Party prep, recipes, and holiday help for this weekend - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Party prep, recipes, and holiday help for this weekend

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Event Planner Cheryl Ann Mattia has shared some of her favorite recipes on "Northwest Today" for you to incorporate into your Christmas dinner.

Cheryl Ann's Dried Cherries, Pecans & Rosemary Brie en Croute

Thaw: 40 minutes

Prep: 15 minutes

Bake: 20 minutes

Stand: 45 minutes

Serves: 12

It's easy to impress your guests with this elegant appetizer that features creamy Brie cheese topped with an unexpected combination of sweet and savory ingredients, all wrapped up in flaky puff pastry.


1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)

1 egg

1 tbsp. water

1/3 cup dried cherries, softened*

1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

1/4 cup honey

1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves or tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crushed

1 (13.2 ounces) Brie cheese round

1 pkg. (26 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Entertaining Quartet Distinctive Crackers or thinly sliced Baguette


Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it's easy to handle. Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.  


Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square. Stir the cherries, pecans, honey and rosemary in a small bowl. Spread the cherry mixture into the center of the pastry square. Top with the cheese round. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg mixture. Fold two opposite sides of the pastry over the cheese. Trim the remaining two sides of the pastry square to 2-inches from the edge of the cheese. Fold the sides up onto the cheese and press the edges to seal. Place the pastry-wrapped cheese seam-side down onto a baking sheet.  Brush the pastry with the egg mixture


Decorate the top with pastry scraps or additional rosemary, if desired. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture.


Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is deep golden brown. Let stand for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

*To soften cherries, mix the cherries and 1/2 cup hot water in a small bowl. Let stand for 1 minute. Drain and pat the cherries dry. Enjoy!


Cheryl Ann's Stuffed Mushrooms

With Italian sausage and Parmesan cheese

20 fresh mushrooms

8 ounces sweet Italian sausage

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

¼ cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1- 8 oz cream cheese soften

¼  cup bread crumbs – I use Italian blend

Wash mushrooms well. Remove stems. Put sausage in skillet, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cook, breaking up sausage, until browned. Add cream cheese, rosemary, bread crumbs, pecans and the Parmesan cheese. Fill mushrooms with sausage mixture and put in shallow baking pan. Pour 1/4 cup water and remaining tablespoon of oil into bottom of the pan. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!


Cheryl Ann's Pecan Meltaways

48 Servings

Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch


1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chopped pecans

Additional confectioners' sugar


In a large bowl, cream the butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans. Refrigerate until chilled.

Roll into 1-in. balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Roll warm cookies in additional confectioners' sugar; cool completely on wire racks. Roll cooled cookies again in confectioners' sugar. Yield: 4 dozen. Enjoy!


Cheryl Ann's Pecan Tarts

48 Servings

Prep: 35 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min./batch


3/4 cup butter, softened

2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

2 cups all-purpose flour


1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 coconut

48 pecan halves


In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour, beating until mixture forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. For filling, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, eggs and butter.

Roll dough into 1-in. balls. Press onto the bottoms and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups. Spoon filling into cups; top each with a pecan half.

Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 4 dozen. Enjoy!


Cheryl Ann's Little Peppermint Cakes

Makes: 16 cakes

Time: 30 minutes


1  10-3/4-ounce loaf frozen pound cake, thawed

4  ounces white chocolate baking squares (with cocoa butter), chopped

1  16-ounce can vanilla frosting

1/4  teaspoon peppermint extract

32  small peppermint candy pillows (optional)


1. Using a serrated knife, cut cake lengthwise in half. Cut each half into eight wedges.

2. For icing: In a heavy small saucepan, cook and stir chopped white chocolate over low heat until melted. Add frosting; heat over low heat, stirring until smooth. Stir in peppermint extract.

3. Insert a fork into the side of a cake piece. Holding the cake over the saucepan, spoon on enough icing to cover sides and top. Using another fork, gently push the cake piece onto a wire rack set over waxed paper. If necessary, spoon icing onto side of cake where fork was inserted. If desired, arrange two peppermint candies on each cake. Repeat with remaining cake pieces, icing, and peppermint candies. Let stand until icing sets. Makes 16 cakes. Enjoy!


