Tag Archives: party food

Golden Beets with Smoked Trout & Dill

Golden Beets with Smoked Trout & Dill

Golden Beets with Smoked Trout & Dill

As a kid, I never looked twice at a beet. Back then, they were a vegetable I was usually forced to eat, but never consumed by choice. I think a lot of it had to do with how they were prepared or maybe integrated into a dish. As a youth, no one ever showed me what an absolutely awesome vegetable the beet actually was. When they’re perfectly roasted, the beet’s natural sweetness and earthiness is developed.

I was invited to a birthday brunch last weekend, and was given the task of bringing an appetizer. I thought these Golden Beets with Smoked Trout and Dill was the perfect choice to bring. Growing up in Philadelphia, bagels and lox was a Sunday morning staple, so this was my take on that dish. The combination of the sweet beets, the smokey taste of the fish and the tart cream cheese was loved by all. I like when that happens.

beets2

Roasted Golden Beets with Smoked Trout & Dill

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Fig and Prosciutto Crostini

Fig and Prosciutto Crostini

Fig and Prosciutto Crostini

This weekend my family will celebrate a most momentous occasion, that being my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary. They were of course, the Ward and June Cleaver of Havertown, Pennsylvania. (A 1960′s cultural reference only old people will get, young people, you can google it.) I’ve always said that they make marriage look fun, in fact, they’re totally “adorbs!” (Younger generation cultural reference.) So, what does this have to do with crostini you ask? We’ll be serving these tasty Fig and Prosciutto Crostini at our upcoming gathering.

What I love about these appetizers is that they are the perfect “marriage” of different tastes and textures.  Did you like the way I segued into that, huh.  Anyway, you’ve got your crunch from the toasted bread and walnuts, paired with the saltiness of the prosciutto, the creaminess of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the fig and balsamic all in one perfect little bite.  Actually, it’s probably two-bites, but who’s counting.

Fig and Prosciutto Crostini

Fig and Prosciutto Crostini

Fig & Prosciutto Crostini 

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Mini Stuffed Potatoes

Mini Stuffed Potatoes

Mini Stuffed Potatoes

Many of you have approached me recently and said, “Mama, I’m having a holiday party and I need an idea for a tasty appetizer”. Well, I think I have just the thing for you if you want something with potatoes, bacon and cheese that will pop right into your mouth. You will be amazed at how much flavor is packed into this one bite. But actually, if you’re a bit more genteel, it will be two bites. But I digress.

When entertaining for the masses, I’m a gal who likes to do as much prep work in advance so I’m not so overwhelmed the day of the party. Mini Stuffed Potatoes are an appetizer you can prepare two days in advance. You can stuff the potatoes with the mixture, and then wrap them in plastic and place in the refrigerator. An hour or so before you’re ready to serve them, let the potatoes sit out on the counter to come to room temperature.  Next, sprinkle them with the cheese and place them in a 425 degree F oven for about ten minutes until they are heated through and browned on the top. It’s quite the festive treat.

This holiday season my friends, hold your loved one’s very close. Mama wishes you all the best for the New Year.

Mini Stuffed Potatoes

Mini Stuffed Potatoes

Mini Stuffed Potatoes

From Fine Cooking

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Recipe: Intermediate

Mini Stuffed Potatoes

Mini Stuffed Potatoes

P.S. For another tasty holiday appetizer, click here to view the recipe for Curried Scallop Cakes.

Mini Stuffed Potatoes

Mini Stuffed Potatoes

Panko Crusted Shrimp with Chive Aioli

Panko Crusted Shrimp

Panko Crusted Shrimp

I suppose the thing I’m learning about life is that it’s always changing, and that things can’t always stay the same. When I became a mother I was very comfortable in that role, and I believed that my job as nurturer, caretaker, maid, cook and pain-in-the-ass, would go on forever. However, it seems that both of my sons are ready to cut the proverbial apron strings. I don’t think I’m ready to let go yet. My mind is overwhelmed with thoughts of how will they navigate the world without me telling them what to do. Will they remember to brush their teeth?

What has brought on all this unwanted anxiety, was the trip I made today with my youngest son to look at a school and an apartment in a beautiful college town about an hour from our house. I was so excited for him, and the adventure that was ahead of him.  If I’ve done my job well, he will be able to venture out into the world and do just fine. I know I’m not the first middle-aged broad to go through this, I just didn’t realize it would happen this quickly. But it did.

So what, you may ask, does all this have to do with shrimp?  Nothing much really. As it is now, the boys are rarely home to eat dinner, and usually never at the same time. But yesterday, they were both home for family dinner and they asked if I would make fried shrimp. Well, that’s my job, and I aim to please. So, here’s the panko crusted shrimp dish I made for them. I highly suggest you make the chive aioli. It’s cool and creamy, and a little lemon-y, and a really nice contrast to the crunchiness of the shrimp.

Panko Crusted Shrimp

Panko Crusted Shrimp with Chive Aioli

From Cooking Light

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Fried Shrimp

Note: I suggest buying large shrimp instead of extra large; as the extra large tend to be tougher and have a little less flavor.

Panko Crusted Shrimp

Recipe: Intermediate