So with that in mind, here are a few of my favorite get together dishes that are sure to win over the crowd!
~Spinach and Artichoke Bake~
Preheat oven to 350* and lightly grease 1 qt. casserole dish. Drain and mash artichoke hearts (1 can or jar, 10-12 oz). Thaw and drain 1/2 block of spinach of all water (reserve other 1/2 for another use). Mix together 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded is better than grated, but both work), 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, 1 t. garlic powder, and add to artichoke and spinach. Mix together well and place into baking dish. Cook for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.
~Potato Skins with Turkey Bacon~
Use small brown potatoes and baked them until done. Cut them crosswise in half and scoop out about half of the pulp. Heat some EVOO and briefly fried both sides for that restaurant taste (but this part is not necessary but definitely adds to the crunch adnd overall flavor). Cook up slices of turkey bacon, crumbled them up and divided them between the potato halves. Cut up stems from a green onion for a little bit of color and extra flavor. Then load and layer shredded sharp cheddar, bacon, chives, and more cheese, and then popped it back into the oven until the cheese is melted. Add a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!
~Chicken Tortilla Soup~
2 T. Vegetable Oil
1 Small onion, chopped (1/3 cup)
2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Medium Anaheim, poblano or jalapeno chile, seeded & chopped
1 Carton (32 oz) chicken broth (4 cups)
1 Can (14.5 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 t. (kosher or sea) salt
1 1/2 C. shredded cooked chicken breasts
Avocado slices, if desired
Shredded Monteret Jack cheese, if desired
Chopped fresh cilantro, if desired
1 lime, cut into wedges
- Heat oven to 450*. Brush both sides of tortillas with 1 T of the oil. Cut tortillas in half; cut halves into 1/4-inch strips. Place in a single layer on cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until strips begin to brown, stirring once halfway through baking; cool. Strips will become crisp when cooled.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 T oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion in oil 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and chile; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in broth, tomatoes and salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add chicken; heat until hot.
- Top with avocado and cheese; garnish with remaining tortilla strips and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and tortilla chips.
In a crockpot put the following:
1 5-lb. rump roast, or other choice cut
1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
2 cups beef stock, or broth
1 T. oregano
2 bay leaves
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
3 to 6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 T. basil
1 T. salt, or to taste
Cut the meat into sections so that every bit of it is submerged in the broth and seasonings. Allow to slow cook overnight, or for at least 8 hours, until the meat falls apart. Shred gently using 2 forks. Drain the veggies and seasonings from the broth and combine meat and broth again. Discard veggies.
Split an Italian roll and place desired amount of Italian Beef on one side. Top with slice of provolone cheese (or under the meat if you prefer) and lightly toast, open-faced in the oven for a few minutes. Add yummy giardiniera and enjoy!
Ingredients for Giardiniera:
1 sm head cauliflower, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper & 1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 – 3 ribs of celery, sliced
1 lb. bag of shredded carrots
1 jar small green olives
3 chile or jalapeno pods, sliced
4 cloves garlic
8 lg sprigs fresh dill
2 1/2 C. water
3 C. white wine or rice vinegar
4 T. sea or kosher salt
olive oil to top off
Thoroughly clean and trim the vegetables, including seeds from hot peppers (leave in for desired hotness), cutting into small pieces. This particular batch will be hot because I used 5 peppers and left in all the seeds. I also used a whole batch of fresh dill sprigs because you just can’t have too much dill. I also had to use really large olives because that was all that was available in my supermarket, so I sliced them up myself
Pack the veggies into 1 quart jars tightly. I use regular screw-lid jars. There is no need for boiling or sealing the lids. Make your pickling mixture using the water, wine, and salt. I’ve used the rice vinegar once and I did not like it at all. I’ve made this with a general dry chardonnay many times and it always comes out great! The vinegar makes it way too vinegary for my taste- the wine does an ample job of giving it a nice subdued vinegaryness (yeah, I know that’s not a word). Pour the water-wine mixture into the jars, submerging the veggies, and let it settle. Leave enough room for the 1/2 inch of olive oil that you will pour to top it all off with.
Screw the lids on tightly and store in a cool pantry for 2 -6 weeks. The longer it pickles the better it will be! Do not open the lids until ready to eat. Once the jar has been opened, refrigerate. Makes 3 quarts.
Don't forget Dessert!
~Cinnamon Apple Tart~
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
2 Tbsp apple jelly
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon baking chips
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 to 2 tbsp milk
In a small bowl, toss chopped apple with lemon juice; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a 14 -nch circle. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread jelly to within 2 inches of edges. Sprinkle with apple mixture, sugar, baking chips and almonds. Fold edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered. Brush folded pastry with milk.
Bake at 400* for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Wsu parchment paper to slide tart onto rack to cool. In a small bowl, combine ingredients for icing, adding enough milk to acheive desired consistency. Drizzle over tart. Yeild: 6 servings.
~Gingersnap Lemon Tarts~
Super easy to assemble :) Crush gingersnap cookies (or graham crackers) mix with a bit of melted butter and press into tart pan. Spoon a dollop of prepared lemon curd and top with a berry. You can't miss! Other variations include chocolate graham crackers, and/or sprinkled grated chocolate. Use your imagination- the sky is the limit. Besides, what's a gathering without chocolate??
~HAVE A YUMMY SUPERBOWL DAY!!~