Cheryl’s Cuisine: December 2022

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

One of the most frustrating parts of entertaining for any host/hostess is preparing for days or even weeks,  and, in a flash,  everything is over and now you’re spending days cleaning up.  With holidays quickly approaching, we need to be prepared for entertaining family, friends and unexpected guests.   So, this month I’m featuring quick, delicious party fare to make your table a hit without spending days slaving away!

Quick Party Eggnog

½ gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
2 quarts commercial refrigerated eggnog
1 ½ cups bourbon
Freshly grated nutmeg

Spoon softened ice cream into a large punch bowl.  Add eggnog and bourbon, stirring gently to blend.  Sprinkle with nutmeg, if desired.  Serve immediately.  Yield: about 18 cups.

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Santa’s Hats
What about youngsters? This is a super-popular treat.

½ gallon cherry-vanilla ice cream
1-1 liter bottle ginger ale, chilled
1 can refrigerated whipped cream
Red decorator sugar crystals
Maraschino cherries with stems

Divide ice cream evenly among 8 glasses; pour ½ cup ginger ale over each.  Top each with whipped cream, sugar crystals and a cherry.  Yield: 8.

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Cranberry Fizz

4 cups cranberry juice
1 cup grapefruit juice
1 cup orange juice
½ cup sugar
2 liters ginger ale, chilled

In large pitcher, stir together fruit juices and sugar until sugar dissolves.  Refrigerate until chilled.  For serving, pour into punch bowl; carefully stir in ginger ale.  Makes 12 servings.

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Noel Ham Mousse

1 ¼ cups beef broth
2 envelopes (1/4oz. each)  unflavored gelatin
2 cups ham, chopped in food processor  (great for using leftover ham)
¼ cup finely chopped celery
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. tarragon vinegar or other herb vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. prepared horseradish ( I make it a heaping tsp.)
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup whipping cream

Heat beef broth and gelatin over low heat in small saucepan, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved.  Cool.  Mix remaining ingredients except whipping cream; stir into gelatin mixture.  Beat cream in small bowl until stiff peaks form; fold into gelatin mixture.  Spoon mixture into greased 6-cup ring mold.  Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.  Loosen edge of mold with tip of knife, dip mold briefly into warm water.  Unmold on plate; refrigerate until serving time.  Serve with crackers.  Note: Mousse can be made 3 days in advance and refrigerated, covered; unmold on day of serving.

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Christmas Broth

3 cups vegetable tomato juice (V-8)
2 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. sherry
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped

Combine vegetable-tomato juice, chicken stock, brown sugar and sherry in top of a double boiler.  Heat almost to boiling and add the butter.  Serve in individual warmed cups.  Sprinkle on parsley.  Serves 6.

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Marinated Olive & Cheese

2 lbs. Colby Jack cheese, cubed
10 oz. jar pitted Kalamata olives, drained
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic, crushed
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
18 oz. bottle Italian salad dressing

In large plastic zip-top bag, combine all ingredients.  Seal bag and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.  Drain; serve with toothpicks.  Serves 12.

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Lucious Cheese Spread

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. onion, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup butter
½ tsp. spicy mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chopped pecans
Crackers , sliced fresh fruit e.g., pears, apples

Combine cream cheese, onion and garlic in a bowl.  Blend together and spoon onto a serving dish; set aside.  Combine brown sugar, butter, mustard and Worcestershire sauce in small saucepan; cook and stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Stir in pecans. Spoon over cream cheese mixture.  Serve with crackers and/or fresh fruit slices. 

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From our house to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy 2023 !

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