Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Club Munchies

As I've mentioned previously I just joined a book club. It was my month to choose the book and I chose The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain. Since it was my book choice, I was also responsible for bringing a snack to our meeting. I really couldn't make up my mind on whether I wanted to bring finger foods or sweets, so I decided on both. I'm sticking with my staples, spinach dip and ham rolls. They're always a huge hit whenever I make them. I also decided to make Halloween themed (I just LOVE a theme) cupcakes and one of my new favorites, Chex Muddy Buddies.

Spinach Dip

  • 10 oz frozen spinach - chopped
  • 1 package Knorr Leek Soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt & pepper
Note: For larger parties (more than 15 people) I double the batch.

Start by defrosting your spinach. If I forget to defrost it I don't have time to let it defrost, I put it in a colander and run hot water over it for a couple of minutes. Then run cool water over it, squeeze out the water and put spinach in a mixing bowl.

Add 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup sour cream, leek soup and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix well. I find using a fork instead of a spoon to mix it works the best to separate the spinach.

Cover and let it set up in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours for best results. I like to make it the night before and then add a little mayonnaise the next day if needed.

I always serve it with sourdough bread.


*I've had quite of few people tell me I make it wrong. They say I'm supposed to use vegetable soup. I use my Mom's recipe and she's been making it this way for years. She said the recipe used to be on the back of the Leek Soup package and has just recently been changed and put on the back of the Vegetable Soup package. I've had it both ways and HANDS DOWN prefer it with Leek Soup. My spinach dip is always the first thing to run out at parties so other must agree. :)

Ham Rolls

  • 1 lb Cooked Ham - sliced
  • Dill Pickles
  • Cream Cheese
  • Paper towels
Note: For larger parties (more than 15 people) I double the batch.

Before you do anything, take your cream cheese out of the refrigerator for about an hour or so and let it soften. This is a MUST or it won't spread easy and you will rip your ham.

You'll need to dry each piece of ham individually. If it's wet (I buy the kind with water added) it makes spreading the cream cheese a problem. Slice pickles in quarters.

Spread cream cheese on each end of the ham. Some people spread the cream cheese on the entire piece of ham. I don't because you end up ripping your ham and it tastes just the same either way, not to mention it's much easier just spreading it on the ends.

Place a pickle (or two if 1 isn't long enough) on one end of the ham. Then roll.
Cut in half. 


Arrange on a platter and enjoy!

Chex Muddy Buddies (this recipe is on the back of the Chex cereal box)

  • 9 cups Rice Chex cereal (you can use any version, Rice Chex, Corn Chex, etc.)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 

Note: I forgot to buy Vanilla so I didn't add it this time. Oops.

Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag. Stir in vanilla.

Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.  


Halloween Cupcakes

  • 1 box cake mix and all the ingredients it calls for (I used white cake because it's my fave)
  • White frosting (I used whipped vanilla)
  • Black cake icing
  • Zip lock bags
  • Cake frosting tips
  • Food coloring
  • Halloween Theme baking cups
Bake your cupcakes following the directions on the back of the box. Let them cool completely before frosting them.

I decided I wanted to make green monster-ish cupcakes (since I need to practice for Connor's 1st Birthday) and pumpkin cupcakes. I was originally going to also do white ghosts but scrapped the idea when they did NOT turn out cute. So I did cute BOO's instead. Hey you gotta improvise right!?

I used food coloring to get the desired color although no matter how many drops I added I could NOT get the color any darker than what you see.

For the monster-ish cupcakes I wanted a fury look. So I used a star cake frosting tip. I cut a small hole in the corner of the zip lock bag, put the tip in and then spooned some green frosting into the bad. Homemade piping bag!

For the pumpkin and BOO cupcakes I just frosted normally with a knife and used the black icing to decorate. I did use some of the green frosting with the star tip to put some green on the pumpkins. :) 

They didn't turn out quite as good as I hoped but the girls promised they were cute! (They got a little banged up on the drive over)

Connor hung out with me the entire time I made all these goodies. He was my Official Taste Tester, even though he only got to taste some Chex cereal before I added all the chocolaty-peanut buttery-goodness. But he still loved it. 

I hope you use some of these recipes for your future parties/book club meetings/family days. Enjoy!

***Most of these pictures were taken with my Iphone must remember to charge my Canon so please excuse the poor quality. The picture of each recipe finished IS taken with a Canon Rebel T2i thanks to Ashley :)***


trish said...


Next time I make a cake/cupcakes, I'm going to try making it from scratch. My friend has a recipe she swears by, and apparently it only takes a few more minutes to whip together than it does for a box cake. We'll see.

Did your book club like the book? What made you choose that book?

Stephanie said...

I've never made cupcakes from scratch but have also heard it's easy. But you can't beat a box of cake mix for $1.12 right? :)

Someone long ago had recommended I read The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain. When I looked up other books by her I thought this one sounded good. So I let the girls at Book CLub choose between the 2.

We all liked te book but found it a little predictable. One of the girls has since read 7 books by Diane Chamberlain! She said he next favorite was The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes so that is on my reading list.

This month someone chose Blood Vines by Erica Spindler which is a murder mystery that takes place in Sonoma County! Should be interesting!