Monday, December 8, 2014

Merry Christmas Monday

It's December 8th, the time of year when a lady's thoughts turn to visions of Chex Mix, Taco Dip, Hidden Valley Ranch Oyster Crackers, Blue Cheese Walnut Spread, Baked Brie and more. That's right, friends. Sweet, spicy, chewy, crisp, savory, creamy; in my house, it's all about the snacks!

Holiday activities go hand in hand with tasty nibbles, right? Holiday movies just aren't the same without a bowl of popcorn. A friend stops by for a cozy chat? Bring out the Chex Mix and eggnog!

The gang gathers at your house after the local Christmas Parade? How about some Taco Dip and chips or Ranch Oyster Crackers? Bet you can't eat just one! 

Here are recipes for some of my favorite holiday snacks.  


12-16 oz bag of plain oyster crackers
1 envelope of Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk  Recipe salad dressing mix
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine dressing mix with oil. Add dill weed, garlic powder and lemon pepper.

Place crackers in a baking dish. Pour dressing mixture over the crackers, stirring to coat.

Bake in a 250° F. oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Cool before serving.


1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese - room temperature
1 (16 oz) carton of sour cream
1 envelope of taco seasoning

Blend cream cheese until smooth. Mix in sour cream and taco seasoning. Serve with your chips of choice. Easy peasy and sure to draw rave reviews. You may want to make a double recipe. This won't last long!

Need an appetizer to take to your work/neighborhood/book club Christmas party? I highly recommend Blue Cheese Walnut Spread, Boursin or Kahlua Pecan Brie. You may want to plan ahead and have recipe cards ready to hand out because I guarantee people will be asking!


A neighbor shared this recipe with me in 1984 and it quickly became a holiday tradition. Also makes
a great gift to share with friends!

Blend the following:
2 cloves garlic, crushed
16 oz cream cheese - room temperature
8 oz. butter, room temperature

Add the following and mix well:
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon chives
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dill weed

Cover tightly and store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature to serve. Great cracker spread!


3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup Kahlua
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 (14-16 oz) wheel of Brie cheese

Mix Kahlua, pecans and brown sugar together.

Cut and discard rind from the top of the Brie. Place Brie in ovenproof dish; cover with pecan mixture.

Bake at 350° F. for 25 minutes.

Serve with crackers of choice.

* Don't bake longer than 25 minutes. The Brie should be soft but not melted.


(I got this one from Weight Watchers - all the flavor with a fraction of the calories!)

1 cup cream cheese - room temperature
1/2 cup blue cheese
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chives

Blend cream cheese, blue cheese, sour cream and Worcestershire sauce.

Stir in walnuts and chives.

Chill at least one hour before serving with your favorite crackers.

What are the go-to snacks for your family this time of year? 

I have a package of books (Merry Christmas!) for two randomly chosen people who leave a comment on today's post. (US addresses only)

Be sure to come back for the next two Mondays when I'll be sharing more holiday favorites and giving away books! 


  1. Oh, what great recipes. I just had my Christmas tree trimming party but I'm going to save some of those for next year. I do have one more party but I promised to make my easy dip that everyone seems to like. Cream cheese, and either a can of crab or shrimp and mash all together. You can add extras like onion or onion flakes, sour cream if you like it thinner and then you pour cocktail sauce over the mixture. I've added peppers to the top to look pretty but it's not necessary.

    1. Mmmm...that sounds good! I'm adding that one to my recipe stash. Thanks, catslady!

  2. Granny Rose used to make Chex mix every year.

    1. I only make it when I have company coming (like this past weekend) or when I'm planning to give it away. That stuff calls my name and I don't have the willpower to ignore it! lol

  3. They look good. I am lazy and tend to buy pre-made dips.

    1. I bought a pre-made dip for Saturday's tailgate that was awesome. It's Dean's French Onion and Bacon. First time I'd seen it with bacon. Needless to say, it was a big hit! :)

  4. Thanks for this delectable and appealing post. I would love to enjoy these treats.

  5. Replies
    1. I love corn chips but they don't like my tummy so I restrict them to special occasions. They're kind of a New Year's tradition with me along with chili cheese dip.

  6. I always make sugared pecans for everyone. This year I'm going to make my usual ones, but also a new recipe I found that uses maple syrup. (Yum) Also, my parents want fudge this year. I don't like fudge... So do any of y'all have a good (and easy) fudge recipe???? :)

    1. Monica, I'd love to know how that maple syrup recipe turns out!

      Here's an easy microwave fudge recipe that tastes a lot more complicated to make than it is.

