Food for Friday

Oooo..I just found the prettiest and most fun cookbook in the Gallery with a wonderfully promising subtitle ~ The 12 Days of Christmas Cookbook, The Ultimate in Effortless Holiday Entertaining.

The folks who compiled this collection really had fun with naming their chapters, following the pattern of the Christmas carol ~ Beverages-a-Blending, Cookies-a-Cooling, Desserts-a-Delighting, and so on, all the way to Soups-a-Simmering.  In the middle is Ca-a-an-dies (five-gold-den-rings, you get it?).  “On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me An Appetizer on a Platter.”

The pages are all printed in Christmas-y shades of red & green, and accented with snowflakes and candy striping.  “Effortless Entertaining Tips” are included with each chapter, and on page 184 I just found the most delightful idea called “Scrambled Dinner.”  No, it’s not serving scrambled eggs, it’s serving a secret meal in which every dish – and beverage and utensil and napkin! – is given a Christmas name and guest have to order based only on the names – like “Clouds over Bethlehem” (mashed potatoes) and “Herod’s Scepter” (dinner knife).  A guest might end up with meat, veggies, and dessert, but only a toothpick with which to eat!  What a fun party idea – if your friends are up for some holiday hijinks!

The recipe I’ve selected to share is called “Strawberry Pretzel Salad” because I was immediately intrigued by the idea of mixing a sweet, soft strawberry with a salty, crunchy pretzel – I enjoy mixing sweet and salty together – and wondering where to get fresh, tasty strawberries in December.  Turns out I might like this recipe for many more reasons than just sweet+salty!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Ingredients
3/4 C butter or margarine, melted
3 T sugar
2 C crushed pretzels
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 C sugar
1 (8 oz) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
**2 (3 oz) packages strawberry-flavored gelatin
2 C boiling water
1 (16 oz) package frozen strawberries
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained

In bowl, mix butter or margarine, 3 T sugar, and crushed pretzels; press mixture into 9×13-inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cool completely.

In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 C sugar.  Fold in whipped topping.  Spread evenly over cooled pretzel crust.  In bowl, combined gelatin & boiling water; stir to dissolve.  Mix in frozen strawberries & pineapple.  Allow gelatin to set slightly; pour over cream cheese mixture.  Refrigerate til completely set.  Makes 12-15 servings.

I think I’ve had a slice of this heaven at a party or a pitch-in sometime in the past, and I’m so happy to have a recipe for it – I’m going to make it for an event this Sunday!  I’m just not sure how they class this as a salad though .. sounds like a fruity dessert to me.

This cookbook is item 491000, and it will be on our website later today – as soon as it is up, I’ll add a link to it from the photo above.  In the mean time, if you love strawberries, and maybe chocolate, too, how about a really special ornament for your Christmas tree??

Taking a bite NOT recommended!  Enjoy!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

**UPDATE!

Okay, I tried to make this on Sunday, having printed a copy of this post to take with me to the grocery store.  I did not notice until I had half of it constructed that I had NOTHING to add to the two cups of boiling water!  I’m so sorry, folks, that I left out the 2 boxes of gelatin!  As it was, I only used one box of gelatin, and my dish failed .. which means I’ve been munching on the crust and cream cheese layer only, and I had to buy a snack for my Sunday night gathering.  I hang my head in shame (though I love the sweet & salty mix, even without the fruity layer).

Now that I have returned to the office, revisited the original recipe, & updated it above, I hope you’ll have more success.  Also, I was making mine with raspberries instead of strawberries, and I found a box of raspberry jello in the cabinet – how amazing is that .. when did I last think to buy raspberry jello?  I think you could mix this up with any fruits & jellos that strike your fancy – while looking for frozen raspberries I also contemplated a package of frozen mixed berries, and a friend recommended frozen blueberries.

Note to self:  better blogging through better proof-reading!
 

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