Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Whole lot of cookin' and bakin' going on at this pig pen

Thanks to an amazing mother-in-law and aunts on my husband's side of the family, all I had to make for Easter weekend was 2 desserts and 2 appetizers.  Truthfully, 2 of my most favorite things to make.  Although I have a few good standbys, like my cheese ball, I usually try to do something new and different for family gatherings.

Since my new Gooseberry Patch cookbook, Sunday Dinner at Grandma's, hasn't arrived yet, I was quite thankful that my mother-in-law had just helped work behind the scenes at a Taste of Home Cooking Show and brought us each home a goodie bag from the show.  Lucky for me, the goodie bag contained 2 of Taste of Home's magazines:  Cooking Schools and Simple & Delicious.  I was able to find all 4 of my needed recipes and many more that I would like to try.

3 of the 4 recipes were super easy as one utilized the crock pot, another only required 10 minutes of baking and only dirtied one dish and a cutting board, and the other didn't require any baking, but all 4 appeared to be a hit.

For my appetizers, I made the Olive Pepperoni Spread and the Reuben Spread.  Now I must admit I am not a reuben fan, but The Farmer and his mom love them so I thought this would be a good way to make Reubens for them.

Olive Pepperoni Spread
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 c. (4 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend
1/4 c. sliced and quartered pepperoni
2 T. sliced ripe olives

First spread the cream cheese into a 9-inch pie plate.

Layer with pizza sauce, Italian cheese, and pepperoni.  (I probably used a bit more of each of these than the recipe called for as I went off of appearance.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.  (10 minutes is what it took in my oven.)

Sprinkle with olives and serve with bagel chips.

It's a long story, but I didn't even get to try this as I never made it to this Easter celebration and there were no leftovers so I think it pretty much speaks for itself.

Reuben Spread
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, cubed
3 3/4 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1 can (14 oz.) sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
4 pkg. (2oz. each) thinly sliced deli corned beef, chopped
1/2 c. Thousand Island salad dressing
Snack rye bread

After cubing the cream cheese, shredding the Swiss cheese, rinsing and draining the sauerkraut, and chopping the corned beef, combine the first 5 ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, stir to blend.  Serve with snack rye bread.  (Notice, I used one of those amazing crock pot liners... a must for this recipe.)

The Farmer said he would only tweak this recipe by toasting the rye bread before serving.

So needless to say, these will be recipes I will be holding onto since they appeared to be liked and were quite easy to make.  Hopefully that will be the case with what what we are cookin' and bakin' up for this weekend as we will be celebrating Big Sissy's First Communion on Saturday.  I sure hope I can keep up with the dishes and my emotions.


  1. looks yummy....can't wait to try them esp. the Ruben dip. All 4 of us love Rubens so this will be a winner!!! Tell Big Sissy congratulations...what a big day for all of you!!\\Cristi

  2. I will be thinking about you this weekend! Good Luck!

  3. Your killing me. I think I am going to go make your pizza dip right now.

  4. Wow! I'm impressed you have appetizers at a family gathering. These look yummy. I'll have to try one for a ladies snack supper next month. Thanks for sharing.


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