Sunday, February 7, 2010

Modern Nesting--Judith & Kristy

Judith and Kristy hosted our most recent gourmet club "Modern Nesting" and did such a wonderful job! It was definitely the classiest, yummiest "baby shower" I've ever been to. We went away with so many fun options for food and decoration (and even games!). There were so many keeper recipes that were not only super tasty, but don't look too difficult. If you are throwing a baby shower anytime soon, you’ll want to try out some of these amazing recipes!

By far the classiest diaper cake I've ever seen. I love the fabric they chose! (The ones I've done in the past would look so ghetto-fabulous next to this beauty!)

(I'm pretty sure that this is the baby photo that Sunny found on the internet, since she couldn't find one of herself! So funny!)
LOVED the place setttings with baby photos of all the girls.

Now on to the REALLY important stuff--the food!
Here's the menu~

Modern Nesting
Kristy & Judith
January 2010
Texas Caviar
Apple Pie Cider
Spicy Cranberry Punch
Butternut Squash Soup
Main Course:
Panko-Crusted Chicken Bites with Apricot-Mustard Sauce
Grilled Curried Shrimp
Mint-Basil Chicken Pasta Salad
Chicken Croissant Salad
Yetze (crustless keish)
Dar n Good Chocolate Cake
Mini Cheesecakes

Texas Caviar

1 each – red, yellow, and green bell pepper
4 green onions
Cilantro (depends on how much you like. Usually ½ - 1 bunch)
6 roma tomatoes
**Chop all of the above ingredients in a food processor**
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can corn (drained and rinsed)
1 can black-eyed peas (drained and rinsed)
1 small can mild green chilies
1 bottle Zesty Italian Dressing
**Combine, stir, marinate a few hours and ENJOY**
-Store in the refrigerator

Apple Pie Cider
1 1/4 quarts apple cider
3 Tablespoons firmly packed light-brown sugar
7 whole cinnamon sticks, (6 sticks for garnish)
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Ground Cloves
Freshly grated nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, whisk together cider, sugar, spices, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low hear. Remove from heat. Strain into a pitcher, discard solids. Serve in mugs, garnished with cinnamon sticks.

Spicy Cranberry Punch

1/2 cup red cinnamon candies
4 cups water
8 cups cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
6 oz. can frozen limeade concentrate
6 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate

In a small pan, melt candies in water and chill until cool. When ready to serve, combine candy liquid and fruit juices in punch bowl. Stir to dissolve. Makes 18, 5-oz cups.

Yetze (crustless keish)
Brown together:
1 lb bacon
1 onion
6 beaten eggs
4 cups thawed shredded hash browns
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ cups small curd cottage cheese
1 ¼ cups grated parmesean cheese
2, 4 oz. cans of diced green chilies
Mix all ingredients and put in a greased glass pie pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 35-40 min.
Let Stand 10 min before serving

Panko-Crusted Chicken Bites with
Apricot-Mustard Sauce


Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Course salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds), cut into 1-in cubes
1 cup apricot jam or preserves
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and fit with a wire rack. Spray with cooking spray; set aside.
Place flour in a large bowl and season very generously with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs in another large bowl with 2 tablespoons water until well combined. Place the breadcrumbs in a third large bowl, and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat. Stir in cheese and cayenne and mix well.
Place chicken pieces in the seasoned flour and toss to coat. Working in 3 batches, shake off any excess flour from chicken pieces and transfer to egg mixture; stir to combine. Transfer coated chicken pieces with a slotted spoon to the breadcrumb mixture and toss until completely coated. Place the breaded chicken pieces on a rack-lined baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Repeat process until all the chicken is breaded. Bake until golden brown and chicken is cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir the apricot jam, mustard, and thyme together until combined. Allow chicken to cool 10 minutes before serving with apricot mustard mixture.

Mint-Basil Chicken Pasta Salad

1 lb shaped pasta (such as penne)
3 cups rotisserie chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
10 stalks asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups grape tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp honey
2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
To make the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. While whisking with one hand, slowly pour in the extra-virgin olive oil with the other hand.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add 1 lb of your choice of pasta to the water. Cook according to package instructions, drain, and rinse with cold water. To blanch the asparagus, you can boil a separate pot of water. My favorite trick is to throw the asparagus in with the boiling pasta during the last minute of cooking. Drain the asparagus with the pasta.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, chicken, asparagus, tomatoes, mint and basil. Gently toss with the vinaigrette. Serve.
Chicken Croissant Salad

I've had many a chicken salad sandwich, and these are absolutely my new favorites! You HAVE to give them a try.

6 Chicken breasts or 12-14 chicken tenders (salted & shredded)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon curry powder
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup miracle whip (or 3 cups mayo total if you don’t have miracle whip)
3 cups celery (chopped)
2 cans water chestnuts (cut into fourths)
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
2 red apples (tiny squares)
1 bunch red grapes (cut in 1/2)
Boil chicken, frozen or thawed, in a medium size pan. Remove cooked chicken from the pan, allow to cool, then shred. Salt the chicken slightly. Set aside in the refrigerator.
In a large bowl add mayonnaise, miracle whip soy sauce and curry powder. Stir ingredients until completely blended.
Add chopped celery, water chestnuts, slivered almonds and shredded chicken to mayonnaise mixture. Stir until completely coated. (This may all be refrigerated over night to marinate if desired.)
Right before you are ready to serve, add the apples and grapes. (This is to keep the apples and grapes firm and crisp.)
Serve on fresh croissants with your choice of greens (if desired)
(Makes about 25-30 mini croissants or 12-15 large croissant sandwiches)

Butternut Squash Soup
found on
6 Tablespoons chopped onion
4 Tablespoons margarine
6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
3 cups water
4 cubes chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.

Grilled Curried Shrimp
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and the tail section left on
Mango chutney, for serving
In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, salt, sugar, curry powder, and paprika. Add shrimp; toss until well coated. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place shrimp on grill pan, and grill for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter; serve with chutney.
Darn Good Chocolate Cake

1 package plain devil’s food or dark chocolate fudge cake mix
1 package (3.9 oz) chocolate instant pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bundt pan.
Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape the sides and increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2-3 more minutes. The batter should look well blended. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and is just starting to pull away from the sides. 20 minutes for mini-bundts. Place on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, then invert it so the cake is right side up.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar or a chocolate glaze and raspberries

These were to-die-for mini strawberry cheesecakes. I was so full and just could not make myself stop eating it!

48 oz. cream cheese
2 ¼ cups sugar
3 Tlb. lemon juice
3 tsp. vanilla
6 eggs
Beat the above ingredients together.
Put a vanilla wafer in the bottom of foil cup cake liners.
Put the mixture in each until ¾ full.
Bake @ 375 degrees for 20 min.
2 cups powdered sugar
1, 8 oz. bar cream cheese
2 Tlb. Milk
Small container Cool Whip
Spread a thin layer on top of each of the cooled cheesecakes.
Top with fresh fruit.