Sunday, January 25, 2009

January Dinner

Another amazing night!! Well done hostesses Celeste Ward and Danielle Johnson!!!! Pure delight from start to finish! Loved the Country Living theme! The food was divine!

Cranberry Cider

1 cup of fresh Cranberries
6 cups apple juice or cider
2 cups cranberry juice
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup of Tang
5 whole cloves
5 whole allspice
3 cinnamon sticks
4 orange slices
Place cranberries in food processor and pulse just until coarsely chopped.
Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 30 minutes.
Strain cider through a fine-wire strainer; discard solids.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Crisps

1 c. finely chopped fresh strawberries
1 medium navel orange, peeled and finely chopped
3 medium kiwifruit, peeled and finely chopped
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. sugar

10 flour tortillas
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

In small bowl, combine first 6 ingred. Cover and refrigerate until serving. For crisps, brush tortillas with butter, cut each unto 8 wedges. Combing sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle over tortillas. Place of ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 5-10 min or just until crisp. Serve with salsa.
Yield: 2 1/2 c salsa, 80 crisps

Orange Corn Bread

1 c. flour
1 c. cornmeal
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp.baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1/2 c. egg substitute (or just 1 egg)
1/4 c. orange juice
2 tbsp. oil

In large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In small bowl, combine milk, egg, OJ, and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined (batter will be thin).
Pour into greased 9" square pan. Bake 400 for 18-22 min or until fork comes out clean.
**if doing muffins, reduce temp and bake time
Yield 9 serving.

Classic Spinach Dip

4 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
2 tbsp. water
2/3 cup canned sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/3 c. mayo
1/3 c. sour cream
4 tsp. vegetable soup mix
1 green onion, chopped
Assorted crackers

In micowave-safe bowl, combine spinach and water. Cover adn microwaveon high for 45-60 seconds or until wilted, drain. Cool and squeeze dry. In small bowl, combine water chestnuts, sour cream, mayo, soup mix, onion, and spinach. Chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with crackers.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Grapefruit Winter Salad

4 cups mixed greens
1 sectioned grapefruit
2 pears, thinly sliced
¼ cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pecans
¼ cup blue cheese
Citrus Dressing:
¼ cup grapefruit juice
2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 tbsp. Sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Sesame and Feta Cheese Rolls

2/3 cup water2 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon anise seeds2 tablespoons sesame seeds2 tablespoons sugar1/2 teaspoon salt2 cups all-purpose flour1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Filling:4 ounces crumbled feta4 ounces grated mozzarella1 eggDissolve yeast in water. Mix in the rest of the bread ingredients. Let rise in an oiled bowl until double, about one hour.
Mix the three ingredients for the filling and set aside. Divide the dough into two equal halves and roll each out into a circle big enough to cut eight triangle shaped wedges (pizza style). Put a spoonful of filling in the middle of each wedge then roll the dough up from the wide end to the point. Let rise for 30 minutes. If desired you can brush the rolls with an egg wash that you make from 1 beaten egg and a tablespoon of milk before sprinkling with more sesame seeds and bake them for 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until they're golden brown. Best served warm

Creamy Carrot Soup

1 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. butter, cubed
4 1/2 c. sliced fresh carrots
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1 tsp. ginger
2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

In dutch oven, saute onion in butter until tender. Add carrots, potato, broth, and ginger. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 min. or until vegetables are tender. Cool for 15 min. Transfer to a blender or food processor in small batches; cover and process until smooth. Return all to the pan, stir in cream and rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cook on low heat until heated through.
Yield: 10 servings

3 Everything Bagels
½ cup of garlic butter
Cut bagels into 1 inch squares and dry on a cookie sheet for about two days. Mix with garlic butter and spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes, turning at 7 minutes

Flank Steak Pinwheels

8 bacon strips
1 beef flank steak
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 jar roasted sweet red peppers, drained

Cream cheese sauce:
1 package (3 0z) cream cheese
1/4 c. milk
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese

Place bacon strips on a microwave safe plate lined with papertowels. Cover with another paper towel, microwave on high for 2-3 min or until partially cooked.
Meanwhile, cut steak horizontally from a long side to within 1/2 in. of opposite side. Open meat so it lies flat; cover with plastic wrap. Flatten to 1/4 in. thickness. Remove plastic.Place spinach over steak to within 1 in. of edges, top with peppers. With the grain of meat going left to right, roll up jelly roll style. Wrap bacon strips around beef, secure with toothpicks. Slice beef across the grain into 8 slices. Grill, covered, over med heat for 5-7 minutes on each side.
In small saucepan, combine cream cheese, milk, butter, and pepper. Cook and stir over low heat until smooth. Stir in blue cheese. Serve with pinwheels
Yield: 8 servings

Linguini with Bacon, Baby Spinach, and Sage
1 pkg. linguini
1/4 lb. bacon, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package. In large skillet over med heat, cook bacon until desired crispness. Add onion and saute 5-6 min or until tender. Stir in stock and sage, simmer 1-2 min. Add spinach and cook until spinach wilts. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss linguini with sauce and serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

Devils Food Cheesecake

Please visit for instructions-
The directions look intimidating but it is so easy because the steps can be done on different days!
I make the devil’s food cake layers a week before I intend on putting the cake all together.
I just let the devil’s food cake cool on wire racks, then I wrap them in plastic wrap and then foil and freeze them. Freezing for a week also helps to make them extra moist.
I make the cheesecake one or two days in advance and also freeze it too.
Then on the day of serving I make the frosting and put it all together. Frost the layers while still frozen, don’t thaw them first or you will lose the moisture in the cakes.

Take home treats:

Pomegranate Jelly

4 cups pomegranate juice (either pressed from real fruit or 100% bottled juice)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
5 c. sugar

Also need 6-8 eight oz. canning jars or about10-12 baby food jars

1. Make juice...or buy it:)
2. Prepare jars with hot soapy water, then boil to sterilize.
3.Measure pomegranate juice and lemon juice in 6 qt. pan. Add pectin, stir and place over high heat. Bring to boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Reach a full rolling boil (can't be stirred down), and add sugar. Boil hard for exactly 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand for a minute, and skim off foam.
4. Fill jars to 1/2" from top, wipe rims and choose manner of canning.

for canning the jelly there are lotsa options.
a. put on lids and put in fridge
b. pour 1/4"inch of hot wax on top, then add another 1/4" when cooled, put on lids
c. Place jelly jars in boiling water, not touching, fully covered, for 5 minutes. Let jars cool. Check seals. Don't do this is using baby jars, lids most likely won't seal twice.