Thursday, February 23, 2012

Appetizers and Desserts...

Well, I've discovered it's super convenient to have all these recipes on my if I happen to be at mom's house and don't have my recipe book with me, or if my sister calls for a recipe, it's all in one place ready for referencing.  That said, I've decided to add a few appetizer and dessert recipes from my jewelry party in December, so I have them recorded somewhere other than scraps of envelopes and buried in my sent emails.  I'm just putting them all in one post, since I usually make more than one of them at a time anyway.  I don't have calories for these, nor would I ever look them up.  Holidays and parties are calorie-free zones, my friends.  lol.  Here we go :)

Here's a picture of my table setting from my jewelry at least you have an idea of what it all looks like:

Feta Bruschetta

This is my own recipe, for once.  I had seen a lot of bruschetta recipes that just weren't quite what I wanted, so I created my own with all my favorite parts of a whole bunch of different recipes.  It was really good and has been made 3 or 4 more times since Christmas by my family. 

- 1/4 c. butter, melted
- 1/4 c. + 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
- Baguette, sliced relatively thin
- 2-3 oz. Crumbled Feta
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T. fresh basil, minced
- 6-8 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

Mix tomatoes, basil, feta, garlic, and 3 T. olive oil together in a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.  Mix butter and olive oil together in a small bowl.  Brush sliced bread with butter/olive oil mixture, and put on a baking sheet in the oven under the broiler until toasted.


Cranberry-Jalapeno Dip

This is a Pinterest specialty, and it's delicious.  The original recipe is at Jamie Cooks it Up if you're interested in checking it out.  It's super duper easy too, which is a plus :)

1 - 12 oz. package fresh cranberries
1/4 c. green onions, chopped
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped (I usually use less than this cuz I'm not a huge cilantro fan)
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 T. lemon juice
Dash of salt
2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened

Chop up cranberries in food processor or mini processor.  Combine all ingredients except cream cheese in  bowl, and store in refrigerator for at least 4 hours (this is brings out the sweetness in the cranberries as the sugar starts to break them down).  When ready to serve, spread cream cheese mixture on a plate and spread cranberry mixture on top of cream cheese.  Serve with crackers.


Union Square Bar Nuts
We made these for a bridal shower a few years ago, and they've been a go-to ever since.  I gave out little tins of them for Christmas presents a couple of years ago too.  Yum.  They're originally from the book Nigella Bites, by Nigella Lawson.  Also, quick and easy :)

18 oz. lightly salted assorted nuts (I like to use the Emerald ones)
2 T. coarsely chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. brown sugar (dark or light is fine...I usually use dark)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread nuts on baking sheet and toast in the oven till light golden brown...about 8-10 minutes.  In large bowl, combine rosemary, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter.  Thoroughly toss nuts in spiced butter.  Serve warm or let cool before storing in a lidded container.


White Sugar Cookies
I, personally, think these are the best cookies in existence.  My friend gave me the recipe last year, and I've made them a bunch of times for holiday parties, etc. since.  The recipe should make about 4 dozen, and from my experience, they don't last long.  lol :)  They're really easy to make, nearly impossibe to mess up, and absolutely NOT diet food.


- 1 c. white sugar
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 1 c. oil
- 2 sticks margarine
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups flour

- 1 stick margarine
- 1 lb. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. butter flavoring
- 3 T milk (to desired consistency)


Cookies - Mix all ingredients and bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Frosting - Mix all ingredients till smooth.  Spread over cooled cookies.


And that's all for tonight...I'll save pumpkin squares and wassail for another day :)

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