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*All recipes on this blog (unless otherwise noted) are Martha Stewart's from the Everyday Food Cookbooks here and here, they are not my own. If other than this I will post links to the recipes or indicate that they are originals*

Thursday, June 23, 2011

And I'm back!

Not only am I back, folks
but boy oh boy do I have a post for you.
As you all know, I was in MN last weekend.
BOTH my Mom and my Dad threw logan and I a wedding shower and engagement party.
As usual I agreed to take on the menu for both parties. 
It was A LOT of work and luckily I had some helpful workerbees,
but it all got done and everything was a hit!
I must preface this post by saying that I do not have as many pics as usual.
The kitchen on Sat morning was like a crazy bee hive and it was really hard to find time to take pics of each step, while still getting everything done.
So you will just have to imagine what each step would look like. K?!

First lets go over the shower food.
This is not food you can eat in the shower,
but actual food that I served at my wedding shower...silly you.
Anyway, I wanted to have a couple of munchie things for people so I settled on roasted chickpeas and sweet and spicy almonds.  It was a great choice.  However I had trouble with getting the chickpeas seasoning to stick...not sure why and also don't let them sit and cool after roasting because mine got soggy and I had to roast them again.  

Sweet and Spicy Almonds
2 1/2 cups whole unblanched almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T honey
1 tsp olive oil
1 T water

Preheat oven to 350.  Spread almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; toast until fragrant, tossing halfway through, about 10 min.
  In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper.
In a large skillet over med heat, cook honey, oil and water, stirring until combined, about 1 min.  Add almonds; toss to coat.
Transfer almonds to sugar mixture (do not scrape extra glaze into bowl); toss to coat.  Spread almonds on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and let cool.  Nuts can be stored up to 2 wks at room temp in an airtight container.  
Makes 2 1/2 cups
Crunchy paprika chickpeas
2 cans chickpeas
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp hot or sweet paprika
Preheat oven to 450.  Drain and rinse chickpeas, pat dry with paper towels.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil; toss to coat evenly.  Spread in a single layer and roast until deep brown and crispy, tossing occasionally, 35-40 min.
Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with salt and paprika; roast until fragrant, 2-3 min more.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and let cool completely.  Chickpeas can be stored up to 2 days at room temp in an airtight container.
makes 2 cups.

Next I wanted something with a little more substance, but still a light appetizer. I decided on mozzarella/grape skewers and with the leftover mozzarella we made mozzarella/tomato/basil skewers.
Mozzarella and Grape Skewers
12 thin slices prosciutto (4oz) halved crosswise
48 seedless red and green grapes
24 bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)

Fold each piece of prosciutto several times, about 1 in wide.  Thread 2 grapes, 1 bocconcini and 1 piece of prosciutto onto each of 24 wooden skewers.
makes 24.

More munchies.  These were good...I heard more than once "wow, these are better than cheez-its"
Spicy Cheese Crisps
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups finely grated cheddar cheese 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp, cut into pieces

Whisk together flour, salt and cayenne pepper. 
Add cheese and butter, mix with hands, rubbing butter into dry ingredients, until dough forms.
Transfer dough to a sheet of waxed paper.  Form into a 1 1/2 in diameter log; roll up tightly in paper.  Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hrs.  ( I did it overnight)
Preheat oven to 400.  Trim ends of log, if desired.  Slice dough into 1/4 in thick rounds.  Arrange rounds 1 in apart on baking sheets.  Bake rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 16-18 min.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Crisps can be stored up to 5 days at room temp in an airtight container.
Makes about 40.

Still wanting a little more substance (something that might help people to soak up the sangria) I decided on the asparagus gruyere tart.  It proved to be a GREAT decision!

Asparagus Gruyere Tart
flour for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed 
5 1/2 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 lbs med or thick asparagus
1 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16 by 10 in rectangle.  Trim uneven edges.

Place the pastry on a baking sheet.  With a sharp knife lightly score the dough 1 in in from the edges to mark a rectangle.  Using a fork, pierce the dough inside the markings, at half in intervals.  Bake until golden, about 15 min.
Remove the pastry shell from the oven, and sprinkle with the cheese.  Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over the cheese, alternating ends and tips.
Brush with the oil, and season with S&P, bake until spears are tender, 20-25 min.  
Serves 4.

And come on how could I go wrong with some goat cheese spreads?
Goat Cheese Spreads
1 log (5-6oz) fresh goat cheese, softened

In a med bowl, mash goat cheese with a fork; season with salt and pepper.  Add one of the desired flavorings.
1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
4 cups basil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup olive oil

Stir in 1/4 cup homemade pesto.  ( you will only need about 1/4 of the recipe above).

Sun-Dried Tomato
Add 3 T chopped oil packed sun dried tomatoes and 1 tsp minced fresh thyme.

add 1/4 cup chopped toasted pistachios and 2 T finely snipped fresh chives.

Serve these with fresh bread or crostinis. 

Lastly I thought I should throw in some seriously decadent cheese dip, without regard for any diet or waistline.  WOW am I glad I did.
Here is where I got the recipe.
Thank you Paula Dean, you never disappoint. 

OH and don't forget the did that go well!
We had 4 batches made up and 12 ladies managed to take it down rather quickly! 
Recipe here...I added limes and lemons as well.

Sorry, no Logan rating as he was not invited to the shower.


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