Friday, December 01, 2006

Now, for something completely different

It's December, and that means holiday parties. We writers are, by nature, not the most social of creatures sometimes, but it's hard to avoid a party or two during December. But if you're like me, you don't have the time or inclination to slave over a hot stove for hours preparing your contribution to the holiday get togethers.

So I thought for my blog contribution today, I'd give you a couple of easy recipes for party goodies to take the next time you're called upon to bring something to snack on.

First up--easy peanut butter cookies. Three ingredients, one bowl, no fuss

1 c. sugar or Splenda
1 c. peanut butter
1 egg or egg substitute

Mix until well blended. Scoop out in spoonfuls onto a cookie tin sprayed with Pam or other cooking spray. Flatten slightly with fork, making criss cross pattern if so desired. Bake at 300 degrees for 8 - 12 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Cool and serve. They're crispy, rich, delicious and sooooo easy.

The next one is also super easy--it's Ranch dressing flavored oyster crackers. Take a package of oyster crackers and dump them into a large plastic zip-lock bag. (one-gallon size is ideal). Add approximately three tablespoons of oil (olive, canola, vegetable--your choice) and shake the bag to thoroughly coat the crackers with oil. Or, to cut down on the calories a bit, you can also spray them with a cooking spray. The main thing is to moisten the outside of the crackers so that the flavorings stick. Once the crackers are coated, add salt and garlic powder to taste, plus one package of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix powder. Shake again until all the crackers are coated with the flavorings, then spread the crackers on a cookie sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Bake at 300 until the crackers start to slightly brown. Remove, cool and serve in a bowl or a tin.

These also make great, easy gifts for the holidays, too.

Do you have any easy, no frills recipes to get us through the holidays without taking too much time away from our writing?


Kathy said...

They sell sugar cookie dough in flat/rolled sections now. Just take off the wrapper and cut them into shapes, add sprinkles, bake and you're done.

They also sell chocolate for melting in tubs. Heat up tub, stir chocolate and dip your favorites like pretzels, cookies...whatever, place on wax paper to dry. Looks like it was done in a gourmet shop.

Buy peanut butter cookie dough, chill, slice or roll balls of dough into sugar, flatten, and bake. Easy.

Make cookie dough and form into long roll, wrap in wax paper, chill in refrigerator, slice and bake when you have time.


Paula said...

All excellent suggestions!

I like doing the cream cheese, olive and pimiento tortilla pinwheels, too, but that takes more time to do than the recipes I posted. They're tasty, though!

You can also buy already prepared sausage balls and sausage and biscuit pinwheels. Yum.


Carla Swafford said...

My easy favorite (in fact I'm bringing to the party today and one I'm going to next week) is spicy cheese dip.

Velveeta (because it's creamy)
Ro-tel (mild or hot or both)

Heat in the microwave and serve with tortilla chips. To fancy it up, you can add sausage or hamburger meat. Just remember that more Ro-tel will help it remain the consistency needed to dip.

Love to eat. Hate to cook. So I have lots of recipes that are easy and tasty.

Carla Swafford said...

Oh, another one I like - but it's not easy by way of time. I only make once a year because it's so rich (lady-like lingo for FATTENING).

1 small potato
1-2 boxes confectioners sugar
1/4-1/2 cup of peanut butter

Bake one small potato (you can do it in the microwave oven)

The take about half of it. You're wondering "half?" When you make it you'll understand that a little goes a long way.

Break up into small pieces, then pour a 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar (or like I called it when I was a kid - confederate sugar -- Hey! It wasn't real sugar but better).

You'll be amazed how the potato will liquify. Well, I'm easily amused. Anyway, start adding confectioners sugar, keep stirring. Before it is over with you will probably use a box or more. See, this is the part that takes so long. As you keep adding the substance will become hard. But when you are tired of stirring, you have to stir some more. Then when you're worn out and want to throw the crap away, it's time to place it on buttered wax paper. Yep, you heard right. Somewhere along the way, you need to pull out wax paper and smear butter ontop.

Pour -- actually push -- the candy mixture onto the buttered paper...oh, that's right. I already said that. Now flatten it until it's about 1/4 inch thick. No. I'm not kidding. Oh, don't forget to make sure it's in a rectangle shape - that's a square with opposite sides are longer. You'll understand why in a couple of minutes.

Then you get peanut butter and smear it on top. Now I do about 1/8 of an inch. You'll be surprised how a little goes a long ways. Sounds like a theme, huh?

When you're finished with that part, put a little butter on your fingers (so the candy won't stick to them) and then begin to roll one of the long sides over and keep rolling as small as you can until your have a long log.

Place it in the refrigerator and chill for a couple of hours - overnight is best.

Then you take it out and chop the log into small pinwheels. It’s cute, delicious and the kids will love you forever.

What’s the name of this candy? Why Potato Candy, of course. I love it when someone that hasn’t grown up in the South or their parents haven’t, and I tell them I’m bringing Potato Candy, they always go “Gross!” (That’s what people my age refers to something sickening.) But they always love it. Heehee.