I have a habit of going on cookbook binges and then having them sit on my shelf for ages without trying a recipe. It’s not that I do this intentionally, life just happens.
I never bought the Momofuku cookbook that everyone has sitting on their shelves. But Momofuku Milk Bar was instantly on my list when it came out. I can’t even tell you how long it has been sitting on my shelf before I used it. Continue reading →
I go a bit crazy when making food for a party. I always make sure there is more than enough. I’d rather have leftovers than have people go hungry. Bonus: if the party isn’t that great, you can always stuff your face to fill in those awkward silences.
Vodka-Spiked Cherry Tomatoes – This was recommended to me by a friend. I have mixed feelings about this appetizer. The end result is good and classier than a Jello shot, but the process is beyond painful. You need to score x’s in all the tomatoes and you can only boil and blanch a few at a time. Then you have to peel dozens of them! R likened this act as a task that’s reserved for those in jail. Use at your own risk!
Caramelized Basil Onion Dip – Some people don’t like giving out their recipe so I’m glad when people are kind enough to share. I fell in love with this rich creamy dip before I even knew how to dice an onion. I was even more surprised this came from Cooking Light. This dip is guaranteed to disappear. Recipe at the end.
Fig and Olive Tapenade – this comes from David Lebovitz. Even those who have an aversion to olives will like this one as the sweetness from the figs balances out the olives.
Cucumber rolls with crème fraîche and smoked salmon – I used the cucumber roll recipe by Laura Calder as a reference and used smoked salmon instead. Don’t use a vegetable peeler, I wasn’t getting wide enough strips. Use a mandoline to make fancy thin ones to roll up. You can stuff the inside with the crème fraîche and smoked salmon or for simplicity, just cut thick enough rounds you can grab onto and pile on the toppings.
A cheeseboard is also an easy appetizer to put together. I usually just ask my local cheese guy to pick something out. 3-4 cheeses are good and I like a soft cheese like brie (note: coulommier is like brie but cheaper if you’re on a budget), a goat cheese and a harder cheese like a gouda or gruyère and a nice blue cheese if you’re a fan.
Caramelized Onion and Basil Dip (from Cooking Light)
2 tsp olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup light sour cream (I use full fat…ahem)
1/2 cup 2% plain yogurt
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
1. Cook onions and olive oil over medium-high heat, stirring every 5 minutes.
2. Add balsamic vinegar and sugar and reduce heat to low. Cook covered for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.
3. Let mixture cool and chop cooked onions. Mix with the sour cream, yogurt, basil, salt and pepper.
4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Movie Man celebrated his champagne birthday on Saturday. Our neighbours came over to celebrate on Friday so Thursday I was busy baking bread and the cake and Friday was left for frosting the cake and doing everything else.
Here’s what I made:
– Making the Basic Hearth bread from The Bread Bible
– Oven fries with garlic aioli. The garlic aioli was so simple and got HUGE raves from my neighbours. One of them started pushing the dip on others “Come on, you have to try the dip. It’s amazing, just try it!” Definitely try it with the smoked paprika. Mmm…just typing about it makes me want more.
– Caramelized onion dip with chives. Actually, Movie Man made this because I had run out of time and had to attend a workshop. The garlic aioli was finished first, but this dip also had a good chunk of it eaten.
– Pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting. A great moist cake with not too sweet frosting. I’d definitely make this cake again.
Movie Man was lucky this year, he got 2 cakes. We had to celebrate his birthday early with his family so I made a coconut cake with Martha’s seven minute frosting.