Video segments help celebrate the holidays

Mike Kemp photo

501 LIFE recently launched a new special feature — 501 LIFE…Style.

“Thanks to the expertise of 501 LIFE contributor and noted chef Don Bingham and the talented videographer Kevin Clark, along with the sponsorship support of The Kitchen Store and Pam McDowell Real Estate, we are proud to share with readers a variety of video segments,” said 501 LIFE Publisher Donna Spears.

The segments, available on, offer great food and decorating ideas as well as helpful information to enjoy the best of the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.

It’s all about celebrating the holidays and the 501 LIFE in style.

Don’s recipes featured in 501 LIFE…Style segments include:

Chocolate Sugar Plum Cheese Ball

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons white corn syrup
1/2 cup dried figs, finely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons almond extract
Finely chopped walnuts or pecans for coating

In a bowl, combine first five ingredients and beat until creamy and smooth. Add fruit and almond extract and mix thoroughly. Shape into balls or other desired shapes and coat with finely chopped walnuts or pecans. Serve with chocolate grahams or gingersnaps.

Miniature Fried Pies
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
3 tablespoons ice cold water

Mix flour and salt; cut in shortening; add water. Stir gently; roll and cut in small circles. Fill with filling, approximately one teaspoon. Fold into half-moon shapes, baste with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden.

2 packages of dried apricots
1 cup sugar

Cover dried apricots with water; boil till tender and most of water is gone; add sugar and mash.  Cool to fill crust.

Bean Soup

1 fryer cooked, deboned
1 cup dried beans
5 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon catsup
1/2 teaspoon dried whole basil
1/2 teaspoon dried whole oregano

Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water 2 inches above beans; let soak overnight. Drain beans; combine beans, 5 cups chicken broth, celery, onion, carrots, parsley, bay leaf, basil and oregano; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes or until done. Add catsup and chicken; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Makes about 6 cups.

Eight Bean Gift Soup

White navy beans
Garbanzo beans
Pinto beans
Black beans
Kidney beans
Baby limas

Mix one pound of each bean together. Dry mix can be wrapped and given as gifts. Soak one pound of bean mix (2 cups) in 2 quarts of water overnight. Before cooking, pour off liquid and refresh with 2 quarts of water. Add two large turkey legs; cook till beans are tender. Remove turkey legs and add the following:

One chopped onion
One large can tomatoes
1 cup brown sugar
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons cumin
One hot pepper, dried

Continue cooking for about 30 minutes. Debone turkey legs and add to soup. Serve.

Choc Oat Chip Cookie Mix
In jar:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1 egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add the mix ingredients. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Bacon Appetizer

Slice in rounds baguette bread or favorite sourdough bread; spread with equal parts of olive oil and melted butter. Fry bacon and crumble. Spread buttered rounds with crumbled blue cheese and bacon. Toast in oven until bread is golden brown and cheese is partially melted.