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Holiday goodies

Wow at the parties goin’ on around town! I tell ya everyone is in the Christmas spirit. I think it’s wonderful. I’ve been listening to several different friends menus and I tell ya they sound quite yummy! I think the biggest obstacle you have to overcome while designing a menu is figuring out what you can afford. I tell ya there are a few different things you can do that look wonderful but are low cost. I call these filler foods. These foods are usually low cost but people love’em!

You can take a round cookie cutter, cut wheat or white bread in small rounds. Now your ready to take some regular mayonnaise add pepper, graciously smear it on your bread rounds. I like to use roma tomatoes, you can normally get five or six slices out of one tomato. After you have sliced your tomato place it on your bread round. If you want to add a little flavor to it, sprinkle some chopped up bacon on top of them. It’s something everyone likes and easy to make!

A nice vegetable display can take up a great amount of room on your buffet, and it’s budget friendly! I like to use everything from broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes and of course olives! You can display these in so many different ways. Dips are easy to attain for this part of the spread to! If you’re not the best in the kitchen, you can purchase some ranch dressing, or in the produce part of your local grocers they have all sorts of dips for vegetables, fruits and such.

Philly Maple Nut Cheese Ball

1 (250 g) tub Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spread

2 cups KRAFT Old Cheddar Shreds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons port wine

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup maple syrup

Mix cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, cranberries and wine until well blended; cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Shape into ball or other desired shape just before serving; coat with pecans. Place on serving plate; drizzle with syrup.

Serve with Christie Crackers and an assortment of cut-up fresh vegetables, such as carrot and celery sticks.

Curry Cheese Ball

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup chutney

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1 and 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and chutney until well blended. Season with mustard powder and curry powder, and mix well. Chill overnight, or until cream cheese is firm.

Roll chilled cheese mixture into a ball, and roll in almonds to coat. Serve with crackers or veggies.

These are just a couple of quick and easy recipes that you can enjoy this holiday season. I hope everyone is getting ready for Santa Claus! Until next time, have a good day today and a better day tomorrow!

Note: Jennifer Whaley is chef and owner of Lemon Grass on Highway 80.