to coat. Bake at 250' for 40-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Store in airtight containers.
***End of Recipe***

Mini Quiche

These mini quiche are very easy to make and are delicious. The crust to these is a little different than most. They freeze wonderfully, perfect to make ahead for a party. You can choose your filling combinations as you wish, making it a very versatile recipe.

Cheese Pastry
2 c. flour
1 (8 oz.) pkg. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 lb. margarine or butter
dash of cayenne

Cream together cheese, butter and cayenne. Add flour and mix into a smooth dough. Wrap and chill for an hour or freeze for 30 minutes. Then form into 48 (1-inch) balls and press into miniature muffin pans. Place 1/2 teaspoon filling (ham, shrimp, etc.)
in center of each quiche, then 1 tablespoon custard. Bake in a 400 degrees oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pans. Serve warm. You may freeze and reheat. Makes 48 quiche.

Egg Filling
4 eggs
1 c. milk, or 1/2 milk and 1/2 cream
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix together well and either spoon this over, or combine with, your choice of
chopped meat for example: ham, bacon, sausage, shrimp, crab, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, etc.
***End of Recipe***

Cranberry-Blue Cheese Ball

This simple and different appetizer highlights the ever popular cranberry.

4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
1 8-ounce hunk reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 6-ounce bag sweetened dried cranberries

Place cheddar cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until cheese is coarsely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and process until well combined.

Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Scoop the cheese mixture out onto the plastic wrap, gather up the corners of the plastic wrap and form into a ball.

Refrigerate overnight. Let sit out at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
***End of Recipe***

Gorgonzola and Rosemary Cream Puffs

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
2 eggs
1 cup shredded Gorgonzola cheese (4 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts

1. Heat oven to 425°. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray.

2. Heat water and margarine to boiling in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt, rosemary and pepper all at once, stirring constantly 30 to 60 seconds or until mixture forms ball; remove from heat.

3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating with electric mixer on medium speed until mixture is well blended. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes.

4. Gently press center of each puff with tip of spoon to make slight indentation. Sprinkle with cheese and nuts. Bake 2 to 4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Do-Ahead Tip:
Make cream puff dough as directed, dropping dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Freeze until firm. Place frozen dough in an airtight container or resealable plastic freezer bag; keep frozen up to 2 months. To bake, place as many frozen puffs as needed on the sprayed cookie sheet and continue as directed.
***End of Recipe***


"Puffs that you put tuna, ham, chicken, shrimp, or egg salads. This is a wonderful basic recipe that you can build on and create sweet or savory dishes. Stuff them with vanilla ice cream and top with chocolate sauce. Voila, a fabulous dessert that looks like you spent hours on, but you didn't!" Original recipe yield: 20 puffs.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan heat butter and water over medium heat until butter melts. Fold in flour all at once, and stir vigorously until a ball forms in the center of the pan. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully blended. Mix should be very stiff. Drop by 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon onto prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the moisture disappears. Cool and slit a small opening on one side and stuff with desired filling.
***End of Recipe***

Vegetables & Pesto Dip

3 cups fresh parsley, minced
1 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 cups mayonnaise
2 cups sour cream
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 pounds baby carrots
2 bunches red radish
2 cucumbers
1 bunch green onions
2 red peppers (or green)
1 bunch celery
Optional: broccoli and cauliflower

Dip: Place first four ingredients in a blender. Process until mixture resembles course meal. Add remaining items and process until smooth. Makes about 6 cups

Vegetables: Clean, peel and slice the vegetables as necessary. Baby carrots can be left whole. Green onion can be trimmed with some green left on. The other vegetables can be cut into fairly good sized pieces.
Arrange in an attractive manner on a large platter with the dip in the middle. Garnish with parsley sprigs.
***End of Recipe***

Caramel Peanut Butter Dip
Yield: 1 cup

30 caramels
1 to 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup finely crushed peanuts, optional
Sliced apples

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave caramels and water on high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave 1 minute more or until smooth. Add peanut butter and mix well; microwave for 30 seconds or until smooth. Stir in peanuts if desired. Serve warm with apples.
***End of Recipe***

Cheddar Fondue
Yield: 2-1/2 cups

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups (8-ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Bread cubes, ham cubes, bite-size sausage and/or broccoli florets

In a saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour, salt if desired, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add cheese; cook and stir until melted. Transfer to a fondue pot or slow cooker; keep warm. Serve with bread, ham, sausage and/or broccoli.
***End of Recipe***

Shortbread Bites

This is the recipe I was looking for. It was in Good Housekeeping magazine. See picture of the cookies at the bottom. They are so good and look nice scattered on a cookie tray. Give them a try

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick), cut up (no substitutions)
1 tablespoon red and green nonpareils or sprinkles, or 1/2 cup mini baking bits

1. Preheat oven to 325° F.

2. In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse flour and sugar until combined. Add butter and pulse until dough begins to come together. Place dough in medium bowl. With hand, gently knead in nonpareils or baking bits until evenly blended and dough forms a ball.

3. On lightly floured waxed paper, pat dough into 8" by 5" rectangle; freeze 15 minutes. Cut dough into 1/2-inch squares. Place squares, 1/2 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet.

4. Bake cookies 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. Store cookies in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 1 week, or in freezer up to 3 months.

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