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Wed, Dec 17 2003

Bring Some (More) Food To The Party

This time of year there is food everywhere, and sometimes you get invited to a dinner or party and you're expected to bring a dish. This one is so easy that even beginner cooks can tackle it. There's a fruit salad (sometimes called a one-cup salad) in which you mix mini-marshmallows, coconut, drained canned mandarin oranges, drained crushed pineapple and whipped topping. I found that if you substitute sour cream for the whipped topping you'll get a rich product that's not quite as sweet, but still really tasty. And if you add pecans to the dish, don't add them until you're ready to serve, or they'll get soggy.

If they want you to bring a dip, don't do dry onion soup mix in sour cream. It's been done to death, and while it's good, this one will get you more compliments: Use 8 ounces of sour cream, a little over 1/2 cup of mayo, 2 or 3 cans of Mexicorn (drain it first), some shredded cheese (buy the stuff in the bag), and if you want some color, add canned diced chiles or some green onions or pimiento. Add some chili powder or cumin to it and taste. Add a little garlic powder or garlic salt. Throw it in a bowl and show up with that and some tortilla chips. You'll be such a hero.

If they tell you to bring cookies and you don't bake, make those boiled cookies: Put 2 cups of sugar in a large saucepan. Add 3/4 cup margarine and 2/3 cup evaporated milk. Bring this mixture to a full boil, stirring often. Take it off the heat and add a small package of (instant) butterscotch pudding mix and about 3 and a half cups of uncooked rolled oats. Mix together really well and let it cool a few minutes. Then drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. If you want to, you can add a spoonful of peanut butter just before you add the pudding mix and rolled oats. Or drop in some raisins or chopped nuts or even chocolate chips. As an alternative no-bake goodie, do some of those Rice Krispies Treats.

If you need it to be even easier, pick up some Baskin-Robbins ice cream. How about Egg Nog, New York Cheesecake or Mint Chocolate Chip?

And cheer up. Next month is Super Bowl XXXVII. Food for Super Bowl is much easier. You can get by with hot wings, chili, bean dip, pizza or beer nuts.

posted at: 14:19 | category: /Food | link to this entry

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