New Year’s Masquerade Dinner
Creamy Mushroom Phyllo Triangles
Baked Cheese with Sundried Tomato & Basil
Pineapple Mango Slush
Refreshing Citrus Salad
Cucina’s Pumpkin Leek Soup
Herb-topped Dinner Rolls
Garlic Chicken Farfalle
Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Butter
Oh My! Peanut Butter Ice Cream (in Homemade Gourmet Waffle Bowl)
Raspberry White Chocolate Blondie
Cranberry Bliss Bar
Creamy Mushroom Phyllo Triangles
This elegant appetizer takes a couple of hours to make, but you can do all the preparation ahead of time. Don't fold triangles too tightly or the mixture will burst through the phyllo. Assemble and freeze up to two weeks before the party. Don't thaw the triangles before baking; just add seven minutes to the baking time.
48 triangles (serving size: 2 triangles)
3/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 3/4 ounce)
1 pound button mushrooms
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
24 (18 x 14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
Cover porcini mushrooms with boiling water in a bowl. Let stand 1 hour. Drain well; chop. Place half of button mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 8 times or until finely chopped. Remove from processor. Repeat procedure with remaining button mushrooms. Add onion to processor; pulse 8 times or until finely chopped. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add button mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are tender and liquid evaporates (about 10 minutes). Stir in porcini mushrooms, oregano, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheese; stir until cheese melts. Stir in parsley. Preheat oven to 375°. Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or work surface (cover remaining phyllo to prevent drying). Cut sheet in half lengthwise; lightly coat with cooking spray. Fold each phyllo piece in half lengthwise to form a (3 1/2-inch-wide) strip. Spoon a level tablespoon of mushroom mixture onto 1 short end of each strip, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold 1 corner of edge with 1-inch border over mixture, forming a triangle; continue folding back and forth into a triangle to end of strip. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo, cooking spray, and mushroom mixture. Place triangles, seam side down, on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat tops with cooking spray.
Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
1 (8-ounce) log of goat cheese
4 ounces sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Oil small baking dish. Place log of cheese in dish and bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Mix sundried tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Top cheese with mixture and serve with crackers or on sliced baguette.
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups cranberry juice
1 (11.5 oz.) can Mango nectar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (4 -5 limes)
Mix all ingredients well adding fresh fruit of choice if desired. Freeze; pull out 1/2 hour before serving to thaw partially. Can be served alone or combined with sprite.
1 - 2 heads romaine lettuce
1 bag spring mix
2 cans mandarin oranges
2 – 3 stalks chopped celery
4 oz. blue cheese
1/2 cup sugar coated sliced almonds
1 cup craisins or currents
6 green onion, sliced
2 - 3 avocados, chopped
1 packet Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbs. water
1 tsp. sugar
* Combine ingredients well.
Combine all ingredients for salad. Just before serving toss with dressing to coat.
Pour into microwaveable bowl and heat in microwave for 4 minutes:
2 1/2 Cups tap water, cold
2 1/2 Cups cold milk
Put into Bosch (or any bread mixer) and mix:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
2 Tablespoons salt
heated water and milk
Sprinkle 2 heaping Tablespoons of yeast onto top of mixture - mix a little to moisten yeast.
Let the yeast rise 4-5 minutes.
Add 12-13 cups flour, 1 cup at a time. Use lowest speed. Keep adding flour until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl, but is still sticky. Do not add too much flour. Let beat on lowest speed for 4-5 minutes.
Cover and let rise until it doubles and reaches the top of the bowl - about 45-60 minutes.
Spray a thin layer of Pam and flour on surface to roll out dough. Roll out the whole dough until it is 2/3 inch thick. Cut out with glass and roll the circle into a snake and tie a knot. Place on greased pan with rolls almost touching, but not quite. Cover and raise 30-45 minutes. Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes.
(or you can use frozen dough, like
1 T water or milk
one bunch flat-leaf parsley (or any other flat leaf herb like sage, dill, cilantro, but I think parsley is best.)
You want your rolls to be at the stage where they're ready to bake. So if you're making dough, prepare it through the second rise. If you're using frozen dough, just follow the package directions, etc. When your rolls are shaped, risen, and ready to bake.
