Need ideas for something a little outside the box to bring to your Christmas party this weekend?
My friend Bethany made this for a Christmas recipe exchange a few years ago, & I think I probably ate half of it on my own. It’s tasty, healthy, & festive-looking!
For each tree (16 rounds), here’s what you need:
- 1 can crescent rolls
- 4 oz. cream cheese (I use Neufchatel), softened*
- 1/4 cup sour cream*
- 1/2 tsp. dried dill weed*
- 1/16 tsp. (just fill the 1/8 halfway) garlic powder*
- assorted veggies in various shapes to “trim your tree”
* If you’re not a fan of dill, you can substitute 4 oz. Garden Veggie Cream Cheese plus 1/4 cup sour cream
- Preheat your oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Unwrap your crescent rolls, but do not unroll. Cut each of the 2 sections into 8 slices to get 16 slices total. (This was when I realized my knife needed sharpening. You may need to reshape your rounds to make them…er… round again.)
- Place your slices cut side down on the parchment to form a 5-row triangle & a single one at the bottom for a “trunk.”
- Bake 11-13 minutes or until golden.
- Combine cream cheese, sour cream, dill, & garlic powder in a small bowl. Spread over the tree (not the trunk), leaving a border around the outside to make it easier for people to pull some off. (Once the edge pieces are taken, people tend to get the general idea, so you don’t need to top each round individually.)
- “Trim your tree” with your veggies. Tip: start with your “greenery” (broccoli or snipped green onions). Then do the “star” (yellow pepper) & “garlands” (red pepper slices), & fit everything else around that. Don’t feel bound to the veggies I chose; go with what you love!
It’s Halloween. The kids are so excited for trick-or-treating they don’t want to eat dinner. So they pick at their food & then wind up getting sick from too much candy on an empty stomach. That was a lot of our Halloweens growing up. Fortunately, I have a solution. Meet our most favorite Halloween meal ever:
These calzones are so fun & tasty — the kids get to decorate their own! — that they’ll finally eat dinner on Halloween!
I first found these at BHG, then made the filling tastier & more substantial for eating as an entree instead of an appetizer. 1 calzone would be good for a little kid, while big kids & adults will probably need 2 to keep their strength up for an entire evening of trick-or-treating. These could also be great as “Sorting Hats” for a Harry Potter party.
- 3.5-oz. pkg. pepperoni slices*
- 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) crescent roll dough
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- decorations like olives, capers, bell pepper, parmesan, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, etc.
- pizza sauce, warmed, for dipping
* You can make these vegetarian by using about 3 oz. of very finely diced quick-cooking veggies like peppers & onions.
- Preheat your oven to 425 & grease 2 cookie sheets.
- Reserve a few slices of pepperoni to cut into shapes for decorations. A sharp paring knife & a few minutes can yield everything from simple triangles (cut a pepperoni slice like a pizza) to stars (cut 5 triangles out of a slice) & even jack-o-lanterns (uhhh… just use your head). You can do this with bell pepper as well if you’re going the vegetarian route.
- Then chop up the remaining slices finely.
- In a small bowl combine the pepperoni with the cream cheese, parmesan, & mozzarella. Use the back of the spoon to “smoosh” it together to form one mass that sticks together. This will be your filling.
- Carefully unroll a package of crescent roll dough & separate into triangles. Place them on your prepared baking sheets. Place a tablespoonful of dough into the center of each triangle & try to spread it out just a little so it’s not just one big lump, but stay at least a 1/2 inch away from the edges of the triangle, & even further than that from the short edge, if you can. (See the triangle on the right, below.)
- Then carefully unroll the other package of crescent roll dough & separate into triangles. Add a little water to your beaten egg & brush the mixture around the edges of each triangle & carefully lay a new triangle on each prepared triangle (see above). Be sure to seal the edges with your fingers.
- Brush the bottom (short) edge of each triangle with more of the egg mixture & fold/roll it up to form a brim for your hat. Then tweak the top of each hat to make it more crooked & spooky. (Basically I just kind of bend them into a bit of a squiggle.)
- Finally, brush the whole thing with more egg & let your ghouls & goblins decorate their hats however they’d like. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden & serve with pizza sauce.