Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My "Make it from Scratch" Cookie Exchange Part 1

Over at 11th Heaven's she is hosting a "Make it from Scratch" Carnival today. I am too late to make it on the blog roll but thought I'd make this post focus on the "making-it-from scratch" part of The Crocker Home 2009 Cookie Exchange. Enjoy!!
First, we will begin with the invitations...Momma created these in Corel Draw (and mailed them to from across the country), they are just too cute. There are a lot of rules involved in the cookie exchange...so the invitations need lots of room. All rules for the exchange come straight from the Robin's Web, and all the ladies agree (after grumbling) that THE RULES PAY OFF! This was my 3rd exchange, 20 ladies exchanged cookies, not a bad one in the bunch!!

When choosing what to feed about 25 ladies I decided to create a Bruschetta Bar...I figured it would be a good compliment to the Wine that has become a staple at the exchange. A few guests brought some dishes to compliment the spread. I have a few recipes but no actual pictures of the food as everything had to be prepared as the guests were arriving (a few guests pitched in and helped - it was such fun!)

Menu

Avocado Brushetta - Ciabatta Bread
White Bean, Red onion and Arugula Bruschetta - Country Bread
Tomato Basil Bruschetta- French Bread
Bruschetta - Country Bread
Savory Crabmeat Palmiers - ala' Tracy Porter
Cheese plate with assorted cheeses & crackers
Knorr Spinach Dip served in French bread roll
Meatballs in Scillian Sauce*
Shrimp*
Fruit*
Teriyaki Chicken Wings*
Relish Plate*
Raspberry Ice Tea
Hot Cider
Wine*
Cream Puffs
Strawberry Lady Fingers
Pumpkin Pie
Brownies*
* brought by guests Avocado Bruschetta - Ingredients Serves 4
2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted and peeled
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 slices Ciabatta bread, cut in half and toasted
FOR THE SAUCE
1 small clove garlic, peeled
3/4 cup packed parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
3/4 cup packed basil leaves
5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions
Place the garlic in a food processor, and pulse. Add the parsley, basil, 5 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste; puree. Set the sauce aside.
Cut the avocados into 1/2-inch chunks. Toss with the lemon juice and remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil.
Spread a scant tablespoon of the green sauce on each slice of bread. Arrange the avocado chunks on the bread, sprinkle with a pinch of ground pepper, and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
From Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1997
Sage Creamed Corn Bruschetta with Prosciutto
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello
Prep Time: 10 min Inactive Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 10 min Level:
Easy Serves:
4 to 6 servings Ingredients
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, sliced
6 sage leaves
4 ears corn, kernels removed
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
Slices of grilled country bread
15 slices prosciutto, about 1/2 pound
Directions
In a skillet over medium-high heat, lightly brown the butter. Add the garlic and cook until it is light brown. Add the sage and cook until aromatic. Add the corn kernels and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the cream and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 4 to 5 minutes; let cool. Spoon the corn over the bread and serve with a slice of prosciutto on each. Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello

White Bean Bruschetta with Red Onion and Arugula
Serves 4 as main dish, 8 to 10 as appetizer. Published Cooks' Illustrated July 1, 2003.
Toast the bread as close as possible to the time at which you plan to assemble the bruschetta. If you prefer, grill the bread. After trimming the ends, you should have 8 to 10 slices.
1 loaf country bread , about 12 by 5 inches, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces, ends discarded 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic peeled
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans , rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 small clove garlic , crushed
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 medium red onion , thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
2 ounces arugula (1 small bunch), washed, dried, and cut into 1/2-inch strips (about 4 cups)
Instructions
1. Adjust oven rack to about 4 inches from heating element and heat broiler; broil bread slices until golden brown on both sides. Brush both sides of each slice with oil and rub with garlic clove.
2. In food processor, process 2/3 of beans, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons water, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add remaining beans and rosemary; pulse until incorporated but not smooth, about five 1-second pulses.
3. Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl; add onion and toss.
4. Divide bean spread evenly among bread slices. Toss arugula with onions until coated, then top bread slices with portion of onions and arugula; serve immediately.
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil Recipe from Simply Recipes (found on Aggies Kitchen)
6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
1/4 cup olive oil
Prepare the tomatoes first. Parboil the tomatoes for one minute in boiling water that has just been removed from the burner. Drain. Using a sharp small knife, remove the skins of the tomatoes. (If the tomatoes are too hot, you can protect your finger tips by rubbing them with an ice cube between tomatoes.) Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and juice from their centers. Also cut out and discard the stem area. Why use plum tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes? The skins are much thicker and there are fewer seeds and less juice.
Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.
While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes finely. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.
Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.
Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy. TRACY PORTER SAVORY GRUYERE CRABMEAT PALMIERS
Watch the video - She is so inspirational!
Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheets with Silpat or parchment.
1 (16-ounce) sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted according to package directions
CRABMEAT FILLING
1/2 C. grated Gruyere
1 (4 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/8 C. mayonnaise
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
4 oz. crabmeat (if canned, drained and picked through)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water, to brush the top of pastry
Put all ingredients (except egg and pastry) into food processor. Whirl it about for 30-40 seconds, or until pretty finely chopped.
Unfold 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry and place it on a lightly floured board. With a rolling pin, lightly roll dough until about 1/8 inch thick, approx. 13″. Spread crabmeat filling on top of dough. You can take it right to the edge. Make a mark on the center of the dough coming down from short ends. Roll one side of dough up to the middle mark, roll other side of dough to meet the first side, continue with another roll until the two sides come together (think 2 little jelly rolls). Brush a bit of egg wash at the point where they meet to hold them together. Wrap the roll tightly in plastic and freeze for 40 minutes.
Remove rolled dough from freezer. Slice the dough into 1/4 inch slices and place the slices onto cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Do not leave dough sitting around for anytime, it must go immediately into the oven, or a refrigerator to keep cool until you bake it. Brush each piece with egg wash and place in the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes in a 400F oven. Makes about 24 palmiers.
Everything was DEELISHOS! Good food, Good Friends, Great Wine!
Stayed tuned for Tasty Thursday -I'll share our Snowman Soup Party Favors! Tata for now!

4 comments:

heartnsoulcooking said...

So many GREAT!!! recipe all of them sound WONDERFUL!!! for a party. THANKS!!! for sharing.
Geri

Blondie's Journal said...

Wow!! What a feast!! All the recipes look yummy. I have to come back to get some of these. Thank you so much for sharing. The party looked like SO much fun! :-)

xoxo
Jane

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Wishing you and your family Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year full of joy, health and happiness!

Fifi Flowers said...

Looks like lots of FUN!!! Merry Christmas... ENJOY!