Lee MathisINSANELEE DECADENTGrand Junction Free Press Food Columnist

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December 6, 2012
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FOOD: Holiday shopping & eating go hand-in-hand

Yes, you survived Black Friday. Yes, you survived Cyber Monday. (Now just don't look at your bank accounts for awhile.) Yes, the holiday season is now in full bloom and what better place to celebrate it than here in the Grand Valley?We had our Festival of Lights in Grand Junction last Saturday, which for me is when our little slice of heaven really starts to kick into full bloom. Now this weekend we have Palisade's Olde Fashioned Christmas. Starting Friday, Dec. 7, with the Palisade Christmas Tree Lighting & the Father Christmas Procession starting at 4:30, the activities really kick into gear Saturday, Dec. 8, with entertainment from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., a vendor marketplace, the Soup Challenge from 1-3 p.m. (and yes, we are entering again, this year with our "La Muerta Del Diablo Chili Soup"), Santa Claus will be there for the kids from noon-4, a Gingerbread House Contest and Showcase from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Horse-drawn carriages, the Palisade Parade of Lights from 6-7:30 and much, much more. For a complete list of events, call the Palisade Chamber of Commerce at 970-464-7458 or visit www.palisadecoc.com.It is nice when we have events that are truly family-friendly and this is definitely one of them. Can't make it out to Palisade? Check out some of the other events that are happening throughout the Grand Valley and you will find things all around.Next Thursday, Dec. 13, is the 25th anniversary Holiday Open House at the Business Incubator Center. From 4 to 7:30 p.m., stop by and enjoy food and drinks, tenant displays, silent auctions and more. We will be co-catering the event with Cravings and this is always a good time for all. The Business Incubator is located down the hill, behind the cemeteries in Orchard Mesa at 2591 Legacy (the old B 3/4 Road) Way. For more information, call 970-243-5242.The Business Incubator Center is a great place for people looking to start a business; they provide counseling, classes and more; we should know as we are a tenant. Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. Reach him at decadencecheesecakes@mindspring.com, via the website at www.decadencecheesecakes.com, or by calling 970-256-4688. Follow the adventures of Decadence on Facebook and on Twitter.

Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cupsPrep time: 20 minutes Chill: 2 hours Stand: 15 minutes 1/2 cup sour cream 1 (4-oz.) package crumbled blue cheese 1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened 2 tablespoons diced onion 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce 4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled Garnishes: chopped fresh parsley, blue cheese crumbles Assorted crackers Process first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Stir in half of bacon. Cover and chill 2 hours. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with remaining bacon. Garnish, if desired. Serve with crackers.Courtesy: Southern Living, Dec. 2008

Yield: 6 to 8 appetizer servings2 tablespoons cracked black pepper 1 (11-ounce) goat cheese log 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs Sprinkle pepper on a square of wax pepper. Roll goat cheese log over pepper to coat. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve with toasted baguette slices. Garnish, if desired.Courtesy: Southern Living, Nov. 1998

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The Post Independent Updated Dec 6, 2012 04:03PM Published Dec 6, 2012 04:01PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.