What Ya Gonna Do with a New Year?

Snowy morning - looks cold and quiet out there. Inside my house? Not so quiet...

I'm prepping for the annual Hill Family Fete. What's on my food list this year? Russian teacakes, stuffed mushrooms, habanero jelly w/ cream cheese & crackers, and pizza of course! I'm in charge of making dough for 6 pizzas and then taking whatever other munchies I'm dying for. So I'm going for sweet, savory, and spicy. Sounds like a fabulous mix to me!

Russian Tea Cakes / Mexican Wedding Cookies / Italian Wedding Cookies / Butterballs
1 1/2 c unsalted butter (or use salted butter and omit salt)
3/4 c powdered sugar
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 c chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pecans are my favorite)
4 1/2 t vanilla
3 c sifted, all purpose flour
~1/3 c powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 325.
Cream butter & sugar. Beat until light & fluffy. Add nuts and vanilla. Blend in flour gradually. 
Shape dough into balls (about 1 teaspoon in size) and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-20 min. Don't brown.
Cool slightly on wire rack then roll in powdered sugar.
Sounds good eh?
Here's my stuffed mushroom recipe. I use my handy mini food processor when chopping  these ingredients.

Stuffed Mushrooms
Large fresh mushrooms, stems removed (the original recipe only called for 12 large mushrooms - the stuffing fills many more than 12)
1 pkg dry stuffing mix
1 8 oz cream cheese
1/2 pound imitation crab meat (the last package I bought was 12 oz. We used it all and it was just fine)
2 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
Salt & pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Shredded parmesan cheese (the real stuff)

Wash mushrooms. Remove stems (twist out) and reserve. Arrange mushroom tops in baking pan - bottoms up.
Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions.
Preheat oven to 350.
Place cream cheese in large bowl. When stuffing is finished immediately add it to bowl on top of cheese - this will soften/melt the cream cheese with little effort on your part.
Melt butter over medium heat and add garlic. Cook until soft (about 5 min).
Chop crab meat and mushroom stems.
Mix stuffing mix, cream cheese, crab meat, and mushroom stems.
Liberally stuff mushrooms (or if you've completely filled your baking pan with mushroom tops, you can spread the mix over the top and push it down so that it fills the mushrooms. It'll be more difficult to get individual mushrooms, but it'll still be ooey goodness.)
Drizzle with garlic butter.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Top with shredded parmesan.
Bake for 15 min (until stuffing is browned).
I've still got to go to the grocery store and get things cooking, so I'd better be headed out the door.

I hope you all have a safe, enjoyable celebration this evening. See you in 2011!

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