Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Holiday Appetizers

I will be serving finger foods for an event this weekend and I am searching for ideas.
These are several appetizers I am considering.



Roasted Red Pepper,
stuffed with a Mozzarella bite,
toasted on a baguette,
with a garnish of green onion.


Goat Cheese Stuffed
Bacon Wrapped
Dates



Boursin, Prosciutto Fillo Cups
1 Package Athens mini Fillo Shells (makes 15)
(1) 5.2 oz. pkg. Garlic & Herb Boursin Cheese
6 slices Prosciutto Diced and crispy fried
1/2 cup sliced green onions, more for garnish.
Mix Prosciutto, Green onion and Boursin.
Fill thawed Fillo cups, garnish with more green onions.
Refrigerate until serving.


Spinach Artichoke Fillo Bites
6 oz. Cream Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
(1) 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, cooked drained and liquid squeezed out
1 cup quartered artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, roughly chopped.
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
45-60 Athens Mini Fillo Shells (3-4 packages)

Mix cream cheese, parmesan cheese, sour cream, drained spinach, chopped artichokes, and cayenne pepper.  Salt & pepper to taste.
When you are ready to serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill Fillo shells with heaping teaspoon, rounded on top. Bake 10-12 minutes or until heated through and golden brown on top. 


English Muffin Appetizers

1 Jar Old English
½ C Butter
1 ½ Teaspoon Mayo
1 ½ Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Can Crab Meat
Spread on 6 English Muffins (12 halves)
Broil till Crusty – Allow to cool – Cut to bite size


These are all tried and true.  Hope you enjoy.  ~~Shelly

Monday, November 26, 2018

Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pesto





beef-tenderloin-crostini-with-whipped-goat-cheese-and-pesto

This is one of my favorite appetizers to serve my guests.


Ingredients
½ baguette, cut into ¼-inch slices (you should have about 25 slices)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
5 cloves garlic, divided
2 8-ounce pieces beef tenderloin
Salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup pesto of your choice
For the Whipped Goat Cheese:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of salt


Instructions
  1. Start with the crostini. Arrange the baguette slices on a large baking sheet. Lightly brush both sides of the bread with olive oil (you’ll need about 2 tablespoons of oil for this) and sprinkle with a little salt. Place bread under the broiler for 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly brown.
  2. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season both sides generously with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the steaks and cook for about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. When you turn the steaks (after the first 4 minutes), smash 4 garlic cloves in their skins and add them to the skillet. Periodically use a spoon to baste the steaks with the oil/juices in the pan. Remove the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing them against the grain.
  4. While the steaks are resting, make the whipped goat cheese.  Place all the ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy and smooth.
  5. Assemble the crostini! Spread each toasted baguette slice with whipped goat cheese. Top with a slice of steak and a small dollop of pesto. Serve immediately.


Preparing your Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pesto:
Start with the crostini. Arrange the baguette slices on a large baking sheet. Lightly brush both sides of the bread with olive oil (you’ll need about 2 tablespoons of oil for this) and sprinkle with a little salt.

beef-tenderloin-crostini-with-whipped-goat-cheese-and-pesto-step-1

Place bread under the broiler for 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly brown. Please pay attention while you do this, peeps, it is scarily easy to burn crostini.


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the steaks and cook for about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. When you turn the steaks (after the first 4 minutes), smash 4 garlic cloves in their skins and add them to the skillet. Periodically use a spoon to baste the steaks with the oil/juices in the pan.


beef-tenderloin-crostini-with-whipped-goat-cheese-and-pesto-step-5

Remove the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing them against the grain. (Please don’t skip the resting step!!! You need to let all the beef’s glorious juices redistribute.)

beef-tenderloin-crostini-with-whipped-goat-cheese-and-pesto-step-8

While the steaks are resting, get going on the whipped goat cheese.  Place all the ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy and smooth.

beef-tenderloin-crostini-with-whipped-goat-cheese-and-pesto-step-7

To assemble your crostini: Spread each toasted baguette slice with whipped goat cheese. Top with a slice of steak and a small dollop of pesto. 

oscar-party-appetizer-beef-tenderloin-crostini-with-whipped-goat-cheese-and-pesto-7

My guests are going to enjoy this appetizer.

This recipe was revised just a bit from this website.