Schneider Family Crab Burgers (3rd generation)

Makes: 24 Burger

Time: 30 minutes


1/2 lb shredded cheese - mild cheddar

1/4 lb butter soften

2 cans Crab meat

3 tablespoons diced onion

2-4  dashes of Tabasco sauce


1. Mix all ingredients well and put on top of open English muffin or sliced baguette.

2. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is bubbling.  Serve warm.  Enjoy!



Cheryl Ann's Mexican Cheesecake Dip


Prep Time:  20 min

Total Time:  50 min

Makes:  16-20 servings

What You Need!

3 – 8oz cream cheese softened

1 can (4 oz.) mild green chilies, drained

2 cups cooked chicken chopped

1 egg – beaten

2 tablespoons chicken bullion

½ cup hot water

½ tsp chili powder

1 tsp hot sauce (optional)

For topping when served:

8 oz bag shredded Mexican cheese

¼ cup sliced green onions

Make It!

HEAT oven to 350°F.

MIX all ingredients except chicken in a mixing bowl.  Mix on medium for 2 minutes.  Stir in chicken. Place in greased 8 or 9 inch spring form pan.

BAKE 30 min. or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Remove outside rim set on serving plate with chips around it.

SERVE by sprinkling the shredded cheese on top and then green onions.  Serve salsa on the side. Enjoy!


Cheryl Ann's Easy 3-Minute No-Bake Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons peanut butter

3 cups quick oats

In large saucepan, combine sugar, butter, milk, cocoa and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Continue boiling 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and peanut butter; stirring until peanut butter is melted. Add oats and mix well.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let stand until firm. Store tightly covered.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Cheryl Ann Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies

1          pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix

1/2        cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4        to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract

6          to 8 drops green food color

1          egg

1          cup creme de menthe baking chips

1          cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.

Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature. Enjoy!


Cheryl Ann's Cranberry Pear Cake

1/2 cup butter

4 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 cup milk

3 cups peeled and coarsely chopped pears (or apples)

1 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350.

Let the butter and eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a small mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time; beating on medium to high speed for 6 minutes total.

Add vanilla then eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping the bowl often.

Beat in milk. Gradually add flour mixture.

Fold in pears and cranberries.

Spoon batter into a greased and floured 13x9x2" baking pan evenly.

Bake for 40-45 minute. Enjoy!


Family Pumpkin Rolls

Beat 3 eggs - 5 minutes - gradually

Add 1 cup sugar - set aside

mix 2/3 cup pumpkin and 1 tsp vanilla

Stir into egg mixture and add 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda,

2 tsp Cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp salt.

Stir together and fold into pumpkin mixture.  Pour onto greased

15X10X1 pan.  Top with nuts.  Bake at 375 degrees 15 minutes

Immediately turn onto towel and sprinkle with powder sugar.  Roll

in towel, cool completely.  Unroll and fill with:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 - 8 oz cream cheese

4 Tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat until creamy and smooth.  Wrap in wax paper until going to serve. Keep in refrigerator or freezer.  Cut into 1/2 inch rolls.  Enjoy!


Cheryl Ann's Upside-down Pear Cake

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter (11/4 sticks), room temperature

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

4 cups sliced pears

11/2 cups all purpose flour

11/2 baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place 4 tablespoons butter into a 9 inch round cake pan (2 inches deep) and melt in oven.  Remove pan from oven and sprinkle Brown sugar evenly over butter.

Arrange pears in a even layer in the pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer beat 6 tablespoons butter on high until light and fluffy.  Add granulated sugar and beat until well combined.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in vanilla.  With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two yogurt, and beat to combine.

With a spatula, spread over pears.  Bake until cake is dark brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle is clean.  1 hour and 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!



Grandma Schneider's Slush

1 -48 oz Apricot Nectar

1 - 48 oz Pineapple Grapefruit Juice

1 - 6 oz frozen Lemon juice

1 - 6 oz frozen Orange juice

1 - cup Apricot Brandy

1 - Cup Vodka

Mix all ingredients and freeze.  Fill glass 3/4 full and add 7-UP.  Enjoy!


Hot Yummy Rum

1 lb Butter - room temperature

1 lb Brown sugar

1 lb powdered sugar

1 quart vanilla ice cream - softened

2 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp Cinnamon

Mix all ingredients well and freeze.  3 Tablespoons of mix, 1 shoot of Rum and hot water.  Enjoy!

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