I've been in such a sewing and creating mood lately that I've almost neglected my cooking and baking. I love the smells of the holiday season - especially those tried and true recipes that can catapult me back to time spent with my brothers and sister growing up. Chocolate gravy is one of those, eaten every Christmas morning and often again on New Year's morning. Another is cheese balls that my grandma and mom would make to give away on a tray surrounded by crackers. We always looked forward to the extra (odd ball, cheese ball) that would be left for us to snack on as we waited for Santa.
Cheese boats are another 'family recipe' that not many people have heard of. I come from a small town in Arizona, Globe. I grew up with everyone making them and knowing what they were - we made them for fundraisers and sold them! My mom tended to make them only at the holidays and for the last several years The Big Easy and I have made lots of them and given them away to our friends and neighbors. The kids would help with scooping out the bread and enjoy either eating it, throwing it or saving it for the ducks and birds. We would put 6-8 in a freezer bag and attach instructions for how to heat and eat. We've gotten lots of compliments, requests for recipes and "You're making cheese boats again this year, aren't you?" Sadly, since moving to Utah we haven't made them but maybe next year we'll get back in the 'boat' making mode. Thought you may like to try them this holiday season or any time during the year you need to try something new!
1 Can Evaporated Milk
1/2 Square Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Baker's Chocolate)
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Heaping Tbsp Corn Starch
1/2 Can Water (Use the Milk Can)
In a double boiler or a pan that will not burn easily - mix milk, water and square of chocolate. Stir often until chocolate is thoroughly melted. (To prevent burning, be sure to stir continually if not in a double boiler) In a separate bowl mix sugar and corn starch together. Add just enough water to make a thick mixture. Bring chocolate mixture to a boil and when it is boiling add in the sugar mixture. Continue lightly boiling and stirring until it thickens. (Hint: if it is not thick enough, to a pudding like consistency, you can mix a little more corn starch with water and add to the chocolate). Serve over baking powder biscuits. (We always just follow the recipe on the Bisquick box!). Split the biscuit in half, top with a pat of butter and pour on the gravy, enjoy!! Yum, Yum! Makes a small recipe enough for about 2-4 people.
2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2 Cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp pimento
1 Tbsp finely chopped green pepper
1 Tbsp grated onion
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
dash of salt
few drops of Tabasco
1 1/2 - 2 cups of finely chopped pecans
Mix all ingredients together. Divide into two and form into balls. Roll each ball into the pecans until coated. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill. Serve with crackers and enjoy!
1 lb. Longhorn/Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 small can tomato sauce
1 small can El Pato tomato sauce (hot tomato sauce) if you can't find- use 2 cans regular
1 small jar diced pimentos
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped fine
1 large can diced green chilies
1/2 Cup olives, chopped fine
1 bunch green onion, chopped
4 tsp. vinegar
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 and 1/2 dozen french rolls (you want a nice crispy crust so they'll hold their shape)
Combine all ingredients, except rolls, in a large bowl. Take the rolls and slice off their tops so you have a nice 'lid'. Use a spoon or fork to scoop out the insides leaving a thin shell all the way around, leaving the sides intact. (Save the bread you take out for bread pudding, croutons or bread crumbs). Carefully fill each roll with the cheese mixture. Place the 'lids' back on each roll and wrap in a square of aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and cheese is melted (approx 20 minutes). *NOTE* These can be frozen before heating and then heated for a longer period of time when ready to eat.
* I often remove them from the foil and place on a cookie sheet before cooking to crisp up the bread. If you like crispy outer shells this is just the thing for you!