Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Club Reception Recipes

The Wedding Machine by Beth Webb Hart inspired a festive reception-style dinner for our summer meeting. Guests brought favorite wedding hors d'oeuvres for our potluck meal, and we hostesses provided punch, sweet tea and wedding cake.


Sampling tasty bites of fresh fruit, cheese, nuts and other dainty morsels was a great change of pace for this wedding-themed book club, and isn't this the way most of us want to eat in the summer? Here are a couple of the evening's recipes.

Julie's Fruit Dip

Dubbed Julie's fruit dip since Margie Austin made it for her daughter, Julie Knapp's, wedding reception.

8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix cream cheese and brown sugar together. Add vanilla, sour cream and cinnamon and whip until light and fluffy. Chill. Use as a dip for apple slices or other fruit. Yield: 2 cups

Southwestern Cheesecake
Nancy Itson brought this unique dish, a tasty recipe shared by friend Adrienne Bell.

1 1/2 cups finely crushed tortilla chips
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
2 eggs
8 ounces shredded Colby/Monterrey Jack cheese
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
1 cup sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package jalapeno cheddar dip
3/4 cup chopped yellow and orange bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup ripe olive slices
Chips and crackers
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stir tortilla chips and margarine in small bowl and press into bottom of 9-inch spring form pan. Bake 15 minutes. Beat cream cheese and eggs in a large mixing bowl on medium speed with electric mixer until well blended. Mix in shredded cheese and chilies. Pour over crust and bake 30 minutes. Spread sour cream and cheddar dip over cheesecake. Loosen cake from rim of pan and refrigerate. Top with bell pepper, green onion, tomatoes and black olives just before serving. Serve with chips and crackers.

Still to come, a devotional and our latest book club selection.


Unknown said...

I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs:

ringer37 said...

Gonna use that fruit dip recipe this weekend, my pregnant wife is obsessed with fruit dip these days, lol. Thanks for posting!

Zach @ the Chicago wedding reception venue, EC Banquets

Love Being A Nonny said...

As always...BEAUTIFUL!

Meredith Haag said...

Gosh do you ever do anything 1/2 heart-idly? You really go all out on everything! I love it! But, you make the rest of us look bad! hahaha =D

Camellia Girl said...

You did such a beautiful job on the book club "reception" cake. Simply stunning.

A quick may answer here if you like...I made your chocolate buttercream frosting, following your recipe you previously posted. Why does my frosting look more like "milk" chocolate than dark chocolate? Do you use a particular brand of cocoa?

Hope all is going well,


Belle (from Life of a...) said...

Love Beth Webb Hart's work. The Wedding Machine was one of my favorites. Be sure to pick up her other books, if you haven't already.

Melissa Lester said...

Valerie, I usually use Hershey's brand. I'm not sure why my icing would look darker, but wonder if it appears darker in photos than it actually is. My icing is probably more the color of milk chocolate, too, because the chocolate drizzles I sometimes add are a bit darker than the icing. How does the icing taste? It is a favorite around here.

Valerie said...

Hi Melissa!

Thank you so much for responding to my question! I know that you are so very busy with your sweet little ones and church/social activities. So I really do appreciate you taking the time to respond.

The icing was delicious! Everyone loved it, including the gentlemen at the fire station...I made my husband a birthday/father's day cake using your chocolate buttercream recipe. The cake was a hit! (I meant to mention that your recipe for chocolate buttercream was wonderful!)

I used an off-brand of cocoa b/c I ran into Dollar General and they didn't have Hersheys. I'll try again, but glad to hear that yours also has more of a "milk chocolate" appearance. :)

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