Antipasto Sausage Skewers
12 ounces fully cooked Italian-style poultry sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces if large
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat; mist with cooking spray. Add the sausage; cook, turning 2 or 3 times, until warmed through and browned, about 8 minutes.
Thread 1 small or 1/2 large basil leaf onto a small wooden skewer. Add a piece of roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, artichoke and sausage, arranging them on the skewer so that it can stand up on the sausage end. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make about two-dozen skewers.
Grown Up Ham and Cheese Finger Sandwiches
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
8 slices thin white bread, recommended: Pepperidge Farm
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 small green apples
4 to 6 ounces aged Gouda
1 tablespoon Dijon or whole grain mustard, apple butter or chutney
1/2 bunch watercress
8 thin slices prosciutto
Freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring water, vinegar and brown sugar to a boil. Add the onions and remove from the heat. Cover, and set aside until the onions come to room temperature.
Trim the crusts off the bread and cut the bread into thirds, for 3 rectangles per piece. Lightly brush both sides of the bread pieces with olive oil and lay out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until just crisp and lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Cool.
To assemble: Quarter, core, and very thinly slice the apple, (a mandolin is terrific for this). Very thinly slice the cheese into triangles or shards that will fit nicely on the bread.
Place a dab or smear of mustard on the bread. Place a piece of apple, cheese and 1 or 2 sprigs of watercress on each piece of toasted bread. Wrap a small piece of prosciutto around each stack to make a neat package. Top with a little bit of the pickled onions, a drizzle of olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve at room temperature.
Do ahead tips: Toast the bread ahead, and thinly slice the apple, placing them in lemon water to prevent them from turning brown. If you need to assemble the sandwiches ahead, don't add the watercress, and cover them with a very light moistened paper towel.
APRICOT CHEESE DELIGHT
1 (20 oz.) can apricots, cut fine
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple
2 pkg. orange or apricot Jello
2 c. hot water
1 c. combined apricot and pineapple juice
3/4 c. plus miniature marshmallows
Drain and chill fruit. Reserve juice. Dissolve Jello in hot water. Add 1 cup fruit juice. Chill until slightly congealed. Fold in fruit and marshmallows. Pour into water rinsed dish (11 x 7 x 2 inch or larger). Chill until firm. Top with Fruit Cheese Dressing.
FRUIT CHEESE DRESSING:
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. fruit juice
1 c. whipping cream
3/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
Combine sugar and flour. Blend in egg. Gradually stir in juice. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in butter. Cool. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over Jello layer. Sprinkle with cheese. Serves 12.
Mayberry Jail Cells
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup chunky peanut butter
6 cups Special K cereal
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chocolate chips
Bring syrup and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Mix in Special K. Spread into buttered 9x13 inch pan. Melt butterscotch chips and chocolate chips. Stir and spread on top. Cut into bars. Makes 3 to 4 dozen.
Rice Crispie Treats
1/4 cup butter
6 cups rice crispie cereal
4 cups mini marshmallows or 40 large marshmallows
Melt butter and marshmallows in a large saucepan over low heat stirring constantly until completely melted. Remove from heat and add cereal, mix until well coated. Press into buttered 9 x 13 pan using buttered spatula or greased hands. Cool. Cut into squares.
Variations: 4 cups rice crispies cereal and 2 cups fruit loops cereal
4 cups rice crispies cereal and 2 cups fruity pebbles cereal