Cranberry Jalapeño Bruschetta

This week, I’m sharing some of my favorite Christmas Party foods. Everyone needs a few good, go to items to bring when you’re invited out at the holidays! We’re starting off with a recipe I stole from a friend after she brought it to a party last Christmas. The beautiful red color of the cranberries is perfect for this time of year! With sweet and tangy flavor from the cranberries and heat from jalapeno, they’re bright and vibrant in your mouth! You’ll be snagging these little babies until the plate is empty!

Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta

Extra recipe for a genius use of the drained juice since I hate wasting things with so much flavor! After you’ve let the berries soak in sugar and drain the juice, you are essentially left with cranberry simple syrup with a little pop of jalapeno. I whipped up an amazing martini for my husband by combining 3 parts vodka to one part cranberry syrup (drained juice). Shake over ice and pour into a martini glass. I wish I had a little jalapeno for a garnish with the cranberry…alas, had to use a lime. Oh well. Delish!

Cranberry Jalapeno Martini

Print Recipe for Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta

Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta
from What’s Cooking With Ruthie

1 (12oz) bag fresh cranberries, finely chopped
1 C sugar
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely sliced
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1 baguette, sliced ½ inch thick on a diagonal
olive oil
additional cilantro leaf and quartered cranberry for garnish

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  2. Place baguette slices on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Bake 5-6 minutes until golden brown, let cool.
  4. In mixing bowl combine cranberries, sugar, green onions, and jalapenos; mix until combined.
  5. Let marinate for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Drain juice, add cilantro, mix well.
  7. When ready to serve spread 1 Tbsp cream cheese on each baguette, a dollop of cranberry mixture, garnish with additional cilantro leaf and cranberry if desired. Enjoy!
Advertisements

Mixed Booger Salad with Snot and Scabs (Twisted Chicken Caesar Salad)

This simple twist on a Caesar salad gets a hit of gag inducing grossness from the name. I’m very proud of it. It’s pasta tossed with romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese and (if desired) chicken. I rip up a rotisserie and throw it in there. I leave the dressing on the side (labeled “snot) so the salad doesn’t get soggy during the party – and everyone can decide how much gooey grossness to pile on. Tee-hee!

Mixed Booger Salad with Snot and Scabs - Bakerlady

Love this recipe idea? Check out more Halloween party food on my Fabulously Freaky Halloween Fodder post. It’s full of devilish and delicious ideas!

Print Recipe for Twisted Caesar Salad

Twisted Chicken Caesar Salad

5 cups romaine lettuce
2 cups chicken breasts, cooked and sliced (or just use a rotisserie chicken)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups penne pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
Caesar Salad dressing
Croutons (if desired)

Chop Romaine into bite sized pieces and combine with the other ingredients. Toss with the desired amount of dressing.

Flayed Witches Fingers (Ham and Asparagus Roll Ups)

One of my favorite party appetizers involves pickled veggie wrapped in cheese and meat. These Flayed Witches Fingers are easy to whip together with all store-bought ingredients. I used a jar of pickled green beans I got from my mom-in-law, but you can easily use jarred asparagus from your local supermarket. Slap some softened cream cheese on deli ham and roll it around your veggie. They are sure to thrill all your ghosts and goblins!

Flayed Witches Fingers - Bakerlady

If you cut each finger into fourths and remove the gross sign, these are a great appetizer for any party. I’ve made them for football games and New Year’s Eve. They are always a big hit!

Love this recipe idea? Check out more Halloween party food on my Fabulously Freaky Halloween Fodder post. It’s full of devilish and delicious ideas!

Print Recipe For Flayed Witches Fingers

Flayed Witches Fingers2 (6 oz.) pkg. sliced cooked ham
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. pickled asparagus spears (or pickled green beans)
Spread each ham slice with about 1 tablespoon cream cheese. Place 1 asparagus spear along the lengthwise edge of ham slice. Roll up jellyroll style. Wrap; refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fried Zucchini Batter

This is a super simple, very adaptable recipe to batter veggies for frying. I used zucchini, but it would work with just about anything you want to dip in a light batter and fry to airy crisp perfection.

Fried Zucchini Batter - Bakerlady

I ate these babies with (gasp!) no dipping sauce. The batter wrapper was perfect for me. They’d be great with some ranch though.

