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BOULE DE NIEGE
Simple, cheap, elegant-looking, quick, do-ahead treat. Yay!
Use seasonal ice cream -- peppermint, coconut, eggnog, pistachio. Let ice cream soften and scoop it into a round Pyrex® that you’ve greased lightly with Pam®. Put it in freezer until well frozen again. (Don't you love things you can do in stages? Maybe at this point you'll need to run dog to vet because it ate 2' of tinsel, like I did one Christmas, oh yes.)
Later ... take it out, soak dish briefly in larger bowl of warm water till you see ice cream melting on edges, turn it over on a pretty serving platter, and out it comes in a dome. Tear strips of waxed paper and place them all around plate, under ice cream. Now whip cream till stiff, put it in pastry bag, use a tip such as Wilton 2D and pipe, pipe, pipe, little shaped blobs, each one next to other till mound is completely covered. Gently remove waxed paper, wipe serving platter with a wet rag, and place ball back in freezer till frozen. Once it’s frozen, cover it with a bowl or wrap until ready to serve. “Boule de niege” is French for “snowball”!
If you want to use Redi-whip, you must do it right before serving because it doesn’t last. How do I know? Well, it was a very sad "learning experience" involving a Christmas luncheon for my bridge group and I'll leave it at that.
Want it even easier? There’s an ice cream baking kit available here: http://www.thecompleatgourmet.com/merchandise.htm .
Make a mixture of Dijon mustard red, green and white peppercorns (available here: http://www.famousfoods.com/71996.html ). Coat beef with this before you encrust it. Put cut-out shapes on crust as well.
Mash them and put them in a serving bowl. Then sprinkle just enough cayenne and parsley flakes for color. Wait a minute, I forgot we've let maid have week off. Use mashed potato mix, plump it into those festive individual ramekins (Williams-Sonoma has some pretty bright red ones) and bingo! Oh wait, place a star-shaped pat of butter atop each one.
Bake your cake in a springform pan with a Christmas base – Christmas tree and holly patterns are available here: http://www.happycookers.com/wc.dll/products/divulge/1-16451.html
Super easy, cheap, eye-candy, and doaheadable.
X-rated Version: Fill fluted glasses with any ice cream. Drizzle green crème de menthe and chocolate over it. Add maraschino cherry – red or green. If you use red cherry, add green mint leaf.
GP-rated Version:Drizzle with hot fudge sauce and sprinkle crumbled candy cane on top.
Trifle is original LOW MAINTENANCE dessert. There are as many recipes as there are people making it. We love it because it's like that old "dump cake" recipe, remember? It just doesn't matter that much. Soak that cake in amaretto or schnapps, add what you like, layer it ... it’s got cheap ingredients, it’s retro-new, and presentation! It’s so NOT FRAGILE. Put it in a huge brandy snifter type container. Or put it in a Christmas tureen and smooth a layer of whipped cream on top (use warm wet flat spatula). This makes it look like a lid and people will keep trying to pick it up and there will be finger prints all over it (and lots of laughs).
Put chopped red peppers in among peas, Brussels sprouts or broccoli; stuff tomatoes with hamburger, cheese, green peppers, parsley. Cut stars out of processed cheese slices and place atop casserole.
MORE GOOD NEWS
If you did even 3 of these things, it would be "gilding lily." Choose one or two. That's all!
I'm sure you can tell my philosophy has always been 'if I'm going to have to do it, I'm doing to make a party out of it.'
©Susan Dunn, MA, Personal Life and EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc . Offering solutions to your challenges and embellishment to your life through individual coaching, Internet courses and ebooks. Mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for FREE ezine