Sunday, December 7, 2008

December Potluck

What a FABULOUS evening! I'm so glad all the hubbies could join us and see what we're up to each month. We had a TON of food and ALL of it was DELICIOUS! I can't wait to make some of them myself! Thanks to everyone who contributed. A HUGE thank you to Betsy, who let us take over her home. It was beautiful and so festive!!
. Another big thank you to Christina and Lindsey for the sweet party favors (a Christmas CD and yummy candies!)

Drink (yes that's a great picture of one of them in my hand)


Makes three 6-inch cheeseballs; serves 8 to 10 and all ingredients(except the veggie chipes - Target) were purchased at Crest (awesome grocery store).

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
5 TBLS hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

8 ounces sharp orange cheddar cheese, finely shredded
2 tablespoons store-bought chutney(jam and jelly section at store)
3/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
Water crackers, for serving

6 ounces Roquefort cheese
1 shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons brandy (optional)
1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Vegetable chips (such as Terra Chips Sweets & Beets), for serving

8 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1/3 cup fresh curly-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 English cucumber, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, for serving

Grown up Ham and Cheese Sandwich bites

1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
8 slices thin white bread , recommended: Pepperidge Farm
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 small green apples
4 to 6 ounces aged Gouda
1 tablespoon Dijon or whole grain mustard, apple butter or chutney
1/2 bunch watercress
8 thin slices prosciutto
Freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring water, vinegar and brown sugar to a boil. Add the onions and remove from the heat. Cover, and set aside until the onions come to room temperature.
Trim the crusts off the bread and cut the bread into thirds, for 3 rectangles per piece. Lightly brush both sides of the bread pieces with olive oil and lay out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until just crisp and lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Cool.
To assemble: Quarter, core, and very thinly slice the apple, (a mandolin is terrific for this). Very thinly slice the cheese into triangles or shards that will fit nicely on the bread.
Place a dab or smear of mustard on the bread. Place a piece of apple, cheese and 1 or 2 sprigs of watercress on each piece of toasted bread. Wrap a small piece of prosciutto around each stack to make a neat package. Top with a little bit of the pickled onions, a drizzle of olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve at room temperature.
Do ahead tips: Toast the bread ahead, and thinly slice the apple, placing them in lemon water to prevent them from turning brown. If you need to assemble the sandwiches ahead, don't add the watercress, and cover them with a very light moistened paper towel


Chopped romaine lettuce and torn spinach leaves
dried cranberries
chopped red pear
feta cheese

For the pecans...melt a little butter in a saucepan, add the pecans and just enough brown sugar to lightly coat them. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium to medium high stirring almost constantly, just until they are well coated and are starting to get caramelized. D
ressing...Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian with sugar in it


Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Pecans
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
2 cups heavy cream

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/8-inch thick (I used a mandolin slicer)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Generous sprinkling of crumbled blue cheese
Generous handful of chopped pecans (about 1/2 c. total)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a 9 by 9-inch casserole dish, arrange the potatoes in even layers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the cream and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on a small bit of blue cheese and pecans. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, cream, and salt and pepper to form 9 or 10 layers, adding the blue cheese and pecans only every 3 layers.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and continue baking for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cream has been absorbed and the potatoes are cooked through and the top is browned.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Marshmallow Streusel
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
2 cups heavy cream

1-1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice or other holiday spices
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/8-inch thick
For the Streusel:
1 stick butter, softened
about 1/3 c. flour
about 1/3 c. brown sugar
1/c chopped pecans
1/2 c. or more mini marshmallows
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk together cream and pumpkin pie spice until smooth.
In a 9 by 9-inch casserole dish, arrange the potatoes in even layers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the cream mixture. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and cream to form 10 layers.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and continue baking for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the streusel by mixing the butter, flour and sugar with a fork until crumbly, adjust flour and sugar if necessary. Add pecans and marshmallows.
When the potatoes come out of the oven, sprinkle with streusel to form an even layer and return to oven for an additional 10-20 minutes, or until streusel is melted and lightly browned and potatoes have softened.


Ingredients :

2 pounds baking potatoes, boil & mashed
1 1/2 tsps salt
2 tsps ground coriander1/2 tsps freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 large egg
2 tablespoons oil, plus more for deep frying
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound ground beef

Directions ;

Mix together the mashed potatoes, 1 teaspoon of of the salt, half the pepper, the coriander, nutmeg and egg.
Preheat a wok until hot, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, the shallots & garlic ;saute until soft, add beef & stir to break up clumps: brown until meat is no longer red, about 2 minutes.
Season with remaining salt& pepper cool.
Combine the meat with the potato mixture. Form into the 16 balls and flatten them into cakes 2 inches round by 1 inch thinck.
Pour 2 inches of oil into a preheated wok. Heat to 365 degrees.

9 ounces white chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
*1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (I use Boyajiain natural peppermint flavour)
6 fresh mint leaves, optional
Put the pieces of white chocolate in a bowl, and sit this bowl over a pan over simmering water until it melts, stirring gently with a spatula every now and then. When it's melted, stand the bowl on a cold surface to cool down a little.
In another bowl, and using an electric handheld whisk for ease, whip the cream, egg white and extract together. You want soft peaking rather than a stiff mixture.
Put a big dollop of cream onto the slightly cooled chocolate and mix, and then gently fold the chocolate mixture into the cream.
Divide mixture between 6 small but perfectly formed glasses with a capacity of 60ml/ 1/4-cup each.Chill in the fridge or give them a fast icy zap but sitting them in the deep freeze for 10 or 15 minutes. Decorate top with a mint leaf before serving.

12 oz white chocolate baking bar
1/2 c crushed candy cane
1/4 -1/2 tsp peppermint extract
Melt chocolate over double boiler, add peppermint and candy canes, stir, pour into 9x13 (lined with wax paper). Refridgerate 45 min than crack into pieces like brittle

1 cup seedless raspberry jam
6 tablespoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier) or orange juice
1 pound mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
28 soft ladyfingers or 2 (12-ounce) pound cakes, cut into 3 by 1 by 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 (1/2 dry pint) baskets fresh raspberries (about 3 3/4 cups total)
Confectioners' sugar, for serving
Stir the jam and 4 tablespoons of the orange liqueur (or oj) in a small bowl to blend.
Combine the mascarpone and remaining 2 tablespoons of orange liqueur in a large bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Using a large rubber spatula, stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture to lighten. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish or other decorative serving dish with half of the ladyfingers. Spread half of the jam mixture over the ladyfingers. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the jam mixture, then cover with half of the fresh raspberries. Repeat layering with the remaining ladyfingers, jam mixture, mascarpone mixture and raspberries. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
Dust with the confectioners' sugar and serve.

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces walnuts (about one heaping cup; don’t use pieces)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar, cayenne and salt.
Bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Add the walnuts and blanch them for 3 minutes. Drain well and then immediately roll the walnuts in the sugar mixture until thoroughly coated. The sugar will melt slightly. Transfer the walnuts to a baking sheet or pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until they are a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully because the sugar can burn easily. Let cool completely before serving