Saturday, December 26, 2009

A special Christmas dinner

When Q was growing up, his family always had a Christmas Eve dinner with the main course being Swedish meatballs. We planned on doing the same thing this year with a few friends from church, but then I got sick the day before. I felt awful inside and out, but we were determined to just postpone it to Christmas day. Thankfully, I was starting to feel a bit better and a few of our friends could still come.

We spent the afternoon cleaning and cooking for our special event. I pulled out the fancy tablecloth, napkins and china and set the table.

I've done this napkin decoration before. I did an accordion-fold on the napkin, slipped it through the holder, then placed a candy cane through it. 

We had Gloria, Debbie and Jim over for dinner. The conversation around the table was fun and encouraging. Q and I are really enjoying getting to know the people in our new church. Our meal consisted of Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy, cornbread muffins, salad, pineapple chunks and this yummy pumpkin dessert. Check it out...

I'm glad I remembered to take a picture before I had eaten the whole piece! The dessert is called, "Pumpkin gooey butter cake." I found it in one of my Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking Magazines (Dec/Jan. 2010). The lady who submitted it said that it was a special thing for her to make during Christmas. The recipe is a healthier version of the original treat, so don't worry too much about the calories. Here's the recipe for you all to enjoy!

Makeover Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

1 pkg. (18-1/4 oz.) yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup reduced-fat butter, melted

1 pkg. (8 oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup reduced-fat butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Additional confectioners' sugar, optional

1. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, egg and butter on low speed until combined. Press into a 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.
2. In another large bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the butter, eggs, egg whites and vanilla; beat on low until combined. Add the confectioners' sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix well. Pour over crust.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Chill until serving. Sprinkle with additional confectioners' sugar if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

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