Don’t forget to comment to enter this month’s giveaway for the treats pictured above. Just in time for Christmas: Shortbread cookie mix and a set of cookie cutters to make a cookie Christmas tree!!
Tis the season to be eating…or that’s the way it is around here. Between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, Americans consume more calories than any other time of the year, but based on all of the holiday pastry baking going on all over the rest of the world, I’m thinkin’ we aren’t alone!!
Office parties, neighborhood get-togethers, church luncheons and private bashes make up the months of November through January 1st, and finger foods and hors d’oeuvres occupy every hostess’ or host’s brain. Of course, these days, the fat content and calories are considered as well – maybe! I thought that for the next few posts, I would give you some of our favorite goodies that can be prepared either lower calorie or the good ol’ Southern way. I’ve been making most of these recipes for years of entertaining and they are easy and delicious.
This first one was given to me by my friend, Mary, wayyyyy back in the late 1970′s. Having grown up in Virginia, Mary was proud of her state and her heritage and treated me to this concoction called Virginia Hot Dip. I loved it and immediately got her recipe. That IS the official name – however, if you are from Tennessee, you can call it Tennessee Hot Dip or from Michigan – it can be Michigan Hot Dip. I think that we should just label it as the 50 state treat that it is!! So here is the recipe. It takes all of maybe 15 minutes to prepare and then 20 minutes to bake. It can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until just before time for serving, at which time it is baked and then served hot.
(This recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled and any other ‘uple’ you wish according to your crowd size)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I use a little more)
1 Tbsp. butter (for low fat use 1 tsp)
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened (fat-free or Neufchatel is fine for lower calorie and fat)
1/2 cup sour cream (light sour cream works well too)
2 Tablespoons milk (skim or 2% for lower calorie)
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1 1/2 (2 oz) package Carl Buddig original sliced beef or any other dried beef brand
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Place cream cheese, sour cream, onions, milk and garlic salt into a mixing bowl.
You can make your own garlic salt by adding 2 Tablespoons of salt and 1 Tablespoon of garlic powder into a small jar and shaking to mix. These amounts can be increased proportionally for larger batches.
Cream ingredients until smooth
Slice and chop beef into small pieces
Add beef to the creamed mixer and mix well
Spoon mixture into a greased casserole dish. I use spray on olive oil to grease my dish.
Melt butter in a skillet
Add chopped pecans and lightly saute in the butter.
Sprinkle pecans evenly over the surface of the creamed mixture. At this point, the mixture can be chilled until it is ready to use. Just before time to serve, bake at 350º for 20 minutes and allow to cool just slightly before serving with crackers.
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