Party Food Recipes

Justin All Recipes, General 103 Comments

Throw the Ultimate Holiday Party

Party Food Recipe & Idea Index

Cranberry Sauce Oatmeal with Maple Frosting and Coconut
Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Appetizers – Meat
Chorizo Tacos with Jalapeno Cream and Cotija Cheese
Tex-Mex Chicken Rolls
A Walk on the Wild Side
Stuffed Grape Leaves
Bacon Sourdough Dip
Confetti Rolls
Prosciutto Gougeres
Jalapeno Popper Spread
Pumpkin-Pesto Pizza Pinwheels
Winter Solstice Scotch Eggs
Bacon-Ranch Deviled Eggs
Hanky Pankies
Cheese and Mushroom Snacks
Chicken Burger Sliders with Boursin and Arugula
Teriyaki Kabobs
Festive Savory Meatballs with Cranberry Dipping Sauce
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Cranberry Barbecue Wings
Pulled Pork Quesadillas
Carnita Pinwheels
Smokey Sausage Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers
Asparagus & Prosciutto Roll Ups
Herb and Lime Chicken Cups
Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Shrimp with Pineapple Cocktail Sauce

Appetizers – Seafood
Roasted Corn Waffles with Smoked Salmon & Mascarpone
Basil-Mango Shrimp
Steamed Oysters in Shells with White Wine Fennel Liqueur
Smoked Salmon Canapés on White Bean Spread
Homemade Gravlax (aka Lox)
Spicy Tuna Sushi Sliders
Firecracker Shrimp
Crab Casino Canapes

Appetizers – Vegetarian
Fried Ravioli with Pesto and Marinara Sauce
Indian-Style Green Pea Patties with Garlic Mango Tomato Pepper Salsa
Stuffed Grape Leaves
Grilled Goat Cheese
Puff Pastry Wrapped Brie
Sweet and Spicy Peanuts
Easy Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Goat Cheese with Fennel Pollen and Pink Peppercorns
Goat Cheese with Garlic and Pomegranate Molasses
Ciabatta with Burrata and Heirloom Tomatoes
Pretty Party Pinwheels
Simple Stuffed Mushrooms
Garlicky Chanterelle and Shallot Bruschetta
Polenta Triangles with Roasted Red Pepper Relish
Stuffed Mushrooms
Polenta and Eggplant Rounds with Balsamic Onions and Tomatoes
White Bean Dip
Versatile Meatless Meatballs
Palak Paneer Phyllo Triangles
Eggless Potato Latkes w/ Pomegranate Quince Chutney
Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip
Mediterranean Layered Spread
Blue Cheese and Cranberry Puff Pastry with Walnuts
Tomato and Avocado Canapes with Manchego Cheese
Tortellini Skewers
Lemon-Bleu Stuffed Tomatoes
Texas Jalapeno Poppers
Turmeric Spiced Walnuts
Popcorn Walnut Delight
Walnut, Black Olive and Dried Tomato Spread
Puff Pastry, Chevre and Roasted Beets 
Spicy Pumpkin & White Bean Spread
Topping French Brie
Crunchy Fried & Toasty Garden Spinach Gigante Ravioli with Marinara Sauce
Caramelized Onion Crostini
Tropical Cheese Ball
Tapenade with Sun Dried Tomato
Feta Cheese & Onion Puff Pastry Cups
Orange-Ginger Pickled Beets
Fill with Imagination Cups
Baked Spinach Ravioli
Spicy Peanut Dip

Chanterelle Mushroom Custard & Hazelnut Arugula Salad
Guacamole Chicken Salad

Main Dishes
Kelly’s Glazed BBQ Ribs
Teri’s Tuscan Chicken
Catalina Crock Pot Roast
Dobladillas with Mole de Guajolote
White Chicken Chili with Cilantro Lime Tortilla Chips
Goodbye Fondue
Traditional, Party-Size Butternut Squash Risotto
Spicy Pulled Pork in Tart Cherry Sauce with Vanilla Slaw
Cheese fondue with Pesto

Holiday Eggnog Bread

Spritz Cookies
Oatmeal Cookies
Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cranberries, Macadamia Nuts and Coconut
Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees
Peppermint Toffee Cookies
Lavender Ice Box Cookies
Peppermint Meringues

New Orleans Pecan Party Candies
Pretzel Turtles
Eggnog Truffles

Beautiful Black Raspberry Ice Cream Mold with Violet Blossoms
Chocolate Fondue
Irresistible Butterscotch-Caramel Banana Muffin Cakes
Prune and Yogurt Cocktail with Chocolate
Mr. Meschere’s Magical Fondue
Sopapilla Cheesecake
Figs, Blue Cheese and Reduced Port
Chocolate Mousse Pillows

Holiday Cocktails
Grand Marnier Egg Nog
Judy’s Holiday Punch
The Hot Choctail
Maple Mojito
Smoky Margarita
Sake Green Tea Martini with Crushed Peppercorns
Hot Buttered Rum
Bloody Mary

Party Ideas
Beer Pairing Party
Mid Afternoon drinks, board games and more
Fondue for Christmas
BYO Wine and Cheese Party

Check out the party food recipes that were developed by our executive chef:
Marinated Wild Mushroom Canapes
Farro Salad with Pancetta and Root Vegetables
Kobe Beef Sliders with Tarragon Aioli & Caramelized Onions
Pan Roasted Sockeye Salmon with Preserved Lemon Beurre Blanc
Huckleberry Crème Puree with Vanilla Bean Crème Fraiche & Tellicherry Pepper Syrup

Comments 103

  1. Roasted Corn Waffles with Smoked Salmon & Maple Mascarpone

    2 ears corn
    2 eggs, separated
    1 ¾ cups milk
    1 cup flour
    2 ½ tsps. baking powder
    1 Tbsp. sugar
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 cup fine ground corn meal
    ¼ cup butter, melted
    2 scallions, sliced with greens

    Preheat oven to 350. Cut corn off of the cob and put on a baking sheet. Roast for 10-15 minutes until slightly browned, but not shriveled. Remove and set aside to cool.

    Slightly beat egg yolks with milk. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add cornmeal and mix together. Make a well in dry ingredients and add milk mixture all at once. Combine in a few strokes – don’t over mix or worry about lumps. Cool melted butter slightly and add to batter. Add roasted corn and scallions to the batter. Beat reserved egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Spoon or ladle batter into preheated waffle press.

    Makes 6 regular waffles or around 4 Belgian style waffles.

    Maple Mascarpone

    4 Tbsps. mascarpone cheese (for lighter recipe you can substitute yogurt, but it should be strained through a cheesecloth to remove excess water)
    1 tsp. real maple syrup

    Mix together in a small bowl.

    To Assemble

    You can serve these as plated, buffet or passed hors d’oeuvres. Cut the waffles in the appropriate size square. Top with small dollop of mascarpone and thin slice of smoked salmon.

  2. Chorizo Tacos with Jalapeno cream and Cotija cheese.

    3 medium potatoes, baked and riced
    3 medium onions, 2 diced and 1 sliced
    Salt and black pepper to taste
    3 ripe avocados, peeled and diced
    1 jalapeno pepper

    1/2 cup diced spanish chorizo
    1 tbls butter
    1/2 cup plus 1 tbls olive oil
    2 tbls honey
    1 cup heavy cream
    3/4 cup sour cream
    3/4 cup grated Manchego cheese
    2/3 cup grated Cotija cheese
    12 small corn tortillas

    preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve the jalapeno and toss it and the sliced onions in 1 tbls oil. Roast in oven until slightly brown and softened. Put aside to cool. Now, heat a saute pan and slowly cook the diced onions in 1 tbls. of oil and 1 tbls. butter over medium low heat until caramelized. Place aside and cool on paper towel lined plate. heat reamaining oil in large saute pan. Add chorizo, cook until crispy and then remove to towel lined plate and cool. Place roasted vegetables and avocado in a blender with a bit of water to get it started if you need, add honey and then stir into sour cream. Place into refrigerator to cool.

    to make filling: slightly heat cream and mix in potato until softened. Mix in Manchego, Chorizo, and salt and pepper to taste.

    Spoon filling into middle of tortilla, fold in half, and then lightly fry in pan until crispy. Remove to plate to drain on towels. Place tacos on plate, drizzle with jalapeno cream and sprinkle cotija cheese. These are amazing, enjoy.

  3. ***Fried Ravioli with Pesto and Marinara Sauce***

    This recipe can be simple or as complicated as the party host desires because you have so many options. You can purchase prepackaged ravioli (like Marx Foods Mascarpone, Smoked Chicken, & Pine Nut Ravioli—AWESOME! and sauces or make your own to save some cash.

    To fry ravioli, simply cook them completely and then pan fry them in vegetable oil until they are crispy — a process that just takes a few minutes. Then decorate the ravioli with green pesto and red marinara sauce (see recipes below) for a Christmas effect!

    My favorite Easy Pesto Recipe
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    2 cups fresh basil leaves
    2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    1 small garlic clove, peeled
    1. Combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese in blender container. Pulse on/off 5 or 6 times to coarsely chop ingredients. Trickle in olive oil with blender running until basil mixture is a purée. Remove pesto from blender container. Stir in pepper and salt to taste.
    Quick and Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

    I use whatever wine I have on hand. I have used white and red with good success (though red is probably a more natural fit). Just make sure you use drinking wine (those cheap cooking wines aren’t worth having in your kitchen!). You can adjust the wine amount to personal preference, sometimes I don’t even measure, but pour to taste. You can also easily use other herbs, or fresh herbs. I often use this as the foundation for more elaborate sauces.

    2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 onion, peeled and chopped
    3-6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
    1 28 ounce jar of purred or chopped tomatoes
    2 teaspoons dried basil
    1/2 cup of wine
    Sea salt and pepper to taste

    1-Heat a pan on medium high heat with the olive oil. When hot add the onion. Saute, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and transparent. Then add the garlic and saute 1-2 minutes more (don’t let it brown).
    2-Add the tomatoes, basil, and wine, and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, taste test and add salt if needed bit.

    Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

  4. This plate of spritz is always in the center of my dessert table.
    Save the earth!!! It is the only planet with chocolate.

    Spritz Cookies

    1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour

    1/4 cup corn starch

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

    1/2 cup granulated sugar

    1 large egg yolk

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    a few drops of food coloring(s) in colors of choice Red and green are nice for Christmas.

    Preheat oven to 350̊ F. Line large cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.

    Sift the sifted flour, the corn starch and the salt into a large bowl and set aside.

    In a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

    Add the egg yolk and vanilla until well combined.

    With the mixer on low gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.

    If using food coloring, divide the dough into bowels for each color. Mix each color until dough is tinted to shade desired.

    Load the dough(s) into a cookie press per the manufacturer’s directions.

    Press cookies onto the prepared cookie sheet(s) about 1 1/2 inches apart. If desired, decorate the cookies with sprinkles, candies and/or other decorations. Bake until cookies are golden but not brown., about 8 -10 minutes. Remove from oven, cool cookies on pan for five minutes then transfer cookies to a rack(s) to cool completely

    Makes about 5 dozen small cookies.

    TIP: This works for spritz or any other cookie with a high amount of butter. Butter, even in a whipped state, is warm. It adheres best to a cold surface. So, put your cookie sheet(s) in the freezer for a few minutes before pressing the cookies

    Spritz Cookies

  5. A great ingredient to have in your pantry during the Holidays is canned chicken breast. It is great to use when you need to whip up a quick appetizer. I use canned chicken breast to make chicken salad, chicken croissants, and my recipe for Tex-Mex Chicken Rolls.

    Tex-Mex Chicken Rolls
    4 oz. pkg. cream cheese
    1 cup sour cream
    1 pkg. ranch dip mix
    1 tbsp. Mrs. Dash-Southwest Chipotle
    ½ can Rotel, drained
    2 cans chicken breast, drained & shredded
    ¾ pkg. shredded cheddar cheese
    1 pkg. jalapeno & cheddar wraps
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Mix together all ingredients and spread over each wrap. Roll up wraps and place on cookie sheet. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and slice into 2 inch slices.
    Serves 8 ppl


    I came up with an elegant delicious cookie recipe and it starts off with instant oatmeal. Oatmeal is an item that everyone should have in their pantry during the winter. It is great for breakfast on cold mornings and is the key ingredient to my Oatmeal cookies. These cookies are warm and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

    Oatmeal Cookies

    1/3 cup unsalted butter
    3 packets maple & brown sugar instant oatmeal
    1/4 cup white sugar
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/8 tsp salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 egg
    8 oz. bittersweet chocolate bar

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Melt butter and set aside to let cool. Combine oatmeal, sugars, and salt in a bowl.

    In a large bowl, whisk together butter, vanilla, and egg. Mix in oatmeal mixture with wooden spoon until incorporated.

    Chill dough for 10 minutes.

    Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop cookie dough onto silicon lined baking sheet. Slightly press down dough. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and then carefully remove cookies with metal spatula onto wax paper.

    Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl. Pour into small ziploc bag. Snip corner of bag and drizzle chocolate onto cookies.

    Makes 2 dozen cookies

  6. As a beer lover and homebrewer, one of the things I plan to do this holiday season is have a beer pairing party. A lot of people don’t realize how well beer pairs with food—anything from cheese to dessert has a perfect beer companion. In true potluck fashion, I am asking each guest to bring a dish and a few bottles of beer that are meant to pair well with it. I will have cards out on the table to label what pairs with what, and guests will not only have great food and drinks, but also great conversation starters!

    One of my favorite things to do is pair a rich, decadent flourless chocolate cake with a Russian Imperial Stout for dessert. People are always surprised to see how well the beer pairs with the chocolate (the beer has flavors of dark chocolate, espresso, and dried, dark fruits)—I’ve even won over several wine lovers or people who thought they didn’t like beer!

    Beer and cheese is another one that always seems to be a big hit—one of my favorites is a bold and hoppy Double IPA paired with the robust and tangy Red Dragon cheese (whole mustard seeds)—the bright citrus flavors of the beer are a great balance to the spicy/earthy flavors of the cheese.

    I could go on forever, but the whole point is getting friends together to try new beers and foods, and to have fun learning something new with good company (plus its great on the wallet because no one person is responsible for providing food/drinks for the whole crowd!).

  7. Tip: An inexpensive way to hold a party is to “rent” space at your local park. Massachusetts has a large state park system and recently one of my friends graduated from college so he called the state park system and found that one of the state parks had both a beach and a large area with tables, grills, and tents with picnic tables. Everyone brought potluck dishes and we had a great time for only the cost of putting the car in the parking area. (Obviously better in summer depending on the weather, however if you have warm weather during the fall and winter this would also be great).


    Indian-Style Green Pea Patties with Garlic Mango Tomato Pepper Salsa

    Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

    3 garlic cloves , minced

    2 serrano chilies , seeded and finely chopped

    2 (16ounce) packages frozen green peas, thawed

    1/3 cup finely chopped red bell peppers

    6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or oregano, divided

    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt , divided

    3 large eggs

    2 tablespoons water

    panko, as needed

    olive oil or clarified unsalted butter, for frying

    2 cups chopped tomatoes, cored, seeded

    2 mangos, chopped

    2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

    Combine minced garlic and chilies in a large bowl. Place 1 teaspoon garlic mixture in a small bowl; set aside. Pulse peas through a food processor or blender and add remaining garlic mixture in large bowl. Stir in half of the bell peppers, half of the cilantro or oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, and half of the salt.

    Divide mixture into 24 equal portions, shaping each into a small patty.

    Beat the remaining 2 eggs with the 2 tablespoons water. Dip each patty into the egg wash and then into the panko.

    Place the patties on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Adding 6 patties at a time; cook about 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with the remaining patties.

    Add the chopped tomatoes and the lemon juice to the remaining garlic, bell peppers, mangos, cilantro or oregano, cumin, and salt; stir well. Serve with patties.

  8. Basil-Mango Shrimp
    This is a simple way and tasty way to WOW the guests at your next party. Make individual shrimp cocktails by spooning sauce into margarita or wine glasses and hanging shrimp on the rim; OR make a big platter of shrimp to surround a bowl of the sauce as a dip. Or even spoon the sauce into shot glasses and hang a single shrimp from the rim for Basil-Mango Shrimp Shots!

    1 lb or more Shrimp, 16-20 count, peeled and de-veined
    1 Mango
    10-12 leaves fresh Basil (do not substitute dry basil)
    1 or more tablespoons Cajun/Creol spice mix, to taste
    1-2 tablespoons olive oil.

    In a ziptop bag, toss the shrimp and spice blend together to coat. Saute the shrimp with a little olive oil, in a skillet on medium heat, until tender and orange. Drain and cool.

    Peel and pit the mango, and put the meat in a blender or food processor. Rip up the basil and add it to the mango. Pulse to turn the fruit into a beautiful green thick sauce. Chill before serving. Place sauce in a serving bowl or glasses, and add the shrimp to the display. One mango is good for at least one pound of shrimp.

  9. A Walk on the Wild Side

    Whenever we have a football party I make the following:
    thin stripes of beef
    long green chiles cut in half
    Spanish onion
    Grill and serve on a flour tortilla covered in salsa.

