A Southwestern Holiday Buffet

A Southwestern Holiday Buffet

By Brenda Hyde

This holiday season try something different! I have a complete menu for a buffet with a Southwestern flair. Make the dishes yourself, or assign recipes for a fun potluck. Either way, everyone will appreciate the break from turkey!

Tea Sangria


16 cups boiling water

20 black tea bags (English Breakfast,Darjeeling, etc.)

8 cups sliced fresh fruit (use any combination of pineapple, oranges, strawberries or apples)

8 tablespoons sugar

8 cups white grape juice

: In a large pot, pour boiling water over tea bags; cover and brew 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and cool. In large punch bowl or several pitchers, combine fruit with sugar. Pour tea over fruit; stir in juice. Serve in ice-filled glasses. Makes 24 servings.

Layered Taco Crab Dip


12 ounces lump crab meat, drained

2 green onions, minced

1/2 cup minced red onion

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup orange juice

salt and pepper

2 packages-8 ounces each-cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced

In a ceramic or glass bowl combine crab, onions, tomato and parsley. In a cup or bowl combine juices and stir into crab mixture.Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.

Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise, blending. Spread over the bottom of a round platter or serving plate. Spread the avocado as the next layer. Remove the crab mixture from the refrigerator and drain so that all of the moisture is removed (or at least close). Spread on top of the avocado. Sprinkle with minced fresh parsley and serve with tortilla chips.

Spicy Meatballs in Sauce



2 pound ground chuck or round

1/2 pound pork sausage

1 cup corn meal

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

medium onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder


2 (19 oz.) cans enchilada sauce

1/2 cup water

Mix all meatball ingredients with hands or a heavy wooden spoon. Form into golf ball size meatballs. Place in one layer on a large jelly roll pan or cookie sheets. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes; drain well. You can also brown the meatballs in a large skillet and drain. Add the cans of enchilada sauce and the water to the crock pot while browning-mixing well and turn on the cooker so it begins to heat the sauce. When the meatballs are finished baking add to the sauce. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours. Serve in the crockpot or remove to a large serving bowl and spoon sauce over the meatballs.

Enchilada Casserole

This will serve 10. If you have a large crowd or big eaters make a second pan and serve two.


1 pound ground beef

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons flour

1 15 ounce can tomato sauce

1 10 ounce can enchilada sauce

1 4 ounce can diced green chiles

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cube beef bouillon

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin 2 cups water

15 corn tortillas

16 ounces grated Colby jack cheese

Green onion, chopped

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Remove the beef from pan and set aside. In the pan drippings stir in the oil and flour. Add the tomato sauce, enchilada sauce and water smoothing out lumps as you go. The sauce should be fairly thin. Add more water if needed. Stir in the chilies, garlic, cumin, chili powder and the bouillon cube. Bring just to a boil and turn on warm to keep heated. Dip tortillas in and out sauce to soften, then place the tortilla on a plate. Add desired amount of ground beef, cheese and onion. Roll the tortilla up and place in a 9" x 15" greased baking pan. Repeat procedure until baking pan is full. Pour sauce over the filled tortillas. Sprinkle more cheese and onion on top. Cover with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly in a 350 degree oven.

Slow Cooked Cheesy Potatoes

Ingredients: 2 pound bag frozen hash brown potatoes, partly thawed

2 (10 oz.) can cheddar cheese soup

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk

1 cup finely shredded Colby Jack cheese or Mexican Blend

Combine above ingredient and pour into a slow cooker which has been buttered on the bottom and sides. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or high for 4 hours.

Mexican Tea Cakes


3 cups butter or margarine, at room temperature

4 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 egg yolks

1 cup finely chopped almonds

7 cups all purpose flour, unsifted

2 pounds powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Beat butter until light and fluffy; beat in the 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, egg yolk and almonds. Gradually add flour to make a soft dough that can be handled. Pinch off pieces of dough the size of a large walnut and roll between your hands into round balls. Place about 1 1/2" apart on ungreased baking sheets and bake in a 275 degree oven for 45 minutes or until very lightly browned.

Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets until still slightly warm. Sift about 1/2 of the 1 pound powdered sugar over butcher paper; arranged in a shallow pan, and carefully transfer cookies from baking sheet to sugar. Sift more powdered sugar over tops and sides; completely coating the cookies at least 1/8" thick with sugar. Let stand until cool; store in an airtight container with waxed paper between layers of cookies. Makes about 5 dozen.

Texas Brownies


1 1/4 cup margarine or butter

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cup water

2 cups unsifted flour

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1 cup chopped nuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, melt 1 cup margarine, stir in 1/4 cup cocoa, then water. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add cocoa mixture, beat well. Stir in 1/3 cup condensed milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour onto greased 15x10" jelly roll pan. Bake 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

Frosting: In small saucepan, melt 1/4 cup margarine; stir in remaining 1/4 cup cocoa and remaining condensed milk. Stir in confectioners' sugar and nuts. Spread on warm cake. When cool cut into small squares to serve.

About the author

Brenda Hyde is a wife and mom to three who lives in the winter wonderland of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and editor of OldFashionedLiving.com.


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