Archive of ‘Eat & Drink’ category

Simple Appetizers For Your NYE Entertaining

Here are two simple and impressive appetizers you can do in a snap! Having guests? Try these!!!

Grilled Beef Tenderloin on Focaccia Toasts & Spitfire Shrimp

Grilled Be ef Tenderloin on Focaccia Toasts

Cook Time 1 hr 10 min
Enough for a crowd! 30 plus servings
Ingredients

2 pounds cherry tomatoes
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads garlic
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 lemon, juiced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cups good quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons hot chili paste
1 whole beef tenderloin*, about 6 to 8 pounds
2 loaves focaccia bread , sliced and toasted
Baby arugula, for garnish

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the tomatoes into a roasting pan, drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes have collapsed, about 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.
Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, wrap it in foil, and bake it until soft, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft garlic onto a cutting board. Strip the needles from the rosemary, add them to the garlic, and chop them together. Pour 1 cup olive oil into a small bowl; add the garlic and rosemary mixture and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside until ready to grill.
Char the outside of the pepper under the broiler or over a gas flame. Put it into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and chop and put it into a blender. Add the mayonnaise and chili paste; process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be made the day before.)
Heat the grill. Remove the meat from the refrigerator about 1/2 hour before you are going to grill it. Brush it with some of the flavored olive oil and season it generously with salt and pepper. Grill the tenderloin, turning frequently, until the meat is rare or medium rare, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a platter and let it rest for 5 minutes, brushing it with the flavored olive oil. Cut the beef into thin slices.
To serve, put some of the flavored mayonnaise onto a piece of focaccia toast. Top it with a thin slice of the beef and spoon on some of the roasted tomatoes. Garnish with some arugula leaves and serve.

*Cook’s note: Have your butcher clean the fat and silver skin from the tenderloin and tie it.

Spitfire Shrimp

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Serves: 6 to 8 servings for snacking
Ingredients

Seasoning:
1 lime, juiced
2 ounces (1/4 cup) hot cayenne pepper sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon crab boil seasoning
Shrimp:
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 pounds jumbo shrimp peeled and de-veined*
12 to 15 blades fresh chives, chopped, for garnish

*Ask for easy-peel raw deveined shrimp at seafood counter of market

Directions

Preheat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
Combine lime juice, hot sauce, cumin, red pepper flakes and seafood seasoning blend.
Quickly saute garlic and shallots in oil and butter for 1 minute, add shrimp and cook 3 minutes, tossing and turning frequently. Dump pink, firm, cooked shrimp from hot pan into hot seasoning blend and toss in seasoning mixture to coat shrimp evenly. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve warm or chilled.

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence photos from Food Network

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Holiday Appetizers

I have been a fan of celebrity chef LuLu Powers ever since I read her book Food to Flowers. So when she sent me these easy appetizer recipes for the holiday season, I knew they’d be great — and they are! Below she shares her recipes for Apple Cheddar Rye Puffs and Parmesan Pea Dip, both recipes would make perfect holiday appetizers.

Before we get to the recipes, I wanted to share this simple tip from LuLu:

  • Cocktail Ornaments: Store cranberries in the freezer and use them to adorn cocktails. These frozen delights will give any gathering the holiday spirit.

And now for the recipes!

Apple Cheddar Rye Puffs

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Yield: 30 appetizers

Ingredients

1/2 Granny Smith apple (cored, peeled and finely chopped)

1 cup Sargento Artisan Blends Double Cheddar shredded cheese

3 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 loaf of mini rye bread

Fresh ground pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Cut rounds out of rye bread using a 1- 1/2 inch cookie cutter. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly toasted.

3. Combine remaining ingredients. Spread on toast and bake for 10 minutes more. Serve warm.

Helpful Hints

Bake only one side of bread and then apply mixture on other side.

Parmesan Pea Dip

Prep time: 10 Minutes

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients

2 cups frozen petite peas, thawed, divided

1 cup frozen shelled edamame beans, thawed

1 cup mint

1/2 cup parsley

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup Sargento Artisan Blends Parmesan Shredded Cheese, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1 teaspoon maple syrup or a dash of hot sauce

Directions

1. Put 2- 1/2 cup peas and all other ingredients except oil and ½ cup cheese in food processor and process until consistency is mostly smooth.

2. Add oil and then remaining 1/2 cup peas. Process until mixture is slightly chunky. (If you prefer the dip smoother, process longer.)

3. Spread on rice crackers and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Helpful Hints

This pea dip can be served over pasta or on top of cooked fish or chicken. Sprinkle with additional cheese.

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5 Holiday Pie Ideas

Are you looking for Thanksgiving pie recipes? Here are five takes on the holiday pie for you to consider. They all look yummy to me…. can’t you can almost smell the holidays?

From Top Right: Pumpkin Creme Pie, Cheddar Crusted Apple Pie, and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.

These two pies {Cranberry, Almond & Cinnamon Tart and this Ultimate Pumpkin Pie} would also work well for a Christmas dessert.

{images via Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, and the Food Network}

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Pick Your Poison

Need to mix up some toxic Halloween theme cocktails? Try one of these 5 very festive {and spooky} drinks!

1. Sour Apple Spritzers

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Lemon wedge
  • Crushed ice
  • 1 cup sour-apple cocktail mix
  • 4 cups club soda

To Make:

Combine sugar, cinnamon and coarse salt in a small bowl, then pour onto a saucer. Use lemon wedge to moisten rims of 8 martini glasses. Overturn each glass onto saucer and twist to coat rim. Fill a pitcher with crushed ice. Pour in sour-apple cocktail mix and club soda. Strain into glasses and serve.

recipe via MyRecipes.com

2. Black Widow

See this creepy recipes at Talk of Tomatoes

Other Halloween theme cocktails:

3. Ghost in a Graveyard, 4. Screwed-Up Screwdriver & the 5. Berry Scary Martini

{are all from Martha Stewart Get these ghostly recipes here}.

Now, which one should I serve?

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Pumpkin + Whoopie Pies = Love

Looking for something new to whip up this Halloween? While on the hunt for new pumpkin dessert ideas, I came across this recipe. I am going to try these Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Martha Stewart. What do you think? I am guessing that they are going to be our new favorite!

Ingredients

Makes about 20

  • FOR THE COOKIES
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • FOR THE FILLING
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Directions

  1. Prepare cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Place butter, shortening, and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla. Mix in remaining flour mixture.
  3. Drop about 2 teaspoons dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies spring back when lightly touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and let cool 10 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheets and transfer to wire racks using a spatula; let cool completely.
  4. Prepare filling: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese, butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg; whip until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
  5. Pipe or spoon about 2 teaspoons filling on the flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, keeping the flat sides down.


Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies recipe via MarthaStewart.com

And since we are talking about pumpkin desserts, I’m going to remind you of my all-time-favorite Pumpkin Shake recipe. You’re welcome.

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The {mini} Cupcake Craze!

There aren’t many things better than a cupcake (wouldn’t you agree?) BUT what about a mini cupcake that bakes in simply 8 minutes? This darling device called Babycakes — is like a waffle maker meets easy bake oven. You can even make brownies, mini pies… even mini quiches!

I immediately thought of making these cupcake skewers that Courtney from Pizzazzerie is known for.

She even gives you the simple DIY instruction on her blog. Check out how to make cupcake skewers here.

Or what about these mini pies from Not Martha? The possibilities are endless! What you YOU make first?

You can purchase Babycakes here.

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