Week 49 - Party Appetizers

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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.

 1958's "Better Homes & Gardens Salad Book"

1958's "Better Homes & Gardens Salad Book"

 The recipe for spring garden dip

The recipe for spring garden dip

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.

 Chopped vegetables for the dip

Chopped vegetables for the dip

 Spring Garden Dip

Spring Garden Dip

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.

 Veggie platter served in a vintage Pyrex Hostess Set.

Veggie platter served in a vintage Pyrex Hostess Set.

"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.

 "Retro Happy Hour" by Linda Everett

"Retro Happy Hour" by Linda Everett

 The recipe for Southern Belle Hot Pecans

The recipe for Southern Belle Hot Pecans

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.

 The spices and butter for the nuts

The spices and butter for the nuts

 Spiced nuts, ready for roasting

Spiced nuts, ready for roasting

 Southern Belle Hot Pecans served in vintage aluminum ice-cream dishes

Southern Belle Hot Pecans served in vintage aluminum ice-cream dishes

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.

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Week 49 Roundup

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

Alterations: None

Results: Very good

Make Again: Yes

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