  10. Here’s a go-to oyster recipe for you to enjoy, folks~! Happy Holidays. Donna.

    Steamed Oysters in Shells with White Wine Fennel Liqueur

    2/3 cup dry white wine
    1/4 cup minced red onions
    1/4 cup each finely shredded or chopped (raw) fennel bulb, hot peppers and red, yellow or orange bell pepper
    2 TBSP finely minced Italian parsley leafs
    3 TBSP olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ¼ cup cooked oyster liquid from oyster pot

    One dozen fresh Marx product Live Virginia oysters on the half shell
    ¼ cup white wine
    One clove garlic, whole
    One bay leaf
    ¼ teaspoon paprika
    2 TBSP Old Bay Spice Seasoning mixture
    Start Liqueur: Combine all ingredients (except oyster sauce) in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until combined, keeping mixture warmed while waiting for oysters to steam in another pot.

    For the Oysters: In a different large pot, fitted with a strainer insert or collapsible metal steamer basket, add 3 cups of water to pot, ¼ cup dry white wine, whole garlic clove, bay leaf, paprika and Old Bay Spice Seasoning mixture. Bring liquid to a boil in covered pot. Add oysters to the steaming basket and steam 10 minutes.

    Remove oysters from pot to serving platter or tapa dishes.

    Add 1/4 cup oyster water to the prepared liqueur mixture. Spoon liqueur over the oysters and serve.

  11. This is my favorite holiday cocktail. I have emailed a photo to go along with it 🙂

    I make this egg nog every year for the holidays. It’s not kid friendly for sure with all the liquor but it is simple to prepare and always seems to get rave reviews when I bring it to parties. Thick, rich and delicious… the Grand Marnier adds a fairly subtle but really wonderful and unique orange flavor.

    * 6 eggs, separated
    * 1 cup sugar
    * 1 cup Grand Marnier
    * 1/2 cup rum
    * 1/2 cup brandy
    * 1 1/2 quarts whole milk
    * 3 cups whipping cream
    * Nutmeg

    Beat egg yolks until thick. Beat in sugar, and then Grand Marnier, rum and brandy. Chill for about an hour. Add milk while stirring. In another bowl, beat whipping cream until thick then set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff but not too dry. Fold egg whites and whipping cream into egg mixture. Let egg nog chill overnight. Grate fresh nutmeg over the top of each mug right before serving.

    Egg Nog

  12. Stuffed Grape Leaves (Warak Anib bi Zeit)

    A Special Holiday Version mixing Levantine, Turkish, and Arabian Gulf ingredients

    Recipe by Brian D. Sadie


    1 jar Grape Leaves
    4-5 large Tomatoes, sliced

    2 cups Short Grain Rice
    1 large Tomato, chopped
    1 cup Green Onions, minced
    6-8 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
    ½ cup Pine Nuts
    ½ cup Chick Peas, crushed
    ½ cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
    ½ cup Fresh Mint, chopped
    ¼ tsp Cinnamon
    ¼ tsp Allspice
    1-2 tsp Salt
    Pinch Black Pepper

    2 lbs. Lamb or Beef, ground
    ½ tsp Garan Curry
    ½-1 cup Extra-Virgin Cold-Pressed Olive Oil
    1-2 Lemons, juice of
    To taste Red Pepper, roasted and aged in olive oil with browned onion
    Beef or Lamb Bones to flavour stock

    Wash the rice and soak for one hour.
    Rinse leaves in cold water.
    Mix stuffing.
    Oil the bottom of a Dutch oven and place inside half the sliced tomatoes and garlic.
    Lay leaves vein-up and place filling in centre.
    NOTE: Do not roll the leaves too tightly because the rice expands as it cooks.
    When finished, put loose or torn leaf remnants on bottom.
    Place bones on bottom as well, if desired, for added flavour.
    Arrange leaves in perpendicular layers.
    Put remaining sliced tomato and garlic on top.
    Pour in one cup of olive oil and add water to just cover the leaves.
    Place a dish on the leaves to keep them down while cooking.
    Boil, reduce and simmer for 1½ hours.
    Add lemon juice and cook an additional 10-15 minutes.

    To Serve:
    The cooking liquid can be useful as a broth for another dish.
    Invert the pot and slide leaves onto large platter. Garnish with lemon slices. May be served hot, but best at room temperature or cold. Excellent with laban – yogurt with fresh mint that is served at room temperature. This is one of nearly two dozen variations of a Mediterranean-Middle Eastern standard.

  13. Bacon Sourdough Dip

    1 large round loaf sourdough bread
    1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
    1 ½ cups sour cream
    2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (medium or sharp)
    2-3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    3/4 lb. bacon – cooked and crumbled

    Cut out a circle in the top of the bread and gut out the middle to make a bread bowl (save inside pieces of bread for dipping). In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and Worcestershire sauce. Then mix in bacon. Pour into bread bowl. Wrap up in tin foil. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour, or until heated through (we usually have to do it 1/2 hour at 350 and 1 hour at 325 before it’s all melted). Serve with extra bread from bowl and crackers.

    Bacon Sourdough Dip


    Mix 1lb soft goat cheese with
    2 cups chopped sun dried tomatoes
    1/2 cup chopped fresh basil.
    salt & pepper to taste.

    Separate 1 head romaine lettuce, trim hard spine from leaves and cook in simmering water until wilted.
    Drain on paper towles.
    Place aprox 4 oz. of goat cheese mixture on the biggest leaf and roll up.
    Place goat cheese bundles on hot grill and warm 3 – 4 min. Place on plate and drizzle with Balsamic Reduction. Slice into top of appetizer and serve with toasted baguettes.

  15. “New Orleans Pecan Party Candies”

    Makes:3 cups
    Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours

    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 Tbs flour
    1 large egg white
    3 cups pecan halves – 10 oz


    Preheat oven to 175 degrees F

    In a medium bowl mix together the sugar and flour.

    In a medium bowl beat the egg white until foamy.Whisk
    in the brown sugar and flour mixture.Fold in the pecans.

    Transfer the pecans to a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 1` 1/2 hours.

    Let cool completely before breaking apart

  16. Confetti Rolls

    Colorful veggies, ramen noodles & shredded chicken will delight young & old when neatly packed into crispy egg roll wrappers. Served with an easy homemade sweet & sour sauce, they make an impresssive and economical appetizer.

    1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon of ramen noodle seasoning (optional)
    1/2 cup water
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil or 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    1/2 cup red peppers, diced
    1/4 cup onions, minced
    1 teaspoon garlic, minced
    1/2 cup carrots, shredded (or cut into 1/4 inch wide matchsticks)
    1 cup green or purple cabbage, shredded
    1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed & drained
    2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
    1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
    salt & pepper, to taste
    20 egg roll wraps
    1/4 cup vegetable oil (or less, depending on size of pan or griddle, for frying)
    1 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1 teaspoon seasoning salt
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
    1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

    Remove egg roll wrappers from fridge and let come to room temperature.

    Before opening package of ramen, gently break noodles into smaller pieces then combine noodles, cayenne pepper, packet seasoning (if desired) and the 1/2 cup of water in large, deep skillet or dutch oven. Cook over med-hi heat for about 3 minutes or until noodles are softened and the water is gone. Remove noodles to a small bowl & set aside.

    To the pan, add the oil, red pepper, onion and garlic. Cook and stir until softened, about 2-3 minutes.

    Add carrots, cabbage, spinach, chicken, ginger, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for about 2-3 minutes.

    Stir in reserved ramen noodles and mix well.

    Remove from heat and allow to cool until you can handle it. (I use this time to make the sweet & sour sauce, instructions below.).

    To fill egg roll wrappers: Lay wrappers in front of you with the corners pointing up and down. Put 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the wrapper leaving about 1 inch open at the left and right corners. Fold up the lower corner and tuck it gently, but tightly under the filling. Fold the left and right corners over the filling and into the center. Dip your finger in a bit of water and moisten the last remaining corner, the flap at the top. Roll the filled portion up to seal the top corner. Lay on a tray or waxed paper (seam side down) until ready to cook. Repeat with the other 19 wrappers, using up the filling.

    Heat the 1/4 cup oil in high-sided griddle, fry pan or dutch oven to 350° and fry the rolls, turning to brown all sides, about 2-3 minutes. Remove to a cookie sheet or plate lined with paper towels to drain. I use a griddle and can fry 10 at a time, taking about 10 minutes total to cook all 20 of them.

    Serve with sweet & sour sauce.

    To make sauce: In small saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, and seasoned salt. Slowly stir in vinegar, water, cherry juice and Worcestershire sauce. Heat to boiling then turn down heat slightly while you cook and stir for 2 minutes to thicken sauce.

    Confetti Rolls

  17. Eggnog

    6 eggs
    2 + ½ cups heavy whipping cream
    1 cup sugar
    ½ cup brandy
    ½ cup dark rum
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ground or grated (fresh is best)
    (opt) cinnamon or nutmeg sprinkled on top

    Begin with pre-chilled ingredients for best results.
    In a medium bowl, beat the eggs together until very frothy.
    Continue beating while adding sugar.
    Sprinkle in nutmeg and vanilla.
    Continue beating.
    A little at a time, add in the whipping cream, continuing to beat.
    Finally, beat in the rum and brandy.
    Refrigerate the eggnog for 1 – 2 hours.
    Serve cold, preferably in small frosted glasses.

    Bacon Sourdough Dip

  18. Beautiful Black Raspberry Ice Cream Mold with Violet Blossoms

    One quart Black Raspberry Ice Cream
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon brown sugar
    ¼ teaspoon ground mace
    ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom seed
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup candy, fruit & nut trail mix
    2 cups prepared whipped cream
    ½ cup Violet blossoms (yes, they’re edible…)
    Mint Leaves for garnish
    1 package Scottish pure-butter shortbread cookies

    1. Let ice cream stand at room temperature long enough to just soften.
    2. Meanwhile, pour 1 cup heavy cream into a small bowl. Add brown sugar, mace, cardamom seed and vanilla to bowl and whip mixture to stiff peaks.
    3. Turn softened ice-cream into a separate large bowl. Fold in Trail mix and the whipped cream mixture until all ingredients are gently mixed.
    4. Spoon mixture into a 1 ½ quart mold and place in freezer to firm medium-hard.
    5. Remove mold from freezer and dip into a large pan of boiling water to loosen.
    6. Place mold on a serving platter, decorate with whipped cream, violet blossoms and mint leaves (arranged around the violet blossoms to resemble leaves).
    7. Cut and serve slices of ice cream mold with 2 shortbread cookies per serving.

  19. This is my favorite little treat to take to parties year-round. People always love them and there are NEVER any left!

    Pretzel Turtles
    Rolo Candies
    Small Pretzels
    Pecan Halves
    (1 Rolo + 1 Pretzel + 1 Pecan Halve = 1 Treat)

    Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a cookie sheet with foil. Place pretzels flat on the foil-lined cookie sheet. Place 1 Rolo on each pretzel. Place in oven for 4-5 minutes or until Rolos become soft. Immediately after removing pretzels from oven, place a pecan halve on each Rolo and very lightly press down to spread chocolate/caramel over pretzel. Let stand or place in refrigerator until chocolate/caramel hardens.
    Goodies will keep for a good while in an air tight container.

    Pretzel Turtles

  20. Figuring that many of y’all are going to throw at least one finger food type party this season, this desert idea seemed appropriate – a chocolate sauce with stuff to dip in it. While the hardest part of this dish is cutting up the fresh fruit, with a bit of attention to the arrangement, it can look quite impressive, and it has always proved to be a big hit with guests. One year, I even caught a woman eating the chocolate out of the serving bowl with a spoon.

    You will need:

    1 pound semi-sweet chocolate chips
    assorted fresh fruit cut into bite sizes
    2 cups of heavy cream
    graham crackers
    medium sized marshmallows
    1 cup (or so) of honey
    2 cups sweetened whipped cream

    Concept: What you are going to do is heat the cream just until it begins to boil. There will be enough heat from the cream to melt chocolate, which will combine to form the dipping sauce. Lay this out with the fruit chunks, the marshmallows, some split up graham crackers, a bowl of honey, and a bowl of whipped cream and let your guests have fun dipping. Remember, people like playing with their food, if it’s not too complicated a task.

    Cooking: There’s not really much to it. Heat the cream in a sauce pan. Add chocolate chips a few at a time while whisking, until you get a mixture that is thick enough to cling to fruit without dripping. If it’s not sweet enough for your taste, add an appropriate amount of powdered sugar. Pour this into your serving bowl and place it on the serving platter. This takes at most 5 minutes. Due to the large amount of cream, it should take some time to set up at room temperature, and if it does whisking over medium low heat will quickly return it to a semi-liquid state. If there is more than your serving bowl will hold, the excess can be left on the TURNED OFF burner used to heat the cream.

    Optionally, you can add a shot of Bourbon to the cream before heating, or even some hot sauce. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other items to dip.

    Oh, and don’t forget to provide some way for guests to dispose of their used toothpicks.

    the Grit

  21. Prosciutto Gougeres
    Makes about 24.

    Although gougeres are at their absolute best when pulled, just-baked, from the oven and served, they’re still pretty damned good made in advance and reheated. You can make them a day early and refrigerate them overnight, then reheat them in a 350F oven, or you can even freeze them for a few weeks, then heat them up just before serving.

    6 slices prosciutto
    1 c water
    7 tbsp unsalted butter
    2 tsp kosher salt
    Pinch of sugar
    Freshly ground white pepper to taste
    1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
    4 – 5 ea large eggs
    5 oz Gruyère – grated

    Heat the oven to 450F.

    Slightly cook prosciutto in a skillet over medium heat – about 10 seconds per side. Then coarsely chop by hand, you should have about 1/3 cup lightly packed.

    In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, salt, pepper, and sugar and bring to a boil. Add all the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium, and stir for 2 minutes, or until the mixture forms a ball and the excess moisture has evaporated (if the ball forms more quickly, continue to cook and stir for a full 2 minutes).

    Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle and beat for about 30 seconds at medium speed to cool slightly. Add 4 eggs and continue to mix until completely combined and the batter has a smooth, silky texture. Stop the machine and lift up the beater to check the consistency of the batter. The batter in the mixing bowl should form a peak with a tip that falls over. If it is too stiff, beat in the white of the remaining egg. Check again and, if necessary, add the yolk. Finally, mix in 3/4 cup of the Gruyère and chopped prosciutto.

    Line a pair of baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a one-gallon heavy plastic bag with the gougère batter and snip off a bottom corner. Pipe the batter into 1-tablespoon mounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the gougères. Sprinkle the top of each gougère with about 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining grated cheese and bake for 7 to 8 minutes (my oven needs 10 minutes), or until they puff and hold their shape. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. When the gougères are done, they should be a light golden brown color. (Note: Unless you have a convection oven, I recommend cooking these in two batches, if you have a convection oven you may be able to cook both sheets at once.)

    Prosciutto Gougeres

  22. My mother used to make this punch, and now I do every year at our holiday party.

    Judy’s Holiday Punch

    1 46 oz. Very Berry/Juicy Fruit Hawaiian Punch
    1 6 oz. frozen Minute Maid Limeade, thawed
    1 6 oz. frozen orange juice, thawed
    1 liter Canada Dry Club Soda
    1 33.8 oz. Canada Dry Ginger Ale

    Mix them all together in a large punch bowl and serve. If guests want to spike their drink, have them add a little Raspberry Vodka.

    Happy Holidays!

  23. *Jalapeno Popper Spread*
    1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
    1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
    2 tbsp. bacon bits
    Several jalapenos, seeded and chopped
    Bread crumbs

    In a 9-inch pie plate, combine first four ingredients, and spread evenly in the pan. Top with a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Serve with pita chips or bread sticks.

    This dip, with festive red bacon bits and green jalapenos, is sure to spice up your holiday party!

  24. Puff Pastry Wrapped Brie

    Party foods should be easy, easy, and easy. Over the years I have made some really creative dinners, a wonderful Lamb shank but the recipe comes from Mario Batali’s book, another pork roast with a mustard sauce, but I cannot remember which cook book it is in up in my cupboard. BUT, all of these come with a little more preparation. What is easy to serve when someone calls up and says, come over for a glass of wine, I say what can I bring and an appetizer is suggested. So during the holidays I buy a couple of the whole President Brand Brei Cheese from do I mention that big box store? And keep on hand for such an occasion. I always have a couple different types of crackers in the pantry, I always have some homemade plumb or apricot Pineapple freezer jam and I always keep craisins in the pantry. Another item to have on hand is Puff Pastry, or even the canned crescent rolls that come in the can that you pop on the corner of the table.

    Roll out the puff pastry or the crescent roll dough, EASY,
    Take the Brei cheese out of the round box, unwrap the plastic wrap and place the cheese round in the middle of the rolled out dough. Bring up the four corners to the middle and get a little creative and have some whole chives available and tie the four corners of the dough with the chives to look a bit like a wrapped gift. Make sure the dough covers the cheese entirely. Place on baking sheet and place in a 375 oven and bake until the dough has browned and the cheese is softened. EASY
    While the wrapped cheese is baking place 1/4 cup of the jam in a small pan, chop a handful of craisins and mix with the jam and heat on low. When the cheese is done after about 20 minutes or so, place on a serving plate and pour the jam over the cheese and serve with your favorite Crackers. Optional if you want a bit of a bite, add some finely chopped jalapeno to the jam before you pour over the cheese. EASY It looks like you worked really hard, and everyone compliments the effort and really there is no effort at all.

