February 2, 2008

Soup Swap

I deem my first-ever soup swap a success, even though it wasn't held on National Soup Swap Day. We had five soups physically present to exchange, with one more yet to be delivered. Our guests of honor included Stuffed Green Pepper Soup, Tortilla Soup, Minestrone Without the Minestrone, Cheesy Broccoli and Meatball Soup (see prior posting).

Although I don't have the soup recipes to share, I can share our menu of snacklets for the evening. We had a Parmesan Cheese Ball, Warm Crab and Artichoke Dip, Strawberry Fluff and Chocolate Tartlets. Aside from the tartlets (see prior posting), all were relatively simple and speedy to prepare.

Parmesan Cheese Ball
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped nuts
½ small onion, chopped
½ Tbsp. milk
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 package cream cheese, softened slightly (or yogurt cheese)
Coarsely chopped nuts

Stir all ingredients together, except coarsely chopped nuts. Chill at least one hour. Shape into a ball, and roll in nuts. Serve with crackers or toasted garlic bread. (Create authentic garlic bread by toasting old bread and then rubbing the slices with a whole clove of garlic.)

Warm Crab and Artichoke Dip
1 package imitation crab meat, thawed
1 can artichoke hearts
1 package cream cheese, softened (or yogurt cheese)
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
¼ tsp. black pepper
Several drops red pepper sauce
¼ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup garlic bread crumbs

Chop the crab meat and artichoke hearts. Combine with remaining ingredients, except parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Place mixture into shallow baking dish. Top with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Bake uncovered at 375ºF 40 minutes. Serve warm with bread, crackers or fresh vegetables.

Strawberry Fluff
1 package sugar-free cook & serve vanilla pudding
1 package fat-free cook & serve tapioca pudding
1 package sugar-free strawberry jello
3 cups boiling water
4 oz. cool whip
1 cup sliced strawberries (can use fresh or thawed frozen)

Mix dry ingredients together. Add to boiling water, and cook two minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Stir in cool whip and berries. Serve chilled.

You can easily adapt this recipe using other flavors, such as raspberry or orange (think mandarin oranges).

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