Spring Blossoms

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Artichoke-Cheese Braids


INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup drained finely chopped artichoke hearts (from 14-oz can), patted dry with paper towels
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 jar (2 oz) diced pimiento, drained, patted dry with paper towels
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix artichokes, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and the mayonnaise.
2. Unroll dough and separate into 2 long rectangles; place crosswise on opposite ends of ungreased large cookie sheet. Press each into 11x4 1/2-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal.
3. Spoon half of artichoke mixture lengthwise down center of each rectangle in 1 1/2-inch-wide strip. Top each evenly with pimiento.
4. On long sides of each rectangle, make 15 cuts about 3/4 inch apart almost to edge of artichoke mixture. For braided appearance, fold strips of dough at an angle halfway across artichoke mixture with ends of strips slightly overlapping, alternating from side to side; pinch to seal.
5. Bring ends of each braid together to form ring; press ends together to seal. Carefully brush tops of rings with egg; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese.
6. Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Carefully loosen braids from cookie sheet with wide spatula; slide onto serving plate. Cut between strips into thin slices; serve warm.

Cranberry Fluff Fruit Dip with Fruit Wreath


Dip
1 (7-oz.) jar marshmallow creme
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup frozen cranberry-orange sauce, thawed
Fruit Wreath
1 bunch curly endive
2 red apples, sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 small clusters seedless red grapes
3 small clusters seedless green grapes
5 or 6 strawberries
1 star fruit, sliced, if desired
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, if desired

DIRECTIONS
1. In small bowl, combine marshmallow creme and cream cheese; beat until smooth. Stir in cranberry-orange sauce.
2. Line large platter with endive leaves. Place bowl of dip in center. Dip apple slices in lemon juice; arrange in circle about 1 inch from edge of plate, overlapping slices. Arrange grapes and strawberries on apples randomly around dip. Tuck slices of star fruit among other fruit. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over endive

Honey-Mustard Drummies


The perfect party snack -- easy and delicious!

INGREDIENTS
20 chicken wing drumettes
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons soy sauce

DIRECTIONS
1. In ungreased 12x8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish, arrange chicken drumettes in single layer.
2. In 1-cup microwave-safe measuring cup, combine honey, mustard and soy sauce; mix well. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir until well blended. Drizzle honey mixture over chicken, brushing as necessary to coat chicken. If desired, cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
3. Heat oven to 375°F. Uncover dish; turn chicken drumettes. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until chicken is tender, glazed and no longer pink next to bone, turning chicken once halfway through baking time.
4. Just before serving, brush with honey mixture from dish.

Sharp Cheddar Cheesecake


Cheesecake
2/3 cup crushed crisp rye or pumpernickel crackers
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 eggs
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers (from 7.25-oz. jar)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Garnish
Green onion curls, if desired
Roasted red bell peppers, cut into shapes with cutters, if desired

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, combine crushed crackers and butter; mix well. Press evenly in bottom of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350°F. for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
2. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add cream, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and eggs; beat until smooth and well blended. Stir in shredded cheese, roasted peppers and 1/4 cup green onions; mix well. Spread over partially baked crust.
3. Bake at 350°F. for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool 30 minutes.
4. Loosen edges of cheesecake with small metal spatula or knife. Cool an additional 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
5. To serve, carefully remove sides of pan. Place cheesecake on serving platter. Garnish with green onion curls and roasted pepper cutouts. Surround cheesecake with apple and pear slices or assorted crackers.

