Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day Two- Breads

It seems as if most of my holiday/party recipes are of the peripheral/side dish variety. Easy to transport and not so important that they would be missed. This is mostly due to the fact that I am low man on the totem pole, so to speak, when it comes to holiday entertaining. There are many relatives older than me who must die before I'm allowed to host a holiday dinner. Not that I am wishing them away, but by the time I am allowed to cook Thanksgiving Dinner, I will be so old that I won't even remember what turkey is supposed to taste like, let alone how to cook it.

Which brings us to my favorite "buffet bread" recipe. Though to call it a recipe is rather generous.

Sweet or Savory Danish/Appetizers

Take a package of refrigerated crescent roll dough (or you can use those nifty little sheets that they make now), and open it but do not unroll (so you have a little log of dough). Slice into 6 to 8 rounds (depending on your application) and lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your thumbs to make indentations in the center of the cinnamon-roll shaped rounds.

And here is where the fun begins.

Fill each indentation with the filling of your choice. Need an easy morning danish? Add your favorite fruit pie filling and drizzle with an easy icing sugar glaze when they come out of the oven. Need a tasty hot appetizer? Fill with a little cooked sausage and a sprinkle of cheese and red pepper. Your imagination can be as free as it likes. Only two rules; one, make sure the filling is cooked. No raw meats or veggies. And two, make sure it can stand up to the heat of the oven. So, traditional chocolate custard pie is out, but maybe you could tweak it a little and make some tasty fudge centers. The sky is the limit.

Bake the rounds at the temp directed on the package and remove when they are golden brown. The filling you choose will affect the cooking time. Also, the thicker your slices, the more "bread-like" your finished product will be(no kidding !?!). So for danish, a little thicker, but if you want a nice crispy platform for say ham or mini pizza, thinner is better.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Recipes

Today is Day 1 of Julie Mom's Holiday Recipe Party, and I am SOOOOOOOO excited! Day 1 is Main Dishes and my recipe is not for the "Big Day" per se, but for those days surrounding the holiday that may pose a different culinary challenge.

This is what I call a 'Pantry Meal'. It's one of those dishes that I always have the ingredients on hand. You can take the sausage straight from freezer to skillet and ditto for the cheeses. Add an easy garden salad and some frozen garlic bread and you have dinner for six adults. If you want to up the veggie content you can add green peppers, onion, zucchini, or mushrooms. Anything that you like in lasagna, you will like here.

My One-Pot Oh-My-Goodness-My-House-Is-Full-Of-People-And-I-Forgot-To-Take-Something-Out-Of-The-Freezer Lasagna

1 lb. Shaped Whole Wheat Pasta (Penne, Farfalle, or Rotini)
1 lb. Ground Italian Sausage
1 quart of Your Favorite Tomato Paste Sauce
1/2 cup Pepperoni
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan

Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and return to pot. Simultaneously, brown sausage in med. skillet. Once pasta is back in the pot, add sausage, pepperoni,and sauce. Mix thoroughly. Add cheeses and mix again. Serve with grated Parmesan and Red Pepper Flakes.

Come back tomorrow and every day this week for more recipe fun.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Early Christmas Gifts

I've just returned from a short visit with my sister, who lives in Georgia. Sydney and I went alone, and my poor husband had to rough it on pizza and his mother's delicious home cooking while we were gone. Poor Baby, lol!

But now we are back, and I was greeted with an early Christmas surprise.


I've wanted chickens for ages. I'm not sure why. I just love the idea of having my own little backyard flock. And now that we live in the "country", I've been lobbying hard to make those dreams a reality. My husband, being the loving wonder that he is, has rolled his eyes and humored me.

So now I have a little chicken coop and three fat beauties.

And eggs!

We've gotten two eggs so far. Aren't they gorgeous?!

I would show you pictures of the girls themselves, but the little darlings/demon spawn are cooped up for a few days, until they learn to roost here in their new home.

And by the way, if you were driving past my house this morning about 7:00 AM and saw me flapping round in my pink nightgown, trying to get my new chickens into their coop after their return from being away all night, I offer my apologies. No one should have to see such things