Anyways, I’m having a hard time typing on account of my sodium-swollen fingers, so please excuse any typpos.
Come journey through a landscape of beige – otherwise known as the Caker Christmas spread.
Imperial Cheese Cookies
This recipe is one of the most searched recipes on my blog. These savoury cookies didn’t win over any Italian fans, though. I think Italians struggle with the idea of eating cookies as appetizers. Thankfully, I don't share that struggle.
The recipe is here. I added an extra cup of Rice Krispies on the advice of a Caker Cooking reader.
I was told by an Italian guest that this wasn’t a caker dish. “What’s not caker about it?" I asked. “There are three ingredients.” This dip was delicious, so I have suspicions that some Italians consider any food that tastes good “non-caker.”
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 cup Parmesan cheese
8-ounce can artichokes (I used a 14-ounce can and it was fine)
Drain artichokes and cut up. Mix mayonnaise and Parmesan together with artichokes and put in a quiche dish. Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes.
Source: Our Family Favourites, Stirling Primary/Junior School
Many Italians were surprised by how much they liked this, but I wasn’t. Hello?!? It has creamed corn. Which, in some caker circles, is also known as “crack corn.” This had a nice, subtle sweetness.
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk
2 – 14-oz cans creamed corn
2 ¼ cup crushed soda crackers
½ cup celery, finely diced
¼ cup onion, finely diced
¾ cup grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
pinch black pepper
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ tsp paprika, divided
To begin, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish or shallow casserole dish, and set it aside. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients, reserving half of the paprika. Pour all of it into the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining paprika over the top. Bake for about 1 hour, or until golden on top, and the centre is firm, no longer jiggly.
Source: Something called “Pinterest.”
Chinese Food Casserole
Shout out to China! This dish, made by yours truly, was voted “Worst Tasting Dish” of the night. Whatever. We cakers have thick skin. BTW – this called for three cans of soup. I used only two. Even I have my limits.
1 pound ground beef
1 cup Minute Rice, cooked
1 can Chinese bean sprouts (I couldn’t find a can, so I used fresh and poured boiling water over them, which what the package said to do.)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced onion
½ can Chinese noodles (I’m assuming this meant the deep-fried Chow Mein kind. I used more than a half-can. Which you can likely tell from the picture.)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Prepare rice and set aside. Brown meat and set aside. Fry celery and onion. Mix all ingredients together except noodles. Place in large casserole and top with noodles. Bake in oven at 350° for 1 hour.
Source: Casserole Cook Book, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian
Hash Brown Casserole
My Greek friend made this and won the coveted title of the night’s “Best Tasting Dish” – for the second year in a row. I think the Italians are starting to feel threatened. Heck, I’m starting to feel threatened. I’m not inviting her next year.
1 cup onion, diced
1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter, thinly sliced
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Kraft Cracker Barrel sharp cheese
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 (2 lb.) bag frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1/2 to 1 cup potato chips or corn flakes
Stir together well the diced onion, sour cream or yogurt, grated cheese, thinly sliced butter, and Cream of Chicken soup. Add the hash browns and mix well. Spread this mixture evenly in a casserole dish and top with crushed chips or corn flakes. Bake at 350° 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Source: Something called the “internet.”
Shout out to Mexico! If you’ve ever wondered what the secret ingredient is in a Mexican meatloaf, it’s nacho chips. Oh, and brown sugar. Sorry the picture is a little blurry. I was a little
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 crushed garlic cloves
Fine dry bread crumbs
Finely ground nacho chips
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 large eggs
½ cup chunky salsa
8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into ¼” cubes
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
¼ cup chili sauce
Combine beef, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, nacho chips, chili powder and jalapeno peppers. Add eggs and salsa. Stir. Add cheese. Mix well. Press evenly into an ungreased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Combine brown sugar, chili sauce and mustard in a small bowl. Mix well. Spread over beef mixture. Bake uncovered at 350° for about 90 minutes until firm. Drain any excess drippings from pan. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Source: Celebration Cooking, The Canadian Bible Society
panish Rice Casserole
Shout out to Spain! This recipe called for canned tomatoes. The woman who made it used homemade tomato sauce instead (hence the colour.) When her mother saw this, she said, “You’re wasting good sauce in that?” Everyone's a critic.
1 pound hamburger
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
½ cup uncooked rice
1 20-ounce tin tomatoes
Saute onion in greased frying pan. Add hamburger and brown. Add uncooked rice and tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally. May be made ahead of time. Put in casserole dish and reheat at 350.
Source: The New Y Cook Book
Shout out to Italy! The chicken coop was squawking over this one. “How can this be caker? There’s tortellini in it!” I pointed out the tortellini was covered with cheddar cheese. That seemed to shut everyone up.
¼ cup butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
½ teaspoon each dried thyme, basil and oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 pound tortellini, fresh or frozen
2 cups grated cheese – marble or cheddar
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in large saucepan; add garlic and onion. Cook until tender. Sprinkle with flour and cook 3-4 minutes – do not brown. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook tortellini in boiling salted water for 13 minutes. Drain well. Combine tortellini mixture with sauce. Add cheese and transfer to a 3 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until hot and brown.
Source: Celebration Cookbook, The Canadian Bible Society
No-Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Pots
These were delicious! Only downside? You have to go out and buy the jars. I say forget that and just use your leftover soup cans. Make sure you wash them out first. Cheesecake + grey bits of mushrooms = bad holiday season.
1 ½ 8-oz pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
8 graham crackers, ground (about 1 cup)
12 ounces fresh raspberries
½ cup raspberry jam
1 8-oz glass jars
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the heavy cream. Increase the speed to high and beat until thick and stiff, about 2 minutes. Beat in lemon juice. Spoon graham cracker crumbs into the jars. Top with cheesecake batter, raspberries and jam, alternating red layers with cheesecake batter. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Source: Woman’s Day
This party guest said she got the recipe when she bought her slow cooker. I don’t have the recipe, but it looks like you bake a cake in a slow cooker (Why would anyone want to bake a cake as slowly as possible?), toss some marshmallows and graham crackers on top and drizzle with melted chocolate. I had s’more for breakfast.
Cool Whip Melba
You make this and then use the container as the mold. If there’s a better example of caker resourcefulness, I’d like to see it. Many people found this “tastefully refreshing.”
2 ½ cups Cool Whip
1 ½ cups finely chopped fresh peaches (about 5 medium). Or use one can (29 oz.) sliced peaches, drained and finely chopped
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons raspberry jam
1 empty 9-oz. Cool Whip container
Tint Cool Whip to desired peach shade with food colouring (approximately 3 drops red; 7 drops yellow.) Thoroughly drain peaches, saving 3 tablespoons juice. Combine peaches, juice and sugar, stir into Cool Whip until well blended. Spoon ¼ of the peach mixture into buttered Cool Whip container; drop 1 tablespoon jam, by half teaspoonfuls, over mixture. Repeat twice. Top with remaining peach mixture. Freeze until firm – at least 8 hours or overnight. Unmold. Garnish with peach slices and additional raspberry jam, if desired.
Source: magazine clipping
And that’s it!
Another Caker Christmas has come and gone. (Although, for most, it keeps repeating the day after.) Come back next Monday, December 29 when I post my best – and worst – recipes of 2013.