Monday, December 2, 2013

Time for a few quick and easy party recipes

Now that Thanksgiving is over, and everyone is into full swing planning Holiday parties, I thought it would be a good time to share a few quick and easy recipes for your Holiday entertaining. These are some of my go to recipes when I am strapped for time.  I hope you enjoy them.

Black bean dip
One night Michael and I were craving Mexican food, however, we only wanted a snack.  I rummaged through our cabinet and found a can of black beans and a bag of Tortilla chips.  When I opened the fridge and pulled out some sour cream the black bean dip was born.

8oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup sour cream
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
Bag of your favorite tortilla chips
In a blender or food processor combine all ingredients (except the tortilla chips!) until smooth and creamy.  Season to taste.  Next place black bean mixture into a bowl and serve with your favorite chips.  This can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Serves 10

Pesto veggie dip
Our friends Roger and Brad were having a last minute party that Michael and I were invited to.  I always like to bring something homemade to share.  I decided a pesto dip would be the quickest thing to make.   I had homemade pesto in the freezer that I made from the basil in my garden and a container of sour cream in the fridge.   I quickly combined the two and violà!  Another fabulous dip was born.

4 oz jar of your favorite (or homemade) pesto
8 oz container of sour cream
Assorted veggies for dipping

Clean, wash and towel dry your favorite veggies and arrange in bowls or serving vessels.  Combine pesto and sour cream, season with salt and pepper and serve.  This also can be made several days in advance and kept in refrigerator.  Serves 10.

Super fast stuffed olives
I was entertaining at the Eleventh Hour and decided to make stuffed olives with Gorgonzola cheese.  When the guests arrived they finished the olives within minutes.

16 oz can large or jumbo black pitted olives
8 oz of your favorite goat cheese, feta, blue cheese or gorgonzola cheese (room temperature)

First drain olives, place on towel, and pat dry.  Fill each olive with your favorite cheese, plate and serve.

Pesto on Crostini with Tomato and Mozzarella
We had a welcome clambake for out of town guests.  The following day we had leftover bread, pesto in the freezer, and tomatoes with mozzarella from the caprese salad.  While everybody was napping I whipped together this hearty last minute treat using what I had.

1 French baguette
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup pesto
Pint of cherry tomatoes
8oz ball fresh mozzarella
Heat oven 350 degrees

Wash and drain tomatoes then slice each into ½ slices, place on paper towel, dash with salt and let drain.  Replace paper towel until all liquid from tomatoes is absorbed.  Slice baguette into ½ inch slices.  Place bread onto a sheet pan and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Place in 350-degree oven about five to eight minutes or until golden brown.  Next, slice mozzarella into ½ inch slices and then into ½ to ¾ inch squares and set aside.  Take your favorite pesto and spread a thin layer onto the crostini.  Place the mozzarella and then the tomato slice.  Place layered appetizer on a serving tray.  This may be made twenty minutes prior to your guest’s arrival.  Serves 15.

Happy Holidays and ...


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