Happy New Year!
Can you believe it’s 2011 already? I literally remember being nine years old and counting down to midnight on y2k, wondering what would happen when the year 2000 hit. Hah!
Last night was a ton of fun. I invited five friends over for some snacks and drinks before we hit the town. I love entertaining, I wanted a really fun menu with everything miniature!
Everyone was greeted with a Mini Peach-Pomegranate-Grapefruit Drop Martini.
- 2 oz Absolut Peach vodka
- splash of pomegranate juice
- splash of grapefruit juice
- orange zest
Put a bit of sugar into a bowl and stir in some orange zest. Run a piece of orange around the rim of your martini glass and then rim with orange-sugar. In a martini shaker, combine ice, vodka, and juices. Shake! Shake! Shake! Pour into prepared glass. Garnish with an orange slice.
And we munched on a fresh platter of veggies n dip
I made these Fig & Brie bites, which were absolutely delicious. I think you guys know about my love affair with brie…and these were no exception. MAKE SURE YOU FREEZE THESE BEFORE YOU BAKE. I actually couldn’t serve these because mine weren’t cold enough, so the brie ran everywhere…..but the scraps were amazing haha. I have one more batch ready, which I will freeze first.
Fig & Brie Bites (adapted from Food Mayhem)
Sour Cream Pastry
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup fig jam
- 10 oz wedge of brie cheese
To make the sour cream pastry, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the food processor by pulsing a few times. Add the butter and pulse 4 times, then process for 10 seconds, or until it looks sandy.
Empty into a very large bowl and form a well in the center. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, yolk, and vanilla extract. Place wet mixture in the center of the well and work from the inside out with a rubber spatula.
When the dough comes together, knead a few times with your hands and press together. Divide the dough in half and form a 3″x4″ rectangle with each. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Dough can be kept for up to 3 days in the fridge or 1 month in the freezer.)
Remove one dough rectangle from the fridge and cut in 4 equal pieces. Keep un-used dough in the fridge.
Roll the piece of dough into a 14″ x 3″ strip on a lightly floured surface. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of preserves down the middle.
Cut the brie into thin slices a little less than 1/8″ thick. Cut off the rinds. Lay the brie down the middle on top of the preserves.
Lift the sides of the dough over the preserves and brie, folding one side over the other. Press down gently to seal.
Cut into 1-inch pieces.
Place them 1 inch apart on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Repeat with all the remaining dough, preserves, and brie. Place them in the freezer for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F about 30 minutes before you are ready to bake.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove to cooling racks to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Best served warm.
I also served Smoked Salmon Blinis. I love smoked salmon, and all seafood for that matter. I try to avoid salmon because I have a sensitivity to it, but what the heck, it was New Year’s Eve!!
Smoked Salmon Blinis (recipe found here)
For the pancakes:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
- 1 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup milk
- 8 ounces cold smoked salmon
- Freshly chopped green onions, for garnish
For the sour cream sauce:
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and chives.
In a small bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the egg and whisk until completely incorporated. Whisk in the milk.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until just incorporated and no large lumps remain. Do not over-mix.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spray lightly with non-stick spray then scoop the batter by the tablespoon into the pan. Cook for one minute on the first side, flip, then cook for an additional thirty seconds, or until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when gently pressed in the center. Remove to a plate to cool while you prepare the rest.
While the cakes cool prepare the sour cream sauce by adding the sour cream, horseradish and salt to a small bowl. Whisk to combine then let stand ten minutes.
To prepare, spoon a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of the sauce onto the center of the cakes. Top with a piece of the salmon. Garnish with the chives. These can be assembled up to one hour in advance. Serve at room temperature.
I have always wanted to make sliders, and I decided to make these lovely Lentil Walnut Burgers from Oh She Glows, into sliders! They look so adorable and almost to cute to eat.
Lentil Walnut Sliders (adapted from Oh She Glows)
- 3/4 cup canned lentils
- 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1 piece bread, toasted OR 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 chia/flax egg (1 tbsp ground chia or flax + 1/4 cup water)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl make the chia or flax egg and set aside.
Toast the walnuts by placing the walnuts on a baking sheet and cooking at 350F for about 12 minutes until golden brown and delicious. Let cool.
In a food processor, process the garlic, walnuts, toasted bread OR breadcrumbs, spices & seasonings until combined. Now add oil and lentils and pulse until coarsely chopped (some lentils should be visible and left chunky). Add the flax or chia egg and pulse a bit more until combined. Now shape small patties with hands and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a non-stick mat. Bake at 350F for about 35 minutes, turning once. When almost done, add cheese (if using), and let melt in the oven for about a minute.
I served these on slider buns, with spinach, avocado, ketchup, mustard, and havarti cheese. Enjoy!
My friend Taylor said, “These are the best f*cking burgers ever!” LOL
As if we didn’t have enough shots in our near future, I thought I’d kick things off with a shot that wouldn’t make our stomachs (and livers!) cringe. A simple Thai-Spiced Pumpkin Soup served in shot glasses.
Thai-Spiced Pumpkin Soup (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
- 2 acorn squash, pumpkins, or other smallish winter squash (I used one can of pumpkin puree, and one acorn squash)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- clove minced garlic
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon (or more) red Thai curry paste
- 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt (or to taste)
- sprinkle of red chili flakes
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the oven racks in the middle.
Carefully cut each squash/pumpkin into halves (or quarters). Slather each piece of squash with butter, sprinkle generously with salt, place on a baking sheet skin sides down, and place in the oven. Roast for about an hour or until the squash is tender throughout.
Saute garlic clove in a bit of olive oil in a soup pot. When the pumpkin/squash are cool enough to handle scoop it into a large pot over medium high heat. Add the coconut milk and curry paste and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and puree with a hand blender, you should have a very thick base at this point. Now add water a cup at a time pureeing between additions until the soup is the consistency you prefer – a light vegetable stock would work here as well. Bring up to a simmer again and add the salt and chili flakes (and more curry paste if you like, I used about 10 teaspoons of curry paste, but the kind I used was very mild.)
To round out the evening before we headed downtown, was a selection of festive cookies. I made shortbread 3-ways, snowflake sugar cookies, and rumnog pecan cookies (vegan, and to die for!) .