Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tiny Twice-Baked RED Potatoes

(Delicious, “potatoes for grown ups” appetizer)

24 baby Yukon Gold or red potatoes, each about 2 inches across (2 to 2-1/4 lb.)
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 oz. bacon (about 3 thick slices), cooked until crispy and crumbled-I use real bacon bits
6 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat the oven to 425°F. Put the potatoes on a large baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the thyme, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and toss again. Bake the potatoes until they feel perfectly tender when pierced with a skewer, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. If not working ahead, increase the oven temperature to 450°F.

Carefully hollow out each potato: Begin by slicing off the top; use a small spoon or a melon baller to scoop out most of the flesh inside, transferring it to a large bowl. Discard the tops. Mash the potato flesh with a masher or a fork, then combine it with the bacon, 1/4 cup of the chives, the crème fraîche, the remaining 1 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Using a small spoon and your fingers, fill the hollowed potatoes with this mixture; it should mound a bit. Sprinkle on the cheese.

Return the potatoes to the 450°F oven and bake until the filling heats through, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve warm.

***  Can make up to two days ahead. Wrap to refrigerate and bring to room temperature before heating

Roast Beef Bruschetta Appetizer

1 loaf (1 lb.) baguette French bread,
          cut into 30 (1/4 in) slices
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
½ cup chive-and-onion cream cheese spread
** ½ lb. thinly sliced cooked roast beef (from deli)
¼ tsp. coarsely ground pepper
4 plum (roma) tomatoes, thinly sliced
8 medium green onions, sliced

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush both sides of bread slices with oil. (I sprayed them with my Presto oil sprayer to make the coating lighter). Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 5 minutes or until crisp. Cool 5 minutes.

Spread cream cheese over each bread slice. Top with beef; sprinkle with pepper. Top each with tomato slice and onions.

Makes about 30 bruschetta.

** Can substitute roast beef for ham or turkey if preferred.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Chocolate Eclairs

(from Emily Lund, though made by Shannon)
should make about 36 eclairs, depending on the size you make them

1 c water
1/2 C Crisco
1/4 tsp salt
1 C flour
4 eggs

Combine water and Crisco and bring to a boil. Mix in flour and salt, stirring constantly until one lump. Take off heat, stir in eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Place on greased cookie sheet in rounded 1/2 Tablespoonfuls.

Bake at 450 F for 10 min, then 375 F for 25 min (though mine were done after only 15 min at 375)

Let cool. Cut off tops and remove some of the insides if necessary. Fill to top with vanilla pudding. Put tops back on and cover with hot frosting. Store in fridge.

1 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 tsp butter
1 C powdered sugar
2 T boiling water

Melt chocolate and butter. Blend in powdered sugar and water till smooth. Drizzle over eclairs. The consistency should be liquidy enough that it drips off a spoon, so you may need to adjust the water amount to reach that consistency.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Caramel Marshmellows

You will need:
1 cube of butter
1 can eagle brand milk
1 (1 lb) pkg kraft caramels
1 pkg large marshmellows
1 box of rice krispies

Melt butter, eagle brand milk, and caramels together and dip marshmellows (cut them in half beforehand) then roll in rice krispies.  Let cool on sheet of wax paper.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mini Ham and Green Chili Quiche

1 C milk
3 large eggs
1/4 C melted butter
1/2 C biscuit mix
3/4 C diced ham
1/2 C diced onion
4oz green chili
about 3/4 C shredded cheese (I used half mozzarella and half sharp cheddar)
2 Tbs shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

optional: biscuit dough, pie crust dough, or pre-made shells

Mix everything together.

If you do not want a crust, just grease a mini muffin tin and fill each well with 1 tablespoon of filling. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. Poke with toothpick to test for doneness.

If you want a crust just press a thin layer of biscuit or pie dough into each muffin well and fill with 1 tablespoon filling. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.
(I used biscuit dough but it got very puffy so I would recommend pie crust.)

Makes about 24 mini quiches.

**I also made a few single-serving size quiches in a jumbo muffin tin that turned out well. I reduced the oven temperature to 350 and increased cook time to 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies

from the Smitten Kitchen blog
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2007

Makes 16 2-inch square, thick brownies

Brownie batter
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake batter
8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Make brownie batter: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Heat butter and chocolate in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.

