Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mrs. Mac's Holiday Cheese Ball

There are some things a mother must make for her soldier boy son when he's home on leave. The sticky chicken wings are one (previous recipe below) ... and this cheese ball is another. He's coming home next week for his sister's wedding ... better get to the store and stock up on the fixings for his comfort food :)

1 - 8 oz package Velveeta cheese
1 - 8 oz package cream cheese (cold)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
a few drops of liquid smoke flavoring (optional)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1/3-1/2 C chopped walnuts or pecans

In a large mixing bowl, tear the Velveeta and cream cheese into chunks. Add the w-sauce, liquid smoke and garlic powder. Just barely mix the ingredients with clean hands and press together forming a ball (don't over mix ... you want the cheese ball to be marbled with chunks of cheese). Finely chop the parsley and nuts together on a cutting board and spread out. Roll the cheese ball in the nut/parsley mixture. You can sprinkle on a little bit of paprika for a festive look. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill. Serve with your favorite crackers (my son likes Triscuit and Wheat Thins).

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sticky Chicken Wings

My family gets mad if I don't make enough of these wings.


One extra-large packaged tray of chicken wings (disjointed and wing tips removed)
1 Cup packed brown cane sugar
1 Cup organic soy sauce
2/3 Cup dry sherry (not "cooking" sherry)
2-3 large cloves garlic (pressed)
1/2 tsp. roasted sesame oil
1-2 Tablespoons fresh ginger juice (grate and squeeze out the juice), or a tsp of powdered ginger (fresh ginger is the best to use)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. I bake the wings on a jelly roll pan ... If you don't have a roll pan, use two(13x9) rectangular baking pans ... but increase the heat to 350. Put wings on pan in a single layer (all crammed together) and begin baking. In the meantime, mix other ingredients in a small sauce pan to melt the sugar. Very carefully pour the mixture over the wings and bake for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, turning often. The sherry bakes off and the wings get very sticky when done. Watch them carefully the last half hour to ensure the sauce doesn't burn. I find that using the rectangular pans may need even more time as it takes longer for the cooking sauce to cook down and get sticky. FYI ... best to make when your oven is in need of cleaning ;) (Quote from my daughter: "Mom, wouldn't it be great if you could buy room freshener that smelled like our sticky chicken wings baking?" lol)

Orange Spice Tea

This is a family favorite to mix up around Christmas. I purchased some cute glass Christmas jars from the $ Store and ta-da, a nice gift that's super easy to make.


2 Cups powered Tang
1 Cup instant unsweetened tea (powder)
1-1/2 Cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Place mixture in an airtight container to store.

Serve: Use about 1 and a half tablespoons for each mug of hot water (adjust to taste). May be served with a slice of fresh orange. Enjoy