December 2018
Homeplace & Community

The Co-op Pantry

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! This year, I thought we would have a Christmas party instead of a Christmas meal. I have tried to include something that could be enjoyed by anyone from kids to grandparents. Some of these are simple enough to get your children in on the food preparation. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.


Mary Delph is an associate editor with AFC Cooperative Farming News. You may email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Sparkling Red Grape Punch

2 cups Welch’s 100 percent White Grape Juice
1 cup orange juice
1 bottle Welch’s Sparkling Red Grape Juice Cocktail
1 bottle lemon soda
1 cup halved red grapes, for garnish
¼ cup orange wedges, for garnish

In a punch bowl, combine Welch’s 100 percent White Grape Juice, orange juice, red grapes, orange wedges and lemon slices. Refrigerate the ingredients for one hour. Before serving, stir in Welch’s Sparkling Red Grape Juice Cocktail and lemon soda.

Note: Recipe courtesy of Welch’s


Champagne Punch

2 bottles (750 ml each) Champagne, chilled
1 bottle (750 ml) white wine, chilled
2 cups orange juice, chilled
2 cups cranberry juice, chilled
¼ cup lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and serve immediately.


Easy Stuffed Mushrooms

Cooking spray, for baking tray
1 ½ pounds baby mushrooms
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup breadcrumbs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, optional
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme

Preheat oven to 400o. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Remove stems from mushrooms and roughly chop stems. Place mushroom caps on baking sheet.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add chopped mushroom stems and cook until most of the moisture is out, five minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, one minute; then add breadcrumbs and let toast slightly, three minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl mix together mushroom stem mixture, Parmesan, cream cheese, parsley and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.  Fill mushroom caps with filling and sprinkle with more Parmesan.

Bake until mushrooms are soft, and the tops are golden, 20 minutes.

Note from Mary: I prefer panko breadcrumbs.


Sweet Potato Bites

3 to 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeledand sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Kosher salt
1 (10-oz.) bag marshmallows
½ cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 400o. On a large baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with melted butter and maple syrup and arrange in an even layer. Season with salt.

Bake until tender, flipping halfway through, about 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and switch oven to broil.

Top each sweet potato round with a marshmallow and broil until puffed and golden. Immediately top each marshmallow with a pecan half and serve.


Pigs in a Blanket Wreath

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
24 mini hot dogs
¼ cup Dijon mustard
Egg wash
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Rosemary sprigs (for decoration)
Ketchup, for serving

Preheat oven to 375o. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Slice crescent rolls lengthwise into thirds. Brush all over with Dijon mustard. Place a mini hot dog on the thick end of each triangle and roll up.

Arrange the pigs in a blanket in a circle on the baking sheet. They should be touching! Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crescents are golden. Let cool for at least 20 minutes. Lay rosemary sprigs around the inside of the wreath and place a small bowl filled with ketchup in the center.


Holiday Cheese Ball

2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 package (8 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon onions, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon red bell peppers, chopped
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Dash cayenne pepper
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Beat cream cheese and cheddar in small bowl with mixer until blended. Add all remaining ingredients except nuts; mix well. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Shape into ball; roll in nuts. Serve.



1 loaf of French bread, cut in half lengthwise and toasted
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 ½ cups minced Roma tomatoes (very fine – almost a paste)
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaf
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

In a medium mixing bowl, add the tomatoes, garlic, basil, vinegar, olive oil, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and let sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature to let the flavors marinate. Slice the bread into individual pieces and spoon the mixture on top.

Note from Mary: If you don’t want to mince your own garlic, the minced that comes in a glass jar works just as well.


Veggie Dip

1 ½ cups sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Assorted fresh vegetables

In a small bowl, mix first seven ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, at least one hour. Serve with vegetables.


Fruit Dip

Jar marshmallow crème (4.5-ounce)
1 package (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
Simply mix, chill and serve.

Note from Mary: This can be made ahead and refrigerated a day or two before your party. Make sure to cover tightly.