      1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
      1.5 cups milk chocolate chips
      1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
      1 cups nuts (I use walnuts)

      Place all ingredients except nuts in a bowl.

      Microwave on medium for 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice

      Stir in nuts. Pour mixture into a well greased 8x8 pan. (I use spray to grease)

      Refrigerate 10 minutes. Cut into squares then return to refrigerator until set.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Sorry, logged in with the wrong acct!

      BUT... I will definitely try the fudge recipe! I sounds easy enough for me. Lol!!! I'll be making the maple pecans the middle of next week, so I'll let you know how they turn out. The recipe sounds really good! :)

      Thank you for the fudge recipe!

  7. Simple Spinach Dip

    I pkg Knorr Vegetable soup mix
    2 cups mayonnaise
    2 cups sour cream
    1 16 oz pkg of frozen spinach ,thawed and drained ( you may use a 10 oz box if you prefer less spinach)
    mix all above together and refrigerate

    Serve with raw veggies: carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, celery, cauliflower
    crackers and cheese

    Brie en Croute
    1 sheet frozen puff pastry (package comes with 2 sheets)
    1 small (8-ounce) wheel Brie
    1/2 cup raspberry preserves
    2 eggs, beaten

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    Defrost 1 sheet of puff pastry for 20 minutes and unfold (place remaining sheet in freezer for another recipe). Gently roll pastry with a rolling pin to increase the size of the sheet 1 to 2 inches in each direction. Brush both sides of the sheet with beaten egg. Center the wheel of Brie on top of the pastry sheet and spread the preserves on the Brie. Bring all four corners of the sheet together above the Brie and twist slightly to form a "bundle." Tie gathered pastry with kitchen/cooking string (tie string in the form of a bow), arranging pastry until you are satisfied with the bundle shape. Place the bundle on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Serve warm with top-quality crackers.

    MEATBALLS ( got on Facebook)

    1 pound lean ground beef 4 slices of bread 1 egg 1 tbsp. Oregano 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 2 cloves crushed garlic chopped parsley to taste salt and pepper to taste 3 cups beef bullion (if using bullion cubes--1 cube per cup of water)

    Place ground beef in a mixing bowl. Hold the bread under running water, soak, and then squeeze out excess water. Add the bread to the meat. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl (except for the beef bullion) and mix well. If the mixture is too 'wet', add more cheese.

    In a large sauce pan, bring beef bullion to a boil. Gently drop the meatballs into the liquid and cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove meatballs from the broth and serve.

    Crab Rangoon Dip

    -2 cups crab meat
    ... -16 oz. cream cheese (2 blocks)
    -1/2 cup sour cream
    -4 green onions, chopped
    -1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    -2 Tbsp powdered sugar
    -1/2 tsp garlic powder
    -1/2 tsp lemon juice

    First, soften the cream cheese in the microwave for about a minute.
    Chop your green onions. Add them and your two cups of crab meat .
    Add the sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, powdered sugar, garlic powder and lemon juice.
    Mix all the ingredients and bake for 30" at 350 degrees. Serve hot with chips


    bread cubes( save bread you scoop out) make cubes
    8 oz. sour cream
    8 oz. cream cheese
    16 oz. cheddar cheese, grated (sharp or mild)
    4 oz. chopped green chilies (optional)
    1 chopped green onion
    1 c. chopped ham
    1/2 pound chopped bacon
    1 round bread loaf, hollowed out
    Mix first seven ingredients together and put into the hollowed out bread loaf. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for one hour. Serve with leftover bread or chips

    Crab Dip:

    · 1 cup mayonnaise
    · 1 package cream cheese
    · 2 green onions (chopped)
    · 1 package imitation crab (chopped)

    Stir together and refrigerate
    Serve with crackers or fresh veggies
    You can substitute a small can of shrimp drained

    1. Thanks, Laurie! I'm definitely trying that spinach dip recipe!

  8. these recipes make me wish that I could cook!!! I've been gently asked to leave the cooking to the pros and so my go to "recipe" is whatever is being featured premade by our local grocery store! Thanks for sharing!

    1. LOL! It's still handmade, Erin. Just not by you! ;-)

  9. I have made those Ranch Oyster crackers for years. My family loves them. And I make the Chex Mix but I use Crispix cereal instead of assorted Chex cereals. Recipe is pretty much the same. Another thing I remembered from times past are ham roll-ups. I'll be making them this year.

