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Food & Drink

Holiday Recipe Ideas From St. Louis Chef Rhonda Crane

December 12, 2012 7:00 AM

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Whether you are eating out or hosting a Christmas dinner, good food and the holidays seem to go hand in hand. Holiday recipes from St. Louis chefs include festive appetizers, filling entrées and delicious desserts. Top St. Louis-area chefs not only know how to provide scrumptious dishes for their customers, but for their own family as well. Get an inside look into what one local chef will be serving her family and share in nibbling on one of her personal recipes with your own family during your Christmas celebrations.

Rhonda Crane
Owner of Magpie’s Restaurant
903 S. Main St.
St. Charles, MO 63301
(636) 947-3883
www.magpiesonmain.com

Chef Rhonda Crane of Magpie’s Restaurant likes to cook and share her creations with others, especially her own family. On Christmas Eve, her family gets together each year for a potluck dinner. The host or hostess provides a homemade soup and some peel-and-eat shrimp. Everyone else brings either an appetizer, cookies or candy. Of course, she will take a tray of Christmas cookies. After all, she has devoted an entire chapter in her cookbook to her family’s favorite cookie recipes. However, this year, Chef Rhonda plans to also bring her mouth-watering artichoke butter. It is a menu item that is popular in her restaurant and has become a family favorite as well.Related: Top 10 St. Louis Foodies to Follow On Twitter

Make the artichoke butter by mixing together 2 cups of finely chopped non-marinated artichoke hearts, 1.5 cups of sour cream, 1 cup of real mayonnaise, 1.25 cups of parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of finely minced garlic and the juice of one small lemon. Place all of the ingredients into a pan and then into an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until the mixture is bubbling throughout. Serve with your choice of bread or crackers. She serves hers with Magpie’s home-baked French bread. She suggests another good alternative of splitting your French bread lengthwise and spreading it with the artichoke butter mixture, then topping it with crumbled bacon and more parmesan cheese. Slice the bread into finger-food-sized pieces to make it easy to serve a hungry crowd.

About Chef Rhonda Crane:Chef Rhonda Crane had a childhood dream to become a chef. Her cousins still reminisce at family reunions about how as a child, she never wanted to play “house.” Instead, she would play “restaurant.” As she grew older and sought to attain her goal of becoming a chef, she found that getting into the restaurant business was more difficult than she had ever imagined because no one was willing to rent her the space to prove herself as a restaurant owner. After being turned down numerous times, she came up with an idea. She put her cooking skills to work and let the owner of a building space she needed sample her food. As she puts it, “the rest is history.” She has been serving the public as a professional chef for 29 years now and enjoys whipping up her favorite dishes at Magpie’s Restaurant on Main Street in St. Charles.

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Tere Scott is a freelance writer and author of e-books and two educational blogs. She loves to research information to share. She currently resides in St. Louis. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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