December 22, 2000


Toast the Holidays with Taste and Sparkle!

Whatever the occasion, especially during the holidays when family and friends gather, make guests feel special with an original approach to food and drink. Please the palate of the most discriminating guest with these unique appetizers and sparkling juice punches.



From left: Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer, Sparkling White Grape Juice Cocktail, Mochaccino Raspberry Melba Bites (top) Brie and Brown Sugar Melba Toasts (middle), Melba Shrimp Toasts (bottom) and Sparkling Holiday Punch

Whether you're planning for a small or large group, much of the preparation for these recipes can be done ahead of time, leaving you to spend time with your guests. Melba Shrimp Toasts offer up the zesty taste of red onion and hot pepper sauce with the elegance of shrimp. For an interesting mix of texture and taste, serve Brie and Brown Sugar Melba Toasts that combine the tastes of brie, Melba Toast and almonds with the sweetness of brown sugar. For a dessert-style appetizer, Mochaccino Raspberry Melba Bites will dazzle the taste buds with raspberry, coffee and chocolate flavors complemented by the mild taste and crisp texture of Melba Snacks.

Your holiday celebration would not be complete without serving the traditional punch. Add sparkle to yours this year with sparkling fruit juices. Sparkling Holiday Punch is easy to prepare and makes a stunning impression, especially when garnished with fruited ice rings. Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer is made in a pitcher and served in tall, ice-filled glasses. Garnish with skewered orange slices and maraschino cherries to make a festive, refreshing holiday quencher. Sparkling Company Punch takes a little more time and planning, but is well worth the effort.

For a festive presentation with little cost or effort, decorate your table with holiday plants, pieces of curled ribbon, colored confetti or candles in different sizes, shapes and colors. Add extra elegance by serving your recipe creations in crystal dishes and glassware, using colorful table runners and napkins to enhance the look.

Present your Melba Toast appetizers and sparkling juice punches in any combination to suit your taste. Together they bring delightfully unexpected and delicious flavors to all your holiday entertaining. Versatility and easy preparation make them perfect for a spur-of-the-moment celebration or a long-planned occasion that needs that "extra something." Remember, simplicity can be key to making your party memorable and enjoyable, not only for your guests-but yourself as well!

From left: Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer, Sparkling White Grape Juice Cocktail, Mochaccino Raspberry Melba Bites (top) Brie and Brown Sugar Melba Toasts (middle), Melba Shrimp Toasts (bottom) and Sparkling Holiday Punch

 

Melba Shrimp Toasts

1 can (4 1/4 oz.) small shrimp, drained (Fresh or frozen shrimp may be substituted)
1/4 cup mayonnaise or low fat mayonnaise dressing
/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/8 tsp. hot pepper sauce
12 Old London Melba Toasts (approx. 1/2 box)

In medium bowl, combine shrimp, mayonnaise, celery, onion and pepper sauce. Spoon onto Melba Toasts. On microwaveable plate, microwave 6 at a time on High (100%) for 45 seconds or until heated through.

Makes 12 servings.

 

Brie and Brown Sugar Melba Toasts

8 oz. ripe Brie cheese, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
1 to 2 tbsp. sliced almonds
12 Old London Melba Toasts (approx. 1/2 box)

Place 1 thin slice Brie on Melba Toasts. Sprinkle with brown sugar and almonds. Place Toasts on broiler pan. Broil 6 inches from source of heat until cheese begins to melt, about 1 minute.

Makes 12 servings.

 

Mochaccino Raspberry Melba Bites

4 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp. chocolate syrup
1/2 tsp. freeze-dried coffee granules
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 package (5 1/4 oz.) Old London White Melba Snacks
Welch's Squeezable Raspberry Fruit Spread

In small bowl, stir cream cheese, chocolate syrup, coffee and sugar until smooth. Spoon 1/2 tsp. cheese mixture onto Melba Snacks and top with 1/8 tsp. raspberry spread.

Makes 48 servings.

 

Sparkling Holiday Punch

2 bottles Welch's Sparkling White Grape Juice Cocktail, chilled
1 can (11.5 oz.) Welch's Frozen Concentrated
Cranberry Juice Cocktail
3 cups cold water
3 cans (12 oz. each) ginger ale, chilled

In punch bowl, combine Sparkling White Grape Juice, Frozen Concentrated Cranberry Juice Cocktail and water. Gently stir in ginger ale. Float fruited ice ring made with sparkling juice and garnished with mint leaves. Serve immediately.

Makes about 30 1/2-cup servings.

 

Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer

1 can (11.5 oz.) Welch's Frozen Concentrated Cranberry Juice Cocktail, thawed
3 cans (12 oz. each) club soda, chilled
2 bottles Welch's Sparkling Red or Sparkling White
Grape Juice Cocktail, chilled Orange slices
Maraschino cherries

In large pitcher, gently stir together cranberry juice cocktail concentrate and club soda. Add Sparkling Red or Sparkling White Grape Juice Cocktail. Serve immediately in ice-filled glasses garnished with skewer-ed orange slices and maraschino cherries.

Makes 12 8-oz. servings.

 

Sparkling Company Punch

3 cups of cold water
3/4 cups sugar
5 cinnamon sticks
1 bottle Welch's Sparkling Red or Sparkling White Grape Juice Cocktail, chilled
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 bottles (16 oz. each) lemon-lime soda, chilled Ice cubes made with Welch's Sparkling Red or Sparkling White Grape Juice Cocktail

In medium saucepan, combine water, sugar and cinnamon sticks to make cinnamon syrup. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks, cover and refrigerate two hours. In a large punch bowl, combine cinnamon syrup, Sparkling Red or Sparkling White Grape Juice Cocktail, orange juice, lemon juice and soda. Add ice cubes. If desired, garnish punch with additional cinnamon sticks or float fruit-filled ice cubes, orange, lemon or lime slices.

Makes about 30 1/2-cup servings.

For information and more great recipes from Old London Foods and Welch's log onto:

www.oldlondonmelba.com or

www.welchs.com.

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