Bringing the right dish to a potluck or serving just the right apetizer at your holiday party will make you a BIG hit this year. There is no need to stress because the recipes we feature below are not only simple, but scrumptious. You don’t have to consider yourself a “cook” to provide great food, and you definitely don’t have to worry about making everything from scratch. Nobody will ever know you used store-bought pie crust!
Sausage Mushroom Caps, courtesy of Sunset Magazine
- 24 medium-size button or cremini mushrooms (about 1 lb)
- 1/3 lb seasoned bullpork sausage
- 3 tbsp seasoned dried breadcrumbs
Rinse mushrooms. Trim stems; save for another use. Mix seasoned bulkpork sausage with seasoned dried bread crumbs. Mound sausage mixture in mushrooms, then set, filled side up, in a rimmed 10- by 15-in. baking pan.
Broil 6 to 7 in. from heat until sausage is well browned, about 5 minutes. Lift mushrooms onto a platter, brush withextra-virgin olive oil, and top each with a leaf of flat-leaf parsley.
Parmesan Puff Pastry, courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com
- 1 (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
On a lightly floured surface, unfold pastry sheets. Cut each sheet into 13 strips, about 3/4 by 10-inches apiece.
In a shallow dish, combine cheese, basil, and garlic. Brush pastry sticks with melted butter. Roll pastry in cheese mixture, lightly coating each side. Gently twist pastry sticks, and place on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- Olive oil, for frying
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
- 1 box store-bought cheese ravioli (about 24 ravioli)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 jar store bought marinara sauce, heated, for dipping
Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees F.
While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working in batches, dip ravioli in buttermilk to coat completely. Allow the excess buttermilk to drip back into the bowl. Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet, and continue with the remaining ravioli.
When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain.
Sprinkle the fried ravioli with Parmesan and serve with a bowl of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.
Bacon and Date Appetizer, courtesy of allrecipes.com
- 1 (8 ounce) package pitted dates
- 4 ounces almonds
- 1 pound sliced bacon
Preheat the broiler. Slit dates. Place one almond inside each date. Wrap dates with bacon, using toothpicks to hold them together. Broil 10 minutes, or until bacon is evenly brown and crisp.
Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cookies
- 10 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp milk
- ¾ tsp peppermint extract
Put chocolates and butter in a medium metal bowl and set bowl over a pan filled with 1 in. of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until melted, then remove from heat and let cool slightly. Whisk in eggs and sugar, mixing until combined. Then whisk in flour, baking powder, and salt. Chill dough, covered, until firm, about 2 hours.
Let dough sit at room temperature 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop 1 tbsp. portions of dough, rolling each into a ball, and put onto sheets 1 in. apart. Bake cookies until they no longer look wet on top, about 8 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.
In a bowl, mix 3 cups powdered sugar, 4 tbsp. milk, and 3/4 tsp. peppermint extract. Spread 1 heaping tsp. peppermint icing onto the flat side of 1 cookie.
Top with flat side of a second cookie to form a sandwich, pressing together to squeeze filling to the edge. Roll edge of cookie in crushed and sifted candy canes. Makes 20.
Irrestible Pecan Pie, courtesy of all www.allrecipes.com
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, chilled
- 4 tablespoons ice water
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup pecans, finely crushed
- 1 cup pecans, quartered
- 1 cup pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- To Make Crust: In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and white sugar. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually sprinkle the water over the dry mixture, stirring until dough comes together enough to form a ball.
- On a floured surface flatten dough ball with rolling pin. Roll out into a circle that is one inch larger than pie dish. Place pie shell into dish and refrigerate until pie filling is complete.
- To Make Pie Filling: In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, light and dark corn syrups, brown sugar, butter, salt and finely crushed pecans. Spread quartered pecans over bottom of refrigerated pie crust. Pour syrup mixture over top of pecans, then arrange pecan halves on top of pie.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for one hour or until firm; let cool for one hour before serving.
Old Fashioned Gingerbread, courtesy of allrecipes.com
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.
Dummy Fudge, courtesy of foodnetwork.com
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans (any type of nut will work)
Butter a 9 by 9-inch baking dish
Melt chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and condensed milk in double boiler on medium heat. Once smooth remove from heat. Add vanilla and nuts. Scoop into baking dish and chill in refrigerator until set for approximately 10 minutes.