  25. Some of my favorite party foods include mini pizzas, chicken tenders with different types of dipping sauces, deli meat wraps and homemade chocolate chip cookies or brownies.

    In order to make a party fun you need to surround yourself with people you care about and those people who make you feel good. Which reminds me of my first holiday party it was about 20 years ago when I was in elementary school. We were in music class and were preparing to go back outside to go to our homeroom. We were putting our jackets on and walking back to our homeroom. When we reached the building where our homeroom was we could smell the unmistakable smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. The aroma permeated the entire building (there were only four classrooms in the building). As we got closer to our classroom the aroma became stronger as we entered the classroom, I remember Christmas music playing in the background and at each of our desks there was a small gingerbread house with our names written on it in vanilla icing that a parent had made for everyone in the class. I remember there being so much fun, singing and laughing. To me that is what the holidays are all about fun, singing and laughing. All of us were different (race, religion, gender, etc.) but we all had one thing in common we all enjoyed each other’s company and we cared about each other very much. We weren’t rich, we didn’t have a fancy budget, we just had parents and teachers that really cared about us and made that event memorable. And that is the best way to have a holiday party. The best holiday party is all about the amount you spend – not the money, but the time, the time you spend with the ones you love.

    I’m not a chef but here is my recipe for chocolate chips cookies with a festive touch.

    Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cranberries, Macadamia Nuts and Coconut


    1 stick butter, softened
    1 cup light brown sugar
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
    1¾ cups all purpose flour
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    1 tablespoons of cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon of instant coffee mix
    ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries
    ½ cup of macadamia nuts, chopped
    1¼ cups dark chocolate chips
    ¼ cup of shredded coconut (comes in a bag at grocery store)


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix the butter with the brown sugar and the granulated sugar. Mix until the mixture has a creamy consistency. Add the egg and the pure vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

    In a separate bowl sift and mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder. Add the instant coffee mix to the dry sifted ingredients and mix. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient mixture and mix to incorporate everything. After everything has been mixed thoroughly add the sweetened cranberries, macadamia nuts, dark chocolate chips and shredded coconut.

    Spoon cookie dough on a buttered cookie sheet. Make sure to press the cookies down lightly. Bake in the oven 20-25 minutes. Makes about 24 cookies.

    Another easy party tip is to go to the deli section of your local grocery store and get some deli meats (roast beef, turkey, ham) and wrap them in avocado slices and bacon it makes for a quick and tasty treat.

    Have a happy and safe holiday everyone!

  26. Chanterelle Mushroom Custard & Hazelnut Arugula Salad

    5 to 6 ounces chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and sliced*
    1 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoons butter
    2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
    2 teaspoons chopped shallots
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    Salt and pepper
    4 eggs, room temperature
    1 1/2 cups cream
    1/2 cup milk
    Arugula leaves, stemmed and washed
    Hazelnut Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

    *To prepare the mushrooms: Use a clean vegetable or pastry brush and a kitchen towel; brush and wipe the mushrooms clean. Be especially careful to brush away dirt in the gills. Any deeply embedded grit can be cut away with a paring knife. If the mushrooms are large, cut them by halving, quartering, or thickly slicing lengthwise. If mushroom buttons are small, leave them whole.

    In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter. Add sliced mushrooms, thyme, shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper; sauté 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. When cool, chop the mushrooms coarsely.

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter six (6-ounce) custard cups and set them into a large baking dish. In a large bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add cream and milk; beat until well mixed. Pour egg mixture into prepared custard cups.

    Bring the water for the water bath to a light simmer on top of the stove; carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to come half-way cup the sides of the custard cups. The water should come up to the level of the custard inside the cups. You must protect your custard from the heat. Carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to come halfway cup the sides of the custard cups.

    Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until set around the edges but still loose in the center. The cooking time will depend largely on the size of the custard cup you are using, but begin checking at 20 minutes and check back regularly. When the center of the custard is just set, it will jiggle a little when shaken, that’s when you can remove it from the oven. Remove from oven and immediately remove cups from water bath; cool on wire rack until room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

    To Assemble and Serve: Dress the arugula leaves with the Hazelnut Vinaigrette. Unmold the mushroom timbales by running a small knife around the outside rim. Then, turn upside down on individual serving plates giving the mold a sturdy shake. Garnish with the dressed arugula.

    Makes 6 servings (depending on size of custard cups).

  27. Throwing a dinner party is one of my favorite things to do, whether around the holidays or on any old Saturday night. I usually like to have one or two snacks set out for guests as they arrive. It makes everyone feel welcome and keeps everyone from getting too tipsy before dinner.

    Spiced nuts are the fastest, easiest pre-dinner snack. Just as easy as setting out a bowl of chips, and way more sophisticated. Out of all of the different kinds I’ve made, my sweet and spicy peanuts are perfect for the holidays–even gift-worthy. These peanuts aren’t spicy in the “heat” sense of the word, they are tossed with Chinese five spice powder (a blend of cinnamon, star anise, ginger, cloves, and cassia buds), which gives them a bit of aromatic spice.

    Sweet and Spicy Peanuts
    (Serves 4 to 6 people)

    2 cups unroasted peanuts
    3 Tbsp. sugar
    2 Tbsp. Chinese five spice powder
    1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    pinch of salt

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and toss until the peanuts are coated. Pour the nuts onto a baking sheet and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the nuts are golden. Let cool, then taste to adjust the salt (add more if desired–I like them a little salty). Serve in small bowls, watch them disappear.

    For more recipes and dinner party tips, check out my blog, Dinner Party:

    Sweet and Spicy Peanuts

  28. Smoked Salmon Canapes on White Bean Spread:

    ~ 1 can of white cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
    ~ tbsp of chopped capers
    ~ tbsp of chopped dill
    ~ tbsp of chopped chives
    ~ 2 tbsp of lemon juice
    ~ salt & pepper

    Puree or mash the beans then add the rest of the ingredients. This is your bean spread. You can make this 3 days in advance and refrigerate.

    Take your bread rounds and spread some white bean spread on top of each piece.
    Now drape a piece of smoked salmon on top. Top with a tiny bit of caviar and garnish with a dill sprig.

    Elegant and Easy!

    Smoked Salmon Canapes on White Bean Spread

  29. Pumpkin-Pesto Pizza Pinwheels

    Dough: I used Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza from the refrigerator section of the supermarket. Rolled it out a bit, but it doesn’t have much give.

    Filling (for 3 rolls): 1 can pure pumpkin puree, 1 cup pesto, small amounts of crumbled bacon, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, dried fried sage leaves.

    Spoon or brush pumpkin on one-half and pesto on the other. Layer crumbled sage and bacon on pumpkin. To pesto side add a sprinkle of parmesan and some shredded mozzarella. Roll as tightly as you can, wrap in plastic wrap and store in freezer. Be careful to roll in the direction that will give you both sides when sliced. In this photo it would be left to right (not top to bottom).

    Pumpkin-Pesto Pizza Pinwheels

  30. Pingback: My Blog Contest » Blog Archive » Party Food Recipe Contest

  31. Irresistible Butterscotch-Caramel Banana Muffin Cakes

    I put each little muffin cake into an elaborately beautiful little gift box and give them to dinner guests as a dessert “gift”….adorable! They get to eat their gift right there and then!

    Makes 6 cakes

    For Muffin Cakes:
    6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
    ½ cup Domino’s Light Brown Sugar, packed
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    ½ cup cake flour
    ½ cup all-purpose flour
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ½ teaspoon ground allspice
    ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    2/3 cup smashed overripe banana (about 1 small one)
    1/3 cup sour cream
    1-2 tablespoons milk, as needed

    For Filling and Topping
    About 2 cups of Butterscotch-Caramel Ice Cream Topping Sauce
    ½ cup heavy cream, whipped
    2 medium nice bananas, sliced very thinly
    About 3 oz dark chocolate, shaved

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 6 hole muffin tin (“Texas-sized”) with paper liners or grease with butter and dust with a little flour.
    2. In a medium sized bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each one. Beat in the vanilla.
    3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, allspice and nutmeg.
    4. Add the banana and sour cream to butter mixture.
    5. Stir in the flour mixture, just mixing in and not beating too much. Add milk if necessary to obtain a nice banana bread type batter.
    6. Divide mixture among baking cups and smooth with spatula. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch.
    7. Remove to rack, cool for a few minutes, then remove muffins to cool completely before cutting and filling.
    8. Cut cakes horizontally into three slices. Re-assemble cakes with about 1 tablespoon of butterscotch-caramel sauce then 4 banana slices on each of the bottom and middle layers. Top with remaining top part of muffin.
    9. Fold about 3 tablespoons of the butterscotch caramel topping into the whipped cream – don’t over mix, it will appear streaky, which is good!
    10. Dollop the top of each muffin cake with whipping cream and top with chocolate shavings.

  32. Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees!

    Follow the sugar cookie recipe below (or another sugar cookie recipe if there is one that your particularly enjoy) and then the step-by-step decoration & assembly instructions to give you an awesome holiday gift for family & friends!

    For these trees you will need a variety of star shaped cookie cutters – I have a pack of 5 Star-of-David cookie cutters: this allows me to use them for Hanukkah cookies (as I’m Jewish) and also for projects like this one.

    To Assemble:

    (You will need to have prepared piping & flooding royal icing to your desired green tree color (recipe below); you will need fondue/shish kabob wooden skewers, piping bag & tip, dragees and/or other decorations, colored yellow sprinkles, saran wrap):

    Once you have your dough prepared and chilled, cut out cookies of each of your varying sized stars – each tree will need one of each size. I think that five stars looks great for these trees, but the number is up to you. Place cookies on a non-stick, sprayed cookie sheet & bake in your oven for 7 minutes at 350 degrees.

    Important step: As soon as your cookies come out of the oven, CAREFULLY poke a hole in the center of each one with a thin fondue/shish kabob skewer, making sure to create a large enough hole to eventually stick the skewer back through it. Allow cookies to cool, approximately 10-15 minutes.

    Once your cookies are cool, use your piping royal icing (already inserted into your piping back with a fine pointed tip) to outline the edge of the cookie as well as the edge of the hole you created in the last step. Hold the bag at a 45 degree angle for the best results.

    Next, use the flooding royal icing to fill in the body of the cookie. Before the flooding icing becomes too dry (this happens pretty quickly) use your dragees, sprinkles, and other cookie decorations to decorate each cookie as desired. If your icing has already dried, you can use your piping icing to create small dots on which to place dragees & other decorations. For the best control in making these dots, keep the icing bag perpendicular to your cookies (straight up and down). Allow cookies to sit approximately 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile, you will need to create a “tree topper”. I hand molded 5-pointed stars, smaller than my smallest cookie cutter star. Eventually you will be using yellow sugar sprinkles on these. You can either cover the cookies in the sprinkles now, or use the corn syrup method to put them on after the cookies are baked (350 degrees for 3-4 minutes, flipping 1/2 way). I used the corn syrup method in the pictures you’re seeing.

    As soon as your “tree topper” comes out of the oven, stick a 4-inch section of the skewer into it. This will act as your grounding rod for your tree. Once your “tree topper” is cool, use it (attached now to the skewer section) to thread the decorated cookies by size (biggest on bottom, smallest on top). You are now able to lift your tree by the bottom cookie & your creation should stay together.

    To package, I used regular saran wrap, closing the top with a small piece of gift wrapping tape, and pinching the saran wrap together so that it enclosed the tree. I cut off the excess saran wrap, but left enough so that the pinched part remained closed.

    Sugar Cookie Recipe
    makes 2 dozen 3-inch cookies

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 stick unsalted butter, softened
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    minced zest of 1 lemon (optional)
    1 egg
    2 TBSP heavy cream
    1 tsp vanilla extract

    Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together & set aside.

    Cream butter, both sugars, and zest in a bowl, blending until smooth. Add egg, cream, and vanilla & blend again until smooth.

    Add 1/2 dry ingredients, blend, and then add the remaining dry ingredients & blend until you have a sugar cookie dough consistency. Shape dough into disk, cover in saran wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours before rolling.

    Once chilled, roll out & cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes (depending on oven) until top of cookies are soft but solid to touch & edges are a slight golden brown color.

    Royal Icing

    1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
    1/3 cup water
    2 TBSP powdered egg whites
    Food coloring (if desired)

    For Piping Royal Icing: mix ingredients together.

    For Flooding Royal Icing: Add additional water until icing flows from a spoon in a thick ribbon.

  33. Eggnog Truffles

    14 oz. white candy melts
    1/2 c. eggnog
    1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
    splash good bourbon
    6 oz. dark chocolate

    decorations of choice

    -In medium bowl over pan of boiling water over medium low heat, combine white chocolate, eggnog, cinnamon and nutmeg.
    -Stir until completely melted and smooth.
    -Remove from heat, add bourbon, stir well to incorporate and place bowl in the fridge overnight
    -Remove bowl from fridge and roll tsp of truffle filling into balls.
    -Place formed balls onto wax paper lined baking sheet and place in freezer.
    -Meanwhile, melt dark chocolate, stirring until smooth.
    -Remove truffles from freezer, roll to make sure evenness then dip into chocolate and sprinkle with decoration if using.
    -Place finished truffle back onto wax paper lined baking tray and repeat with remaining truffles.
    -Let stand for 1 hour or until completely dry and serve or package in airtight container for up to a week.

    Yields about 50 truffles

    Eggnog Truffles

  34. Easy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

    This dip has become a favorite among the family and friends for whom I’ve made it. It is usually the favorite dip at the party. It’s a warming dish, tremendously suitable for those chilly and cold evenings of fall and winter, especially during the holidays. It holds up very well to reheating and every time you get that blast aroma of the garlic it’s well worth it.

    1 can of artichokes in water (do not use artichokes in oil)
    1 package frozen shredded spinach
    Head of fresh garlic
    1 package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    1 package shredded Italian blend cheese
    8 ounces mayonnaise
    Crackers – Triscuits

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Drain artichoke hearts and dice into small pieces
    3. Thaw the spinach in microwave
    4. Combine diced artichoke and thawed spinach in mixing bowl
    5. Remove husks from garlic cloves and use a garlic press to add garlic to artichoke/spinach mixture (use as much garlic as you dare … the more the merrier, I say)
    6. Stir mayonnaise into mixture
    7. Fold package of Italian blend cheese into mixture
    8. Fold Monterey Jack cheese into mixture, holding back about a cup
    9. Hand mix thoroughly and transfer mixture into a 2-qt glass baking dish (preferably one that has a cover)
    10. Use remaining Monterey Jack as topping over mixture
    11. Cover and bake until the mixture is bubbling hot, about 20 minutes
    12. To add some color and texture to the cheese topping, uncover and continue to bake another 10 minutes
    13. Serve hot with Triscuits

  35. Ok so, just to preface this recipe…

    It’s really great because most people are not familiar with pomegranate molasses, and so can’t place their finger on the exact flavors of this dish- but it is an all around crowd pleaser, and it is sooo easy that even the novice chef can make it. Literally, I have served this super simple app a million times and never once has someone not liked it. And it’s the ideal holiday appetizer because pomegranates are in season now ( I am a seasonal cook and try to only shop at LA farmers markets) and when you make this app, it has these beautiful rich redish/purple season-esque colors. In addition, if you can’t find pomegranate molasses in a local shop, you can make your own by reducing POM (you know that pomegranate drink).
    To make pomegranate molasses just boil down a cup of POM juice until it is almost all evaporated and large bubbles cover the surface.
    Remove from heat, transfer to small bowl and let cool to room temp.

    Holiday Appetizers

    Goat Cheese with Fennel Pollen and Pink Peppercorns

    1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
    1teaspoon fennel pollen
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    pinch fleur de sel
    goat cheese (small log or round)

    Drizzle olive oil over goat cheese. Sprinkle fennel pollen, pink peppercorns, and fleur de sel atop. Serve.

    Goat Cheese with Garlic and Pomegranate Molasses

    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    2 pressed garlic cloves
    4 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
    pinch fleur de sel
    fresh pomegranate seeds

    Drizzle olive oil over goat cheese. Press garlic (in garlic press) over goat cheese. Drizzle pomegranate molasses atop. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pomegranate seeds.

    Ciabatta with Burrata and Heirloom Tomatoes

    4 heirloom tomatoes
    8 slices ½-inch thick ciabatta bread
    4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
    3 garlic cloves
    1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
    fleur de sel
    2 3-inch diameter pieces burrata

    Toast ciabatta until light brown, then drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Rub each slice of ciabatta with garlic, then add 2 slices of burrata (1/4-inch thick slices). Add sliced tomatoes atop burrata. Repeat. When finished, drizzle balsamic vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil atop ciabatta/burrata/tomato “sandwiches” and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Serve.

    Holiday Appetizers

  36. Homemade Gravlax (aka Lox)

    2 good quality salmon filets that are roughly the same size, approx 1.5 lbs total (I used wild sockeye) *see note
    3 T. sugar
    2 T. non-iodized salt
    1 bunch dill

    Remove all of the pin bones from the two salmon filets using a pair of tweezers. Trim the filets so they are the same size when stacked on top of each other. Place both filets skin side down on a cutting board.

    Mix sugar and salt together in a small bowl. Generously sprinkle about 2/3 the mixture over the filets and gently rub in. Flip the filets over and sprinkle skins with the remaining mixture and rub in. Flip the filets again so the skin side is down. Let stand for about 5-8 minutes. Brush off any cure that seems excessive to you.