Crescent-Wrapped Cranberry and Brie


INGREDIENTS
1 (8-oz.) can Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (8-oz.) round Brie cheese
3 tablespoons whole berry cranberry sauce or cranberry chutney
1 tablespoon chopped pecans
1 egg, beaten
8 small seedless red or green grape clusters
1 pear, unpeeled, sliced
1 apple, unpeeled, sliced

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Unroll crescent roll dough. Separate dough crosswise into 2 sections. Press dough to form 2 squares, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Cut corners off both dough squares and reserve to use for cutouts. Place 1 dough round on sprayed cookie sheet.
2. Cut cheese crosswise into 2 equal layers. Place bottom half of cheese on center of dough circle on cookie sheet. Spread cranberry sauce over cheese. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Top with remaining cheese half. Bring dough up around side of cheese, pressing and pinching dough.
3. With small cookie or canapé cutter, cut shapes from reserved corners of dough; set aside. Place remaining dough on top of cheese round. Press dough evenly around side of cheese. Brush dough with beaten egg. Top with cutouts; brush with additional beaten egg.
4. Bake at 350°F. for 20 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 15 minutes before serving. To serve, place warm pastry-wrapped cheese on platter. Arrange fruit around cheese.

Chutney-Glazed Meatballs


Meatballs
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup Plain Bread Crumbs
1 tablespoon instant minced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
Sauce
1/2 cup chutney
1/2 cup ketchup
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger root

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients; mix well. Shape into 1-inch meatballs. Place in ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
2. Bake at 375°F. for 25 to 30 minutes or until meatballs are browned and thoroughly cooked in center.
3. In large saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients; mix well. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until bubbly.
4. Add meatballs to sauce; stir to coat. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

Mini Reuben Turnovers


2 oz corned beef (from deli), cut into pieces
1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese (1 oz)
2 tablespoons well-drained sauerkraut, squeezed dry with paper towel
2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 egg, beaten, if desired
Thousand Island dressing, if desired

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 375°F. In food processor bowl with metal blade, place corned beef, cheese, sauerkraut and mustard; pulses 2 times for 3 seconds each or until finely chopped.
2. Remove half of dough in rolled section from can; refrigerate remaining half of dough in can. Unroll half of dough and separate into 2 rectangles; press each into 7 1/2x5-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Cut each rectangle into 6 (2 1/2-inch) squares.
3. Place 1 teaspoon corned beef mixture on each square. Fold 1 corner to opposite corner, forming triangle and pressing edges to seal; place on ungreased cookie sheet. With fork, prick top of each to allow steam to escape. Brush tops with egg. Repeat with remaining half of dough and corned beef mixture.
4. Bake 9 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm with salad dressing, if desired.

Sausage and Cheese Crescent Squares


2 (8-oz.) cans Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 lb. hot or mild bulk pork sausage
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll 1 can of dough into 2 long rectangles. Place in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish; press over bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust.
2. Brown sausage in large skillet over medium heat until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Remove sausage from skillet; discard drippings. Add cream cheese to same skillet. Cook over low heat until melted. Add cooked sausage; stir to coat. Spoon evenly over crust in baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.
3. Unroll second can of dough on work surface. Press to form 13x9-inch rectangle; firmly press perforations to seal. Carefully place over cheese.
4. Bake at 375°F. for 21 to 26 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Cut into small squares

Creamy Smoked Salmon Cups



4 oz cream cheese (from 8-oz package), softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons small capers, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 box (10 oz) frozen corn & butter sauce, thawed
4 oz smoked salmon, flaked
2 cans (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (8 rolls each)

DIRECTIONS:
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1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 48 mini muffin cups with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
2. In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and sour cream until well blended. Stir in lemon-pepper seasoning, chives, capers and salt. Stir in corn until well mixed. Fold in salmon.
3. Separate dough from both cans into 8 rectangles; press perforations to seal. Cut each rectangle into 6 (2-inch) squares. Press 1 square in bottom and up side of each mini muffin cup. Spoon slightly less than 1 tablespoon salmon filling into each cup.
4. Bake 10 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from pan to serving platter. Serve warm

Crescent-Wrapped Brie


1 (8-oz.) can Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (8-oz.) round natural Brie cheese
1 egg, beaten

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll dough; separate crosswise into 2 sections. Pat dough and firmly press perforations to seal, forming 2 squares. Place 1 square on ungreased cookie sheet. Place cheese on center of dough.
2. With small cookie or canapé cutter, cut 1 shape from each corner of remaining square; set cutouts aside.
3. Place remaining square on top of cheese round. Press dough evenly around cheese; fold bottom edges over top edges. Gently stretch dough evenly around cheese; press to seal completely. Brush with beaten egg. Top with cutouts; brush with additional beaten egg.
4. Bake at 350°F. for 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Green Chile and Cheese Foldovers

Biscuits wrap around green chiles and cheese in these sassy appetizers.

