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Easy and elegant dishes to serve during the holiday season

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JAMESTOWN, N.C. — It’s party time! On this Recipe Wednesday, we’re getting you ready for all of your holiday gatherings. Lisa Hawley, owner of Southern Roots in Jamestown, showed us how to create several easy and elegant dishes you can serve from now until New Year’s Eve.

Marinated Grilled Shrimp


  • 2 cups of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup of shallots (minced)
  • 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup of pesto
  • 2 bunches of scallions (minced)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil


  1. This marinade recipe can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk
  3. This recipe will marinate several pounds of raw shrimp
  4. You can skewer the shrimp to make it easier
  5. Marinate the shrimp for no more than 30 minutes because of the acid in the lemon juice. Any more than that will break down the shrimp meat and make it mushy.
  6. Have your grill ready and spray with Pam. Grill the shrimp over direct heat for about 5 minute’s turning the shrimp halfway through the process. The outside of the shrimp will be pink while the inside will be white and opaque.

Hot Spinach Dip


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (I often use a 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 10oz. package of frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry) or a big handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1 cup of sliced black olives
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped, canned green chilies
  • 2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, about 8 ounces
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. This recipe can be made 2 days ahead of time
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and transfer to a baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees until bubbly and the top is brown. Serve with Tortilla Chips.

Olive Cheese Balls


  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (room temp)
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 cup of self-rising flour
  • Dash of cayenne
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk or a little more to make the dough soft
  • 25 medium green stuffed olives


  1. Cream together cheese and butter
  2. Blend flour and cayenne
  3. Add flour mixture to cheese mixture
  4. Add milk to soften
  5. Wrap dough around each olive
  6. Spray pan and bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes
  7. You need to watch because everyone’s oven cooks differently

Roasted Vegetable Platter with Green Goddess Dip

Green Goddess:

  • 3/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of Duke’s Mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions including tops
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of chopped fine garlic
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach (remove stems)
  • 1 English cucumber
  • Salt to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Season with salt.

Roasted Vegetables


  • 2 large beets
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 rutabaga
  • 2 sweet potatoes

Cut all washed and peeled vegetables in long pieces or quarters. Place them in a bowl and toss with olive oil. Salt and pepper. Keep the beets separate because their cook time is longer. Place all other vegetables on a sheet pan and place in a 375-degree oven for about 30 to 40 minutes depending on how big you cut them. Cook the beets at the same time but they might take a few extra minutes. Test vegetables with a knife to make sure they are done. Arrange the vegetables in groups on a platter and serve with the dip.