Teresa Hatchell 2005

Do you attend many wedding showers, baby showers, and celebratory brunches? Are you involved clubs other such social/civic groups? If so, you might admit that the refreshments and fellowship are the most enjoyable aspects of many such gatherings. Sure, you want to focus on the honoree(s) if that is what the occasion calls for. But, if you are like me, you want to make personal contact with everyone at the event, and you want at least a taste of each type of food offered.

During my formative years, I recall that my mother had a Tupperware party or two and played hostess to her bridge club on numerous occasions. I recall that back in those days, hostesses mostly served soft drinks, potato chips and onion dip – nothing too elaborate. That was what was “in” back then. As I progressed into my late teens and early twenties, members of groups and party goers began to welcome all kinds of foods – from quiche to artichoke dip to blooming onions and beyond. The trend of serving more flavorful refreshments continued through into the new millenium.

Recently, I attended a baby shower, two wedding showers and an after-church dinner. At all of these events, there was food galore, and folks in attendance practically grazed throughout the events. Below are a few of my favorite party foods. Try them and write or email and let me know about your favorite refreshments/finger foods to serve? 

Sausage-cheese rounds superb

3 cups Bisquick

1 pound ground sausage, browned, drained

4 cups shredded Cheddar

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon parsley

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients thoroughly with a large spoon. With clean hands, shape this mixture into 1-inch balls or “rounds.” Bake these wonderful creations at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove them from the pan and drain them on a white paper towel for a moment. Serve them warm. This recipe makes about six dozen sausage rounds. If you want to prepare them ahead of time and serve them after guests have arrived, bake them at 350 until they are very lightly browned.

Rotel dip

(My sister Sharon Peal serves this very frequently, but often adds browned, drained ground sausage)

2 packages Velveeta (Mexican or Cheddar) cheese

2 cans Rotel tomatoes (usually found in the tomato sauce section or in the section of Mexican food items)

1 large can Hormel chili with no beans (or)

3 cups browned, drained ground sausage of your favorite variety

Melt the cheese in a large bowl in the microwave. Stir the Rotel and chili (or sausage) into the melted cheese. Keep the dip warm in your largest crockpot. Stir it occasionally throughout the event. Cut this recipe in half if you are not preparing for a crowd. Serve dip with plain nacho chips or brighten up the table with the new colorful nacho chips that are on the market.

Taco dip

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

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12-ounces carton cottage cheese

1 package taco seasoning

Chopped tomato

Chopped onion

Shredded lettuce

Shredded Cheddar cheese

Sliced (chopped) black olives

In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine the first three ingredients. Spread the mixture on a large round serving tray. Top with the remaining ingredients. Place nacho chips nearby so guests can scoop the dip with chips.

Cinnamon powdered doughnut holes or bread sticks brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar would be an appropriate accompaniment. After all, it’s always good to have a little something sweet on hand.

Contact the writer at tgmhatchell@yahoo.com.

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