New Year Soups and Appetizers

This week’s recipes are from a family Christmas celebration consisting of soups and appetizers. Here’s a little of what was on the menu.

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Charcuterie Tree


Styrofoam Cone


Olives stuffed with cheese

Marinated mushrooms

Cubed cheeses

Mozzarella balls

Stuffed sweet peppers


Pickle Roll-ups:

Deli ham slices

Cream cheese, room temp.

Whole med. dill pickles, or dill pickle spears


To make Pickle Roll-ups: Do these in advance so they have time to chill in the refrigerator. Spread think layer of cream cheese on ham slice, roll up with pickle in the middle. Place in covered container in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill. Slice pickle rolls, about 1/4 inch thick.

Wrap styrofoam cone in plastic wrap. Using toothpick secure your various items to the cone, placing spinach leaves under items as you go, so as to cover the white cone.

Note: You can add whatever items you choose, grape tomatoes, pickle chunks, etc. Make with what you like. You can also choose the size tree you want.


Bavarian Mushroom Soup


8 T. butter, divided

1 c. chopped onion

1 T. chopped garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. flour

2 c. heavy cream

3 c. chopped fresh mushrooms

1 T. dillweed

1 T. paprika

1/8 tsp. pepper

3 T. sour cream

1 T. lemon juice

1 T. soy sauce


Beef Stock:

1 qt. water

2 T. beef base

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. Tobasco®


For Beef Stock: Combine ingredients in pan; simmer together, set aside.

On low heat, sauté onion, garlic, and salt in 4 tablespoons butter. Add flour and cook until smooth, stirring, about 1 minute. While stirring add cream and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons butter, fresh mushrooms, dillweed, paprika, pepper, sour cream, lemon juice, soy sauce and beef stock. Simmer 20 minutes.


Oyster Stew

This is a Christmas tradition


1/4 c. celery, diced fine

1/4 c. shallot or onion, diced fine

1/8 c. red bell pepper, diced fine

1 stick butter

1 bay leaf

2 qts. half & half

1 qt. oysters & juice

1 T. white pepper

1 T. Old Bay of Louisiana® seasoning

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. sea salt


Cook celery, onion and pepper in butter until soft; add bay leaf and half & half. Bring to a simmer - do not boil. Add oysters and juice, pepper, Old Bay, garlic and salt. Oysters are cooked when the edges curl up.


Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup


Yields: 6 Servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Total Time: 6 hrs 45 min


1 (32 oz.) bag southern-style diced hash brown potatoes, thawed

1/2 c. frozen chopped onion, thawed

1 med. stalk celery, diced (1/2 c.)

1 (32 oz.) carton Progresso® chicken broth

1 c. water

3 T. all-purpose flour

1 c. milk

1 (8 oz.) bag shredded American-Cheddar cheese blend (2 c.)

1/4 c. real bacon pieces

4 med. green onions, sliced (1/4 c.) 


In a 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, mix potatoes, onion, celery, broth and water.

Cover, cook on low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours.

In a small bowl, mix flour into milk; stir into potato mixture. Increase heat setting to High. Cover, cook 20 to 30 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Stir in cheese until melted. Garnish individual servings with bacon and green onions. Sprinkle with pepper if desired. 


Alaskan Clam Chowder


2 T. butter

1/2 c. sliced celery

1/2 c. chopped onion

1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth

1/4 c. chopped carrot

2 med. potatoes chopped

2 (6.5 oz.) cans chopped clams

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pt. half & half


Heat butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook until onion is tender. Add chicken broth; stir in carrot, potatoes, clams and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add half and half; heat through. Yield: 4 servings.


Irish Cream and Coffee Cheesecake


2 c. chocolate graham cracker crumbs (or reg., if desired)

6 T. melted butter

1/4 c. granulated sugar

4 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened

1 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

4 eggs

2 T. instant coffee dissolved in 2 T. hot water

1/2 to 3/4 c. Irish cream 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together chocolate graham cracker crumbs, butter and 1/4 c. sugar. Press crumbs onto bottom of 10” spring-form pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove, and let cool while preparing filling.

Beat cream cheese and 1 cup sugar until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the instant coffee dissolved in hot water. Mix well. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup Irish cream, depending upon how strong you want it.

Very slowly, pour filling onto crust in spring-form pan. Place a cake pan (or roaster pan) filled with water on a rack below the center rack, where the cheesecake will bake.

Bake in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, or until center is barely set. Turn oven off and open door slightly. Let cheesecake sit in oven for about an hour. Remove from oven, run a knife around the edge to loosen it from the sides of the spring-form pan, and let cool completely in the pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Quote of the Week:

 “Make New Year’s goals. Dig within and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come.”   

~ Melody Beattie



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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