Italian Crescent Wreath

I admire people who are cute. I really do. Cute people do cute things, and their cuteness lightens everything about them. I think cute people get away with more. Take my friend Vicki ... she's petite and adorable with long blond hair. I worked with her for many years, and she used to routinely do things like schedule manicures during the work day. So she would be out of the office for a couple of house. But in the end, no one really cared because "That's just Vicki and she's so cute!"

No one expects people like me, with my towering height, glasses and size 9½ shoes, to run off for a manicure halfway through the day. And I am sure that if I did, no one would find it cute. In fact, they might think it was a lot like putting nail polish on a giraffe ... totally unnecessary and not an improvement. 

So when I get the chance to do something cute, I jump on it. Especially when it's so easy it really can't go wrong. Take today's recipe - it's for an Italian Crescent Wreath and it's a fabulous holiday appetizer. My daughter and I made it together - it was fun, easy and totally cute! 

j*a*N*e

Italian Crescent Wreath

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. mild Italian bulk sausage
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh broccoli
  • ¾ (10.75 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • ¾ cup chopped red and green bell pepper
  • 2 (8 oz.) tubes refrigerated crescent rolls

Directions

Brown first 2 ingredients in medium skillet until sausage is no longer pink; add next 4 ingredients. Unroll and separate crescent rolls into triangles; arrange crescent rolls with wide ends completely overlapping in a wreath shape on large baking pan. Spoon sausage mixture over wide ends of crescent rolls; roll pointed ends and tuck under wide ends, leaving filling visible. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes. Makes 8-10 servings.

Tips and Hints

  • We used a non-stick pizza pan, which was perfect and made it easy to create the wreath shape.
  • My daughter said that opening the tubes of crescent rolls and hearing that nifty "pop" is one of her favorite things in the whole world.
  • When you're chopping up the peppers, use the tops! This kind of recipe is perfect for chopping up all of the green or red, right up to the stem.
  • When you are chopping the broccoli, use some of the tender stem. In a recipe like this it works well and you get more bang for your broccoli buck.
  • We felt like we totally upped the cute factor by adding the rosemary sprigs and candle to the center of the baked wreath.
  • I wanted to transfer the baked wreath to a more suitable platter for the presentation, but it seemed like I wasn't going to make that swap successfully (i.e., without baking the wreath). Plus I didn't have a platter that was big enough. So we kept it on the pizza pan. Lesson learned - bake it on something you will feel comfortable serving it on. A pizza stone would be nice.
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