Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Appetizers

This Christmas I was responsible for bringing two appetizers to our family gathering. I decided this could kick-start one of my 2010 New Years' Resolutions and try a few new things. After much Internet research I settled on two recipes to try out: Spinach Balls and Stuffed Mushrooms. Both were able to be made ahead of time and frozen until Christmas.

The Spinach Balls were insanely easy to pull together and were a combination of several recipes from RecipeZaar. These were my mother's favorite.

Spinach Balls

(Makes 5-6 dozen)

20 oz. of frozen chopped spinach
6 oz. Stove Top Stuffing (I used Chicken)
1 c. grated Italian Cheese Blend (I used the Sargento version)
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. butter, melted
Dash of Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Thaw spinach and drain out as much water as possible.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Roll into 1 inch balls.
  • Place onto a cookie sheet and freeze (covered).
  • Once frozen, store in a freezer bag until ready to use.
  • To heat and serve, bake (frozen) at 350ยบ for 10-15 minutes.

The Stuffed Mushrooms were a Pioneer Woman recipe that I had been wanting to try out ever since seeing it on the blog. The only change I made to the recipe was in using a mild Italian sausage. Oh yeah, and I doubled the recipe because I just couldn't resist (the leftovers are making a reappearance for New Years Eve). I made these ahead and froze them until it was time. I went ahead and baked them frozen too and it seemed to do the trick (Hubby and I actually preferred them baked after being frozen to freshly baked...since obviously we had to try some the night I actually made them). The only thing to watch is that baking while still frozen will cause a lot of juice to accumulate in the bottom of your baking sheet/dish so I wouldn't plan on serving them straight out of the dish (learn from my mistakes please!) Just bake and then transfer the hot, yummy goodness to whatever serving platter you plan on using.

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