Week 49 - Party Appetizers
We were expecting family for a Christmas lunch and I wanted to make a few appetizers, so for week 49, I made spring garden dip from the 1958 cookbook "Better Homes & Gardens Salad Book" and Southern Belle Hot Pecans from the 2003 cookbook "Retro Happy Hour: Drinks and Eats With a 50's Beat" by Linda Everett.
"Better Homes an Garden's Salad Book" contains recipes for all sorts of salads including gelatin salads, fruit and garden salads. It also included recipes for dips and dressings. I chose the spring garden dip to go along with a vegetable platter I had planned. As cookbooks go, this one isn't the most exciting to look through. Most of the photos are in black and white and those in color are rather faded and don't put the dishes in the best light. However, it does appear to have a number of interesting recipes worth trying.
The recipe for this dip was very simple. In addition to the mayonnaise and sour cream base, it called for chopped peppers, cucumbers, radishes and garlic.
The dip was very good and much better than the veggie dips you can buy at the store. The red and green vegetables in the dip were also perfect for my Christmas table. While it took a bit of time to chop the vegetables, it wasn't hard to make and much less expensive than the pre-packaged kind. This recipe made a huge amount so Chris and I had it for a few days and even used it as a salad dressing, which worked pretty well.
"Retro Happy Hour" is full of recipes for appetizers, main dishes, desserts and drinks both alcoholic and non-alcholohic and as always with this series, really fun illustrations. I wanted something that was fairly easy so the Southern Belle Pecans seemed perfect.
Making the pecans was incredibly easy. After melting butter with spices, including chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic and coriander, I brushed the mixture over the pecans. I then roasted the spiced pecans in the oven for about 5 minutes and they were done. Once cooled I put them in dishes and they were ready to eat. The pecans were really good and the combination of spices perfect with just a little bit of heat. This recipe could easily be altered to work with different spices; making them spicier or sweeter as desired.
I don't get to entertain very much, so I enjoyed making these appetizers for my family Christmas party and for a chance to use some of my vintage serving dishes. The recipes were so quick and easy that I was able to use two of my cookbooks and I would make both of these again.
Cookbook: "Better Homes & Gardens Salad Book", from 1958 and "Retro Happy Hour" by Linda Everett, published in 2003
Recipe: Spring Garden Dip and Southern Belle Hot Pecans
Difficulty: Very easy
Results: Very good
Make Again: Yes