    Trim dill so that it is roughly the same length as the filets. Mound dill on top of one filet in an even layer, then top with other filet so that the flesh is in contact with the dill (think filet & dill sandwich). Wrap the stacked filets tightly in a double or triple layer of plastic wrap. Place in a dish (to catch any juices that should leak out), then refrigerate for 2-3 days, flipping occasionally, and pouring off any juices that might have accumulated.

    Once the 2-3 days have passed, unwrap salmon, discard the dill, and rinse the filets with cold water. Remove the skin to make cutting easier, if desired. Slice the gravlax thinly with a sharp knife across the grain to serve. Enjoy!

    *Note: though it may seem counter-intuitive, choose fish that has been previously frozen, sushi grade or other. If using fresh fish, you should freeze it for at least 1 week in order kill off bacteria, etc.
    Homemade Gravlax (aka Lox)

  37. Winter Solstice Scotch Eggs

    These eggs are wrapped for winter and reveal their bright sun-like centers when cut for serving.

    Perfect for a holiday brunch, lunch, or even as a dinner appetizer.

    6 hard cooked eggs (medium)
    1 pound bulk pork sausage
    1 cup fine dry bread crumbs, seasoned
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon water
    1 teaspoon prepared mustard

    On a Silpat, divide sausage into 6 equal portions; wrap 1 portion around each egg.

    Roll each wrapped egg in bread crumbs.

    Beat egg with mustard and water.

    Dip sausage-wrapped eggs in beaten egg mixture; roll in bread crumbs again; place in a baking dish.

    Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes or until browned, turning once during baking.

    Serve hot or cold. 24 pieces when cut into quarters. Serve with Coleman’s English mustard.

    Winter Solstice Scotch Eggs

  38. We live in St. Joseph, MO where there is one sushi bar, and it is relatively new. Out of desperation, I started to serve this delish appetizer for my sushi-starved family and friends. I am able to buy sashimi-grade tuna here so when I am feeling too lazy to make actual sushi or too broke to eat out, this recipe fits the bill. It has me craving sushi right now, actually! Happy Holidays!

    Spicy Tuna Sushi Sliders
    2 cups short-grain rice or sushi rice
    2 1/4 cups water
    4 tablespoons sushi vinegar
    1/3 cup rice vinegar
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    8 ounces sashimi-grade tuna, raw, chopped
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
    1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
    2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced thin
    1 bunch green onion, sliced thin
    tobiko (flying fish roe)
    sriracha sauce (optional)
    Place raw rice in a colander and rinse until the water runs clear. Put rice in pot or rice cooker with the water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes or until rice is done. Put rice in a large non-metallic bowl and add the remaining ingredients and stir until the rice becomes sticky and shiny.
    Layer the rice in a pie plate or other serving dish. On top of the rice, place the thinly sliced avocado until rice is covered.
    Mix the tuna with the mayonnaise and sriracha chinese hot sauce.
    Put the tuna mixture on top of the avocado and spread evenly.
    Sprinkle with sliced green onions and chopped cucumber.
    Sprinkle tobiko (if using) over the top. For a spicier version squirt some Sriracha Chinese Hot Sauce in a decorate pattern on top of the tuna.
    Put out small dipping bowls, wasabi and soy sauce. Place quartered squares of nori for people to roll their own little rolls.
    Have people mix a little wasabi with the soy sauce for dipping the rolls inches.
    Place quartered squares of nori for people to roll their own little rolls.
    Be sure to have lots of soy sauce and wasabi for dipping the rolls.

    Spicy Tuna Sushi Sliders

  39. Pretty Party Pinwheels
    Makes about 70 pinwheels
    2 jalapeño chiles, quartered (leave the seeds in if you like it hotter)
    4 green onions, coarsely chopped
    Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 of a 0.4-ounce package ranch dressing mix
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    10 large flour tortillas
    5 cups loosely packed fresh spinach, washed and dried
    5 to 7 Roma tomatoes, seeded and very thinly sliced
    Salsa or Louisiana-style hot sauce, for serving
    1. Put the jalapeños and onions in a food processor, and process for 3 to 5 seconds, until well chopped. Add the cream cheese, dressing mix, and pepper, and process again until all is well mixed.
    2. Using a spatula or butter knife, spread the mixture evenly over one side of each flour tortilla. Arrange 1/2 cup spinach and a few tomato slices on top of the mixture on each tortilla.
    3. Roll up each tortilla, making a tight roll. Once all are rolled and stacked on a plate, cover with plastic wrap or foil and put them in the fridge to chill for about an hour.
    4. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice each rolled tortilla into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Arrange attractively on a serving platter. Serve with salsa or Louisiana-style hot sauce on the side.

  40. ‘Tis the season for football parties, and I have the party pleaser for meat lovers. Serve Kelly’s Glazed BBQ Ribs with lots of wet naps. Party tip: Ask friends to bring an appetizer or side to share, and beverages in a cooler. The coolers also double as additional seating when it’s needed!

    Kelly’s Glazed BBQ Ribs

    1 cup ketchup
    1 small onion
    1/4 cup wine vinegar
    1/4 cup mild-flavored molasses
    2 tbl Worcestershire sauce
    2 tsp chili powder
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2-1/2 pounds pork or beef ribs

    For sauce, in medium sauce pan combine ketchup, onion, vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, garlic and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Let simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes or to desired consistency, stirring often. Trim fat off ribs. Bring oven to 350 degrees. Wrap ribs in foil with side walls. Cover and bake for 1.5 – 2 hours or until tender, brushing occasionally with sauce. During last 10 minutes add sauce consistently. When ribs are cooked through and moist, serve with the remaining glaze on top.

  41. I’m very proud to submit my favorite recipe for company and the holidays. I came up with this years ago and it has become a family and party favorite. This is SO versatile…you can increase it or decrease it to how many people you want to serve, adjust seasonings to taste, etc. It is just delicious, and contains your meat, veggies, and even potatoes…a real meal-in-one! A lovely loaf of crusty bread and a fresh green salad makes a perfect, yet easy-on-the cook meal.


    6 large baking potatoes
    6 chicken pieces, uncooked (with skin and bones*)
    1 pound Italian sausages, uncooked and cut in half (about 6 or 7)
    1 large onion, sliced into wedges
    1 green pepper, chopped into large pieces
    1 red pepper, chopped into large pieces
    1 teaspoon each: Dried oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic salt, pepper, paprika
    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Preheat oven to 425*.

    Cut potatoes into chunks or wedges, and arrange to cover the bottom of a large, greased roasting pan. Next, arrange chicken and sausages over potatoes. Arrange onions and peppers over meats, then sprinkle with seasonings. Drizzle oil over all. Cover with foil and bake for one hour.

    Remove foil and reduce heat to 375*. Baste meats with pan juices, add more olive oil if needed, and continue to bake, uncovered, for 30 more minutes. Makes 6 servings.

    *Use only chicken pieces with skin and bones…otherwise the chicken is not as moist.

    Happy Holidays!

  42. Everyone loves deviled eggs, and they are little devils because it’s hard to eat just one! For a fast and simple party tray, try this new twist on an old favorite:

    Bacon-Ranch Deviled Eggs

    12 eggs
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    2 teaspoons ranch dressing mix
    2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
    4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (or real bacon bits)

    Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool and peel.
    Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove the yolks to a bowl. Mash the yolks with the mayonnaise and mustard and ranch dressing mix, blending until smooth. Add bacon bits and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the egg white halves and garnish with more bacon bits.

  43. Cranberry Sauce Oatmeal with Maple Frosting and Coconut

    1/3 cup old fashioned oats
    1/3 cup milk (any kind)
    1/3 cup water
    1 small ripe banana
    Pinch of salt
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    Optional: 1/4 cup cooked wheatberries, stirred in

    1/4 cup leftover homemade cranberry sauce
    2 tbsp greek yogurt mixed with 1 tsp real maple syrup
    A few tbsp granola and/or walnuts or anything crunchy
    Coconut flakes or coconut butter, shaved

    Combine rolled oats, water, milk, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat.

    Slice a banana into VERY thin pieces, leaving just a few bigger chunks.

    As the oatmeal heats, stir vigorously at times to “whip” the banana into the oats. The oats will take 5-7 minutes on medium heat to fully absorb the liquid. They’re done when they reach your desired consistency.

    Stir in vanilla and wheatberries, if using, and portion into a pretty bowl.

    Meanwhile, heat cranberry sauce and prepare yogurt + maple “icing”. Dollop onto oatmeal.
    Top with crunchy choices and sprinkle with coconut.


    Cranberry Sauce Oatmeal with Maple Frosting and Coconut

  44. I always have Xmas day at my house.Before the guests arrive,I place red plaid tablecloths on the tables,china,and stemware.Then I take the silverware,and tie it with red ribbion,and place ontop of each plate.For centerpieces,I use gold ornaments in a bowl,and candles.The Tables look so pretty when they are done.I also buy a pinta for the children,and fill it with candy and small toys.It keeps them busy,before they open the big presents.I serve alot of appetizers.But these two recipes,everyone loves.

    Hanky Pankies
    2 loaves party rye, cocktail size breads
    1 lb. Italian sausage
    1 lb. Velveeta cheese,cubed
    1 lb Ground beef
    1 teaspoon oregano
    1 teaspoon garlic,minced

    Brown beef in large frying pan,drain thoroughly.In same pan,brown sausage,drain thoroughly.Add beef back to pan.Add cubed cheese in small portions in pan,then add spices and garlic. Stirring,until well blended
    Spread on each slice of bread.Place on cookie sheet.Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

    Note:these freeze great.After spreading on each bread slice,place on cookie sheet,then in freezer for 2 hours.When frozen,put in ziploc plastic bags.When ready to bake,while still frozen,place on cookie sheet,bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.They are great to have on hand,for unexpected guests.

    Cheese and Mushroom Snacks

    1 lb. bacon,fried,drained,chopped
    1 large can mushroom,pieces and stems
    6 oz. shredded swiss cheese
    6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
    2/3 cup mayonnaise
    1 loaf party rye,cocktail size bread

    Fry bacon in frying pan.When crisp,place on paper towel lined plate,let cool.In medium size bowl,place shredded swiss cheese,shredded cheddar cheese,mayo.And crumbled bacon,mushrooms.Stir,to combine.Spread mixture on each slice of party rye bread.Place on cookie sheet.Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.Or until cheese is melted.This appetizer,has such a nice combination of flavors.

  45. When I first served this to a friend, she said “prunes?, are you kidding me?, Thats for old people”.
    Maybe it is, I do remember my grandmother always having a bag of prunes in the fridge.
    I don’t know why prunes have such a bad reputation?
    Because the flavor is amazing.
    In this dessert I blend the prunes with a little sugar and some vanilla.
    The vanilla really brings out a new and wonderful taste of the prunes.
    You might say it takes the prunes to a new place.
    Another thing about this dessert is that its really healthy.
    I mean, prunes and yoghurt! Come on. Can it be more healthy?
    So yummy, tasty, healthy and grandmother friendly.
    All I can say, lets part grandma!


    Serves 4

    1/2 cup prunes
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1/4 vanilla pod, just the seeds
    2 tablespoons boiling water
    1 cup plain yoghurt
    2 teaspoons grated dark chocolate

    Place prunes, sugar, vanilla and water in a blender and whiz until smooth.
    Spoon the mixture into 4 thin, long glasses.
    Top with plain yoghurt and grated chocolate.
    Serve with a plain grissini dipped in melted chocolate.
    Photo by Colin Cooke

    Prune and Yogurt Cocktail with Chocolate

  46. We first made these chicken burger sliders for our election night party, but they were so incredible we will be making them again for holiday get togethers.

    Chicken Burger Sliders with Boursin and Arugula

    Makes 12 sliders or four 1/4 pound burgers

    1 pound ground chicken
    1 tablespoon butter
    2 shallots, minced
    1 egg
    1/2 cup cornflakes crumbs
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 teaspoon of herbs de Province
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    To Serve:
    A dozen mini rolls
    12 tablespoons Boursin cheese
    Arugula leaves

    Sauté shallots in butter and cool. Mix together all burger ingredients and form into 12 equal sized patties. Fry in olive oil on medium high heat for three minutes each side or until lightly brown. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake in 350 oven for about five minutes or until burgers are cooked through.

    At the same time slice buns and toast in oven on separate baking sheet. Spread the bottom of each bun with a tablespoon of Boursin cheese. Top with arugula leaves and burger.

    Chicken Burger Sliders with Boursin and Arugula

  47. Catalina Crock Pot Roast

    1-2 lb Rump Roast
    2 Bottles Catalina salad dressing
    1 package Liption dry onion soup mix

    In a bowl, mix the two bottles of Catalina salad dressing and package of onion soup mix together. Pour half of the mixture in the bottom of the crock pot then place roast in crock pot. Then pour the remaining mixture over the roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. I normally put it on when I leave for work (7:50) and we sit down to eat about an hour after I get home (around 6ish). I wouldn’t recommend putting potatos or carrots in this as the flavor from the salad doesn’t mix well with it. Serve over cooked rice with veggies and a dinner roll! Simple and delicious!!!

  48. Originally posted on my blog, Taste As You Go here:

    Simple Stuffed Mushrooms

    1/2 cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs
    1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
    2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
    2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
    Salt, to taste
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    28 large white mushrooms, wiped clean and stemmed

    Preheat oven to 400°F.

    In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, Pecorino Romano cheese, garlic, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.

    Drizzle a large heavy baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, to coat. Spoon the bread crumb mixture into the mushroom cavities and arrange on the baking sheet, cavity-side up. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the filling in each mushroom.

    Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through and golden on the top, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately or keep warm until served.

  49. Teriyaki Kabobs

    These kabobs are delicious and quick to make; they will make your holiday party table festive with their colorful appearance. Your guests will give rave reviews for these kabobs.

    ½ cup Italian Salad dressing
    ½ cup soy sauce
    4 tablespoons ketchup
    2 tablespoons white vinegar
    ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    4 cloves of garlic, crushed
    2 teaspoon of finely chopped onion
    1 lb of bison flank steak cut into ¼“ thick slices by 2” slices
    (be sure to cut meat against the grain)
    1 green peppers cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
    1 red pepper cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
    chipotle onions
    bamboo skewers (soaked in cold water 30 minutes before grilling)

    Combine salad dressing, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, pepper, garlic, and onion into a glass bowl and mix thoroughly. Add slices of bison flank steak. Cover bowl and marinate steak in refrigerator for 1 hour turning steak after 30 minutes.

    Alternate with bison, onion, red, pepper, green pepper onto skewers. Heat grill to medium and place skewers directly onto racks. Turn skewers every 2 minutes and baste meat with leftover marinate. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until meat is medium rare and vegetables are tender. Remove from grill and place on a plate or platter to serve.

  50. Firecracker Shrimp

    Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer

    24 medium tail-on shrimp, shelled (leave tail on) and deveined
    1 tablespoon cornstarch or flour
    1/4 cup (65 ml) water
    12 egg roll or fresh spring roll wrappers, cut in half and covered with plastic wrap or a damp cloth
    Oil, for frying
    1/2 cup (125 ml) sweet chili sauce , for serving as a dipping sauce

    Lay the shrimp flat on a cutting board and using a sharp paring knife, cut a few nicks on the inside curve of the shrimp to flatten the shrimp out. Be careful not to cut through the shrimp. Season the shrimp with salt.

    In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the water to make a slurry.

    Lay one egg roll wrapper so that the long side is vertical (short side should be closest to you)

    Lay the shrimp with tail sticking out to the right and roll the shrimp up (tail should be sticking out)

    Make sure that the roll is nice and tight. Big air pockets and holes will allow oil to seep in and shrimp to fall out. Dab your finger or pastry brush in the cornstarch slurry and brush on the wrapper to seal the final edge.

    Lay the firecracker shrimp, seal side down in a single layer on a dry surface and keep covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying.

    In a wok, deep fryer or large sauté pan, add 1-1/2 inches (3.75 cm) of oil and heat it to 375°F (190°C). Add the firecracker shrimp a few at a time to the oil and fry until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes. Drain on a baking rack and serve with a side of sweet chili sauce for dipping.

    Firecracker Shrimp

  51. Garlicky Chanterelle and Shallot Bruschetta


    1/2 medium-sized baguette
    1/4 stick salted butter
    2 shallots, thinly sliced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 lb. chanterelle mushrooms, coarsely diced
    1 tbsp. fresh thyme
    1 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
    Pepper, freshly ground
    1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    2 tbsp. dry white wine


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice baguette on a 45 degree angle into 1/2 inch sections. Generously butter both sides of each slice of bread. Place bread on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. When bread is golden on one side, flip and generously sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Toast additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.

    2. In a medium saute pan, melt remaining butter over high heat and saute shallots with garlic for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper for 4 minutes. Add white wine to pan and deglaze until all the liquid has evaporated.

