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Holiday Entertaining Made Easy

 
Entertain with Ease

 

My mom is the queen of the holiday spread. She will put before you a feast fit for a king-sized appetite-- and for allowing plenty of leftovers for everyone to take home. This year, I'm looking to impress her with the recipes Mast Store has shared with me and have her take home some of these fan favorites I know she'll love. These are for you, mom, and for everyone looking to whip up holiday entertaining without breaking the bank or a sweat! Bon apetit! 

 

Sweet Potato CasseroleSweet Potato Casserole - This is my go-to holiday dessert. It's healthy, it's delicious, and it's so easy with this mix and recipe! Sweet potato casserole is one of those down-home dishes that warms you body and soul. And one you crave even after the holidays are over. Make yourself a yummy dish of comfort-food goodness with the simple recipe below.

  • 2 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes

  • 1 package of Raven's Mulling Spice

  • 3/4 stick butter, melted

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 eggs beaten

Mix all ingredients and place in a greased casserole dish. Top with marshmallows, nuts or corn flakes. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. 

Apple Spice Cake - Fresh apples, warm spices, hearty pecans . . . heaven on a plate. This dessert is one I look forward to eating every year at our family reunion. Cousin Betty brings out that covered dish, and we all start heading to the picnic tables just to get a whiff of that enticing aroma . . . and maybe steal an early forkful before anyone is the wiser. When I found this easy version of a family favorite, I was thrilled. A box of yellow cake mix means half the work is done for me, and it's as delicious as Cousin Betty's-- just keep that between us.  Try it and see if  you don't consider it a crowd pleaser. 

  • 1 box yellow cake mix

  • ½ stick unsalted butter

  • 3  eggs

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 package (set aside 1 teaspoon) Raven’s Mulling Spice

  • 1  ½ cups peeled and diced crisp apples (granny smith)

Mix first five ingredients well. Add apples and pour into greased & floured Bundt pan or muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (45 minutes for Bundt cake or 15-20 minutes for cupcakes). Cool 10 minutes.  Glaze or add icing and top with chopped pecans. 

For glaze:

Mix 1 teaspoon Raven’s Original and 2 tablespoons half and half, then slowly add 1 cup powdered sugar.

For icing:

1. Cream together the powdered sugar, spice, and unsalted butter with an electric mixer until light, fluffy and smooth.

2. Add one tablespoon half and half, and beat until smooth and creamy. Add more half and half if thinner frosting is desired, or more powdered sugar if thicker frosting is desired.

Bacon Jam DipBacon & Cream Cheese Spread/Dip - Bacon jam? I am sure I made a do-what-now face the first time I was told how good this dip was. I didn't know how bacon and jam went together, but when I tasted this divine dip, I understood. Oh. my. goodness. Now I understand why my friend Sheri calls this crack on a cracker. Jes' saying, y'all. She ain't wrong. Try it! Perfect spread for the holidays. You will be the talk of the table. Be prepared to share this addictive recipe with all who try it!

Mix the two and serve. You can make this dip at room temperature and simply top the cream cheese block with the jam. Or, my favorite, heat and blend to serve as a hot dip. 

There are two more varieties of our Bacon Jam, if you'd like to mix it up a bit. 

Cookies! 

Sugar Cookies and SnickerdoodlesSugar Cookies - How easy can holiday baking get? Aside from picking up a batch someone else baked, these mixes are the next best thing to homemade as well as no-effort entertaining. And everyone loves baking up some sugar cookies and decorating them for the holidays. These give you that balanced chew-to-crisp ratio that makes for the perfect cookie. Make these your solution to all that baking you need to do. And make mine with sprinkles, please!

Mix ingredients, combine well, and chill for an hour (the cookie mix, but you can too). On a floured surface, roll cookie mix to 1/4 inch. Cut dough into shapes. Coat top of cookie in sugar. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake.  

Snickerdoodles - Here's another great cookie option for holiday offerings. Serve up some for Santa, take them to a cookie exchange, or share them with friends and family. It is the season for giving, even if you'll want to keep these all to yourself. 

Mix egg and butter. Add in contents of bag and work thoroughly. Work soft dough and form into walnut-sized balls. Roll in cinnamon sugar blend and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes on 400 degrees. 

Sorghum CookiesSorghum Cookies - Holy molasses, Batman!  As a fan of anything spicy and savory, I fell in love with these old-fashioned rockstars of the cookie world. Yeah, if Aerosmith were a cookie, it would be this one! Trust me, you would walk this way as fast as possible because you wouldn't want to miss a thing. Not one crumb of these awesome little treats that will be sure to take center stage at any gathering. 

PS These do take a bit more time, but, boy, are they worth it. Promise.

 

 

  • 1 1/2 cup shortening

  • 2 cups brown sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup Muddy Pond Sorghum 

  • 4 1/2 cup white flour (I used all-purpose flour)

  • 4 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)

  • Turbinado sugar for Rolling

Cream shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and sorghum and mix well.  Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix until incorporated into dough. Chill dough for several hours.

Roll each ball in turbinado sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Heather, our photographer, who calls these "beyond awesome!"

Easy Peasy, Delightfully Cheesy . . . Cheeseballs Ready in a Snap. 

Smokehouse Bacon & Cheddar Cheese Ball (or Dip) - I love cheeseballs. I mean, it's cheese. And this version is no exception. The flavors are savory and delicious. Again, it has the world's most perfect food, BACON! Try it as a cheeseball or a hot dip. Both are the bomb dot com. 

Combine and refrigerate until firm. Roll in Topping (included). Serve with crackers or veggies, etc.

Or make it into a hot dip by combining mix, topping, 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup milk,  and 1/4 cup sour cream into a sauce pot and cook over low heat until mixture is warm and thoroughly blended. 

BLT Cheeseball and Appetizer Dip - Did I mention there was bacon? I think you know by now that anything with bacon will make a believer out of me. And you too, I am sure. This mix brings the quintessential perfect sandwich into a cheeseball, combining two of my favorite foods!! It's sooo good. And I really love it as a hot dip. Can't go wrong here. Bacon!

 

Combine and refrigerate until firm. Roll in Topping (included). Serve with crackers or veggies, etc.

Or make it into a hot dip by combining mix, topping, 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1/4 cup milk,  and 1/4 cup sour cream into a sauce pot and cook over low heat until mixture is warm and thoroughly blended. 

AND there's a sweet cheeseball too! 

Key Lime Cheese BallKey Lime Pie Cheeseball - Ah! Y'all, key lime is my all-time favorite dessert flavor. Key lime cheesecake, key lime cake with cream cheese icing, this key lime cheeseball for dessert. Whaaat? Yep, you can sense a theme here. Key lime plus cream cheese equals BEST. DESSERTS. EVER! And this mix doesn't disappoint. Bring out the graham crackers and viola! cheesecake without the fuss-- and effort and clean up. You get the picture. It's delicious, and you may want to get yours while supplies last because I'm heading to the store to stock up now! Try it. You can thank me later-- if I leave any for you . . . 

Mix and refrigerate. Serve with graham crackers. 

We hope you love these simple and delicious time-saving recipes. If you want more, we have gathered other recipes over the years that you can find in older blogs. Visit this LINK and THIS ONE too for even more holiday recipes to get you through the season. Happy holidays and happy eating!

 

 

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