Eric Yuen, freerangestock.com
Egg rolls come in handy as appetizers for a New Year’s Eve party.
Well, it’s that time again; where did the year go? If your year was a challenging one, perhaps you are glad to see it go (think fires and other disasters). But it is also possible you had a very good year. It is fun to look forward to a brand-new one.
I haven’t made any New Year resolutions for a long time. They were always the same: lose weight, exercise more, eat better foods, not wait until the last week of December to prepare for Christmas. You know, the usual.
Always failed, and maybe when I decided I’d had enough of resolutions, it was a good thing. Because now I find it much easier to actually get those things accomplished. Well, not everything, as I still find myself scrambling to keep up with holidays.
If you are planning to celebrate the New Year with a get-together, you might be thinking about what to serve. Snacks and appetizers are always very popular for New Year’s Eve parties, as you can chat and mingle and manage to hold a morsel or two and nibble on them. And it’s fun to pick out the colorful party napkins and plates, or am I just easily amused?
Have a safe holiday, especially if you are out and about. Watch for fog if you will be out late and watch for drivers who have celebrated a little too much. (This is the part where you say, “Yes, Mom.”) Enjoy welcoming in 2019.
Baked crab dip
1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 can (6-oz.) crab meat
2 tablespoons grated onion
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon finely sliced green onions, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, crab meat, onion, milk, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce; mix well.
2. Place mixture in an ovenproof serving dish; sprinkle with a little paprika. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.
3. Sprinkle with sliced green onions. Makes about 2 cups.
3/4 pound cooked pork, finely chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 pound fresh bean sprouts
1 can (8-oz.) water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 package (16-oz.) egg roll wrappers
1. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, sherry, garlic, cornstarch, brown sugar, ginger and salt.
2. Stir-fry onions and cabbage in large frying pan or wok 2 to 3 minutes. Add pork, bean sprouts, water chestnuts and soy sauce mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Chill mixture.
3. To assemble egg rolls, cut wrappers in half; cover with damp towel to prevent drying out. Place 1 tablespoon chilled filling in center of each wrapper; fold wrapper to enclose filling, fold in sides, complete rolling, moisten ends with water and press to seal.
4. Fry egg rolls in hot deep fat at 365 degrees 3 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 36 to 40 appetizer egg rolls.
Pesto and puff pastry twists
1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400. Unfold puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Roll each sheet into a 12-inch square. Spread pesto onto one pastry sheet to within 1/4 inch of edges. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with remaining pastry, pressing lightly. Cut into twelve 1-inch-wide strips. Twist each strip four times.
2. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, pressing down ends.3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Maple crunch popcorn
10 cups popped popcorn
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple flavor
1. Place popcorn and pecans in a large bowl; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, maple syrup, corn syrup and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees (hard-crack stage). Remove from the heat; stir in maple flavoring.
2. Quickly pour over popcorn mixture and mix well.
3. Transfer to baking sheets lined with waxed paper to cool. Break into clusters. Store in airtight containers.
This takes me back to my teen years, when my best friend and I would serve this at slumber parties.
1/2 pound Cheddar cheese, grated (mild or sharp, your choice)
1 can chopped black olives
1 can (small) chopped green chiles
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 small cans tomato sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2-inch-thick slices of small diameter French bread
1. Mix all ingredients except bread together.
2. Spread topping over slices of bread.
3. Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese is hot and bubbly, or broil so edges of bread get browned. (Can also toast bread slices before putting on topping.)