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From Pat’s Pantry: Happy New Year

By Pat Mills

The New Year is upon us already. But we still have New Year’s Eve parties to attend, so let’s whip up some appetizers and party. Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year, too. – Pat

 

Blue cheese and
bacon stuffed mushrooms

24 large fresh mushrooms
1 carton (8 oz) reduced-fat spreadable chive and onion cream cheese
1 cup (4 oz) crumbled blue cheese
4 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup bacon bits, divided

Remove stems from mushrooms and set caps aside; discard stems or save for another use. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, blue cheese, green onions, garlic and ¼ cup bacon bits. Stuff the mixture into the mushroom caps, a scant tablespoonful in each. Place in a greased 15 x 10 x 1-in baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining bacon bits. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Yield: 2 dozen.

Orange glazed smokies

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ cup orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 package (16 oz) miniature smoked sausages

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Add sausages; stir to coat. Cover and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until bubbly, stirring three times. Yield: 4 dozen.

Buffalo chicken dip

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (10 oz) chunk white chicken, drained
½ cup buffalo sauce
½ cup Ranch salad dressing
2 cups Ranch salad dressing
2 cups (8 oz) shredded colby-Monterey Jack cheese
tortilla chips

Spread cream cheese into an ungreased shallow 1-qt. baking dish. Layer with chicken, buffalo sauce and ranch dressing. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with tortilla chips. Yield: about 2 cups.

Warm crab dip

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon sherry, optional
2 cans (6 oz each) lump crabmeat, drained
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
assorted crackers or baked pita chips

In a heavy saucepan, heat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and sherry if desired over low heat, stirring often. Stir in crab and onion; heat through. Serve warm with crackers. Yield: 2-1/4 cups.

FOOD FACTS

• To raise the nap of carpeting after heavy furniture has matted it down, place one or two ice cubes on the area overnight. In the morning the carpet should be back up.
• Use a large green pepper as a cup for dips. Cut off top, scrape pepper clean of ribs and seeds, then fill with dip.

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