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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Party Recipes

The first two are from my favorite Georgia girl, Paula Deen & her boys, Jamie & Bobby.
Pecan-Crusted Cranberry Cheese Balls

8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp softened cream cheese
3 Tbsp dried sweetened cranberries
2/3 c finely chopped pecans

Mix together cheeses and cranberries in a bowl.  Form into small, bite-size balls, then roll in the pecans.  You'll have to press gently to get the pecans to stick into the balls.  Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.  Let them come to room temperature before serving.  Stick a cocktail toothpick into each, you can serve with crackers, fruit, and nuts on a platter - yum!

Turtles

1 lb caramel candies
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
8 oz salted pecans
12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Grease 2 cookie sheets.  In a double boiler, or microwave, melt caramels and butter stirring frequently until smooth.
On the cookie sheets, arrange 36 groups of 3 or 4 pecans, about 2 inches apart.  Spoon a tsp or so of caramel over the nuts, cool for 15 minutes. 
In double boiler or in the microwave, on low power, melt the chocolate chips, stir until smooth.  Spoon chocolate by tsp over each caramel turtle; spread with a butter knife.  Let candies set at room temp, or you can place in the fridge to set more quickly.  
(You can also use salted cashews or other favorite nuts in place of the pecans)

Holiday Punch
The night before, make ice cubes with an additional bottle of the sparkling grape juice, keep in freezer until serving time

(start this about 2 1/2 hours before serving so it has time to chill)
3 c cold water
3/4 c sugar
1 bottle sparkling grape juice (I like white, but you can use red, as well)
1 cup orange juice
1/2 c lemon juice
3 16 oz chilled bottles 7-up
5 cinnamon sticks

In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar and cinnamon sticks to make a cinnamon simple syrup.  Heat to boiling over medium heat, stir as needed.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove & discard cinnamon sticks, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. 

In a large punch bowl, combine the cinnamon syrup, the juices and sodas.  Add the sparkling juice ice cubes from the night before, and garnish with citrus slices, fresh mint leaves, or more cinnamon sticks.  Beautiful and delicious!

2 comments:

  1. I will have to give the Crushed Cranberry Cheese Balls a try!
    Just out Making Friends on Monday! I'm following your blog now!

    Anna, The Pilot's Wife
    www.pilotwife.blogspot.com

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