    3. Evenly distribute mixture over toasted slices, sprinkle with any remaining parmesan cheese.

  52. Festive Savory Meatball Appetizers with Cranberry Dipping Sauce

    2 lbs. ground turkey (or ground chicken, buffalo, beef)
    1/4 c. sautéed diced apples, peeled and cooled
    6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
    1 tablespoon lemon zest
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    1/2 small onion, grated
    1-tablespoon parsley
    1/4 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
    1 tablespoon of sour cream
    1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
    1 egg
    1/4 cup of breadcrumbs

    Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Form mixture into bite size balls. Bake in oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes or pan fry in a frying pan for about 10-15 minutes (medium heat) on each side until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Makes about 2-dozen large meatballs.

    To make the dipping sauce (which is very simple):

    Dipping Sauce

    1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce
    2 cups of your favorite jarred marinara sauce

    In a saucepan add the can of cranberry sauce. Bring the sauce to medium heat until the mixture is smooth.

    To serve you can either

    1. Add your cooked meatballs to the sauce and keep warm in the sauce.
    2. Serve the meatballs with toothpicks in them and have the sauce separate on the side for dipping.

  53. Buffalo Chicken Dip

    This is a very popular (and addictive) party food for holiday parties, office parties, as well as a great appetizer to serve family and friends at Christmas and New Year’s functions. I never have leftovers!

    Here’s our recipe:
    1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
    2 cans (9.75 oz each) Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken Breast, drained
    ½ cup Frank’s RedHot Sauce
    ½ cup blue cheese salad dressing
    ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
    Assorted fresh vegetables, crackers, and chips

    1. Stir cream cheese in 9″ deep pie dish until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients.
    2. Bake at 350°F. for 20 min. until hot and bubbling. Stir. Serve with vegetables and crackers.

    Substitute ranch dressing for blue cheese dressing and shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese for blue cheese crumbles.
    Make this in the microwave by heating it on high for 5 minutes instead of baking
    Keep it warm in a crockpot or slow cooker

    Making it with blue cheese crumbles and dressing gives it the “authentic wings with blue cheese sauce taste” while a lot of people really like the ranch and cheddar combination. You can mix and match to make it different everytime! I work for Swanson Chicken so I know their chicken is made with only white meat which makes me feel good about using it in the dip, and makes the recipe really quick, easy, and delicious

  54. Here’s a fantastic Holiday drink recipe from wedding planner Shawn Rabideau. This TO DIE FOR holiday drink was a huge hit with guests at a recent winter wedding, they put them in little shooters and passed them out late night.

    The HOT CHOCTAIL by Shawn Rabideau

    8 ounces hot chocolate
    1 1/2 ounces Vanilla Vodka
    1 1/2 ounces Frangelico
    Dash Cayenne Pepper
    Whipped Cream

    Heat hot chocolate over the stove in a small pot. Add Vanilla Vodka,
    Frangelico and Cayenne Pepper and heat slowly so the mixture does not boil.
    When hot, pour mixture into a glass mug and top with whipped cream. Sip and Enjoy!

    Hot Cocktail

  55. from the Best of the Best, Fast and Fabulous Party Foods and Appetizers cookbook by Gwen McKee and Barabara Moseley

    Cranberry Barbecue Wings

    2 pounds chicken short wings (drummettes)

    1 cup barbecue sauce

    1/3 cup whole cranberry sauce

    1/3 cup orange marmalade

    ¼ cup chopped fresh chives

    ¼ teaspoon dry mustard

    Heat oven to 375^. Spray foil-lined pan with cooking spray. Place wings on foil and cover with more foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients; mix well. Remove wings from oven. Uncover; turn wings over; pour off any drippings. Spoon sauce mixture over wings. Bake, uncovered, an additional 20 minutes, turning once and brushing with sauce. Serve wings warm with sauce from pan. Serves about 16.

    Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

    1 (8-ounce) tub ready-made cheesecake filling

    1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin pie mix

    1 (3-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding

    Mix ingredients well; serve with gingersnaps or graham cracker sticks. Makes about 2 cups.


  56. This is an authentic Mole recipe by Chef Ana Garcia, owner/operator of La Villa Bonita, a cooking school/Culinary vacation destination in Tepoztlan, Mexico.

    Ana explains at the end of her recipe that she usually makes mole in large quantities and that it freezes well, and gets better with age.

    (GWA HO LO TE)

    Serves 6-8


    1 gallon of turkey or chicken stock
    2 chipotle chiles
    3 ancho chiles
    8 oz. mulato chile
    2 oz. pasilla chile
    1 cup almonds
    1 tablespoon sesame seeds
    1 tomato
    2 garlic cloves
    ½ oz. Mexican cinnamon sticks or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 ½ teaspoon anis
    ½ teaspoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon cloves
    1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    1 slice white bread
    1 corn tortilla
    2 tablets of Mexican chocolate
    ½ cup *Manteca
    Sugar to taste
    Salt to taste

    *Manteca is lard that is frequently used in Mexican cooking. You can substitute another type of shortening such as cooking oil, but the taste will not be the same.


    De-seed the chiles and toast each one on a hot flat top. The chiles should become aromatic when done. Do not overcook or char the chiles. Once the chiles are toasted, place in a bowl and add some of the stock, enough to cover the chiles. Soak for at least 20 minutes.

    Fry the tomato, garlic, anis, cinnamon, tortilla, bread and almonds in ¼ cup of the lard. All ingredients should be fried separately as they all have different cooking points. If you fry them together, some ingredients will burn. As you finish frying the individual ingredients, drain and place them all in the same bowl as your chiles. You can dry roast the ingredients instead of frying in the lard. Make sure the anis and cinnamon are aromatic.

    Add the rest of the ingredients to this bowl with the chiles and the spices. Add enough stock to cover and allow the mixture to cool.

    After the mixture has cooled, place a portion of it in a blender and blend until smooth. You will have to blend all the ingredients in batches since the blender glass will not hold all of it at one time. Place what you have blended in a separate bowl.

    In a cazuela, place 1/4 cup of lard. Heat the cazuela until it gets hot enough that a drip of water or mole in the cazuela will sizzle. When it is hot enough, add all of the mole into the cazuela. The mole should cook for 1 to 2 hours or until little puddles of black oil form on the top of the mole. Now you can assemble the dobladillas.


    2 lbs. shredded turkey meat
    24 corn tortillas
    ½ cup cooking oil
    ½ cup Mexican crema, crème fraiche or sour cream as a last resort
    4 oz. queso anejo or queso fresco (a crumbled type of cheese like a dry feta will also work as a substitute)
    ½ red onion thinly sliced


    Heat the cooking oil in a skillet. The oil is sufficiently hot when you can place a wooden spoon in the oil and it will quickly bubble. When the oil is hot, add one tortilla into the oil and allow the tortillas to get warm in the oil but not crispy. The tortilla should still be pliable.

    Place the tortillas between a paper towels to absorb excess oil. Add the next tortilla into the oil and repeat the process until they are done. The tortillas are coated with oil to keep them flexible so that they can be folded and so that they do not disintegrate when the mole is applied.

    Place some shredded turkey in the tortillas and fold in half (hence the name dobladillas which comes from the Spanish verb doblar which means “to fold”). Place on a plate and cover generously with the mole sauce. Garnish with cream, onion and queso anejo.


    When Mexicans make mole many times they will prepare a large batch and freeze the rest for later consumption. The joy of mole is that the flavors become better over time. Reheating mole tends to marry the flavors and make the mole even better. Do not add meat to the mole when freezing. When you reheat you may need to add some chicken stock and once hot add your meat. Moles are good with chicken, pork, beef as well as turkey, shellfish, and even chayotes.

    This is a party dish that is not eaten on a daily basis. Lard is the traditional frying element in mole and is important for flavor as well as consistency. Recent studies have shown that lard may be healthier than other alternatives such as shortening, margarine or other cooking oils. There is no substitute for its flavor. Cooking oil is offered as a substitute but does not provide the same flavor or consistency as the original recipe.

    There are many recipes for mole. The word mole comes from the world “moler” or to grind in English. It was originally thought by the Spanish at the time of the colonization of Mexico that it was better for your nutritional intake to grind your food into a paste. Consequently the technique is important but the exact ingredients you can use in a mole are limited only to your imagination. Moles are flexible and open to experimentation with different types of chiles, nuts, spices, seeds, etc. If you cannot find all of the chiles listed, feel free to experiment and create your own recipe.

    Dobladillas with Mole de Guajolote

  57. Here is an easy, pretty and delicious recipe.

    Polenta Triangles with Roasted Red Pepper Relish
    Makes enough for 8-10 people as an appetizer

    I have made this recipe for many years, always to rave reviews. You have to plan to make the polenta in advance since it needs to cool and set up.

    I’ve made the relish without the polenta but I think that they taste great together. If you end up with extra red peppers in the jar, you may want to wrap them in plastic and store them in the freezer for later use.

    1 ¼ cups coarsely ground cornmeal

    3 ½ cups water

    1 teaspoon salt

    Boil water. Stir in cornmeal. Turn down heat and continue to stir cornmeal so that it doesn’t stick. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 10 minutes or until a spoon will stand straight up in the cornmeal mixture. Pour this into a baking sheet and make it into a thin layer. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooled. Cut into triangles and place on a plate. Serve at room temperature topped with the relish.

    Note: You may also add fresh chopped herbs when making polenta.


    1 jar roasted red peppers or 2 large red peppers, roasted

    2 tablespoons capers, chopped

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

    1 clove garlic, pressed

    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

    Finely chop roasted red peppers. (You may do this in a food processor.) Combine with the remaining ingredients. Let this mixture sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes so that the flavors can meld. Serve on top of polenta or on the side.

  58. Peppermint-Toffee Cookies

    ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
    1 egg
    ½ tsp vanilla extract
    ½ tsp peppermint extract
    1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    1 ½ tsp baking powder
    ¼ tsp salt
    ¾ cup Milk Chocolate Toffee Pieces
    ¼ cup Crushed Candy Cane Pieces

    Preheat oven to 350̊ F. Line large cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.

    In a mixer cream the butter and brown sugar, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and beat 1 minutes. Scrape down bowl. Add both extracts and beat for 30 seconds.

    In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix on low speed until the ingredients are well combined.
    Add toffee and candy cane pieces. Either fold in, or briefly mix to incorporate.

    Form into 1 -inch balls and place on prepared cookie sheets. Flatten cookies with the bottom of a greased glass. Don’t press too hard, just enough to flatten the top a little.

    Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove from oven, cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

    The cookies will be more crunchy and slightly chewy when they cool. They are not meant to be a soft cookie.

    Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

    Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elves and thr reindeer will love you forever if you leave a plate of these.

    Peppermint-Toffee Cookies

  59. from Newton, MA

    Here are three appetizers for an easy Italian Wine Party. They are all from my blog:
    Stuffed Mushrooms

    1 Package white mushrooms
    2 TBS Extra virgin olive oil
    1 shallot diced
    2 cloves garlic
    3 or 4 tablespoons white wine
    1/2 cup while wheat bread crumbs
    1/2 package of defrosted frozen spinach*

    *To defrost spinach place in microwave safe bowl. Take spinach and place in clean dish towel and squeeze out water until spinach is drained.

    Clean mushrooms by wiping with a damp paper towel. Remove the stems and reserve for later. Place mushroom caps on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray and bake at 350 for 15 minutes to pre-cook them. They will give off some liquid, which you should reserve. Set aside caps to cool.

    Sautee diced stems and shallots in EVOO until soft. Crush 2 cloves of garlic into the mixture. When it becomes fragrant add the white wine and mushroom liquid and cook down. Then add spinach. Turn off the heat and add bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste. The mixture should be crumbly but wet enough that it sticks together. Use it to stuff into caps. Bake at 350 for 10 min or until tops get crispy. Serve warm.

    Stuffed Mushrooms

    Polenta and eggplant rounds with balsamic onions and tomatoes

    1 package pre-made organic polenta (comes in a tube)
    1 large sweet onion
    1 small can diced tomatoes
    2 TBS aged balsamic vinegar
    1 Italian eggplant
    4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
    Oil cured black olives (optional)

    To prepare eggplant slice rounds ¼ in thick salt both sides allow them to release their liquid on paper towels for about 45 min. Then pan fry in 2TBS of extra virgin olive oil about 4min each side.
    Slice polenta about 1/4in thick and toast up in a non-stick skillet. Place on baking sheet.
    For the sauce, caramelize one onion in EVOO for about 30min on low heat. Then add 2TBS of balsamic vinegar and 6TBS of diced canned tomatoes and let cook down about 15min. Place polenta rounds on baking sheet top with fried eggplant and about a TBS of sauce. Place in 350 oven for 10min before serving. For extra flavor and a contrast to the sweet onions add an oil cured black olive to the top or on just some in case people don’t like olives.
    Roasted garlic and white bean dip with crostini and veggies

    Polenta and Eggplant Rounds with Balsamic Onions and Tomatoes

    1 Head of garlic
    1 Can organic cannellini beans
    2-3 TBS Extra virgin olive oil
    1 French baguette
    Various vegetables for dipping

    Roast one head of garlic. Cut off the top of the garlic head, create a pouch of tin foil and place garlic inside with a drizzle of EVOO before closing up the pouch. After 45min in a 350 oven, remove from pouch and squeeze out roasted garlic into a food processor. Add one can of cannellini beans, 2 TBS EVOO, and salt and pepper to taste and blend until smooth.

    Serve with crostini (brush slices of bread with EVOO and toast for 10min in oven) and raw veggie sticks.

    Garlic Spread


    1 Cup Breadcrumbs, coarse
    1 Cup Mushrooms, finely minced, I used crimini
    1 Clove Garlic, finely minced (or 1/2 t garlic powder will do in a pinch)
    2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast Flakes
    3/4 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
    3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, vegan
    1 Tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce
    3 Tablespoons finely chopped baby spinach leaves*
    1 Vegetable bouillon cube
    1/2 Cup Hot Water

    Dissolve the bouillon cube in the hot water. Add the worcestershire and tamari and set aside.
    In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, mushrooms, garlic, nut. flakes, and flour.
    Pour over the liquid and spinach.
    Knead the mixture together to form a firm dough.
    Pinch off 1 inch sized pieces to roll into balls.

    Either heat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC) or heat a layer of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
    If baking, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and evenly distribute the meatballs so they aren’t touching.
    Bake for 15 minutes then roll each of the meatballs over to brown the other sides, baking for an additional 15 minutes.

    If frying, I liked this version better, add the meatballs to the heated oil to fill the pan, without overcrowding.
    Fry the meatballs, moving occasionally to evenly brown them on all sides.
    Remove from the pan and allow to drain on a paper towel while you finish up any remaining meatballs.

    *Depending on the end dish, you could choose to add additional seasoning such as parsley, thyme, oregano or basil for tomato sauces and rosemary or thyme for brown (mushroom) gravies.

    Versatile Meatless Meatballs


    5-6 Cups packed Spinach
    1 Cup packed arugula (optional)
    1/2 Package firm silken tofu
    1 Medium Sized Onion, minced
    2-3 Bay leaves
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon Minced Ginger
    1/2 teaspoon Minced Garlic
    1/2 teaspoon Green chili paste
    1/2 Cup Water
    1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
    Salt to taste
    1/4 tsp. Black pepper
    1/2 Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
    5-6 Large Basil Leaves, finely chopped
    Vegetable oil as required

    12 Sheets of Phyllo DoughMix ginger and garlic into a paste, add green chilli paste and water to combine.
    Add the spinach and arugula to a large pan with a fitted lit.
    Pour the ginger-garlic-chili liquid over the rinsed spinach and arugula.
    Cover and steam for about 7-8 minutes.
    Cool slightly and drain excess liquid.
    Cut tofu into 1/2″ cubes.
    Heat enough oil to just cover the bottom of a sauté pan. Fry the tofu pieces over a medium heat till they are slightly browned.
    Remove tofu with a slotted spoon and continue to drain tofu on paper and set the aside.
    Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil from sauté pan. Fry bay leaves and cumin seeds. Add chopped onion. Sauté until the onions become tender.
    Add salt, pepper, and garam masala. Stir well.
    Remove bay leaves then add onions along with the spinach to a food processor.
    Purée, adding tablespoonfuls of water as necessary until smooth.
    Transfer spinach mixture to a bowl and stir in tofu, basil and red peppers.
    Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
    Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
    Lay one sheet of phyllo on a cutting board and brush it lightly with oil.
    Carefully lay another sheet on top of the first then cut into 3 strips, lengthwise.
    Cover the remaining sheets with a dampened cloth to keep them from drying.
    Scoop a heaping tablespoonful of the prepared spinach mixture onto the end of one of the cut strips.
    Fold over once to cover then flip the left corner up and over to form a triangle.
    Continue to fold the straight ends over to keep the triangle shape, finishing the length of the phyllo.
    With a moistened finger, wet the last edge of the phyllo to seal.
    Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets, cutting them into strips, filling then folding over into triangles.
    Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 12 – 15 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.
    Makes 18 triangles.

    Palak Paneer Phyllo Triangles


    4 – 5 Yukon Gold Potatoes, 2 -2 1/2 Cups grated
    1 Small Onion, finely diced
    1 teaspoon Baking Powder
    1 teaspoon Arrowroot Powder
    3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
    1/2 teaspoon Salt
    2/3 Cup Oil for Frying (more or less)

    Peel and grate the potatoes and squeeze as much moisture from them as you can.
    Add them to a large bowl, along with the finely dice the onion.
    Sift the baking powder, arrowroot and flour.
    Dust the dry mix along with the salt, over the potatoes, stirring while you add to incorporate it evenly.
    Heat half of the oil in a large sauté pan over a medium-high setting.
    Either with your clean hands or spoons, shape the potato into a 2″ diameter ball, again squeezing excessive liquid, if necessary. Lightly pat the finished ball to flatten once it’s added to the heated oil.
    Repeat to fill the pan and fry for about 5-6 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden.
    Drain latkes of oil over brown bags and paper towels.

