Showing posts with label almonds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label almonds. Show all posts

Friday, November 4, 2011

Baked Apricot Spread

During the holidays, I entertain a lot. I like to serve different foods at each event. I really don't like to duplicate. Sometimes, a few of my guests might be invited to several of the get togethers, and I want them to have something different each time. The only exception is if someone requests that I make something they had at a previous party. Then I happily try to accommodate them.  As a result, I need a lot of recipes. Through out the year I try to find recipes that I think will work. This is the case with today's baked Apricot Spread. I borrowed this appetizer from the Kraft Foods web site. I am so glad I did. It is tasty and delicious. It goes together quickly, and there are only 5 ingredients. Truthfully, I put this together in  about 5 minutes. (+ the cook time). Also, I'll bet that you have most of these ingredients in your fridge and pantry right now.!

Baked Apricot Spread
(serves 8) 
(preheat oven to 350 degrees)
4 oz. Cream Cheese~softened
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup sliced, dried Apricots
1/3 cup Sliced Almonds
The recipe called for sliced Dried Apricots. 
I used the dried Apricots~YUM!, but I chopped them instead
of slicing them. I thought they might be easier for guests to handle
if they were smaller. I don't know?? It's just my paranoia coming
out like it does every time I entertain.
Anyway, I chopped them by slicing them first, and then...
turning the slices around, and chopping them up.
Set them aside for a minute.
Put the softened cream cheese, and the cheddar into a bowl.
Mix it up really well. 
I like to do this by wearing food safe gloves, and using my hands.
It really gets things mixed perfectly, but a mixer will do the job also!
Add the sour cream and apricots.
Mix again like above.
Place mix in a baking dish.
Top with the sliced almonds. 
The recipe called for 1/3 cup. I just put them on the 
top of the dish until I thought there were enough. 
I did not make them thick, and I tried to 
cover the entire surface.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Serve with crackers of your choice. 
This recipe is great tasting, hot or cold!

Thanks for joining me today!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Amaretto Purses with Mascarpone & Fontina

This week we are all about fruit. Each recipe featuring a different one. Today's appetizer is about cherries. The recipe calls for dried cherries, but you could use chopped fresh ones also.
 Amaretto Purses with Mascarpone & Fontina
(adapted from Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board)
(Makes 8 appetizers)
1 cup Fontina Cheese
1 cup Mascarpone Cheese
1/4 cup Almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons Amaretto Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/4 cup dried Tart Cherries
12 sheets Fillo Dough
4-5 tablespoons Butter
I could not find Amaretto syrup anywhere, so I made
my own. You should make the syrup first. You only need:
2 teaspoons Almond Extract
2 cups Sugar
1 cup Water
Combine 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water  in a saucepan.
Put it on medium heat. 
Bring to a boil, then add 2 teaspoons almond flavoring.
Turn down to medium heat and let the mix thicken. 
 Let cool.
Now, to the mix.
Combine the Fontina and Mascarpone cheeses.
The Fontina cheese should be grated, but if it becomes
too soft, just chop it in small pieces and it will blend 
easily with the Mascarpone.
Add the almonds, Amaretto, pepper, and cherries.
Mix well. Chill for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.
After the mix is ready, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Defrost the fillo sheets. When they are totally soft,
open the roll and cut in half. 
Lay the fillo sheet out. Make sure to cover the rest with
plastic because it dries out very quickly. Try to limit the
amount of air that gets to the filo.
Brush the first sheet of fillo dough with butter,
then cover the first sheet with a second sheet,
and butter it with butter also.
 Put a tablespoon of the mix in the middle
of the dough.
Bring each corner of the dough to it's opposite corner.
Pinch the middle.
Place in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes.
Serve hot.

Thanks for joining me today!
Tomorrow we will be making our salad dish for the 
Week of Fruit~Strawberry Avocado Salad!

Hope you will join us!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blue Cheese Caesar Salad

This weeks salad dish is a remake of a treasured standard. The dressing has a great flavor, and the chunks of blue cheese definitely make it look pretty.  I think I may be starting to prefer it more than the original. Let's see what you think!
Blue Cheese Caesar Salad
(adapted from Perfect Party Food)

1/2 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled
Romaine Lettuce
Slivered Almonds
Let's make the dressing first! 
Whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire,
mustard, and pepper. Blend well.
Little by little, whisk in the oil and the the blue cheese.
Refrigerate the dressing for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours 
before serving.
Chop or tear the romaine lettuce.
Top with the dressing.
Sprinkle the almonds all over the salad.
When you are not having this salad as a part of a meal,
it can become the meal by adding pieces of chicken breast.