Delicious Gifts

By on December 1, 2012
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by LYDIA BOLEN

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” – John 4:34

The holiday season is a time of gatherings with church, family, friends, and co-workers. Gift exchanges are part of a wonderful tradition we all look forward to each year.

And edible gift giving is always a welcome choice! These three recipes are favorites my family has shared through the years.

Jezebel Sauce is a delicious dipping sauce for turkey or ham on your holiday table. It can also be spread on cream cheese as an appetizer. It’s great with egg rolls too! This sauce can be given in clear jelly jars and wrapped with colorful raffia or ribbon.

Peppermint Bark is especially festive with the red of the crushed peppermint and white chocolate. The bark can be made in advance and presented in decorative seasonal tins.

My mother’s cheese balls are the perfect gift for entertaining. This recipe makes several cheese balls, which can be wrapped in colored saran and tied up with ribbon for an attractive presentation.

CHEESE BALL

  • 1 pound Cheddar Cheese (I prefer the extra-sharp)
  • 1 pound American cheese
  • 6 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • Coverings: paprika and chili powder blend, parsley flakes, or crushed nuts

Mix cheeses together and add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and crushed garlic. Chill this mixture until firm. Shape mixture into several medium size balls. Roll balls in equal parts of paprika and chili powder, dried parsley flakes, or crushed nuts.

PEPPERMINT BARK

  • 2 packages (16-ounce) white candy coating
  • 1 pound starlight peppermints or candy canes, crushed (Try mixing green candy canes to the red for a red and green appearance.)

Prepare the work surface by laying out wax paper or parchment paper across the counter, securing ends with tape to prevent curling.

Melt the candy coating in microwave (use plastic bowl) on medium or defrost setting. Stir after each minute with spatula. Once completely melted and smooth, add the crushed peppermints to the melted candy coating, stirring well. Immediately pour onto wax paper and spread thin, using an offset spatula. Allow it to harden about 45 minutes. Break into pieces and store in airtight containers. Will keep fresh up to one month.
(Note: I like to use Merckens White Chocolate Wafers, which can can be found at local bakers’ supply stores.)

JEZEBEL SAUCE

  • 1 (18-ounce) jar pineapple preserves
  • 1 (18-ounce) jar apple jelly
  • 1 small can dry mustard
  • 1 small jar of horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients in food processor. Blend well. Put sauce into jars and refrigerate.

Remember to make memories through the kitchen— “the heartbeat of the home.” E-mail me at lbbolen@gmail.com for any questions.

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