    8 oz (8 slices each measuring approximately 4X6") Thinly sliced cooked ham
    4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
    8 green onions, washed, dried and trimmed to fit ham slices

    Pat ham slices dry with paper towel. Spread cream cheese in a thin layer over ham. Place a green onion at one long edge of ham and roll up, jelly roll style. Cut each roll in 8 pieces. Place rolls on serving plate and cover with plastic wrap; chill until ready to serve. Makes 64 rolls.

    1. I haven't had those ham roll-ups in years, Karen. They used to be all the rage. I love them. Also make them with thinly sliced salami.

  10. Thanks for all the great recipes. There are a couple here I want to try. In my house, we put out lots of simple snacks this time of year--summer sausage, cheese, crackers, fresh fruit and veggies. And cookies, of course!

    1. Can't forget those cookies! They'll be the topic of another Merry Christmas Monday post. :)

  11. Oh, ladies I don't cook! Not because I don't like it but because even if I follow directions nothing tastes good! =( LOL
    But I'll pass all these recepis to my sister and I'll have her make them all for me because they all sound delish. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Cheese balls made with cream cheese, green onions and chipped beef. Also have made a nice cheese tray that goes over well.

  13. A am SO copying these recipes to use later!

    We always do lots of cheese and crackers; the traditions Chex mix with a couple extra dashes of Worchestershire sauce and seasoned salt, and I make raspberry walnut fudge. I use the recipe on the marshmallow creme and add in a handful of marshmallows, a small extra handful of chocolate chips, and raspberry flavoring.

  14. Chex mix, crab dip, spinach dip, cheese tray, and this year I'm loving the candied pecans. Your recipes sound great. I'll be adding those to my recipe file. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Thanks for the recipes! We don't snack any differently this time of year, except maybe some chocolate chip cookies. And eggnog! :-)

  16. I love love love my clam dip. It's like stuffed clams but in a dip. Thanks for the recipes . Going to try a few

  17. now, i'm hungry. I love hot crab dip.


  18. During the summer, I make fig jam or a savory fig and onion jam. I make a pint jar to save for the holidays. We keep it in the fridge and if someone stops over we can offer a quick snack with the jam, cream cheese, and crackers. We also eat a lot of pretzels this time of year for some reason. I want to try the Blue Cheese and Walnut Spread!

  19. These are some wonderful recipes I can make. :).Our family is so large we just put out a little something for everyone. Nothing really specific. Lots of cheeses and crackers, antipastas and fruits with loads of olives we all love.And the usual chips, pretzels and mixed nuts with raisins.
    Thankss for the post. Happy Holidays and great eating everyone.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  20. Love it, popcorn, chips,and salsa, so good

  21. I go to my dads on Christmas eve. my brother and I always being buffalo Chicken dip. He already called me this year and said he would make that I should just grab the chips and crackers :)
    So I would have to say that is our Christmas food snack
    Buffalo chicken dip recipe

    What you need
    20 oz of canned chicken (Or you can make real chicken in the oven and shred when it is done cooking)
    16 oz of cream cheese
    1 1/2 Cups of Mild Cheddar cheese
    1 cup Ranch
    3/4 Cup Hot sauce.

    ~Put your chicken and hot sauce in a pan and heat. Stir it together.
    ~Next add your cheddar cheese, ranch, and cream cheese. Stir this all together until it blends good.
    ~Now you can put your dip into a crock pot.

  22. My sister is the best cook, I love all of the goodies she makes at Christmas. My favorite goodies at this time of year are miniature pecan pies, bite sized and just the right amount of a really sweet dessert. And of course, pumpkin pie, my very favorite this time of year.

  23. I family likes cheese, so we always have a platter of different block cheeses and a variety of crackers. Chex Mix is a must for everyone. I have a great cheese ball recipe (cheddar, cream cheese, onion, green peppers, crushed pineapple, and chopped pecans plus a few more things). Unfortunately I can't find my recipe book. I got the recipe in 1978 or so and it is easy and delicious. The kids usually fix sausage balls, cocktail sausages in a bar-B-Q and grape jelly sauce, pigs in a blanket, and we do bacon wrapped chestnuts, bacon wrapped shrimp, stuffed celery (cream chess & diced green olives), and stuffed mushrooms (whipped potatoes, crabmeat, onion powder, parmesan cheese). No calories in any of it, but we seriously cut back come January 2.