4 tablespoons butter
2 large leeks, white part only, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
2 cups pumpkin puree
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons brown Sugar
1 ½ cup half-and-half
Dollop of sour cream
Chopped fresh chives
Grated Monterey Jack or white cheddar cheese
In a large sauce pan, heat butter and sauté the leek for 8 to 10 minutes on low heat, stirring often. Leeks should be soft and lightly golden. Add the thyme, nutmeg, salt, white pepper, pumpkin puree, chicken broth and brown sugar. Stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add half and half and simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with garnish on top.
Garlic Chicken Farfalle
16 oz. Farfalle pasta
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3-4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. pepper*
1/2 c. butter
1 lb. bacon, crumpled**
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (12 oz) Lawry’s mesquite marinade with limejuice
*Seems like a lot of pepper, but it has a wonderful flavor when everything mixes together. If you're apprehensive, do less pepper. You can always add more.
**I like to cook my bacon in the oven (400 degrees, convection). Way less messy. And it's crispy every time. Time varies, so you just have to watch it. I think it's usually around 30 minutes. Allow to cool and then crumple. Crock pot chicken and bottle of marinade on low for 6 hours. Pull marinated chicken out of the juices, allow to cool a little bit, and shred (I pull it apart). Set this aside. Discard remaining marinade. About a half-hour before serving, boil the pasta. In a small saucepan, melt butter, add garlic, whipping cream, pepper, parmesan cheese, and crumpled bacon. Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes. In a large bowl, pour over cooked, drained pasta, add chicken and stir through. Sprinkle a little bit more shredded parmesan cheese on top.
Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter
25 asparagus spears, trimmed (about 2lbs.)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. butter
2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
cracked black pepper
grated lemon rind
Preheat oven to 400º. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 minutes or until tender. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over asparagus, tossing well to coat. Garnish with cracked pepper and rind, if desired. Serves: 8 – 10
kiwi fruits, sliced
blackberries or berry of choice
fresh orange juice
sugar to taste
Mix orange juice and season with sugar to taste. Combine or arrange fruit. Drizzle glaze over fruit or toss to coat.
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Pour about 1 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl and whisk in the peanut butter, a little at a time. Return the peanut butter mixture to the remaining mixture and stir until well blended. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following manufacture’s instructions. When the ice cream begins to stiffen (about 5 minutes before it is done), add in the chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups and continue freezing until the ice cream is ready. Makes generous 1 quart
Gourmet Waffle Bowls
1 whole egg
1 egg white
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
2/3 cup sifted all purpose flour
2 tbsp butter melted and cooled slightly
Beat egg, egg white and salt in a small bowl with a fork until well blended. Beat in the sugar and beat until sugar is incorporated and the egg has lightened in color slightly, about 1 minute. Add the flour and stir slowly until all flour is moistened and lumps are gone. Add melted butter and stir until well blended. Cook for 2-3 minutes on waffle cone maker. Remove and shape immediately.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
1 cup butter
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 ¾ cups white chocolate chips - large bag
1 ½ cups dried cranberries
¼ cup grated orange zest
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 350º. Combine ingredients in order. Beat until mixed well. Spread evenly into jellyroll pan; make sure it is "patted" away from the edge so it doesn't bake over the edges. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes. Cool and frost.
½ cup softened butter
1 8 oz. package cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbs. grated orange zest
*Spread frosting on bars, and then sprinkle evenly over top:
1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
2 Tbs. grated orange zest
*Melt 6 ounces high quality chocolate and drizzle over bars. Cut into 3" squares and then triangles.
Raspberry White Chocolate Blondies
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons sour cream
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons sanding sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Stir in 3/4 cup white chocolate chips until melted and smooth. In a large bowl add the sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and sour cream. Pour into the dry ingredient bowl along with the melted white chocolate mixture. Mix until just combined.
Pour into an 8x8 baking dish lined with foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Top evenly with 1 cup raspberries. Mix the chopped pecans and sanding sugar in a small bowl until combined then sprinkle over top of blondies. Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean from center. Watch very closely towards end of baking time as to not overcook edges or have a doughy center.
The crazy masqueradors. (We missed you Judith!)