Few ingredients, fabulous food

It’s holiday time! If you are like me, your schedule is busier than ever with parties and entertaining galore. But that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare some fantastic and impressive dishes. I love using the fewest number of ingredients that offer the most flavor. No one you serve will believe that the festive dishes that follow have only five ingredients or less.

Cheesy Burger Dip anchors a satisfying appetizer that can be prepared in minutes and will win over kids of all ages. Pair this hearty dip with your favorite low-carb chips or with crunchy veggies such as cucumber rounds and bell peppers. Serve in a Crock-Pot to keep warm. This dip is easy to double or triple for larger gatherings.

For a mouthwatering dessert that may become an addiction, Easy Chocolate Truffles Dipped in White Chocolate are rich, bite-sized morsels using three simple ingredients. Fun to make—let the kids lend a hand—these truffles can be prepared in advance of an event. For a fantastic variation, use mint chocolate sandwich cookies instead of chocolate.

Homemade treats always outshine store-bought treats. My Yummy Yam Quick Bread will delight teachers, neighbors, friends and family. Just wrap the individual loaves in plastic wrap and store in a zip-top bag in the freezer until needed. I like to prepare breads in loaf pans of various size and give a combination of loaves as a gift. Impressive and easy—what can be better during the holiday season?

This four-ingredient dip takes only five minutes to make.1 lb. ground sirloin

1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 16-oz. jar salsa
1 8-oz. package shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese

In nonstick pot, cook meat and mushrooms over medium heat 5-7 minutes, until meat is well-browned. Drain any excess fat. Add salsa and cheese, stirring mixture over medium heat until cheese is melted. Makes 20 1/4-cup servings.

Calories 72 | Calories from fat 41% | Fat 3g Saturated fat 2g | Cholesterol 19mg | Sodium 176mg | Carbohydrates 2g | Dietary fiber 0g | Total sugars 1g | Protein 8g | Dietary exchanges: 1 lean meat

Holly’s hint: Toss leftover dip with pasta or serve over rice for a delicious meal.

Close your eyes for this bite of ecstasy, which uses your favorite chocolate sandwich cookie.

1 19-oz. package chocolate sandwich cookies
1 8-oz. package reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup white chocolate chips

In food processor, combine chocolate sandwich cookies and cream cheese, pulsing until mixture forms a ball. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate one hour. In microwave-safe dish, microwave white chocolate chips for 1 minute, remove and stir until melted and creamy. Dip top of each ball in white chocolate and return to wax paper. Refrigerate until white chocolate hardens. Once truffles are hardened, transfer them to resealable plastic bag. Keep refrigerated. Makes 41/2 dozen truffles.

Calories 76 | Calories from fat 47% | Fat 4g | Saturated fat 2g Cholesterol 3mg | Sodium 70mg | Carbohydrate 9g | Dietary fiber 0g | Total sugars 6g | Protein 1g | Dietary exchanges: 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

These few ingredients create one of my favorite moist breads.

1 18.25-oz. box spice cake mix
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 15-oz. can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. In mixing bowl, mix together spice cake mix, cinnamon, sweet potatoes and water just until combined. Transfer to prepared pan. Sprinkle with Crumble Topping (recipe follows), if desired. Bake 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Makes 16 servings.

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In small bowl, mix together all ingredients.

Calories 207 | Calories from fat 25% | Fat 6g | Saturated fat 2g | Cholesterol 4mg Sodium 235mg | Carbohydrates 38g | Dietary fiber 1g | Total sugars 19g | Protein 2g Dietary exchanges: 21/2 other carbohydrate, 1 fatHolly’s hint: 1 can sweet potatoes = 1 cup mashed cooked Louisiana yams (sweet potatoes). So if you have leftover baked sweet potatoes, here’s a delicious use for them.