Holiday Appetizers

Stuffed Mushrooms
1 lb mushrooms
3 slices bacon, chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon Watkins Oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt

Remove stems from mushrooms and chop fine.

Fry bacon and remove from pan. Add stems, onion, and garlic to frying pan and saute in the bacon grease. Cook until onion is soft, then drain. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Stuff mushroom caps with mixture and bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

Knorr Spinach Dip
1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach, chopped or 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (8 ounce) package vegetable soup mix
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
3 green onions, chopped

1.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
2.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator about 2 hours.
3. Serve with your favorite dippers – chips, crackers, French bread cubes, vegetables.
4.  Makes 4 cups dip.

I particularly like this dip with French bread cubes.

Serving Idea
Hollow out cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes and fill vegetables with Knorr Spinach Dip.

Use mayonnaise in this dip; do not use Miracle Whip. Miracle Whip has a tangy flavor that changes the flavor.

Baked Brie with Caramelized Pecans
1 (8 ounce) packages brie cheese ( with rind)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 teaspoons butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a small ovenproof dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place the Brie in this dish.
Spread sour cream over brie as though frosting a cake. Sprinkle top with brown sugar, then with pecans. Dot top with butter.
Bake until cheese is very soft to the touch, 15-18 minutes.
Increase heat to 425 degrees F and bake 5 minutes longer.
Brie will be starting to melt on the bottom and the sugar will be bubbling on the top.
Serve warm with bread, sliced apples and crackers.

Artichoke Dip
2 cans water packed artichoke hearts, drained
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup parmesan cheese
Watkins Garlic Powder
Watkins Parsley Flakes
baguette, bread sticks, or buttery cracker, as dippers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coarsely chop artichokes, set aside.
Beat cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese until fluffy. Add seasonings and artichokes. Blend well by hand.
Place dip into a casserole (I use a quiche dish) and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly golden brown.
Serve with baguette slices, bread sticks, or buttery crackers.

Turkey Cheese Ball
cheese ball (recipes below or choose your favorite recipe)
10 large pretzel sticks
crackers of different shapes and sizes
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 strip pimentos
2 whole cloves
1 whole cashews

Make your favorite cheese ball reserving some of the cheese for the turkey’s neck and head.

1. Refer to picture frequently.

2.  Begin with a round cereal bowl which will fit on a decorative plate. Place cheese ball in bowl and place bowl in the middle of your decorative plate. Make sure you don’t use all of the cheese.

3.  Break one of the pretzel rods in half and insert the broken end in the cheese at the 6:00 position. This will be the turkey’s neck and head. Cover the rod with cheese mounding the end a bit to suggest a head. If it wants to flop, prop it up in the back with a small cracker.

4.  Cover the turkey’s throat and part of the back with almonds applying them in rows and slightly overlaping like shingles.

5.  Cover the lower neck with small crackers.

6.  Use the larger crackers and remaining pretzel rods as the turkey’s feathers.

7.  Add the cloves as eyes, the cashew as beak and pimento as wattle.

8.  Serve with extra crackers.

Cheese Ball Recipes

Thanksgiving Cheese Ball
8 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons onion, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
4 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
1 (2 1/4 ounce) can green olives

1.  In a food processor, mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, blue cheese, onion, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Process until well blended. Add olives, and pulse into small chunks.

2.  Shape the mixture into a ball saving a small portion for the neck and head. Wrap in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator.

Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 (2 ounce) jar pimento
5 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Garlic Powder
dash salt
dash Watkins Black Pepper
dash of hot sauce
assorted crackers

1.  Let swiss and cheddar cheeses come to room temperature.

2.  In a large bowl beat together cream cheese until fluffy.

3. Beat in swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, onion, undrained pimiento, bacon, pecans,  garlic powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

4. Cover and chill to allow flavors to blend.

5. Shape into ball reserving some for head and neck of turkey.

6. Wrap and chill. Use to make turkey.

7.  Serve with crackers.

Candied Pecans
2-3/4 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Watkins Vanilla Extract

Place pecans in a shallow baking pan in a 250° F oven for 10 minutes or until warmed. Grease a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside.

Grease the sides of a large heavy saucepan with remaining butter; add sugar, water, salt and cinnamon. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cover and cook for 2 minutes to dissolve sugar crystals.

Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 236° F (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat; add vanilla. Stir in warm pecans until evenly coated. Spread onto prepared baking pan. Bake at 250°  F for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Spread on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet to cool. Yield about 1 pound.

Serve these crispy pecans for your holiday guests or place in jars, tied with pretty ribbon, for family and friends.

We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212° F. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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