Make cheesecake batter: Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over cheesecake/brownie batter swirl.

Bake brownies: Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Slicing tip: I like to chill my brownies until they’re almost frozen before cutting them. It makes it much easier to get a clean slice. I also like to eat my brownies super-cold, but that’s just personal taste.

Keep refrigerated.

Oilve Tapenade

from Ina Garten, Foodnetwork

1/2 pound good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced (I used mostly kalamata but also some green olives)
3 tablespoons capers, drained
8 anchovy fillets (I left these out)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup good olive oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves (I used 1/4 tsp crushed dried thyme)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 baguette, sliced and toasted (I used crackers)

Combine the olives, capers, anchovies and garlic in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and pulse 3 times. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, thyme and parsley and process until chunky. Keep refrigerated.

Serve on toasts.

Green-Chile-and-Cheese Canapes

1 cup low-fat or regular mayonnaise
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles
1 clove garlic, minced
1 long loaf baguette French bread, thinly sliced

In a bowl, combine mayonnaise and cheese; set aside.  In another bowl, combine chiles and garlic.  Spread chile-garlic mixture on each bread slice.  Top with a tablespoon of mayo/cheese mixture.  Place on a baking sheet.  Broil for about 3 minutes or until bubbly and slightly brown.  Makes about 2 dozen.  (Better served when warm.)

Source: "Essential Mormon Celebrations" by Julie Badger Jensen

Cake Balls

1 package Red Velvet cake mix
1/2 or 1 container (16 oz.) prepared cream cheese frosting
Melting chocolate (brown and/or white)

1. Prepare cake mix according to directions and bake in 9x13 pan. When cake is done, let cool for 30 minutes and trim all four edges of cake off. Crumble into a large bowl. Soften frosting in microwave for 25 seconds, and stir into cake until well blended. (If you have a Bosch or Kitchenaid, do it in there!) Chill at least 1 hour or overnight, if desired.

2. Using cookie scoop or melon baller, make balls and place on waxed paper on cookie sheets. (I like to just roll them out myself.) Put cookie sheets in freezer for one hour.

3. Melt chocolate in the bag or a glass bowl in microwave. Use a wooden skewer, an egg separator or an Easter egg dipper to dip balls in chocolate. (I just use a teaspoon) Place on cake rack over waxed paper to drip & cool. Decorate the balls by drizzling the other color of chocolate over the balls, or roll in nuts, sprinkles, or coconut. Get creative!

Chocolate cake and chocolate frosting dipped in brown or white chocolate
French vanilla cake and white chocolate almond frosting dipped in brown chocolateDark Chocolate and cream cheese frosting dipped in white chocolate
White cake and mint chocolate chip frosting in dark chocolate
Lemon cake and lemon frosting in white chocolate
Spice cake and cream cheese frosting in white chocolate
Pineapple cake and vanilla frosting in white chocolate, rolled in coconut
Cherry chip cake and cream cheese frosting in white chocolate
Fudge cake with peppermint chips and fudge frosting in white or brown chocolate
German chocolate cake and coconut pecan frosting in chocolate
Chocolate and buttercream frosting in brown chocolate
Strawberry and vanilla or cream cheese frosting in chocolate
Carrot and cream cheese frosting in white chocolate
Chocolate and chocolate frosting with melted Andes mints in white or brown chocolate

Makes 28-36 balls, dependin g on the size of scoop. Need about 1 1/2 lbs chocolate per cake mix.
Submitted by Sarah Burt (found on

Crab-filled Crescent Wontons

1 can crescent rolls Salt
4 oz cream cheese Pepper
¾ cup chopped cooked crab meat Garlic salt
1 Tbl chopped green onion Dill weed
1/8 to ¼ tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough on work surface and pinch seams to seal. Cut into 3 rows by 4 rows to make 12 squares. In a bowl, mix cream cheese, crabmeat, onion, and spices. Spoon about 1 tsp crab mixture into center of square. Fold one corner to the middle, then bring the other corner and pinch together. Bake 10-15 mins or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Submitted by Sarah Burt (Pillsbury recipe)