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It is Dec. 1 alreadyand only 24 more days until Christmas. Have you started thinking about what you will serve guests for a night of singing Christmas carols or just having a few of your neighbors over for a little get together? To help get you started, I have a few suggestions that have worked well for me, some of my favorites. I give you
Ham and Cheese Quiche
Makes 15 appetizers
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons small diced cooked ham
2 Tablespoons small diced red bell pepper
1 Tablespoon small diced green bell pepper
15 Mini Fillo Shells (1 box)
3 Tablespoons shredded pepper jack cheese, for garnish
In small bowl, whisk together egg and heavy whipping cream. In another small bowl, mix ham and peppers. Spoon 1 teaspoon of ham and pepper filling into each Fillo Shell. Add 1 teaspoon of egg mixture into each shell. Garnish with 1/2 teaspoon of shredded cheese. Bake in preheated oven 350 degrees F. for 15- 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Green Goddess Dip
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
2 teaspoons dried tarragon leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, and lemon juice in a bowl; mix well. Stir in the remaining ingredients and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Cover, and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving, so the flavors can mellow. Makes 2 cups.
I carved out a deep hole in the center of a red cabbage for the dip; then I placed it on the platter near the end, surrounding it with fresh kale leaves. I used sprigs of asparagus, green pepper strips, celery, red pepper strips, purple cauliflower, black and green olives, broccoli, white cauliflower, zucchini, sliced cucumbers and radishes. I placed some olives in a hollowed out red pepper, and I also had the celery sticks standing in a red pepper and a green pepper for the zucchini strips. The picture you see is without the dip because it cannot be placed in the cabbage until serving time.
Country Ham-Butter Spread
1 pound country ham
1/2 cup butter, softened and room temperature
Using a food processor, place country ham in it and pulse several times until finely chopped. Add butter; mix well until of spreading consistency. Spread on biscuits, but instead of making them regular size cut them into smaller sizes, such as bite size.
I found a double-sided shot glass (one end was smaller than the other), to use as my biscuit cutter. You can make homemade biscuits or take a shortcut and use Bisquik. Bake them the morning of your event, and then place them in a covered container while still warm. Just before serving, slice the biscuits in half, and spread the country ham butter on each half of the biscuit. They are wonderful. Serving half the biscuit with the spread on it makes a lovely presentation, too.
The red and green bell peppers in the Quiche and the colorful vegetables served with the dip make a beautiful holiday display. Enjoy!
Lonnie Sundermeyer is a professional caterer residing in Ghent, Ky.