It is New Year’s Eve — a time for reflection, resolutions and new beginnings. It’s also time to start a diet and stop procrastinating. Oh, wait. Hold that thought until tomorrow. Tonight it is time to party.
If you are planning a New Year’s blast or even a quiet night at home, one last night of festive eating is probably on the docket. You may have already planned all of that or in the spirit of procrastination, you may still be looking for something fun to eat.
The following recipes are ideal for procrastinators or for planners who want to save time. They are designed to use things you may already have in your pantry so that a trip to the store isn’t necessary. They include convenient foods that make the preparation process much easier and quicker and the outcome festive and tasty. The last recipe for taco soup has appeared in this column before, but it is a favorite made from canned goods and mixes commonly found in the kitchen.
Good Stuff Punch
1 6-ounce can frozen grape juice
1 6-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
4 cups water
1 quart ginger ale
Mix all ingredients together and serve over chipped ice.
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chopped sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish
1 cup colby or sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 small can chopped olives
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
Mix cream cheese, pickles, Colby, olives and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts together well. Roll into five small balls. Roll in 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts. Wrap in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to blend flavors. Serve with chips or crackers.
1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell
8 slices bacon, diced
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, grated
1 tablespoon enriched flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups milk
Bake pastry shell in a very hot oven (450 degrees) for just seven minutes or until slightly brown. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325 degrees. Fry bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon for trim. Place remaining bacon in pie shell and add cheese. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over bacon and cheese. Sprinkle reserved bacon atop in a circle. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until almost set in the center. Let cool 25 minutes before serving.
Stovetop Caramel Popcorn
1 pkg. dark brown sugar (coarse)
1 cup milk
1 cube butter
1 tsp. soda
Combine sugar, milk and butter in a pan and cook over medium heat until a soft ball forms. Remove from heat and add soda. Return to heat and cook one minute. Pour evenly over popped popcorn.
Crunchy Chicken Rolls
2 tablespoons margarine, softened
2 3-ounce packages cream cheese with chives, softened
2 7-ounce cans chicken
1 package refrigerator crescent dinner rolls, separated
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup seasoned stuffing mix
Cream margarine and cream cheese together. Add chicken, mixing well. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture onto each roll. Wrap dough to enclose filling, sealing well. Dip each roll into melted margarine. Coat with stuffing mix. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve plain or topped with one can cream of chicken soup (low salt) mixed with 1/3 cup sour cream and heated to make a gravy.
1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onions
1 quart tomatoes
1 15-ounce can pinto or black beans (or 2 cups cooked dry beans)
1 17-ounce can corn
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 package taco seasoning
Optional garnishes: avocado slices or chunks, corn chips, shredded cheese, sour cream
Brown hamburger. Drain and add onions. Add tomatoes, drained corn, kidney beans, tomato sauce and seasoning mix. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with corn chips in the bottom of the bowl or around the edges. Top as desired.