    Serve with Pomegranate Quince Chutney, apple sauce, or sour cream.


    1 Quince, peeled and roughly diced
    1/2 Cup water (give or take)
    1/8 teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
    pinch Cinnamon
    2 Cloves
    2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
    1 Tablespoon Orange Balsamic Vinegar*
    1/4 Cup Pomegranate Seeds, 1/2 Pomegranate

    Peel and dice the quince into 1/2″ cubes.
    Add the quince to a small saucepan and cover with just enough water to submerge.
    Simmer over a medium-high heat until just tender; about 8 – 10 minutes.
    Remove from the heat. Add the quince, along with the remaining water, to a sauté pan.
    Continuing over a medium-high heat, sauté the quince, adding the cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.
    Once the liquid has reduced, add the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.
    Lower the heat to medium and simmer to create a syrup; 1-2 minutes.
    Add the pomegranate seeds and continue to simmer to release the juice.
    Remove the chutney from the heat, find and take out the cloves, then gently mash with a fork. (Watch for pomegranate juice, it stains.)
    Serve a top latkes or other savory dishes as a condiment.

    *If you don’t have orange balsamic vinegar, you may try substituting regular balsamic with the zest of one orange; about a teaspoon.

    These are all winners that will take down any pre-dinner appetite.

    Pomegranate Quince Chutney

  61. from Brattleboro, VT

    Pulled Pork Quesadillas

    • 2 T vegetable oil, plus more for brushing

    • 1 of each – small yellow, red, & green bell pepper,


    • 1 small onion, finely chopped

    • 3 garlic cloves, minced

    • 3 cups shredded meat from pork shank or

    shoulder roast

    • 3 T Coombs Family Farms 100% pure or

    organic maple syrup

    • 8 — 8-inch flour tortillas

    • 8oz goat cheese, softened

    In a large, deep skillet, heat vegetable oil. Add the bell

    peppers and cook over moderately high heat, stirring,

    until softened, about 10 minutes. Add onion and garlic,

    cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally,

    until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the pork and maple;

    cook for 3 minutes more.

    Spoon the pork and bell pepper mixture into tortilla.

    Spread even layer of goat cheese on another tortilla and

    sandwich them together. Heat 2 large skillets. Working in

    batches, cook the tortillas over moderate heat, turning once,

    until crisp, about 7 minutes. Cut in eighths and serve.

    Maple Mojito

    • 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves plus 2 mint sprigs

    • Fresh lime juice

    • Light Rum

    • Club Soda

    Heat syrup to a sim

    mer in small saucepan. Remove

    from heat. Reserve 15 of the mint leaves. Add the remaining

    mint leaves to the syrup and let steep until

    cool, then strain.

    In a cocktail shaker, muddle the 15 reserved mint leaves

    with 1 part lime juice and 1 part mint maple syrup. Add

    ice and 1 part rum. Shake well. Fill a highball glass

    with ice. Pour the drink into glass. Top off with Club

    soda. Garnish the drink with mint sprig.

    Baked Camembert with Maple and Cranberries

    • 1/2 cup water

    • 1/4 cup Coombs Family Farms 100% pure or

    organic maple syrup

    • 6 oz fresh whole cranberries

    • zest of one clementine

    • 1 — 32 to 36-ounce Camembert (or Brie)

    Bring water and syrup to a boil in saucepan. Add cranberries

    and zest. Boil gently for about 7 minutes or until

    sauce is thickened. Cool completely and refrigerate.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. unwrap camembert and cut

    away large circle in top rind of cheese, leaving rind

    on sides and bottom intact. Spread sauce on top of

    cheese. Bake on baking sheet until cheese just melts,

    about 20 minutes.


    Having strong holiday traditions is important. But it doesn’t mean you have to serve the same thing year after year. Instead, use these holiday tips to change things up this season. You may even wind up with some new holiday favorites.


    Whet everyone’s appetite for big holiday meals with these simple appetizers.

    White Chicken Chili with Mission® Cilantro Lime Tortilla Chips

    Serves: 4

    PrepTime (min): 3

    CookTime (min): 14

    Prep Tool: Stovetop, Saucepan

    Recipe Ingredients:

    24 Mission® Restaurant Style Cilantro Lime Tortilla Triangles

    2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup condensed

    1 can Great Northern Beans rinsed and drained

    1 can Diced Green Chiles drained

    1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin

    1/2 teaspoon Dried Cilantro leaves

    1/8 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

    1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt

    1/2 Rotisserie Chicken white and dark meat, picked (no skin or bones) into chunks

    1/4 cup Monterey Jack Cheese shredded

    dash Green Pepper Hot Sauce

    Recipe Instructions:

    1. Follow package instructions for the cream of chicken soup and place in a medium saucepan to heat. Add the beans, green chiles, cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.

    2. Add the chicken to the simmering chili. Remove from heat and reserve hot.

    3. Pour equal amounts of chili into 4 bowls and top each with 6 crushed Mission® Restaurant Style Cilantro Lime Tortilla Triangles and 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese.

    4. Add a few dashes of green chili hot sauce is so desired.

    5. Serve.


    1. Chili can be thinned with a small amount of water if needed.

    2. Any of your family’s favorite shredded cheeses can be substituted in this recipe.

    3. Turn this soup into a nacho platter by spreading the chips on an oven proof platter and topping them with the warm chili and cheese and heat under a broiler for 30 seconds.

    4. Top the chili with chunks of fresh avocado and/or Fritos for a decadent garnish.

    Carnita Pinwheels

    Serves: 6

    PrepTime (min): 5

    CookTime (min): 3

    Prep Tool: Work Surface, Microwave

    Recipe Ingredients:

    3 Mission® 10 inch Burrito Flour Tortilla

    1 tablespoon Mission® Guacamole Dip

    1 1 lb, 1 oz. package Pre-Cooked Pork Pot Roast

    1/4 cup Orange Juice no pulp

    1 teaspoon Mild Chili Powder

    1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt

    Recipe Instructions:

    1. While still cold finely shred pre-cooked pot roast and combine with orange juice, chili powder and salt in a microwavable safe bowl or container. Microwave on high for 2-2 ½ minutes. (cooking time may vary due to variances in wattage)

    2. Heat Mission® Tortilla for 15 seconds in the microwave on high.

    3. Lay warmed tortilla on your work surface, spread Mission® Guacamole Dip on the top half of the tortilla. Evenly spread warm pork from edge to edge covering the entire tortilla without the guacamole. Beginning with the pork half closest to you, roll forward making a cylinder.

    4. Slice cylinder in to 10 1 inch portions. Place on a serving platter and enjoy.


    1. It is important to evenly spread the pork from side to side so to create the most portions possible.

    2. Pre-cooked beef pot roast could be substituted for pork.

  63. I am a registered dietitian and cookbook author. My newest title is Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas, 3rd Edition, targets your topic as it has simple inexpensive recipes that would work well for parties.

    Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

    Great for a party! Serve with raw vegetables such as cucumber slices, carrot sticks, and celery. This is also good when spread on small slices of whole-grain bread and broiled.

    1/2 cup light mayonnaise
    1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    2 teaspoons dried or 3 tablespoons fresh minced onion
    1 teaspoon chopped garlic
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed
    1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Mix together mayonnaise, yogurt, Parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, basil, and pepper. Add spinach and artichoke hearts. Mix until blended.
    Spread evenly in a pie plate that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
    Bake for 25 minutes or until heated throughout.

  64. Newcastle Brown Ale & Sam the Cooking Guy’s

    Goodbye Fondue

    What You’ll Need:

    1 tablespoon butter

    10 pieces pre-cooked bacon, finely chopped

    ¼ cup green onion, finely chopped

    1 tablespoon flour

    1-2 teaspoons hot sauce

    12 ounces (1 bottle) of Newcastle Brown Ale

    2.5 cups Cabot cheddar cheese, grated

    Things to dip: bread, small gherkin pickles, veggies – anything!


    · Melt butter in a medium-sized pot and add bacon and onion

    · Cook until both are sizzling and the bacon starts to crisp

    · Over medium heat, stir in flour and hot sauce; mix until all is blended

    · Pour in the beer, then slowly add the cheese and cook until sauce is thick and smooth

    · Serve with lots of things to dip!

  65. Traditional, Party-Size Butternut Squash Risotto
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 80 minutes, divided
    Yields: 10 servings
    Ingredients: • 1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably “organic, free-range” or homemade
    • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
    • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Slice the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. Smear olive oil on the cut-side of squash and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place cut-side down on a sheet pan & roast for 30-40 minutes, until very tender and easily pierced with a butter knife. Cool.
    3. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skin and set aside.
    4. Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
    5. In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and sauté the shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned.
    6. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
    7. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes.
    8. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total.
    9. Off the heat, add the roasted squash and Parmesan. Mix well and serve.
    Notes: Steps 1-3 can be done a day or two in advance and squash stored in the fridge/freezer until needed. Bring it to room temperature before using.

  66. Crab Casino Canapés

    1/2 cup Baconnaise
    1- 5 ounce jar Kraft’s Old English Cheese
    1 clove garlic, minced
    2 T. red bell pepper, tiny dice
    Dash Tabasco Sauce
    6 ounces lump crabmeat
    Shredded Parmesan Cheese
    6 English Muffins, split

    In a medium bowl mix the first five ingredients until smooth. To remove cheese from the jar, microwave uncovered jar for 20 seconds. Gently fold crab into the Baconnaise mixture. Spread crab mixture evenly over each English Muffin half. Sprinkle each muffin with 1 t. Parmesan cheese and bake on a cookie sheet in a 400° oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool 1 minute before slicing in half. Serve on a pretty platter arranged to look like crab claws. Makes 24 pieces.

  67. I make this recipe for any and every party and everyone raves about it and asks for the recipe.

    Mediterranean Layered Spread

    This captivating dip layered with fantastic flavors is a show-stopper! Feel free to double this recipe and watch it disappear. Serve with Toasted Pita Wedges

    8 servings/serving size: 1/2 cup

    1 (7-ounce) container hummus
    1 cup coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach
    1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
    1/2 cup chopped cucumber
    1/4 cup chopped red onion
    1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
    2 tablespoons sliced kalamata or black olives

    1. Spread the hummus on a 9-inch serving plate.
    2. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining ingredients and refrigerate until serving time.

  68. Blue Cheese & Cranberry Puff Pastry with Walnuts

    Pre-heat oven to 425,cut puff pastry in squares, mix blue cheese, cranberries, add some chopped nuts to mixture also.

    Put a small amount on the square and seal with a little water on your fingertips. Try to seal corners with pressing with a fork .

    Bake 12-14 minutes ,until golden brown on edges. Let cool a little before serving.

  69. Tomato and Avocado Canapés with Manchego Cheese

    Serves 12.

    ½ cup Herbed Balsamic Vinaigrette with Dried Herbs (see recipe below)
    24 slices Cuban Bread or French Baguette Slices — 1/4″ thick
    6 Roma tomato
    2 large Florida Avocado or 3 Haas Avocados
    ¼ pound Manchego cheese — sliced thin (with peeler)

    Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

    1. Arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, preferably lined with a Silpat.

    2. Brush bread with vinaigrette.

    3. Toast in oven until golden brown, about 15 – 20 minutes. (Watch carefully, the slice of the toast and your oven temperature can make the difference between toast and burnt!) Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

    4. Thinly slice tomatoes and spread out on a paper towel — lightly salt them.

    5. Slice avocado and slightly salt and pepper them, arrange on the cutting board or plate.

    To arrange appetizer, place toasted slices of bread on platter and arrange with tomato, avocado and cheese. Serve when ready.

    Recipe: Herbed Balsamic Vinaigrette with Dried Herbs

    1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
    1 teaspoon dried parsley
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1 pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
    1 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
    2 cups Roasted Garlic Olive Oil

    Add Vinegar and dried herbs and spices into jar, mix in olive oil and shake vigorously.

    Tomato and Avocado Canapés with Manchego Cheese

  70. Tortellini Skewers

    Layer skewers with tortellini, artichoke hearts and prosciutto. The tortellini is tossed in Newman’s Own Italian dressing and then you sprinkle parmesan over the whole thing. Easy, filling and SO good!!

  71. Lavender Icebox Cookies

    1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup lavender sugar*
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup lavender dried flowers
    1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling

    *To make lavender sugar, pulse 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers in a food processor until the flowers are well integrated with the sugar.

    Beat butter and lavender and granulated sugars with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour, salt, and lavender flowers on low speed until well combined.

    Turn out dough onto clean work surface and divide in half. Roll each half into a log about 2″ in diameter. Wrap in parchment paper, ensuring that the ends are covered, and refrigerate until firm – at least 1 hour or overnight.

    Preheat oven to 350. Remove cookie logs from refrigerator and let warm at room temperature for about 20 minutes, until they are soft enough to slice. Roll logs in sugar and, using a sharp knife with a thin blade, cut into 1/4″ discs. Bake on parchment-lined cookie sheets for 15-20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even browning. Cool on a wire rack.

  72. from A Century of Flavor

    Lemon-Bleu Stuffed Tomatoes

    2 Tablespoons Dry White Wine

    2 Teaspoons Finely Minced Shallots

    8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened

    1 Teaspoon Finely Minced Garlic

    ½ Teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract

    1/8 Teaspoon White Pepper

    ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)

    5 Ounces Bleu Cheese Crumbles

    2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes (approximately 48)

    Combine the wine and shallots in a small bowl. Let stand.

    Combine the cream cheese, garlic, lemon extract, white pepper, cayenne pepper and shallot mixture in a mixing bowl.

    Beat well until blended using an electric mixer. Fold in the blue cheese with a wooden spoon. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator.

    Rinse the cherry tomatoes. Remove the tops by slicing a small amount off each tomato. Scoop out the seeds with a small measuring spoon.

    Cut a small slice off the bottom of each tomato so it will stand upright when plated. Fill each tomato with ½ tablespoon of the chilled Lemon-Bleu Stuffing using a pastry bag or spoon.

    Note: You may use the stuffing as a gourmet appetizer on toasted slices of a French baguette with small cooked shrimp.
    Makes 24 Tablespoons of Stuffing for 48 Tomatoes.

  73. How to Enjoy a Holiday Fondue Party | Bring a Camcorder

    Before you dive in to the world of fondue, make sure you do not committ the most terrible “fon-don’t”:

    Foregetting to capture the event for posterity (and laughs).

    Every time I head to a fondue party my friends always get crazy with the fondue forks and humor.

    Check out a video from this Satruday here:

    And without further ado, Mr. Mescher’s Magical Fondue:

    16 oz Dark, Sweet, or Semi-Sweet Chocolate
    1 1/2 cups light cream
    1 tsp Vanilla Extract
    1 tsp Almond Extract

    Wha-la! Easy enough to procure, now just:

    Drop small pieces of chocolate into pot

    Mix in cream while stirring

    Add Extract to provide sweet, nutty flavor.

    Once melted, Enjoy!

    …and get it on camera.

  74. This recipe is so fun and festive for any holiday party.

    Holiday Eggnog Bread

    2 eggs
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups eggnog
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    2 tsp. rum extract
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
    (I used self rising flour & omitted the baking powder & salt)
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 – small box instant french vanilla or vanilla pudding

    Eggnog Glaze:
    1 – Cup Powdered Sugar
    Enough eggnog to make a glaze to drizzle over bread

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of bread pan or mini loaf pans. Beat eggs, add sugar, eggnog, butter, rum and vanilla. Blend well, add flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Stir until just moistened. Pour into greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes for large loaf or for about 20-25 minutes for mini loaves. Bread will be golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool bread completely. To make glaze mix 1 cup powdered sugar with enough eggnog to make a glaze. Drizzle over cooled loaves. Let glaze set before storing bread.

    This is a awesome appetizer for any party.

    Holiday Eggnog Bread

    Texas Jalapeno Poppers

    12 – oz. cream cheese, softened
    1 – 8 oz. package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    1 -2 T. bacon bits
    12 oz – jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved
    (we used about 15 jalapenos)
    1 – cup milk
    1 – cup all-purpose flour
    1 – cup dry bread crumbs
    2 – quarts oil for frying

    In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves. Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes. Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated. In a medium skillet or home fryer, heat the oil to 375° F.. Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel.

    This is a requested recipe at any party or gathering.

    Texas Jalapeno Poppers

    Sopapilla Cheesecake

    2 cans Pillsbury Crescent rolls
    2-8oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
    1 1/2 cups Sugar
    1 tsp. Vanilla extract
    1 tsp Cinnamon
    1 stick butter (1/2 cup real butter not margarine)

    Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Unroll and press 1 can crescent rolls into the bottom of your baking dish press the seams together. In a separate bowl blend the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla (I used a tsp and a half, i love vanilla extract) spread over top of dough. Unroll the second can of crescent rolls and place on top of the cream cheese mixture pressing seams together again. Melt butter and pour over top layer of crescents. Mix the reaming 1/2 cup of sugar & cinnamon together. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture generously over the top. If you don’t think that’s enough cinnamon sugar on top add more its really up to you there’s no rules on this part of the recipe. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly and bottom crust is slightly brown. Cool, slice and enjoy!

