chili olivettes

2/3 cup chopped ripe olives
2/3 cup grated American cheese
3/4 teaspoon chili pepper
1 pkg. pie crust mix (or homemade based on 1-1/2 cup flour)

Combine olives with cheese and chili. Roll pastry thin, cut into 2″ rounds. Place scant teaspoon of filling on each round. Moisten edges; fold over to make a half-moon. Pinch edges to seal. Place on cookie sheet and refrigerate. At party time, heat oven to 475 degrees. Bake 10-12 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 36 snacks.

chex party mix

2 cup wheat corn chex cereal
2 cup corn chex cereal
2 cup rice chex cereal
3/4 cup salted nuts
6 tablespoon butter or margarine
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Heat oven to 250. Melt butter in large shallow pan over low heat. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and seasoned salt. Add the cereals and nuts. Mix over low heat until all pieces are coated. Heat for 45 minutes in the oven, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread out on paper towels to cool. Makes 6-3/4 cups.

cheese pinwheels

1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
2 3-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons minced green onion
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
32 pimento stuffed olives

Thaw folded pastry sheets about 20 minutes; unfold gently. Cut each sheet into 16 squares measuring about 2-1/2 x 2-1/2 making a total of 32 squares. Blend cream cheese into onion, chili powder and garlic powder. Place pastry squares on ungreased baking sheet. Cut and shape as indicated in diagram below.

Place teaspoon of cheese mixture in center of each pinwheel. Top with olive. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until puffed and golden. Makes 32 snacks.

basil pesto spread

3-4 garlic cloves
4 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
5 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup white wine
1 tsp walnut or extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Place the garlic cloves in food processor and process until finely minced. Add the basil leaves and process until finely ground, scraping down the sides as necessary. Transfer to a bowl and add the bread crumbs, 1 tablespoons at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Add the wine gradually and stir in the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a little parmesan cheese if you want to splurge. Spread on toast points or crackers.

mom’s dressing*

Giblets from turkey
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cups crustless, day-old diced white, whole wheat or cornbread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4-1 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon crushed tarragon or basil
3/4 teaspoon dried sage
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Milk, stock or melted butter to moisten stuffing lightly
1-1/2 cups pecans
1 cup browned sausage meat

Chop giblets and melt butter. Saut? giblets and chopped onion in butter. Combine giblet-onion mixture with remaining ingredients, mix well and stuff turkey.

*This recipe, from The Washington Post, was called “Mom's dressing” — it is not my mother's dressing.