Fried Zucchini Batter - Bakerlady

This is the best batter I’ve ever used for frying up some deliciousness. The cornstarch makes it absolutely light as air.

Fried Zucchini Batter - Bakerlady

Yup. Fan-freakin-tastic!

Fried Zucchini Batter - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Fried Zucchini Batter

Fried Zucchini Batter
adapted from Food.com

3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup water
1 egg

12-15″ long zucchini cut in 1/3″ slices or rounds

Directions
In medium mixing bowl mix all the above until smooth. Dip sliced zucchini in batter and fry in 1/3 inch hot oil till golden brown.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese

I came upon this recipe while trying to find a way to use up some leftover potatoes. Often I chop them up a little and throw them into a saucepan as hash browns to have with breakfast. Or I use them to make Bubble and Squeak. I found this recipe, calling for baked potatoes strained thru a ricer, mixed with egg and flour to make a dough, and was intrigued. But with no idea how to actually say the name of the thing I was making.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

If you had been a fly on my wall listening to my pitiful attempts to pronounce “gnocchi”, you’d have been horribly embarrassed for me. I pronounced the “g” sound, and instead of saying “key” for the cchi, I said “chee” like the start of cheese. It was really sad. My husband laughed right in my face and asked what on earth I was saying. If you are interested, here’s how it is supposed to sound. And, how my kids responded when I taught them how to say it. Talk about blind leading the blind.

 

Gnocchi comes in many varieties and have been around since the days of the Romans, when soldiers would mix a semolina porridge-like dough with eggs.  Since I’m fairly certain the Roman legions didn’t go around with ricers in their tunics, I thought I could probably figure out a way to make these without one too. Even if it is a potato variety. Romans didn’t own Cuisinarts either…but I do! I tossed my leftover potatoes in there and started whirling away.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Pulse until no lumps remain. Then with your clean hands, combine the potato mash with  two egg yolks, some salt and flour.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Until you have a firm, but still a little sticky dough.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Cut into four even pieces and roll each into a long rope.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Using a pastry cutter (or knife) and a fork. Cut into small pieces and then press with the fork to make ridges.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Repeat until you’ve used all the dough. These can be boiled and served immediately, or frozen on a cookie sheet then transferred to a plastic bag in the freezer for up to a month. At this point, they reminded me of butter mints.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

You need two burners going to cook these babies up. One for the water so you can boil your little potato pasta gnocchis. And one for everything good in the world to get down in. Butter, garlic and Italian parsley hanging out. You know that’s gonna be good. Let the butter melt, then toss in the garlic and parsley just as the gnocchi dumplings start floating.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Dunk your gnocchi into the pot of boiling water. They’ll bob up to the surface as they cook. Let them go another minute or two (no longer!) and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

And transfer them to your butter/parsley/garlic pan. Swish the pan around to get them all coated nicely (this should take under a minute).

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Slap those gorgeous babies into a bowl, sprinkle some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and go to town. Every little nugget is perfectly soft and wrapped in flavor. Like a cheesy, fragrant pillow of buttery goodness.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

The original recipe said this makes 4 servings. They must be serving dainty little princess eaters. I ate half the recipe single-handedly. If you are serving this as a first course, you could probably get away with a smaller portion. But as a main dish, you’d need to double the recipe to get 4 servings, unless you’re friends with really tiny people. Or, keep it simple and just eat all of these yourself. I won’t judge.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese
adapted from Food and Wine

2 pounds leftover potatoes (about 4 – enough to yield about 2 cups flesh)
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Garlic, minced finely
Italian parsley, chopped

Scoop the flesh into a ricer and rice the potatoes (or in your food processor). Transfer 2 slightly packed cups of riced potatoes to a bowl. Stir in the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the 1/2 cup of flour; stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead the dough gently until smooth but slightly sticky.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. On a floured surface, cut the dough into 4 pieces, rolling each into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make ridges; transfer to the baking sheet.
In a large, deep skillet of simmering salted water, cook the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then simmer for 2 minutes longer. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Toss garlic and chopped parsley into the butter just before adding the gnocchi. Using a slotted spoon, add the gnocchi to the butter. Season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.

Make Ahead The uncooked gnocchi pieces can be frozen on the prepared baking sheet, then transferred to a resealable plastic bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting.

