Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rustic Comfort Food: Celebratory Style - December 2012

Diva: Lovina

Drinks: Aven
Red and White Wine

Blackberry Wine Spritzers
I added some homemade blackberry juice to some sparkling water and then mixed with wine half and half over ice.

Cranberry Raspberry Shrub
1 c frozen or fresh berries
1 c sugar
1 c apple cider vinegar
sparkling water

Bring the fruit and sugar to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and add the vinegar.  Pour mixture into a jar and let sit at least 1 full day before drinking for flavors to combine.  Mix fruit mixture and water to taste and serve over ice; half and half is good and not too vingegary.


Soup: Colleen
Potato Soup with Smokey Cheese

2 large red onions, chopped
3 T butter
3 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
4 c veggie broth
1 c whipping cream
1 c buttermilk
Salt and Pepper
~ 8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
8 or more oz of smoked cheddar cheese, shredded (add to taste)

Saute onions in butter with a pinch of salt until soft. Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook until potatoes are soft (30-45 min).  Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender.  Add heavy cream, buttermilk and cheese and heat through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve garnished with extra cheese!
This soup is also delicious if you add kale or spinach!

Adapted from:

Salad: Tiffany
salad ingredients: candied nuts (I'll forward you the recipe my sister sent me), feta, thinly sliced red onion, dried cranberries (I used pomegranate), mixed greens

dressing ingredients: 1/3 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. sugar, 1/4 c. raspberry vinegar (I couldn't find it, so used balsalmic raspberry vinegar), 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. Tabasco, pepper, dried parsley

Side: Erin

Cauliflower Gratin
1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 T unsalted butter, divided
3 T all-purpose flour
2 c hot milk

½  tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼  tsp grated nutmeg
¾  c freshly grated Gruyere, divided
½  c freshly grated Parmesan
¼  c fresh bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan. Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Entree :


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Appetizers - September 2012

Diva: Colleen

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 8-oz pkgs cream cheese
1 c mayo
1 c parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic-minced
1 4-oz can diced green chilies
1 4-oz can diced jalapenos, drained
8 oz bacon-crisp and crumbled
french bread or chips for dipping

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and crumble bacon, reserve 3 T for topping/garnish.  Combine cream cheese, mayo, parm., and garlic. Mix until smooth.  Add jalapenos and chilies.  Stir in bacon. Put in a glass baking dish and garnish with reserved bacon.  Bake 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  Enjoy!!


soy sauce
lemon juice

Boil artichokes until leaves easily pull off.  Mix mayo (about ¼ - ⅓ of a cup) with soy sauce and lemon juice (about a teaspoon of soy sauce and a squeeze of a lemon).  Mix sauce, adding more soy or lemon until you get it just the way you like it.

Garden Vegetable Salsa

2 zucchini, diced
1 c frozen corn
6 tomatoes, diced
1 jalepeno, minced
cilantro to taste
juice of one lime
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Serve with your favorite chips!

Lemony White Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes

1 package lemon snaps or small lemon cookies
4 8-oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 ¼ c sugar
10 oz white baking chocolate, melted and cooled
2 T all-purpose flour
2 T heavy whipping cream
2 T lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon peel
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
strawberries and mint leaves, optional

Place one cookie in bottom of cupcake papers inside muffin tins, set aside. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the white chocolate, flour, cream, lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into cupcake cups. Bake at 325° for 25-35 minutes or until centers are just set and top appears dull.
Refrigerate overnight. Garnish with strawberries and mint leaves iif desired.
Yield: 36 servings.
Adapted from Taste of Home magazine Cheesecakes edition