December 26, 2003 at 9:20 a.m.
Popcorn is always a good treat, especially after all the sweets we eat at this time of the year.
4 qts. freshly popped popcorn
5 T. butter or margarine, melted
1 t. lite seasoned salt
1/8 t. powdered thyme
1/8 t. marjoram
In large bowl, drizzle butter over popcorn, tossing evenly.
Combine salt, thyme and marjoram; sprinkle over buttered popcorn, tossing evenly. Makes 4 quarts.
You’ve probably had your fill of cheese balls. Make this ahead and have it ready for whoever you can round up with the “un-doing.”
HAM ‘N CHEESE BALLS
Two 4-1/2 oz. cans deviled ham (or grind cooked ham in a grinder or food processor to make one cup ground ham)
1 T. prepared mustard
3 T. chopped, stuffed green olives
one 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened (I use fat-free.)
a shot or two of hot sauce (or to your taste)
2 t. milk
parsley for garnish (optional)
Combine all ingredients, except parsley. Form in to a ball and chill for at least two hours. Place on serving dish and garnish with parsley sprigs. Makes a 4-inch ball.
Meatballs are always great to serve as all you need is a toothpick to pierce them and then pop into your mouth.
SWEET AND SOUR
2 lbs. ground beef, venison or bison
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. minced fresh onion (medium onion)
1/3 c. dry bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. snipped fresh parsley or 1 T. dried flakes
1-12 oz. jar chili sauce
1 T. lemon juice
3/4 c. grape jelly
Combine meatball ingredients. Shape into small balls. Put meatballs on a 1-inch sided cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile combine sauce ingredients in large saucepan or large skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring to mix well; add meatballs, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
NOTE: You can also combine sauce and meatballs and put in a crockpot on high to heat through for 15 minutes. Turn to low and keep hot. Makes about 50 meatballs.
Tortilla chips and dip are always a good snack. Try one of these dips for a change from bottled salsa.
CHILI CON QUESO DIP
(cheese and hot peppers dip)
3/4 to 1 c. milk
2 lbs. cheese cut into 3/4-inch squares
2-4 oz. cans green chili peppers, drained and chopped
1 t. garlic salt
1 small jar diced pimientos, drained
Heat milk in large saucepan over medium heat (be careful not to scorch) until hot. Add rest of ingredients, stirring constantly until cheese melts. Pour into a small crockpot or serve in a chafing dish. Serve with a variety of crackers or French bread cut into squares. Keep the hors d’oeuvres picks handy. Makes 4 cups.
SHRIMP SOUP DIP
1-10 oz. can frozen shrimp soup, undiluted, defrosted completely
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. onion juice*
Combine soup and cheese, beating until smooth. Add Worcestershire and onion.
*If you don’t have onion juice, substitute 2 t. minced fresh onion.
Serve with crackers, fresh veggies or chips of your choice.
Please, please––if you are partying over the holidays, especially on New Year’s Eve, don’t drink and drive. If nothing else, bring a sleeping bag to the party and if you’ve had too much alcohol, sack out on the floor in the back hall or on the couch, but don’t take a chance on driving and possibly (a good possibility) having an accident that could take your or somebody elses life because you overloaded on alcoholic beverages.
You know, you can have tons of fun without becoming sloshed. I’ll get off my podium now and wish all of you who have stuck with me all these years, by reading this column, a new year overflowing with peace, joy, contentment and love for family and friends.