Here are a few more recipes for your holiday gatherings. Enjoy!

Cheddar Holly Crackers

Yield: 4 dozen

Total Time: 2 hr., 30 min.


3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 oz. extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)

2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper

2 c. all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for working


Beat butter and Cheddar with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add rosemary, salt, and pepper, and beat to combine. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour, then 1 tablespoon cold water, mixing just until incorporated, 30 seconds (add an additional tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed).

Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment to 1/4-inch thickness. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut out crackers with various-sized small floured holly leaf cookie cutters; transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart.

Bake until firm and lightly golden around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Cranberry Brie Pastry Tarts

1 T. salted butter, room temp.

2 c. fresh cranberries

2-4 T. brown sugar, use more or less to your taste

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 (8 oz.) wheels of Brie, each cut into 12 slices (leave the rind on)

1/3 c. fig preserves

1 egg, beaten

Coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Fresh thyme, for serving


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, cranberries, brown sugar, and cinnamon. 

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 6 rectangles. Spread each rectangle with about 1 teaspoon fig preserves, leaving a 1/4 inch border. Top with 2 slices of brie and then mound the cranberries over the brie, pressing them into the brie to adhere slightly.

Fold the edges of the pastry inward to enclose the brie. Brush the edges of pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the brie melted. Top with fresh thyme. Serve and enjoy!


Cranberry Meatballs


1 small onion, grated or finely chopped

1 1/2 lb. ground pork, extra lean

1 c. breadcrumbs, such as Panko

2 large eggs

1/3 c. ketchup

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 c. parsley fresh, chopped

1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste

1/2 tsp. pepper, or to taste



2 c. cranberry sauce homemade or store bought

1 c. ketchup

3 T. brown sugar, packed

1 T. lemon juice, freshly squeezed


Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine all the meatball ingredients together and mix well.

Wet your hands and form the mixture into medium size meatballs. You should end up with about 32 meatballs.

Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 F degrees.

While the meatballs are baking, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet add all the sauce ingredients, stir and cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Turn down the heat and stir in the meatballs. Cook until heated through.

Garnish with parsley, if preferred, and serve warm.


Crispy Panko Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce   

1-1/2 lbs. extra-large shrimp (21/25), peeled and deveined

1-1/2 c. panko bread crumbs

1 T. died parsley flakes

1/3 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/8 to 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne red pepper, to taste

3 large egg whites

4 T. olive oil, divided

Olive oil cooking spray

Minced fresh parsley, for serving (optional)

Cocktail sauce (store-bought can be substituted):

3/4 c. ketchup

1-1/2 T. prepared horseradish

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce


For the sauce: Whisk all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

For the shrimp: In a shallow dish whisk together panko and parsley.  In second a separate shallow dish, whisk together flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. In a third shallow dish, whisk egg whites until slightly frothy.

Working with one piece of shrimp at a time (use one hand for the flour and egg and the other hand for the dry panko, it’s not as messy that way), dip each piece in flour mixture then turn to coat opposite side, gently shake off excess.

Transfer to egg whites, dip and turn to coat both sides, let excess run off.

Transfer to panko mixture, dip and lightly press to get crumbs to adhere then turn to opposite side and press. Transfer to a large plate. Repeat until all of the shrimp have been coated in mixtures.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add half of the shrimp and cook until golden brown on bottom, about 3 minutes, spritz tops of shrimp lightly with olive oil cooking spray then carefully turn and cook opposite side until golden brown on bottom and shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 2 - 3 minutes longer.

Transfer to a platter, repeat process with remaining half of the shrimp. Serve warm sprinkled with parsley, if desired, and serve with cocktail sauce.  Serves 5.


Hummus Wreath 

Total Time: 30 min.


1 (17 oz.) container of purchased plain hummus

1/2 c. reduced-fat, crumbled feta cheese

1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions (from about 2 onions)

3/4 c. chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/16 tsp. kosher salt

Cherry tomatoes, halved

1 lg. red pepper, optional

1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons very finely crumbled, reduced-fat feta cheese

Optional dippers for serving: whole-grain pita chips, wedges of whole-wheat pita bread, or red and green veggies


In a medium-sized bowl, combine hummus, 1/2 cup feta, and green onions.

Place a small bowl or drinking glass in the center of a large, round platter (photo platter is about 12.5 inches in diameter). If you plan to place a bowl of pita chips or veggies at the center of the finished wreath, you’ll want to use that bowl (or a similarly-sized glass), to be sure the hole in the middle of the wreath is the right size. Use a rubber scraper to spread the hummus mixture in a circle all around the bowl/glass you placed at the center. Remove the bowl/glass from the center using a gentle, upward twisting motion. If needed, you can carefully insert the tip of a toothpick under the edge of the bowl/glass to help it release.

In another small bowl, toss parsley, oil, and salt until the parsley is thoroughly coated and the oil and salt are evenly distributed. Spoon parsley mixture in a circle on top of the hummus layer, leaving a small border of hummus showing all around.

Place halved cherry tomatoes, cut-side down, randomly throughout the parsley layer, so they look like Christmas ornaments.

If making the optional bow out of red pepper, cut one broad, flat side off the pepper, and gently but firmly press a metal, bow-shaped cookie cutter through the pepper slice to cut out your bow. Place the bow on your wreath.

Sprinkle entire wreath lightly with a dusting of 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons very finely crumbled feta, to look like snow. You can adjust the exact amount of feta, depending on the diameter of your wreath – you want it to look like just a light dusting, without using so much feta that it hides the other ingredients.

Serve immediately with dippers of your choice, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1-2 days.


Quote of the Week:

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.” 

~ Bob Hope


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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