    Sopapilla Cheesecake

  75. Super Bowl Party Recipes!

    Guacamole Chicken Salad

    2 avocados, halved, pitted and peeled

    3 tablespoons lime juice

    1 clove of garlic, minced

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

    4 cups diced, cooked chicken breast meat*

    1 cup toasted, chopped California walnuts

    1 cup finely chopped onion

    3/4 cup finely chopped celery (about 3 ribs)

    3 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded and chopped

    6 (or more, depending on size) whole leaves of butter lettuce or radicchio

    Serves 8

    *Note: Use home-cooked roasted or poached chicken, or deli-roasted chicken.

    Put the avocado in a large bowl and mash it with a fork until almost smooth. Stir in the lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper. Add the chicken, walnuts, onion, celery and tomatoes, and stir to coat with the avocado. To serve, place a leaf or two of lettuce on each plate, and mound the

    salad in the center.

    Turmeric Spiced Walnuts

    1 cup of California walnut halves

    1 tablespoon walnut oil

    1/2 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt

    2 tablespoons of sugar

    1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    1/2 teaspoon turmeric

    Remove the natural tannin of walnuts by plunging them into a pot of boiling water, and turning off the heat. Let the walnuts stand in the water for 2 minutes, drain the water and pat the walnuts dry with a paper towel. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet. Roast the walnuts in a 350°F degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes until fragrant.

    Heat the walnut oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the roasted walnuts and toss for 1 minute. Add the kosher salt, sugar, cumin, cayenne pepper, and turmeric and toss to coat the walnuts. Let the walnuts cool on parchment paper or paper towels.

    Yield: 1 cup, 4 servings

    Popcorn Walnut Delight

    This American favorite is easy to make at home using walnuts and a light caramel.

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    3 tablespoons canola oil

    1/4 cup light brown sugar

    1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar

    Pinch baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

    4 cups popped corn

    3/4 cup walnut haves or pieces or a mixture

    Preheat an oven to 250 degrees F.

    Combine the butter, oil, sugar, vinegar, and baking soda in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring just until the butter has melted, approximately 3 minutes. If it starts to bubble, remove from heat to complete stirring.

    Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Put the popped corn and the walnuts on and mix them. Drizzle the butter-sugar sauce all over and toss and turn well.

    Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and using a wooden spoon or spatula, turn several times. Return to the oven, and repeat the turning process two more times at 15 minute intervals. After one hour, remove the corn and turn several times. Let stand at room temperature to cool. When cool, store in plastic bags or containers and store in a cool dry place. It will stay fresh for up to 10 days.

    Walnut, Black Olive, and Dried Tomato Spread

    This spread also makes a great dip for raw vegetables. The amount of oil you will need to puree the mixture to a spreadable consistency will depend upon how much oil is in the olives and the tomatoes.

    1 cup oil cured black olives, pitted

    1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

    3/4 cup jarred sun dried tomatoes, in oil, coarsely chopped

    2 teaspoons tomato oil from jar

    1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

    1/4 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Coarsely chop the olives and place them in a blender or food processor with the walnuts, dried tomato, tomato oil and fresh thyme. Blend or process until the mixture is well-mixed. Slowly add olive oil, pureeing or processing until the mixture reaches the desired consistency for spreading.

    Makes about 3 cups – 2 Tablespoon/Serving, 24 Servings

  76. Smoky Margarita

    Innovative bartenders are shaking up classic cocktails with modern twists. This margarita gets its sweetness from agave nectar, a natural sweetener, and a distinct smokiness from Spanish smoked paprika.

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    3 tablespoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection™ Sicilian Sea Salt
    1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection™
    Smoked Paprika, divided
    1/2 cup fresh lime juice
    6 tablespoons agave nectar
    2 ounces tequila

    1. Mix sea salt and 1 tablespoon of the smoked paprika on a small plate. Wet outside rims of margarita or other beverage glasses with lime wedge. Dip glasses into sea salt mixture to coat.

    2. Fill cocktail shaker with 2 cups of ice. Add lime juice, agave nectar, tequila and remaining 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika; shake until well mixed and chilled. Immediately pour into prepared glasses.

    Makes 2 servings.

    Sake Green Tea Martini with Crushed Peppercorns

    Sake, the traditional Japanese rice wine, meets the classic American martini in this trendy cocktail. Peppercorn Mélange provides an eye-catching garnish.

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    McCormick® Gourmet Collection™ Peppercorn Mélange
    1 1/2 ounces dry sake
    1 1/2 ounces vodka
    1/2 ounce green tea liqueur
    1 small cucumber (optional)

    1. Place peppercorns in large resealable plastic bag. Close tightly. Pound with a rolling pin, mallet or heavy skillet until coarsely cracked. Pour out onto a small plate. Wet outside rims of martini glasses with water. Dip glasses in cracked peppercorns to lightly coat.

    2. Fill cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice. Add sake, vodka and green tea liqueur; shake until well mixed and chilled. Strain into martini glasses.

    3. If desired, scoop out small cucumber balls from peeled cucumber using a melon baller. Slice thin strips of cucumber peel and float in the martinis.

    Makes 2 servings.

    Spicy Pulled Pork in Tart Cherry Sauce with Vanilla Slaw

    The pairing of two antioxidant rich ingredients – cayenne and tart cherries – is a perfect match in slow cooked pulled pork. The cayenne brings an underlying heat and the dried cherries add a sweet and sour balance.

    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH

    3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast, trimmed
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries
    1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
    1/2 cup ketchup
    1/3 cup cider vinegar
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection™ Crushed Red Pepper
    or 1 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection™ Ground Cayenne Red Pepper
    1 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection™ Saigon Cinnamon
    1 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection™ Garlic Powder
    1 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection™ Sicilian Sea Salt
    10 sandwich rolls (optional)
    Vanilla Slaw (recipe follows)

    1. Place pork, cherries and onion in slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients except rolls and Vanilla Slaw in medium bowl until blended. Pour over pork. Cover.

    2. Cook 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH. Remove pork from slow cooker.

    3. Shred pork, using 2 forks. Return pork to slow cooker. Mix and heat with sauce before serving. Serve on sandwich rolls with Vanilla Slaw, if desired.

    Makes 10 servings.

    Slow Cooker Tip: For best results, do not remove cover during cooking.

    Vanilla Slaw: Mix 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon
    Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection™ Sicilian Sea Salt in large bowl until well blended. Add 1 package (12 ounces) broccoli coleslaw; toss to coat well. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  77. Hot Buttered Rum Batter (Party Sized)

    1 pound (four sticks) butter

    1 pound (2 1/2 cups) brown sugar

    1 pound (3 1/2 cups) confectioners’ sugar

    1 quart (4 cups) vanilla ice cream, softened

    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

    1 teaspoon ground nutmeg


    1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Blend in brown sugar and confectioners’ sugar. Remove from heat, and whisk in the ice cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into a plastic container, seal, and freeze.

    2. In a coffee mug, measure 1 tablespoon (or more. it’s really tasty) Hot Buttered Rum Batter and 1 fluid ounce of Kilo Kai, then fill cup with boiling water. Stir and sprinkle top of drink with nutmeg.

    Recipe can be divided.

    Hot Buttered Rum Batter (Long, Cold Weekend Version)

    One Stick butter

    2/3 cup Brown Sugar

    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Confectioners’ Sugar

    1 cup vanilla ice cream, softened

    3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


    Puff Pastry Appetizers:

    5 oz. chevre
    8 oz. cream cheese
    handful of chopped fresh tarragon
    1 package of Trader Joe’s frozen puff pastry (or whatever brand you can get.)
    a splash of milk
    Roasted beets (roast them the night before and refrigerate or get extra lazy and buy canned beets, if that’s your thing. My mom adores canned beets. I prefer to roast my own, peeled, and wrapped in tinfoil with a little bit of olive oil and salt.)

    For the filling:
    In a large bowl, mash together the chevre and cream cheese. Add milk a few splashes at a time while mixing until it reaches the consistency of very thick sour cream. Stir in chopped tarragon.

    To make puff pastry cups:

    Remember these? I just used the exact same technique to make a pastry cup. Roll out the pastry to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut rounds using a biscuit cutter or a glass or whatever round thing you have around in the size you want. Then, match up the rounds into groups of 2. Use a slightly smaller cutter to cut the middle out of every other round, so you end up with a ‘rim’ to stick on the other rounds. Use water to adhere the rims. The recipe for the persimmon tartlets says to weigh down the centers with a bunch of fancy crap, but when we tried to do that last time, they just puffed up and made a mess of the rice we used to try and weight them. This time, I didn’t bother weighing them and I just pushed in the center right after they came out of the oven and they were still a little pliable. I ended up making them in a bunch of different sizes, because each time I cut out the center of a round to make a rim, I ended up with a smaller round, which I’d make a smaller rim for. Eventually I ended up with a bunch of puff pastry scraps, which I rolled out and punched out a bunch of tiny shapes just to nibble on. This recipe calls for 1 package of puff pastry, which is what I used, but I ended up with some leftover filling. No big deal, I just scooped it in a bowl and served it alongside the tiny puff pastry bits I baked, and dipped them in the cheese.

    Pipe the filling into the pastry cups (a plastic baggie with the end cut off works just fine) and top with a slice (or, if you’re feeling cutesy, find some fondant cutters and make some flower shapes like I did) of cold roasted beet.

  79. This is the perfect recipe to whip up for spur-of-the-moment guests during the holiday season. Served with flatbread or crackers it’s a healthy, yet decadent holiday snack or appetizer.

    Spicy Pumpkin & White Bean Spread

    1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    1 cup canned white beans (rinsed)
    2 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
    2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Combine ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and pulse with an immersion blender. Mixture will be smoother if you mash beans gently with a fork prior to blending.

  80. Instead of being a chef why not buy in some quick bake packets and long life cream and ready to serve custards. There is always an unexpected guest and no amount of preparation can prepare you for that.

    For interior design I find candles a great solution (but make sure you attend to them as no one wants a problem). Candles can make the strangest room look interesting and all subtle lighting be it lamps or spot lights set off an atmosphere of its own. What the room actually looks like in the stark light of day is irrelevant.

    For party planning I find mid afternoon drinkies are the best. You can buy ready-made dips, mince pies, have a bit of Christmas cake at the ready and it is all over by tea-time (apart from the stragglers).This is a great way of getting together a number of people in one go and can bit a bit of fun too.

    When organising events I find that after the mulled wine (you can now even buy that ready made!) you cannot beat the board games. It doesn’t matter if you are four or forty they are great crack and sure to end in an incident or two!

    Kind regards,

    Sheila Keegan

    Visit for a relaxing thought for the day.

  81. Cheese Fondue With Pesto
    ¾ cup (3 ounces) finely shredded fontina cheese, at room temperature
    ¾ cup (3 ounces) finely shredded Swiss cheese, at room temperature
    ½ cup (1 ounce) finely shredded Romano cheese, at room temperature
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 clove garlic, halved
    ½ cup dry white wine
    1 tablespoon Kirsch
    2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
    Bite-size chunks of French bread or breadsticks and vegetables, such as blanched broccoli florets, blanched cauliflower florets, and cherry tomatoes for dipping

    Toss together the three cheeses and the flour in a medium bowl.

    Rub the garlic on the bottom and sides of a 1 ½-quart nonstick saucepan. Add the wine; warm over medium heat just until small bubbles rise to the surface. Reduce the heat to low; add the cheese about ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly; make certain each addition melts before adding more. Stir in the Kirsch.

    Transfer the mixture to a small earthenware fondue dish (or electric fondue pot); keep warm over low heat. Spoon the pesto in a spiral pattern on top of the cheese mixture.

    Serve with bowls or platters of the foods for dipping.

  82. I find the simpler, the better. And if it comes out elegant – then it’s a winner.

    This year, I am “into” topping French Brie. The sky is the limit with pairing foods with Brie.

    You can go savory with pestos, antipasti choices such as kalamatas, roasted peppers, artichokes and tomatoes.

    You can go sweet with chutneys, jams, sauces and add peppadews for a little spice; add nuts; dried fruits such as cranberries, apples, pineapple.

    You can make a “themed” Brie such as a Hawaiian “Maui Wowie” – pineapple jam/chutney with coconut and macadamias.

    And the finished product is always a crowd pleaser.

  83. Smokey Sausage Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers


    1 lb. jalapenos-cut lengthwise, seeded & deveined

    1 (8oz) cream cheese—room temperature

    1 lb. ground sausage

    1 tsp. garlic powder


    Brown sausage over med-high heat. Drain fat. In a medium sized bowl, combine browned sausage, cream cheese & garlic powder. Stir well. Stuff jalapeno halves with jalapeno/cream cheese mixture. Place jalapeno halves on foiled lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Increase heat to 400 degrees for an additional 15 minutes or until sausage has browned and jalapenos appear tender.

    Serve immediately.

  84. Thank you kindly for the invitation but I do not want to be part of your murder contest.

    The only reason I would ever participate and try to win is so that $400 worth of my fellow beings is never purchased from your store.

    I would never buy, endorse or participate in anything you do and I will encourage everyone I know to boycott your store and website until you stop murdering my friends.

    Go Vegan.

  85. These tasty tidbits are so quick and easy to take from the freezer to your table! You can try different flavors of Ravioli for variety. I promise your tastebuds will giggle…….

    Crunchy Fried & Toasty Garden Spinach Gigante Ravioli with Marinara Sauce Appetizers

    3/4 cup whole milk
    1 egg
    1-1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    15-18 Garden Spinach with Toasted Sage Gigante Ravioli
    2 cups corn oil for frying
    1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
    Hot Marinara Sauce (purchased)

    Combine milk and egg in medium bowl. Place Panko and salt in a shallow bowl. Dip ravioli in milk mixture and coat both sides in Panko.

    In a large saucepan, heat marinara sauce over medium heat until bubbling. Reduce the heat to simmer.

    In a large heavy frying pan, pour in oil. Heat oil over medium heat until a small amount of breading sizzles and turns brown. Fry ravioli, a a few at a time, 1 minute on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Place hot Marinara sauce in medium bowl in center of serving plate. Place ravioli around sauce bowl and sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Insert party toothpicks in center of each ravioli.
    Yield 15-18 appetizers

  86. Caramelized Onion Crostini

    -2 tbs butter
    -3 c finely diced yellow onion
    -1 tbs fresh sage, finely cut
    -3 tbs flour
    -3/4 c dry white wine
    -2/3 c Low Sodium Chicken Broth
    -Salt, pepper
    -High-quality Italian bread, cut into small slices
    -High-quality Olive Oil

    Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium pan. To see if the butter is hot enough, sprinkle just a drop or two of water into the pan to see if it sizzles. If it does, you’re good to go. If not, let it heat up until the pan sizzles.

    Add the finely diced onion and stir every now and then. Make sure the heat isn’t so high that the onion browns. It should cook relatively slowly to release the juices and allow caramelization to being. Add the sage, and mix in. Cook them for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the onions are caramelizing, brush the sliced bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.

    Once the onions are looking caramelized- brownish and nice and gooey, but not browned, add the 3 tbs of flour, one tbs at a time, whisking as you go along. Once the flour is Incorporated, let cook for about 2-3 minutes.

    Add the white wine slowly, and whisk until smooth. Let the mixture reduce for about three minutes, and add the broth, whisking the entire time. Let the entire mixture reduce for about 5-7 minutes, or until your desired thickness. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cool slightly and pile on the freshly toasted bread. Enjoy!

  87. Here’s a holiday cookie recipe for those of us who want to try to keep at least some of the calories at bay during the next few months. But don’t worry, what we lack in fat we more than make up for in flavor! Great to bring as a hostess gift or to serve to your guests…

    Peppermint Meringues
    makes about 3 dozen

    2 large egg whites
    2/3 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon peppermint liquer
    3/4 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies

    1. Heat oven to 300
    2. Using an elctric mixer (you can do this by hand with a whisk, it just takes longer) whip the egg whites until you reach the “stiff peak” stage. This means that when you lift the whisk out of the whites you form a “peak” that doesn’t fall down.
    3. Slowly add sugar, then add vanilla and peppermint liquer, taking care not to over whip the whites or they’ll begin to break down.
    4. Using a plastic spatula, fold in the candies until they are well distributed. Folding, versus stiring, helps to retain the air you’ve just whipped into the whites.
    5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (found near the wax paper and plastic wrap in your grocery store) and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Place heaping tablespoons of meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, leaving about two inches between each.
    6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the meringues are crispy on the outside. Let cool and enjoy!

  88. from York, PA

    Tropical Cheese Ball
    1 8-oz. package Cream Cheese (I use PHILIADELPHIA BRAND)
    1 8-1/4 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
    2 cups (8 oz.) package shredded mild cheddar Cheese
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
    1 teaspoon chopped crystallized ginger
    Flaked coconut

    Combone cream cheese and pineapple, mixing until well blended. Add all remaining ingredients except coconut; mix well. Wrap in plastic wrap and form into a ball. Place in refrigerator for several hours. Take out of refrigerator; unwrap and shape into a ball. Place coconut on waxed paper and roll cheese ball in coconut until completely covered. Place on a serving platter with assorted crackers. Makes 1-1/2 cups.
    Can also be made into bite size pieces and made the same way if you don’t want it to be in ball form for spreading on crackers.