Monday, November 19, 2018

Saltine Toffee Candy with Pecans

Saltine Toffee Candy with Pecans - An easy and delicious candy recipe! | browneyedbaker.com














This recipe comes from The Brown Eyed Baker.  Sweet.Savory.Sinful


This was an incredibly easy recipe and I imagine it would be very simple to scale it up and make multiple pans at once if you are baking for the holidays.
First a baking pan is lined with saltine crackers, then butter and brown sugar are melted together and boiled. That gets poured over top of the saltines in an even layer and then baked in the oven until bubbly. Out of the oven, chocolate chips are sprinkled on top and left to soften, then spread evenly over top. Finally, chopped pecans are added as the finishing touch before it gets shipped off to the refrigerator for an hour to set.
Saltine Toffee Candy with Pecans - An easy and delicious candy recipe! | browneyedbaker.com
I love how the saltine crackers add a salty kick to counter the sweetness of the toffee and chocolate. I’m a huge sucker for the sweet and salty combo and this candy absolutely delivers. If you’re new to candy making or intimidated by using a thermometer, this is a great beginner recipe.
I just may have to start a new toffee tradition of my own come holiday time!

Saltine Toffee Candy with Pecans - An easy and delicious candy recipe! | browneyedbaker.com
ENJOY!

Ingredients:

30 to 34 saltine crackers
1 cup salted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup light brown sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Arrange the saltine crackers in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Break the crackers in half if necessary to fit around the edges.
3. Place the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and immediately pour evenly over the saltine crackers. Use an offset spatula to spread it, ensuring that all of the crackers are coated.
4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the mixture. Allow the chocolate chips to soften for 3 to 5 minutes, then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
5. Cool at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the pan is able to be handled easily, then refrigerate for 1 hour, or until the chocolate is set. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home)

Luscious Lemon Bars


I’ve been craving lemon bars and once I read this description of a perfect lemon bar, I knew I would have to give this recipe a try. But this recipe did more than satisfy a craving – these are the best lemon bars I’ve ever tasted!

I followed the recipe exactly. The recipe worked perfectly and for once, I wouldn’t change a thing!


I do have one little trick I’d like to share with you. When I lined the pan with parchment paper I left two long sides to hang over the edge of the pan. This made it simple to pull out the whole thing once it was cooled, which in turn made for easier slicing.


Although I did sprinkle them with powdered sugar for decoration, I found that the bars were best with only a light dusting. They are pretty much perfect on their own.

If you’ve been looking for a fantastic lemon bar recipe, I highly recommend you give this recipe a try!

Lemon Bars
(makes one 8-inch square pan)

Crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/8 tsp salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Filling:
2 large eggs
1 cup superfine or bakers' sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

To make crust:
Combine flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and pulse until the mixture is pebbly. Press evenly into the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake until lightly golden, about 18-20 minutes. Set aside crust.

To make filling:
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in lemon zest and juice until well combined. Pour over crust (it's okay if crust is still hot). Bake until filling is just set, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely before serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Sweet Potato Casserole

Now is the time to start thinking about what will be served at our Thanksgiving meal.
Do you have a favorite sweet potato recipe?  This one has no marshmallows, but it's still sweet and delicious.

For the sweet potatoes
2 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes    
4 tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 c. milk, preferably whole
1/2 c. packed brown sugar      
large eggs      
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg      
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract      
1 tsp. kosher salt      
For the topping
1/2 c. all-purpose flour      
4 tbsp. melted flour      
1/2 c. chopped pecans             
1/4 c. packed brown sugar           
1/2 tsp. kosher salt      
       
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a medium with cooking spray. Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly then transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add butter to sweet potatoes and use a potato masher, or two forks, to mash. Add milk, brown sugar, eggs, nutmeg, salt and vanilla and stir until smooth. Transfer to prepared casserole dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, add all of the topping ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the sweet potatoes and bake until warmed through and golden on top, 25 minutes. Serve warm.


Ethan Calabrese

Slow Cooker Creamed Corn

This is one of my favorite Holiday side dishes.  This recipe yields 6-8 servings.

Ingredients

slices bacon      
(15-oz.) cans corn kernels, drained      
1 c. milk                              
1 tbsp. sugar                       
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 oz. (8-oz.) block cream cheese, quartered  
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, cut into tablespoons
Thinly sliced green onions, for garnish              


Directions
  1. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, 8 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, then crumble. 
  2. In a slow cooker, add corn, 3/4 of the cooked bacon, milk, and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Stir until combined, then top with cream cheese and butter.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 6 hours, stirring well after 1 hour.
  4. Garnish with remaining 1/4 of cooked bacon and green onions before serving.


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