Friday Favorites

As the holidays grow closer still, it’s time to start planning your party menus. I’m convinced the Bina women have an extra gene devoted to baking, and I was lucky enough to inherit it. So this Friday we’re talking recipes. Not all baking, but you’ll take what you can get!


My family always does hors d’oeuvres on Christmas Eve, and this one’s kind of turned into my party trick. If you ever invite me to a potluck, this is probably what you’re getting.

– 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, finely chopped (with a food processor, though I’ve done it by hand too)
– 1 medium onion, finely chopped (optional)
– 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
– 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1/8 teaspoon pepper
– 2 cans crescent rolls

Sauté chopped mushrooms and onion in butter until tender. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese, salt, pepper and thyme; stir until cream cheese is melted. Cool to room temperature.

For the dough, use a tube of crescent rolls, and push them together (so they aren’t the triangles they come in). Cut them into squares that fit the size of the muffin tin you’re using (I usually use the small ones).

Put the crescent square in the muffin tin, and spoon filling in. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.


My mom makes some of the best enchiladas around. These ones are super easy to make, and taste awesome. My former roommates will all attest to this.

– 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
– 2 tbs. water
– 2 tsp. onion powder
– 2 tsp. ground cumin
– ½ tsp. salt
– ¼ tsp. pepper
– 5 cups diced cooked chicken
– 20 flour tortillas, room temp.
– 2 cans (10 ¾ oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
– 2 cups (16 oz) sour cream
– 1 cup milk
– 2 cans (4 oz each) chopped green chilies
– 2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, water, onion powder, cumin, salt and pepper until smooth. Stir in chicken.

Place ¼ cup down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13×9 baking dish. In a bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, milk and chilies, and pour over enchiladas.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese and bake another five minutes.


I found this recipe on Tastespotting, which I mentioned in last Friday’s favorites. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made them since. No matter what powder you use, they turn out delicious.

– 2 sticks room temperature butter
– 1 cup sugar
– 2/3 cup brown sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 3 1/4 cups flour
– 4 packages (~1 cup) Hot Chocolate Mix (not sugar free) (We’ve also tested frappe, chai, and cappuccino power)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 cup each white, milk, and semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used white chocolate and peanut butter chips. You could also use marshmallows.)

Cream together both sugars and the butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and eggs.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Slowly add it to the other mixture. Add the chocolate chips.

Chill for one hour. (I’ve never done this.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drop the cookies onto a parchment-lined pan and bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Let them cool on the pan for another five minutes before removing.


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