  89. With the holidays upon us, tapenade it is a great, easy to make appetizer spread. Everything goes in the food processor. No baking. Little fuse. But, not everyone likes olives and tapenade. This tapenade with sun dried tomato might just win them over. The sun dried tomato gives it a little bit of sweetness and cuts down on some of the briny olive taste. And the sun dried tomato makes it a little extra special and the small flicks of red give it a holiday festive flare.

    Tapenade with Sun Dried Tomato
    1 pound Kalamata or other good black olive – pitted
    3 tablespoons Capers – drained
    2 cloves Garlic – minced
    8.5 ounces Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil and Herbs, Julienne Cut – oil reserved
    Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
    2 tablespoons Lemon Juice – freshly squeezed
    2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
    2 teaspoons fresh Thyme – chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh Parsley – chopped
    Crackers or toasted sliced Baguette

    Combine olives, capers, and garlic in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse a few times till very roughly chopped. Add enough olive oil to the oil reserved from the sun dried tomatoes to make 1/2 cup. Roughly chop the sun dried tomatoes. Add the sun dried tomatoes, ½ cup oil, lemon juice, mustard, thyme and parsley and process until combined but still chunky. You still want to be able to see bits of the sun dried tomato.

    Serve with crackers or toasted baguette.
    Makes a large potion enough for a good sized party.

    I buy pitted olives and then cut each one in half. I find on average one pit per pound of olives. This recipe can easily be halved. Divide all the ingredients in half, just watch the amount of oil you add to get the consistence you want.

    Tapenade with Sun Dried Tomato

  90. Bloody Mary


    2 oz. vodka
    3 oz. tomato juice
    ½ oz. lemon juice
    Black pepper & salt
    3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
    2 drops Tabasco sauce
    Garnish: McSweet Pickled Dilly Beans and Lemon Wedges

    Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice
    Strain into a highball glass over crushed ice
    Garnish with McSweet Pickled Dilly Beans and lemon wedges

    McSweet Pickled Asparagus

  91. This recipe always gets requested at my cocktail and appetizer parties! A perfect begining to a delicious steak dinner!

    Feta Cheese & Onion Puff Pastry Cups

    1 Package of Puff Pastry Shells (Cups)
    4 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
    1/4 cup crumbled Feta Cheese
    1 Tbs. Milk
    1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
    1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
    1 tsp. Dried Parsley Flakes
    1 yellow onion, cut into rings
    1/2 Tbs. Olive Oil

    Bake pastry shells according to package instructions.

    In the mean time, heat the olive oil in a small pan and add onion slices. Cook over medium-low heat until caramelized & clear about (approx.10-15 minutes).

    With a fork, mix & mash up softened cream cheese, feta crumbles, & milk until smooth & creamy. Then add black pepper & onion powder & stir until well mixed. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds, stir & set aside.

    Once the puff pastry shells are done, fill with approximately 2 Tablespoons (depending on size of pastry cups) of the warm feta cheese mixture, and top with about 1 tsp of the caramelized onions.

    Serve warm or room temperature. ENJOY!

    Yields about 12 mini appetizers.

  92. Our holiday tradition when I was a child was to have Fondue for Christmas dinner. Out family has grown and changed, so I have adapted this tradition for our annual New Year’s Eve celebration. I make meat (beef & chicken) fondue with various sauces, cheese (veggies and bread), and chocolate (cake, cookies, fruit).

    My friends start asking around Thanksgiving to make sure that they are invited.

  93. Orange-Ginger Pickled Beets

    These go quickly on a relish tray, once people give them a taste. They also go well with sushi (don’t ask — just try it!)

    6 medium to large fresh beets, trimmed of green tops and taproots
    Remove dirt and rough peel around top and stems, wash, and cook whole, first bringing to a boil then cooking on medium heat in salted water to cover for about 25 minutes. Remove beets from water and cool. Peel. Slice into rounds about 1/4 inch thick into non-reactive kettle (glass, stainless steel or unblemished enamel, but not aluminum).

    Add to kettle with the sliced beets:
    3/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, but do not use white vinegar)
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup water
    salt, couple grinds fresh pepper
    1/2 cup orange juice, or use 2 rounded T. frozen concentrate
    two cloves garlic, chopped finely
    1/3 large Walla Walla sweet onion, sliced into rings, or three scallions, using the white part.
    Fresh ginger root. Slice about an inch and one-half of the root, using a potato peeler to get thin parings of ginger root. (I keep my “fresh” ginger root in the freezer, and pull it out when needed. Do not thaw – just use the peeler or a very sharp knife to scrape off thin slices of the frozen root, then return to freezer in a Ziplock bag with the air removed. It will keep for months that way.)

    Bring the syrup to a brief boil with the beet slices in it, then simmer about 15 minutes longer until tender. The beet slices should be mostly covered by the pickling solution. If the liquid reduces too much, add a little water, white wine vinegar or more orange juice.

    To store in refrigerator — Put the pickled beets and juice into a covered glass dish or one of those disposable/reuseable storage containers. (They don’t stain like some other plastic storage containers do)

    Refrigerate at least three hours before serving. These will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week. Beware of midnight refrigerator raids because of the likelihood of beet stains on your pajamas!

  94. Tiramisu

    3 Egg Yolks
    1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
    1/2 lb. Mascarpone, softened
    1 c. Heavy Cream, chilled
    1 T Rum
    1/2 t. Vanilla Extract
    1 T, plus 2-3 cups brewed Espresso
    3 Egg Whites
    20-25 Lady Finger Cookies
    Cocoa Powder, as needed

    Chill a bowl and whisk (for the heavy cream). Set a mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water (to create a double boiler), and beat the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and thick ribbons fall from the whisk. Add the mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth and creamy. Next, use the chilled bowl and whisk to beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add the rum, vanilla and 2 T. of espresso and beat until smooth.

    In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks (meaning that the whites should hold their shape when the whisk is lifted straight out of the bowl). Now, gently fold the mascarpone mixture (with a rubber spatula) into the beaten egg whites until blended. Add the remaining egg whites and fold gently until the mixture is smooth and blended.

    This is when the fun part begins!
    One at a time, submerge each ladyfinger into the remaining espresso, laying each one on the bottom of a 3-quart glass or ceramic serving dish. Do this until you form one complete layer. Next, spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the soaked ladyfingers until they are evenly covered. Arrange another layer of espresso-soaked ladyfingers over the mascarpone cream; then, spread the remaining mascarpone cream evenly over the top. This is your tiramisu. To create a lovely presentation, dust the top layer with the cocoa powder to create a rich, dark topping. Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 4 hours before serving.

  95. I like this recipe because it is hard to mess up. I’m usually a few drinks in by the time dessert is served and this recipe is very forgiving.

    1 or 2 figs per person
    2 cups of good port (I like Kopke)
    1 oz creamy blue cheese per person (St. Agur is fantastic)
    pinch of salt

    1. heat the port in a saute pan to a light simmer (about 180 F)
    2. score the figs with an X on top where the stems were (this lets the sugars out into the port and adds a little color to the plate)
    3. add the figs to the port and toss in the salt
    4. simmer until the figs are soft, but still have some structure, about 10 minutes
    5. while still warm, put the figs onto a spot of blue cheese
    6. turn up the sauce and really slam it until its reduced to about half a cup. it should be syrupy and hold its shape on the plate.

  96. Apple Cinnamon Rolls

    1 pkg Nasoya® Egg Roll Wraps
    1 12 oz can apple pie filling
    4 oz room temperature water
    1/2 stick melted (warmed) whole sweet butter – optional
    1/2 c confectionary sugar
    1/4 c ground cinnamon
    1 pinch nutmeg

    Method of Preparation:
    Place wraps flat on a clean, dry cutting board, so the wrap is in the shape of a
    diamond. Place 1 level tablespoon of apple filling in the center of the wrapper. With your
    index finger, seal all 4 sides of the wrap with water. Then fold and wrap like a burrito.
    Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400° (F) for 5 – 7 minutes or until light
    golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with butter. Sprinkle with confectionary
    sugar, cinnamon and tiny pinch of nutmeg.

    Makes approx 20 rolls

    Asparagus & Prosciutto Roll Ups

    1 pkg of Nasoya® Egg Roll wraps
    One bunch asparagus spears
    3 oz prosciutto, sliced into enough strips to wrap around each asparagus spear
    Approximately 1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
    1 stick of butter, melted

    Method of Preparation:
    Preheat the oven to 350° (F). Trim the asparagus. Wrap each spear with prosciutto.
    Melt the butter. Brush each egg roll wrap with butter, fold in half lengthwise. Brush
    folded sheet with butter again, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place one
    asparagus spear bundle at one end of the sheet, and roll it up. Place the bundle in a
    9×13 baking pan (you may need an additional 8×8 or 9×9 pan for the overflow) and
    continue until all spears have been wrapped. Brush all the bundles with the remaining
    melted butter and bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are nicely
    browned. Serve immediately.

    (Note: If you are a vegetarian, just leave out the prosciutto, add a little more Parmesan
    for extra flavor, and all’s well.)

    Serves 6 to 10 as an appetizer

    Asparagus & Prosciutto Roll Ups

    Herb & Lime Chicken Cups

    Won Ton Cups
    1 pkg of Nasoya® Won Ton wraps

    1/4 c thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
    1 1/2 tbsp finely minced fresh lemongrass, cut from
    bottom 4 inches of 4 stalks with tough leaves removed
    1/4 c fresh lime juice
    2 tbsp fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)*
    2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    3 tbsp sweet chili sauce*
    2 tbsp olive oil

    1 lb Chicken, cooked and cut into 1/4” cubes
    1/2 c diced seeded peeled cucumber
    1/4 c chopped green onions
    1/4 c diced seeded plum tomato
    2 tbsp chopped seeded jalapeño chile
    1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
    1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
    1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil (preferably Vietnamese or Thai)

    Won Ton Cups
    Method of Preparation:
    Preheat oven to 375º (F). Spray muffin pan (2 1/2″ diameter cups) with cooking spray. Fit a wrap into each cup (edges will be ruffled); lightly spray each wrap. Bake until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Let shells cool.

    For dressing:
    Puree all ingredients in blender. Let mixture stand at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.
    Strain mixture into small bowl, pressing on solids to release any liquid; discard solids.
    Stir in sweet chili sauce. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

    Cup Filling:
    Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Add chicken and dressing to bowl; toss to coat. Add filling to the cooled cups.

    Herb & Lime Chicken Cups

    Chocolate Mousse Pillows
    Recipe provided by Maribeth Abrams, author of Tofu 1-2-3 cookbook now available on-line.

    1 (16-ounce) pkg of Nasoya® Silken tofu
    1 pkg of Nasoya® Won Ton wraps
    1 ½ c dairy-free chocolate chips, melted (see note)
    ¼ cup vegetable oil
    1/3 cup liquid sweetener (agave nectar, pure maple syrup or honey)
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tbsp almond liqueur or ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)

    Method of Preparation:
    Put the tofu in a food processor and blend until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate chips, maple syrup, vanilla, and almond liquor and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

    Using the Won Ton wraps, fill centers of 4 with 1 tsp of filling; moisten edges with water. Fold into a triangle shape and then press to seal. Repeat.

    In a skillet, heat ¼ cup of vegetable oil. Working in batches, cook Won Tons for 2 minutes or until golden, turning once. Repeat with remaining oil. Drain on paper towels. Garnish with confectioner’s sugar and drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.

    Note: Melt chocolate chips in a double-boiler, stirring constantly to prevent burning, or in the microwave, n the defrost setting for approximately 3 minutes, stopping to stir at least once.

    Makes 16 Triangles

    Chocolate Mousse Pillows

    Fill with Imagination Cups
    Fill with flavorful fillings, sweet or savory!

    1 pkg Nasoya® Round or Won Ton wraps

    Method of Preparation:
    Preheat oven to 375º (F). Spray muffin pan (2 1/2″ diameter cups) with cooking spray. Fit a wrap into each cup (edges will be ruffled); lightly spray each wrap. Bake until golden brown, 6-7 minutes. Let shells cool; store airtight until ready to fill.

    Empty Cups

    Shrimp Poppers

    Baked Spinach Ravioli

    1 pkg of Nasoya® Square wraps
    1 (14-oz) pkg of Nasoya® Firm tofu
    10 ounces fresh spinach
    15 ounces ricotta cheese
    3/4 c grated Pecorino Romano cheese
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper

    Method of Preparation:
    Cook spinach with 2 tbls of water in the microwave or on the stovetop for 5 minutes or until just wilted. Let cool and drain excess water. Place tofu in a food processor and pulse until it is pureed. Add the ricotta cheese, pulse until combined, then add spinach and grated cheese and process until smooth, about 30-seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Use filling to make “toasted” ravioli.
    Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
    Take a Nasoya® square wrap and place approximately 2 tbls of tofu/spinach/cheese mixture in center of the wrap, do not to place filling near the edge. Use a pastry brush and water and brush the edges of wrap, place a second wrap on top, then crimp edges together tightly with your fingers or the tines of a fork.
    Brush ravioli lightly with olive oil and bake in a 375 ° (F) oven for 10-12 minutes or until
    lightly browned. Serve ravioli with your favorite marinara for dipping.

    Marinara Sauce
    4 tbsp olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
    1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    3 tsp dried basil leaves
    1/2 tsp white sugar
    salt and pepper to taste

    Method of Preparation:
    In a skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in the olive oil, about 10 minutes.
    Break apart the whole tomatoes with your hands and add to the pan along with the crushed tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Makes 15 servings

    Baked Spinach Ravioli

  97. The party food recipe contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted and shared their delicious recipes! If you haven’t had a chance to enter your best recipe, please feel free to post it here – it won’t count toward the contest, but we always love to see new recipes!

    We will narrow down the finalists tonight. Come back tomorrow and vote for your favorite recipe. A winner will be announced on Monday, December 22.

  98. Pingback: Vote for your Favorite Party Food Recipe | Blog

  99. Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Shrimp with Pineapple Cocktail sauce Ingredients

    * 12 jumbo shrimp, deveined
    * 1/4 fresh pineapple cut into bite sized chunks or 1 (14-ounce) can pineapple chunks in natural juice, drained
    * 6 slices center-cut bacon, cut in 1/2 crosswise
    * 12 wooden toothpicks


    Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Holding a shrimp, nest a chunk of pineapple in the natural curve of the shrimp then wrap bacon around the shrimp and pineapple and secure with a wooden toothpick. Wrap and secure all 12 shrimp then add to the hot pan and cook 3 minutes on each side or until bacon is crisp and shrimp are opaque and firm.

    Pineapple Cocktail Sauce;
    1 can chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, small can crushed pineapple, fresh lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, dry mustard all to taste.

    Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts (for Hubby who doesn’t like pineapple):
    1 can water chestnuts
    1/4 c. soy sauce
    1/4 tsp. ginger (optional)
    1 tsp. sugar
    1/2 lb. bacon
    Combine all ingredients except water chestnuts and bacon. Cut water chestnuts in half and marinate in mixture for 2 hours. Cut bacon in thirds.
    Wrap chestnuts in bacon and secure with toothpicks. Roll in sugar. Place on rack and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 4 dozen.

  100. Spicy Peanut Dip
    1 3/4 cups peanut butter, smooth commercial type works better than all-natural (even cheaper store brands, rather than major label)
    2 cups chopped onion
    1 TBLS vegetable oil
    2 tsp roasted sesame oil
    6 cloves garlic (I use dry roasted garlic; put unpeeled cloves in a dry cast iron frying pan over high heat, and shake intermittently until they smell toasty and there are burnt spots on the skins, then cool and peel)
    6 TBLS lemon juice or rice vinegar
    2 TBLS brown sugar
    1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
    about 1 TBLS peeled fresh ginger)
    1 TBLS soy sauce
    2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
    2 tsp. curry powder
    1 -2 tsp. Thai red curry paste

    Cook the onions over medium heat in the tablespoon of vegetable oil until they are soft and clear, but not browned. Pan roast the garlic, and peel it. Place the onions, garlic, cilantro, and ginger in bowl of food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth, adding hot water to thin if necessary.

    Serve with an assortment of seasonal vegetables and crackers – blanched broccoli, carrots, sugarsnap peas, and small wheat or rice crackers are delicious.

  101. Parties are about letting loose, having fun, and catching up with friends. Let’s face it, the best parties are stress free parties. My favorite party idea is a “BYO Wine and Cheese Party. Everyone brings their favorite cheese or (one they’ve been just dying to try) and a bottle of wine. The hosts just need to provide plates, napkins, a bottle opener, and wine glasses and everyone has a blast.

    It is not fair when the host gets stuck in the kitchen all day and throughout the party. With the BYO Wine and Cheese party this doesn’t happen.

    Have you ever been to a party when the host prepares for days but because of weather or other eventualities almost no one shows up? In the BYO Wine and Cheese party scenario there is always enough no matter how many show up!

  102. I have cooked so many of Jaden’s recipes, they are all excellent and she’s the funniest, most charming person ever. She deserves to win 🙂

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