December 19, 2010

Twas' The Night Before!

"It was Christmas Eve and the frost fairies were busy getting ready for Christmas Day. First of all they spread the loveliest white snow carpet over the rough, bare ground; then they hung the bushes and trees with icicles that flashed like diamonds in the moonlight. The Stars shone brightly and the moon sent floods of light in every nook and corner. How could any one think of sleeping when there was such a glory outside!.."

-Oliver Herfold (Excerpt from What Happened Christmas Eve, pub. 1902.)

Christmas Eve festivites bring anticipation....of joy, of laughter, appreciation of family and celebrating the savior's birth! Enjoy......and give thanks....

Estelle's Cheese Crab Dip
10 ounce sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounce sliced American cheese
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound deluxe crab meat

Break up the cheeses into 1" pieces. Place the pieces in a saucepan with the milk and cook slowly until it melts, stirring often.Stir in the wine, pepper and crab meat. Mix gently but thoroughly.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve with crackers and fresh vegetables!

Estelle's Elegant Crab Dip
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Old Bay or other seafood seasoning
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup milk
8 ounces crabmeat, fresh or canned(drained)
1 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar or soft Fontina
Celery sticks, bell pepper strips,and toasted baguette slices, for serving

Lightly oil or butter a small shallow casserole (about 1 1/2 quarts). Heat the oven to 375°.
Melt the butter in a medium-size skillet. Add the onion and garlic, and saute them over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the Old Bay or other seafood seasoning and cook another 30 seconds, continuing to stir. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Using an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and milk, and blend the mixture again until it's smooth. With a spoon, stir in the crabmeat, half of the cheese, and the sauteed onion and garlic.
Transfer the dip to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spoon. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top. Place the dish in the oven and bake until the top of the dip is bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with celery sticks, bell pepper strips, and toasted baguette slices. Serves 12 as an appetizer.

"The children were nestled all snug in their beds...
while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads...
and then....in a twinkling...
I heard on the roof"...

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