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Teresa Hatchell 2005

Teresa Hatchell

I have been involved in a number of activities that have included tables laden with food for a few weeks now, and it is only November 20. After enjoying homecoming dinner at Harleyville Southern Methodist Church this past Sunday, I thought about how Thanksgiving is just the beginning of the holiday “get-together” season.

WHAT'S COOKING?: Time to start planning your Thanksgiving menu

Between now and New Year’s Day, many businesses, individuals, families, churches, as well as civic and social groups will gather for celebrations of every “variety.” Whether you plan to serve your guests on plastic/acrylic ware, glass trays, fine China or formal silver serving dishes, I promise you that the following festive recipes are "tasteful" and nutritious and should remind us all that we can enjoy the holiday season and maintain a healthy diet at the same time! 

WHAT'S COOKING?: Eager readers request more pear recipes

Cranberry fruit cheese ball

4 cups (16 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (may use low-fat)

8-ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

1 cup variety of your favorite dried fruit bits, chopped

1/2 cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

Position the knife blade in your food processor bowl; add the first five ingredients. Process them for one minute or until the mixture is smooth. Chill this mixture for at least 30 minutes. Shape it into a ball. Roll the ball in the dried cranberries, other dried fruit and nuts, pressing gently to make the dried fruit and almonds stick to the ball. Chill this healthy appetizer for up to two days. Remove it from your refrigerator and let it sit for about a half hour so it will be easy to spread. Serve the ball with your favorite variety of baked crackers. The recipe makes a 4-cup cheese ball.

WHAT'S COOKING?: Enjoy ‘rich’ flavor of autumn’s fruits

Cabbage, apple and grape slaw

1 package slaw mix

1 large Red Delicious apple, peeled and cut into small pieces

1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in halves

3/4 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup coarsely chopped, lightly toasted pecans

Dressing

1 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 packages Splenda artificial sweetener

In a large bowl, mix the first four ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the slaw mixture and toss these ingredients until they are well coated. Refrigerate the slaw until it is time to serve it. This recipe makes six to eight servings.

Wonderfully fresh spinach salad

3/4 cup salad oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar (you may choose one that contains garlic)

1 teaspoon sugar

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1 teaspoon dry mustard

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 full bunch of fresh spinach (about 3 cups)

6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained

3 hard-boiled eggs

3/4 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped (optional)

Combine the first six ingredients in a jar and set it aside until you are ready to "dress" the salad. Wash and dry the spinach leaves. Tear the spinach into bite-size pieces and place the spinach in the refrigerator to keep it crisp. Crumble the bacon into a bowl. Chop the hard-boiled eggs into the bowl with the bacon and chopped dried cranberries and lightly toss these ingredients to combine them. Arrange the spinach in individual salad dishes or put it into a large bowl. Pour the "dressing" over the spinach and top it with the chopped bacon-egg-cranberry mixture. This should yield four large or six small servings.

Tasty corn pie

2 cups fresh corn

3 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 heaping tablespoons self-rising flour

2 cups whole milk

6 thin pats unsalted butter

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Place the corn in a medium-size casserole dish. Stir in the beaten eggs. Stir in the sugar, salt, pepper and flour. Stir in the milk. Distribute pats of butter across the top of the casserole dish. Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour (until it is firm and golden brown on top). This recipe makes six to eight delicious servings.

Traditional pumpkin pie

1 (9-inch) unbaked deep-dish pie crust

3/4 cup white sugar

1 Teaspoon ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 eggs, room temperature

15-ounce can Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin

12-ounce can Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl. Stir in the pumpkin and the sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk. Pour this mixture into the pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool this yummy pie on a wire rack for about two hours. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it. 

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Contact Teresa Hatchell at tgmhatchell@yahoo.com

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