Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Olive Muffin Puffs

Thank you Shannon Reeves for making this appetizer for us. Here's Shannon's recap:

 I decided to make the Olive Muffin Puffs for our cookbook committee meeting last Thursday evening.

These appetizers are absolutely perfect for a get-together, since you can make the topping ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready for it. After the topping is mixed up, it takes about 10 minutes to complete, so it's super-simple to make ahead and finish right before your guests arrive.

This particular recipe does have some "adventurous" ingredients in it - mayo, olives and scallions, which I know picky people sometimes pass up, but I absolutely loved it and it seemed like a hit at the JLT Cookbook Committee, too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chocolate Chip Dip

The title alone sounds delicious!! A special thank you to Joanna Bonfati for providing the pictures and write up for this recipe :) 
This recipe was super simple to follow and easy to make.  During supper, I placed the butter and cream cheese on the counter to soften so I could make the dip after finishing our supper dishes.  I plopped the softened cream cheese and butter into my kitchenaid mixer and let them blend together until fluffy, which only took a few minutes.  Then I simply added the vanilla, confectioners' sugar and light brown sugar and blended again for a minute.  Finally, I added the miniature chocolate chips.  I deviated a bit from the recipe here and added the whole bag of chocolate chips, which may be chocolate overload, but hey, I'm seven months pregnant and it seemed like a great idea to me! 
 After mixing all ingredients, I placed the dip in a serving bowl and arranged my graham crackers around the bowl on a platter.  This dip is a great recipe to make ahead and store in the refrigerator!  Next time, I will probably try this as a cannoli filling - yum!  
Since this recipe is so good, the recipe is below:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 (6 ounce) package miniature chocolate chips
Beat the cream cheese and butter in a bowl until fluffy.  Add the vanilla, confectioners' sugar and brown sugar and beat until blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Serve as a dip with graham cracker sticks or as a filling for cannoli shells. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Special Apple Pie

Thank you to Shannon Reeves for telling us how simple & fun this recipe is! Take it away Shannon! :)

My husband and I got a call on Friday from an old friend, who said she'd be passing through Tallahassee and wanted to pop in and say hello. I always like to have a little something for guests who come by, but didn't have much time to prepare for this one! I flipped through the a Thyme to Celebrate cookbook and found the Special Apple Pie recipe. Perfect!

This traditional, cozy fall recipe is made with simple, common ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry (especially now, since it's such a fall-friendly recipe) It didn't take long to make, and made the house smell amazing when our guests arrived. Plus, I got to play 50s housewife and tie up my apron to make apple pie, which is always fun. ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

7 Layer Bar

Thank you Brittany O'Connor for making these bars and providing an excellent write up with some great tips! Be sure to read it below :)

The 7 layer bars are a quick and delicious dessert idea for a casual dinner (or in my case, BBQ).  When I first started putting them together, I made sure to pack the graham cracker crumbs in as tightly as possible with the melted butter to ensure that it formed a good solid crust. The amount of chocolate chips and peanut butter chips that the recipe calls for is slightly less than what comes in the standard size bags, so I went ahead and used the whole bag for both!  The sweetened condensed milk over the top cooks into a delicious almost caramel-like texture. It's the type of ingredient that really gives the dessert the "extra something" but your guests can't quite put their finger on what the ingredient is. 

The bars came out great, with one small issue to be aware of.  I left them to cool for several hours before attempting to cut them, which was not quite enough and proved slightly problematic.  The first bar I cut out of the corner did not come out in one piece when I attempted to cut it prior to my guests arriving.  So I popped the pan in the fridge before dinner and then the texture was great for cutting shortly thereafter when I tried again. This would be a perfect dessert for occasions where you need to make something ahead of time, because they get better with a little more time to set.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wine-Infused Mushrooms

A special thank you goes out to Martha Bademan for making this delicious appetizer! Martha had the following to say about this recipe:

Stuffed mushrooms are always a hit and I have never made them before, so I volunteered to make them for our cookbook committee meeting.  This recipe is very straightforward, but I only had about 30 minutes after work to get the mushrooms ready for our meeting.  So, I decided to remove the stems and prepare the filling the night before. The filling smelled so good while cooking on the stove!  I refrigerated the mushroom caps in a paper bag separate from the filling.
 The next day, I stuffed the mushroom caps and popped them in the oven for a few minutes before our meeting.  Everyone gobbled them up!  This would be an ideal hors d'oeuvre to make for a holiday party - delicious and easy to prepare ahead of time!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Red Apple Sangria

A big thank you goes out to Kristin Klein who made this delicious beverage for a cookbook committee meeting. Here is what Kristin had to say about it:

I volunteered to make the Red Apple Sangria for a JL meeting.  It was one of those perfect recipes that is so easy but looks impressive if you present it well.  I did all my mixing and measuring the night before, with the exception of the Lemon-Lime soda (since I did not want the sangria to be flat). 

I also cut and added the fruit right before serving.  I did a variation on the recipe in the cookbook because I forgot to buy apple liqueur.  I substitued Triple Sec instead.  No one seemed to mind too much.  I also could not find cherries this time of year.  Next time, I will try to add Maraschino cherries.

For the record Kristin, I don't think anyone minded that you forgot the cherries or apple liquer! :) it was absolutely perfect!