March is my favorite month for birthdays. It gives me another excuse to make what in my family is the traditional birthday cake -- German chocolate layer cake. In addition to my own, my brother, Bob, has a birthday this month. I try to be especially nice to him this month because he is a gardener and sometimes I reap the benefits -- March is a good month for gardening, too.
One of my favorite convenience products is puff pastry sheets. I like to keep a box or two in the freezer. Pepperidge Farm makes a nice product. The sheets come two to a 17.3-ounce box. You can use just one sheet at a time, but be sure to wrap and freeze the other one -- this product dries out quickly and the uncooked sheets will keep only a few days in the refrigerator.
It’s Christmas week already -- can you believe it? Keep some time open for a family breakfast believe it? Hopefully, you will have plenty of family and friends to spend the holiday with. Maybe a leisurely breakfast can be on the schedule -- there’s nothing better to get the day started. These recipes can be made ahead of time -- even the pancake can be prepped the night before.
Dips are great for entertaining -- there’s no doubt about it. Whether it’s a casual get-together or holiday-themed bash, a rich, creamy dip tops the list of must-have party foods. The first three recipes are from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
The caramel apple pie dip is a sweet, creamy rendition of an American staple.
The blue cheese beer spread is a tangy beer cheese dip that is perfect for New Year’s Day bowl games.
And the mascarpone spread with brandied walnuts adds a festive flair to your appetizer lineup.
If you are doing an all appetizer lineup, be sure to include additional protein-based choices and include some raw vegetables and fruit for a good balance.
Sometimes it takes a family gathering around the holidays to get you to haul out the old family favorites -- I’m talking recipes now. People ask for the same recipes because we so easily associate certain foods with life events. The smell, the taste, the look; it all reminds us of certain times in our life. The holidays are a great time to reinforce these memories, of course, but don’t be afraid to try a few new things, too.