Holiday appetizer recipes from the ’60s: Saucy cocktail meatballs, Cheese trees & Wreath rollups

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Christmas recipes - Campbell's Santa Sauce recipe (1969)

Santa Sauce: The holiday flavor comes straight from Campbell’s Tomato Soup.  (1969)

Saucy cocktail meatballs recipe

1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup each finely chopped green pepper and onion
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons Worcestershire
1 tablespoon each prepared mustard and vinegar


Mix beef, crumbs, egg, [and] salt; shape into 50 meatballs. Place in shallow baking pan (13x9x2″). Broil until browned; turn once. Spoon off fat.

In saucepan, cook pepper and onion in butter until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour over meatballs. Cover; bake at 350 F. for 20 minutes.

For cocktail frankfurters: Substitute 1-1/2 pounds frankfurters, cut in 1-inch pieces for meatball mixture. Proceed as above.

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Holiday appetizer recipes from the '60s: Saucy cocktail meatballs, Cheese trees & Wreath rollups

Retro holiday appetizer: Cheese tree

1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 cups shredded mild process or Cheddar cheese
4 slices toast, cut in half diagonally
4 slices cooked bacon.

In saucepan, combine soup, milk, and cheese. Heat until cheese melts. Stir now and then. Overlap two pieces of toast.* Pour sauce over. Form tree trunk with bacon. Garnish edges of toast with finely chopped parsley. Makes 4 servings.

*Top toast with poached egg, if desired.

Retro holiday appetizer: Wreath rollups

1-1/2 pounds thinly sliced round steak (1/4 inch thick)
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon basil, crushed
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup cooked rice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
1 medium clove garlic, minced

Cut meat into 6 pieces (6×4″); pound with meat hammer. Chop mushroom stems; cook with onion and 1/2 teaspoon basil in butter until tender. Add rice and salt.

Place 1/4 cup rice mixture near center of each piece of meat. Starting at narrow end, roll up’ tuck in ends and fasten with toothpicks or skewers.

Brown in skillet shortening; pour off fat. Add remaining ingredients. Cover; cook over low heat 1 hour 15 minutes. Stir now and then. Serve with green beans garnished with pimento. 6 servings.

For 12 servings, double recipe. To thicken, cook uncovered last 15 minutes.

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Holiday appetizer recipes from the '60s: Saucy cocktail meatballs, Cheese trees & Wreath rollups

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