Monday, December 23, 2013

3 Ingredient - 3 Step Christmas Appetizer!

The Headlines:

It's Christmas.

You need an appetizer.

This has 3 ingredients, 3 steps and takes 3 minutes to prepare!

It's the day before Christmas Eve and you're throwing a party.  Wait that's me.  Because really, if you're throwing a party you probably already have your menu down.  Right?  I mean, hopefully.  Anyways, I am.  And I do.

So, it's probably more along the lines of, you're going to a party and you need to bring an easy app... but you haven't figured one out yet.  Problem solved.  This appetizer is very tasty, so easy and totally festive looking.  Red and white!

It's a crab dip.  But not the kind of crab dip we're all so used to these days... the kind with scallions and mayo and parmesan or gruyere cheese.. nope this is more old school.  And it needs 3 simple ingredients:

  1. cocktail sauce
  2. crab
  3. cream cheese.

Pretty right?  I wish I could show you the whole plate because - what a sight!  It's a beautiful red circle that's sort of outlined by white cream cheese.  Great lines and color.  But by the time I got to it, it was half eaten, so this photo was the best I could do!  Yea, it's a popular dish!  I found it, of all places, at my hair salon.  It was made by the owner, Sandy Barbetta, of Cosmos in Mesa, Arizona.  I've been going to her for 10 plus years but this is the first time she's shared this little secret of hers!  It's a recipe that she's been using for over 3 decades!  Every Christmas, when she makes it, she says she gets rave reviews!  I can see - and taste - why!   

Here's how she does it.  First, go to Walmart (yea, yea THAT place again!) and buy one can of Fancy White Crab Meat by Crown Prince.  She says it's way cheaper there than any other place at $5.  It's got a green label and it looks like a can of tuna.  Then, while you're there, grab a bottle of Heinz Cocktail sauce, original, with a blue label.  Pick up 2 hunks of cream cheese, some Ritz type crackers and you're set! 

Now, the 3 Steps:
  1. The night before your event open the crab meat and mix it with the cocktail sauce.  Then put it in the fridge overnight.  She says it acts as a marinade.  You could also then leave out the cream cheese overnight so that it softens which makes it more spreadable.  
  2. Then, the next day when you're ready to prepare it - take the cream cheese and spread it over a large plate, maybe even a medium to small sized platter.  It should pretty much cover the whole shape of the plate so don't make it too big of a platter!  
  3. Next, and finally, take the crab mix and dump it gently in the center of the dish with the cream cheese under it.  Then, carefully spread it out, leaving a thick line of cream cheese around the edge.  
And your work here is done.  Ready to go to that party now? It's simply impressive.

The best part, it took you all of like 3 minutes to prepare!  Perfect since no one I know has any spare time right now!

One more thing I had at Cosmos that I have to mention.  Now, I know you've probably tasted something similar to this before - but it may have been a while.  That's because it's totally retro - Sandy herself said she's been doing it for about 40 plus years now.  

Can you tell what it is?  It's that sherbet... (can I just say that I find it very odd that you spell sherbet without an R even though we all pronounce it sher-beRt.... sometimes the English language just floors me) so, yea, it's that sherbet punch. You must know/remember the kind, right?  Get a closer look.

Maybe you had it at a baby shower you attended with your mom when you were a kid?  I know I did.  And what sweet memories it brings back!  Not to mention a perfect and nostalgic addition to a holiday party!   

I also love that it's so easy to whip up.  
  1. Grab 1 gallon of lime sherbet (perfect color at Christmas - couldn't fit any better!)  Dump it in the punch bowl.
  2. Add a bottle and a half of squirt and half a large can of pineapple juice (give or take).  
  3. Enjoy! 
It's like a desert and a drink all wrapped in one.  Does that mean you can make one less cookie this Christmas?  Of course it does!

Bottom line, I'm so glad I got my hair done this weekend!  Not just because I desperately needed it - but because I learned some crazy cool, One Picky Chick worthy stuff!  Thanks to Sandy - the Italian mom, grandma, hair stylist and business woman - we're now all saying Bellissimo!  

Merry Merry to you and yours...  

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