The Christmas Table by the editors of Gooseberry Patch (Gooseberry Patch Books, $16.95)
Jo Ann Martin, co-founder of Gooseberry Patch, points out that the holiday season is filled with such things as cookie baking, trimming the tree, and preparing the traditional Christmas feast. The secret is how to accomplish all these things without suffering from burnout and overload.
This wonderful collection serves up recipes that are perfectly suited to help navigate the hectic Christmas holidays. In addition to the recipes, there are craft ideas and memories scattered throughout the book which is spiral bound making it user-friendly, even in cluttered family kitchens.
The recipes are divided into six main sections: Cozy Christmas Brunch; Chill-Chasing Soups & Breads; Caroling Party Supper; Classic Christmas Dinner; Festive Holiday Fare and Sweet Treats to Share. The recipes include such festive crowd pleasers as Sour Cream Coffee Cake, a Christmas Eve soup made with sauerkraut and Kielbasa sausage, an easy-to-make Waldorf Salad, Fudgy Brownie Cookies, and a Holiday Pound Cake that tastes a little like ice cream when frozen because of its main ingredients of cream cheese and maraschino cherries.
The recipes are submitted by family cooks from throughout the country which gives this collection an intimate feel. I tested three recipes, a delicious Baked Spinach Supreme — which even spinach haters will love — submitted by Kathie Moss of Saint Louis. Since I found some acorn squash at my supermarket, I prepared the Festive Stuffed Acorn Squash that included such holiday ingredients as cinnamon, nutmeg, apples and cranberries. Since I seemed to be on a culinary roll, my third pick was Fiesta Bubble Bread, a perfect fit for Christmas morning.
This is an excellent collection full of delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes. Gooseberry Patch cookbooks are fun to use and that is why they have become so popular with cooks throughout the country.
FIESTA BUBBLE BREAD
Submitted by Amy Hunt of Traphill, North Carolina
½ c butter, melted
1-1/2 c shredded Mexican-blend cheese
¼ c shredded mozzarella cheese
10-oz jar sliced jalapeno peppers, drained
1 tsp dried parsley
2-12-oz tubes refrigerated biscuits, cut into quarters
In a large bowl, conbine butter, cheeses, pepper slices and parsley; add biscuits and toss to coat. Transfer to an ungreased Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden. Invert onto a serving place. Serve warm. Serves 8.