Good Cheer

The holiday season seems to serve up an extra helping of parties, open houses, impromptu gatherings and houseguests. With the calendar already stretched thin, there is only one way to face the festivities—relaxed and prepared.  Cook some holiday goodies ahead of time and tuck them safely away in the refrigerator or freezer.

This collection of recipes will help make the season brighter, with hors d’oeuvres, muffins and sweets that can all be made in advance.

A layered cheese torte features a rich cream cheese mixture layered with roasted red peppers and fragrant green pesto. Spiced pecans combine a trio of sweet, salty and spicy flavors that tantalize taste buds.

Finally, a sugar cookie reminiscent of the ‘slice and bake’ cookies popular in the 1960s pairs dried pineapple, apricots and cherries with a rich, buttery dough.

Keep a few rolls in the freezer and you can always make fresh Christmas cookies at a moment’s notice.

May your holidays be filled with comfort, joy…and plenty of good things to eat.


Shrimp Sesame Firecrackers with Thai Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
Slice ‘N Bake Fruitcake Cookies
Spiced Pecans
Pesto-Red Pepper Cheese Spread

Holiday foods in a hurry

Too busy to cook? These specialty food purveyors will do all the work for you:

Tony’s Original Dry Creek Market for crunchy Marcona Spanish almonds, zesty Italian meatballs and imported olives.
4991 E. Dry Creek Rd., (303) 770-7024,

Parisi for antipasti trays, ready-to-bake trays of lasagna and take-out pasta.
4401 Tennyson St., (303) 561-0234,

Goodness to Go for pre-made breakfast quiches and appetizer-sized quiche bites.
1712 E. 6th Ave., (303) 289-4393,

St. Kilian’s Cheese Shop for a perfect assortment of gourmet cheeses.
3211 Lowell Blvd., (303) 477-0374.

Empress Seafood Restaurant for diminutive dim sum specialties like shrimp dumplings and barbecue pork buns.
2825 W. Alameda Ave., (303) 922-2822,

Mulberries Cake Shop for whimsical cupcakes and elegant, custom-made special- occasion cakes in your choice of flavors and fillings.
1570 S. Pearl St., (303) 282-1044,

Categories: Entertaining, Recipes