Friday, December 23, 2011

Last Minute Holiday Recipes

Good morning!  I am going to make this super quick today, as I still have tons of Christmas preparations to take care of, AKA....I still have a lot of eggnog shakes to drink, cookies to eat and candy to devour.  And I am sure you do too.  Today’s post fits that theme.  I have two really speedy, last minute, holiday recipes.  They are both perfect if you need to bring something to a holiday party and you have no idea what to bring, or how you will you will find the time.  Don’t just buy something, make something!  You can do it!  You can squeeze it in!  We will work together.

My first recipe is for a fast holiday crudité spread.  We have been over this before….crudité just means raw veggies.  If you want to sound fancy, say crudité instead;) 

This is a recipe for a cheese spread.  Basically, it is cream cheese, any kind of fancy stinky cheese you want, and lots of black pepper.  I used Cambozola cheese.  It is a cow’s milk cheese that is across between blue cheese and brie cheese.  This is, by far, my favorite cheese in the world.  I could live on this stuff.  If I had to choose one food that I could take with me to a deserted island….it’s this cheese. 

The cream cheese in this recipe mellows out the stinky cheese flavor and gives this spread more mass appeal.  It also makes it spreadable.  It gives it a really great consistency.  The black pepper gives it a really nice kick…..obviously.

You could use a blue cheese or a goat cheese here too.  Either would be fabulous.  Just follow the ratio of 1 parts cream cheese to 3 parts stinky cheese.

I threw the cheeses into the food processor.  If your cheeses are at room temperature, you will be good to go.  You could also use a hand mixer.

Since this is a thick spread, it won’t work for dipping.  You could put it in a bowl with a spreader or butter knife, but I prefer to put it on the veggies before I serve it.  I lined up some tomatoes, cucumbers and celery on a platter.  I cut the bottoms of the tomatoes off so that they stand up.  I also hollowed out the cucumbers with a teaspoon.

The celery is already ready to be filled….it didn’t need any help. 

I used a piping bag.  You could always use a re-sealable bag with the corner cut off.

Super cute.

The tomatoes kind of look like Santa hats;)

Super easy, super cute….and so much better than just buying a crudité tray from the store that comes with wilted veggies and generic ranch dip.

You can make as much or as little as you want, just remember the 1 to 3 ratio.

My second recipe is for Eggnog Cupcakes.  I use a store bought mix, which makes this recipe a snap.  I do make my own frosting, but that honestly only takes a couple of minutes.  I promise.  And what says “Christmas” like eggnog?

Like I said, I used a boxed cake mix.  I used a white cake mix.  Because it was .98 cents.  You can use yellow or white.  I also used oil, eggs, rum extract and eggnog. 

Mix the cake mix as directed, but substitute eggnog for the water the box calls for.  I also added 2 teaspoons of rum extract.

Bake as directed.

For the frosting, I used butter, powdered sugar, eggnog and more rum extract.  Specifically, 1 stick of softened butter, 1/3 cup eggnog, 2 teaspoons rum extract and about 2 cups powdered sugar.  I beat this all together with a hand mixer.  See how easy homemade frosting is?  And sooooooo much better than canned frosting.  That is probably due to the large amount of butter.

To make these extra eggnoggy, I sprinkled the tops with nutmeg.  Adding the eggnog to the batter makes the cupcakes extra moist and delicious.  And you will want to take a bath in the frosting.


Before I finished taking the pictures, Chris got to the cupcakes.  They are that good.  He couldn’t wait.  I can’t blame him.  Eggnog cupcakes rock.  These would be a great Christmas dessert, or even gift!

Have a great Christmas! I will see you all next weekJ

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