Barbeque Turkey Sliders

I recently started dabbling in wine. I’ve always been more of a vodka girl personally, but it just seems so socially grown up to drink a glass of wine at a party. Who says peer pressure stays in high school? A while back I managed to finish my first glass, but it was Moscato so I hardly think that counts. My next attempt was a Riesling. I got a local wine called 14 Hands and found it to be delightful. I’m still a long way from attempting a musky red wine, but I feel I’m maturing.

[Read more…]

Pepperoni Pizza Poppers

Dun-dun-dun-dun. Ba-ba, ba-ba. (drums) Dun-dun-dun-dun!! Ba-ba, ba-ba! What? Don’t recognize that? Hmmm. I may be overreaching the bounds of my regular viewing audience here. Let’s try this.


That’s right! It’s back! Football season! Woo-hoo! Tonight is the return of Monday Night Football and I couldn’t be more pleased. My husband can’t wait until February 2013 when all the pigskin madness comes to a close. I know, we are NOT a normal couple. My Seahawks have two new quarterback prospects (who I’m every excited about) and a new wide receiver (who I’m trying to get on board with). It is going to be a great year! Surely I’ve mentioned before that I love football. Right? L.O.V.E. One of the beautiful things about NFL season is the food. Glorious game time snacks. There’s nothing better than settling in for three hours of helmet crunching, bone jarring hits with a table of munchies. They are one of my favorite things. Like these little poppers. Perfect for throwing back while you cheer on your favorite team. You may want to double or triple this recipe if you are having the whole gang over for a game. Pretty sure that in the heat of a the action I could take down half this batch solo. Yeah, I gain weight in the fall because of football…not holiday parties. Come on, I’ve been a Hawks fan since Kindergarten. I’m a stress eater. And usually, the Seahawks provide plenty of anxiety riddled games.

[Read more…]

Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks

I’m not sure if this is really a secret or not. Let me pretend that I’m the first person to ever tell you this anyway. You can make breadsticks that taste just like your favorite unlimited basket at the Olive Garden. It’s true. And, it is not hard. Really, it is too easy. Cause, I love love love the Olive Garden’s breadsticks. And now I can make them at home. Which I’ve done three times in the past week. Bad. Very bad.

[Read more…]

Fabulous Four Bean Salad

Full of bright colors, tang and texture, this bean salad is sure to be a hit at your next get-together. This salad requires a little time to hang out at the vinegar dressing dance party (aka: in your fridge), but if you know your way around a can opener, you throw the salad together in about 5 minutes. Why on earth would you buy the giant jug of this stuff at the store when making it yourself is so incredibly easy and delicious! Bonus, you won’t be eating a bowl of something that’s been salted and pickled beyond recognition.

The trickiest part of this salad is finding the wax beans. You’ll find the chickpeas and kidney beans with the chili, northern beans and navy beans – in the bean aisle. But the wax beans and green beans will be together hanging out with their friends in the canned vegetable aisle. I don’t want to admit how long I spent scouring for yellow wax beans among the jalapeno pinto beans. Sigh. Does anyone else think “beans” no longer looks like a word?

Fabulous Four Bean Salad
adapted from Food.com

1  can chickpeas
1  can green beans
1  can wax beans
1  can red kidney beans
1 red bell pepper (any colour can be used)
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

DRESSING

2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Drain a can of chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinse well, then drain again; place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Drain a can of green beans and a can of wax beans well and then add to bowl.
  3. Drain a can of red kidney beans, rinse well then drain again; add to bowl.
  4. Dice up a colored bell pepper and add to beans.
  5. Peel a small red onion and slice into very thin strips and add to bowl.
  6. Lastly, add about 1/2 cup of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley.
  7. Now make dressing: in a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegars, oil, sugar (I use a scant 1/3 cup), minced fresh garlic, worcestershire, and salt and pepper.
  8. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss.
  9. Cover and refrigerate overnight, stirring occasionally (before serving, taste, as it may need more salt or pepper to taste).
  10. When ready, spoon bean salad into a serving bowl using a slotted spoon, to drain off most of the dressing before serving.

Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Fries

In general, my kids are very good at eating their vegetables. But I’m always looking for ways to make them more appealing. Although they’ll both eat asparagus with just a little olive oil, salt n’ pepper – they certainly don’t gobble it down like they did these crunchy flavorful asparagus fries. Yum yum! These would be great with any poultry or pork tenderloin or even as an appetizer for your next party. Bet you’ll even get those picky eaters to like asparagus with these beauties!
[Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: