Bacon Cheese Wreath

Recipe by Taste of Home contributor Lisa Carter of Warren, Ind. 

“My grandmother makes this smoky bacon and Parmesan spread for parties and holiday get-togethers. For a pretty yuletide presentation, decorate you cream cheese wreath with parsley and pimientos”. —Lisa Carter

Bacon Cheese Wreath

Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients: 

 

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions, optional
  • 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • Parsley sprigs and diced pimientos, optional
  • Assorted crackers

 

Directions: 

  1. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and onions if desired. Stir in bacon. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  2. Invert a small bowl in the center of a serving platter. Drop cream cheese mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls around edge of bowl. Remove bowl. Smooth cream cheese mixture, forming a wreath. Garnish with parsley and pimientos if desired.
  3. Serve with crackers.

 

 

Nutrition Facts

2 tablespoons: 87 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 15mg cholesterol, 116mg sodium, 0 carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

 

Originally published as Bacon Cheese Wreath in Country Woman Christmas 2002

 

Pumpkin Spice Dip

Recipe by Diabetic Living Magazine

Pumpkin Spice Dip

Photo by Eating Well/Diabetic Living Magazine

 

Yield: 16 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened 
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin (see Tip below)
  • 1 (6 ounce) container vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 apples, sliced
  • 48 honey-wheat braided pretzel twists

 

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, yogurt, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Serve dip with apple slices and honey-wheat braided pretzel twists.

 

 

*Tips:

If you have leftover pumpkin, transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag. Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.

It is not recommended using a sugar substitute for this recipe.

Apricot Glazed Green Beans recipe

  • kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 lb. green beans
  • 6 slice bacon
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 4 clove garlic
  • 1/4 c. apricot jam
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar

 

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt, then the green beans, and cook until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. Let cool, then break into pieces.
  3. Wipe out the skillet and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the jam, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the green beans and toss to coat. Fold in the bacon.

 

 

Tips & Techniques

Candy Cane Punch

Recipe by Taste of Home©

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 jars (12 ounces each) strawberry jelly
  • 2 liters lemon-lime soda, divided
  • 2 quarts peppermint stick ice cream
  • Miniature candy canes, optional

 

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, melt jelly with 2 cups soda. Chill the jelly mixture and remaining soda.
  2. Just before serving, place 6 cups ice cream in a punch bowl. Gently stir in jelly mixture. Add remaining soda. Add remaining ice cream by scoopfuls.
  3. Garnish with candy canes if desired.

 

 

Nutrition Facts:

1 cup: 270 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 29mg cholesterol, 73mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate (43g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.
Originally published as Candy Cane Punch in Crafting Traditions November/December 1999

Nutty Chicken Pita Sandwiches Recipe

Ingredients:

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Photo by Taste of Home©

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 6 pita pocket halves

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, milk and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in the chicken, green pepper, onions, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper; refrigerate.
  2. Just before serving, stir in walnuts. Spoon about 1/2 cup filling into each pita half.

 

 

Originally published as Nutty Chicken Pita Sandwiches in Taste of Home April/May 1996