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Dash of Class: Tested recipes ready to please reception guests

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

When my husband, Mike, and I were married 40 years ago, we were eager to start a family, but little did we know that wish wasn’t going to be filled any time soon. After trying for six years, we applied for adoption at a Catholic agency in Louisville. Three years later, we found out the wait was over and we were going to have a son. We had the name picked out for a long time, Joseph William — Joseph for my father and William for Mike’s Dad.

He was a wonderful baby and a wonderful son. Time went quickly and before we knew it he was enrolling in kindergarten at St. James School, and then Central Hardin High School and then Western Kentucky University.

He dated while at WKU, but never found that special one. However, he found his special one two years ago and Sunday he will marry that special lady. Not only did he meet his bride, but he has another special someone, her 5-year-old daughter. She will be the flower girl and their best childhood friends will be matron of honor and best man.

I have been helping the bride by helping her choose a dress, meeting with the florist, planning the menu for the reception and designing invitations and programs. There also are a lot of details to be worked out beyond that list.

My husband and I and some friends are making the food for the reception. Crazy, I know, because I had back surgery July 29 and broke a bone in my foot on Sept. 2, but my doctor assured me I would be able to wear flats for the wedding.

Today, I’m sharing a couple recipes from the reception menu.

The first recipe I have for you is for Cream Cheese Mints. I’ve had this recipe since I was in college and have made them several times. A friend and I made and froze 300 for the upcoming wedding. We made them pale purple and pale orange to complement their color theme, eggplant and burnt orange. I chose to use pale colors instead of dark , which would cause the mints to look as if they were made with children’s modeling clay. Remember, pale always is more appetizing.

The second recipe, Pineapple Cheeseball, is my sister’s recipe and she’s preparing it for the wedding. I serve this a lot and it always seems to be a hit.

Then, of course, dessert will be wedding cake. My son and the bride-to-be love the series “Doctor Who,” so the cake topper will be a groom taking his bride’s hand as they run into a TARDIS, something reminiscent of an English phone booth.

Unlike my niece’s wedding reception, where I made and decorated the wedding cake, the wedding cake will be made and decorated by a team. Mike and I will work on baking the cake layers and one of the bride’s friends will decorate it. We will use some of the decorations my mom made when decorating another wedding cake. They were frozen for this very event.

Along with a couple kinds of sandwiches, pasta salad and fruit, iced tea and lemonade round out the menu.

I know that you know me well enough to know you will be hearing about the wedding and even seeing a picture of the new family later. Keep us in your prayers to help us all get through the wedding preparations.

Many have worked hard to make this a memorable event for the bride, groom and our granddaughter-to-be. I hope the guests will enjoy all the efforts.

Cream Cheese Mints

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 pounds confectioner’s sugar

¾ teaspoon peppermint flavoring

6 tablespoon butter, softened

½ teaspoon vanilla

3 drops or less food

coloring (I use gel)

Mix cream cheese and butter with a mixer until well blended. Add powdered sugar until too stiff to knead, add vanilla, peppermint flavoring and food coloring. Take out of bowl and place on waxed paper, keep kneading until it doesn’t stick to your hands. If it still too sticky, continue to add powdered sugar until it no longer is sticky.

Roll into small balls, imprint once with a fork and leave on wax paper to dry.

Nora’s Note:I have made these in orange and used a whole clove for a stem to make little pumpkins for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

Pineapple Cheese Ball

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese,

softened

8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained

2 teaspoons minced onion

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix the first four ingredients until well blended and form into a ball. Pour pecans onto waxed paper and roll cheese ball onto the pecans until well covered. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate. Serve with snack crackers.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,” is a native of HardinCounty and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.