I have family on my mind. The house is very quiet now that a certain little boy and girl are gone. Oh yes, their parents were here, too. Headed to a new home near Washington, D.C., the adults talked about when they would be back or when we’d visit them. It got me thinking about family reunions, summer holidays and, of course, food.
We tend to save our special cooking for these kinds of occasions. It’s hard to get excited about food at the end of a work day, but ask me to come up with a menu for a farewell luncheon for a co-worker and I’m all about searching for a cool meal to prepare. I’ll have the cookbooks stacked by my chair and the laptop humming looking for recipes.
I found these two recipes while I was looking for inspiration for just that kind of meal — one to feed guests.
Party Potatoes, the kind so often enjoyed around here, starts with frozen hashbrowns and a lot of cheese. The recipe for Grandpa’s Party Potatoes is more labor intensive, using cooked and mashed potatoes. But I like the idea that while it has cream cheese in it, it also has french onion dip as an ingredient. Then, it’s baked.
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The second recipe wowed me with the idea of turning a Cobb Salad into a layered dip. The ingredients are skewed toward less lettuce and more other stuff to make it scoopable. Kind of a great idea for a spring party, I think.
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Grandpa’s Party Potatoes
12 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 carton (8 ounces) French onion dip
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Mash the potatoes with butter, milk, salt and pepper until smooth. Add cream cheese and onion dip; mix well.
Spread in a greased 2 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until heated through.
Yield: 14 servings, each 1 cup with 181 calories, 10 grams fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 316 mg sodium, 21 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams protein.
Country Woman, September/October 2000
Cobb Salad Dip
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
1 cup finely chopped iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup chopped deli oven-roasted turkey breast, optional
2 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped
2 small plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
Mix cream cheese and dressing until blended; spread onto bottom of pie plate or shallow serving bowl.
Refrigerate covered 1 hour.
Top with layers of all remaining ingredients. Serve with crackers. Makes 52 servings, 2 tablespoons each.