By SATURDAY OBSERVER STAFF
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 – Editors of the Saturday edition of the Observer have assembled a few of their favorite holiday dishes and desserts — in the event we need other careers to fall back on. Rachael Ray, watch out! Enjoy, and happy holidays from Cohort 8!
Submitted by Susan Beach
8 ounces of grated cheddar cheese
8 ounces of cream cheese
4 ounces of blue cheese
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 medium red onion, grated
1 cup of chopped pecans
Blend ingredients together in a large bowl. Divide the mixture in half, and roll each half into a round ball. Roll the balls in pecans to cover. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with parsley. Serve with crackers or sliced vegetables.
A note from Susan: This is authentic, straight from my mother’s kitchen.
Jalapeno and Cheddar Latkes
Submitted by Cari DiMargo
1 large onion
1 large egg
Shredded cheddar cheese
2 to 5 jalapenos, depending on preference
Sour cream or apple sauce
Shred the potatoes and onion with a grater or food processor (use the grating blade if your processor comes with one). Chop or slice the jalapenos — wear new rubber gloves so you don’t burn your hands. Combine potatoes, onion, egg, jalapenos and one to two cups of cheese. Mix ingredients in a large bowl with two tablespoons of olive oil. Form latke patties by hand, pressing the patties firmly to drain excess liquid.
Heat vegetable oil in a pan; fry latkes until golden brown on both sides. Eat immediately. Serve with a side of sour cream or apple sauce.
Parmesan Spinach Rolls
Submitted by Josh Williams
1 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach
1¼ cups of grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup of chopped onions
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of hot sauce
1 teaspoon of Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of paprika
2 packages of Pillsbury Crescent dinners rolls (Pillsbury Garlic-Parmesan dinner rolls may also be used)
Pam or other cooking spray
Remove excess liquid from thawed spinach. Combine spinach and one cup of Parmesan cheese with the following ingredients on the list.
Spread filling onto the wide portion of unrolled crescent dinner rolls and then roll up.
Place rolls into a one-quart baking dish sprayed with Pam. Bake according to package directions.
The filling is better if you let it sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Note from Josh: This is so easy, even a guy can a make it.
Sour Cream and Cinnamon Cake
Submitted by Zanetta Doyle
½ cup of sugar
1 box of Duncan Hines Deluxe Yellow Cake Mix
½ pint of sour cream
Mix and beat the above ingredients for 15 minutes nonstop (it is very important to beat for 15 minutes).
Mix three tablespoons of brown sugar and one tablespoon of cinnamon.
Alternate pouring one-third of the cake mix followed by sprinkling the cinnamon and brown sugar mixture until all of both the cake mix and the cinnamon and brown sugar mixture are in the pan. Note: Use a bundt pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.
Coconut Pineapple Cake
Submitted by Zanetta Doyle
1¼ cup of sugar
1¼ stick of butter
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Pinch of salt (optional)
1¼ cup of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of lemon extract
One can of crushed pineapple
One bag of coconut
Icing (You can make your own icing by beating egg whites and sugar, or simply use store-bought whipped white icing.)
Pam or other cooking spray
Mix sugar, eggs, butter, flour, baking powder, salt, buttermilk, vanilla extract and lemon extract in a bowl using a mixer. Spray two cake pans with Pam, pour batter into each pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done. After the cakes cool, apply icing, coconut and crushed pineapples on top of one of the cakes. Place the second cake on top of the first cake and layer icing all over both layers. Spread crushed pineapple on the top layer of the cake; then spread coconut all over the entire cake.
Lil’ Mama’s Fried Okra
Submitted by Markette Smith
1 cup of canola oil
16 ounces of fresh or frozen okra
1½ cups of white cornmeal
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Please note: Lil’ Mama usually eyeballs it when making this dish, so use your best judgment on the measurements and feel free to adjust quantities as needed.
Heat canola oil in a large skillet on high heat. If okra is not already chopped, cut it into half inch circles. Rinse off the chopped okra in a colander and pat dry with a paper towel.
Place white cornmeal into a large Ziploc bag, add salt and pepper to taste and lightly shake to mix the ingredients. Next, add the half-inch circles of okra. Zip the bag shut and give the bag a few good shakes until all of the okra is completely covered in the cornmeal mixture.
Splash some cornmeal into the skillet with canola oil in it. If the oil sizzles and splatters, then it’s hot enough and ready for the okra. If not, wait a few minutes and try again. When your oil is ready, add the breaded okra and cook until brown.
A note from Markette: This is a crunchy treat that goes well with turkey and dressing, macaroni and cheese and most other holiday dishes.
Submitted by Heidi Glenn
1 29-ounce can of yams, drained
¼ cup of chopped pecans
¼ cup of coconut
¼ cup of firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of melted butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place yams in an ungreased, 1.5-quart baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Blend well. Sprinkle over yams. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Makes six servings.
A note from Heidi: A holiday dinner treat passed down from my grandmother. I can still remember the first bite, “sweet and crunchy, with a certain buttery mystique “heaven.”
Submitted by Amy Andrews
1 large round brie (the size to fit in a pie plate)
1 large and 1 small container of Pillsbury crescent rolls
1 small container of fresh raspberries
¼ cup of Chambord liqueur
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken
Slice the brie in half horizontally, so you have a top and a bottom. Roll out the rolls in two large thin squares.
Puree half of the berries, Chambord and cornstarch; bring to a boil. Reduce heat. If the mixture is not thick, slowly add a little more cornstarch.
Spread mixture on the bottom half of the brie and sprinkle with remaining berries.
Put on the top of the brie, and completely wrap in crescent rolls, pinching edges like a pie.
Use the remaining dough to create a design on top (i.e. Christmas tree, wreath). Bake according to the directions on the rolls until the crescent roll is light brown and puffed.
If you’re in a pinch, you can substitute raspberry preserves for the fresh raspberry mixture.
Note from Amy: My family has a buffet of appetizers on Christmas Eve, and this one is always a hit. It’s also good substitute or compliment to a cheese ball.
Troy’s Mean Macaroni and Cheese
Submitted by Troy Donte’ Prestwood
OK, so it’s not really that mean, but if done correctly, you’ll be mad when it’s all gone.
People come from near and far to get a helping of my mac and cheese. This year, you too can have them begging for more. Here’s the trick.
1 16-ounce box of elbow macaroni.
1 stick of butter or margarine
4 cups of milk. (I personally prefer to use half evaporated and half regular two-percent milk.)
5 cups of shredded, extra sharp cheddar cheese (the smellier, the better)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon of seasoning salt
1 tablespoon of black pepper
Feel free to substitute the seasonings for others to your liking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Follow the directions on the box to cook the pasta. Melt the stick of butter in medium saucepan. Beat two eggs and put them to the side. Lightly spray an oven-safe dish with nonstick cooking spray, and place the drained macaroni in the dish. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Place the dish in a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until it’s nice and bubbly (for a little extra kick, add a coating of shredded cheese during the last 10 minutes of baking. It’s done when it’s golden brown).
Remove from oven and let cool, but serve it hot and enjoy.
You should be able to serve about eight to 10 people, but from past experience, you might want to cut that number in half. You can always double up on ingredients, though. And don’t forget to put some away for yourself.
A note from Troy: This is not for the diet-conscious.