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. (1 cup) finely shredded Muenster or Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion tops
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Dash salt
1 (4.5-oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (16.3-oz.) can Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits

DIRECTIONS:
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1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray large cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In small bowl, combine cheese, onions, cilantro, salt and green chiles; mix well.
2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. With serrated knife, cut each biscuit in half horizontally to make 16 rounds. Press or roll each to form 3 1/2-inch round. Place 1 tablespoon cheese mixture in center of each round. Fold dough over filling; press edges with fork to seal. Form each filled biscuit into crescent shape. Place on sprayed cookie sheet.
3. Bake at 375°F. for 11 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Little Apricot Appetizer Tarts


Just four ingredients add up to an easy and awesome appetizer.

INGREDIENTS:
2 cans (8 oz each) refrigerated garlic butter crescent dinner rolls (8 rolls each)
1 cup finely shredded pepper Jack cheese (4 oz)
1/4 cup Apricot Preserves
1/4 cup Chopped Pecans

DIRECTIONS:
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1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 24 mini muffin cups with No-Stick Cooking Spray.
2. Unroll each can of dough into a large rectangle; press perforations to seal. Cut each rectangle crosswise into 12 strips, about 1 inch wide. Place each strip in muffin cup, pressing dough to cover bottom and side, making sure all seams are sealed and forming 1/4-inch rim above cup.
3. Spoon 2 teaspoons cheese into each cup. Top each with 1/2 teaspoon preserves and 1/2 teaspoon pecans.
4. Bake 14 to 20 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Serve warm.

Sloppy Joe Casserole


1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 (15.5-oz.) can sloppy joe sandwich sauce
1 (11-oz.) can Whole Kernel Corn, Red and Green Peppers, undrained
1 (6-oz.) can Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large skillet, brown ground beef with onions; drain. Stir in sandwich sauce and corn. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.
2. Spoon mixture into ungreased 1 to 1 1/2-quart casserole. Separate dough into 5 biscuits; cut each in half. Arrange, cut side down, around outside edge of hot mixture with sides of biscuits touching.
3. Bake at 375°F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden brown.

Italian Meatball Sub


10 frozen cooked Italian-style meatballs, 1 to 1 1/2 inch (from 16-oz bag)*
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 small onion, halved lengthwise, sliced
1 cup tomato pasta sauce
2 hoagie buns, split, toasted
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (1 oz)


DIRECTIONS
1. Place meatballs on microwavable plate. Microwave on High 2 to 3 minutes or until meatballs are hot.
2. Meanwhile, in medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add mushrooms, bell pepper and onion; cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender.
3. Add pasta sauce and meatballs; mix well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated.
4. Spoon 5 meatballs and half of sauce into each hoagie bun. Sprinkle with cheese.
*For meatball melts, arrange the sandwiches on a cookie sheet and broil 1 to 2 mins. or until cheese is bubbly.

Maple-Walnut Pumpkin Pie


Crust
1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust (from 15-oz box), softened as directed on box
Filling
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons real maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Streusel
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cold butter or margarine
Topping
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
Chopped walnuts, if desired

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie. In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Pour into crust-lined pan. Bake 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix 1/4 cup brown sugar, the chopped walnuts and flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Sprinkle streusel over pie. Cover crust edge with 3-inch-wide strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes longer or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Serve or refrigerate until serving time.
5. To serve, in medium bowl, beat whipping cream and 2 tablespoons brown sugar with electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Serve pie with whipped cream; garnish with chopped walnuts. Store in refrigerator.

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