Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Revisiting William Blake's Inn

Lewis Carroll, the author, said,"Begin at the beginning...and go on till you come to the end: then stop." So keeping these words in mind I went to the library and found the book A Visit to William Blake's Inn that was mentioned in yesterday's blog posting. 
This book of magical poems focuses on life at an imaginary inn run by William Blake, the poet. The inn is staffed by two mighty dragons and a menagerie of animals. I was surprised that the poem I had posted was only part of it. So I am posting the entire poem titled "Blake Leads A Walk on the Milky Way".

Holiday Appetizers

Now that you have been fortified with a mug of Gluhwein its time to move on sampling appetizers.
The next few blog postings will cover a variety of holiday treats sure to please your guests.

Cranberry Meatballs

Cook’s notes: Meatballs can be made with ground venison, ground chuck or hamburger. Using prepared meatballs from the frozen food section is a time saver. I found a 24 oz. bag of pure Angus beef meatballs and the sauce listed would be enough for 2- 24 oz. bags.   
Meatball Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. meat
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • ½ tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1/3-cup chili sauce
Meatball Directions:
  • Combine and shape into 54 1-inch balls
  • Place meatballs on a lightly greased cookie sheet and cover with foil
  • Bake 25 minutes, remove meatballs, drain on paper towels, cool 
Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 can (16 oz.) jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 (12 oz.) jar chili sauce
  • ¼ cup marmalade
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 TB. soy sauce
  • 2 TB. red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Sauce Directions:
  • In a saucepan over medium low heat combine all ingredients
  • Cook about 20 minutes stirring occasionally
  • In a large pot add meatballs, pour sauce over and simmer for an hour-it can be baked covered @325 for an hour

Fresh Twist on Holiday Entertaining Using Kale
Kale is like the new spinach with lots of nutrients. There are a variety of health benefits to eating Kale on a regular basis.
  • Helps detox your body 
  • Can block cancer cells 
  • Ease inflammation 
  • Helps blood clotting 
  • Reduces the risk of arteriosclerosis 
  • Increased vitamins A B C and K 
  • Promotes new cell growth 
The flavor is relatively mild. Kale can be substituted for spinach in most recipes but may require more cooking since is thicker than spinach and stiffer more like cabbage.
Florentine Artichoke Dip 
Cook’s notes: I substituted kale for spinach.

  • 2 cups from a package (3 oz.) of frozen kale 
  • 1-6 oz. jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry with a paper towel and chopped 
  • 1-8 oz. cream cheese (low fat) softened 
  • 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese 
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (lite) 
  • 1-1/2 TB. lemon juice 
  • 1/4 tsp. of garlic from a jar 
  • 1 cup grated provolone or Swiss cheese 
  • 1-1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs or French breadcrumbs 
  • 1 TB. parsley flakes 
  • 2 TB. melted butter
  • optional 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans 

  •  Thaw kale, squeeze dry to remove moisture and chop
  • Combine kale with artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese, cream cheese and garlic 
  • Spread mixture in a greased glass pie pan, sprinkle with provolone or Swiss cheese 
  • In food processor pulse bread into crumbs, add butter and parsley flakes 
  • Sprinkle over kale/cheese mixture 
  • Bake uncovered @ 375 for 20 minutes or until bubbly
  • Serve with garlic/pita chips, chunks of bread or assorted crackers

Brie Cherry Pastry Cups 

Cook's note: Place pastry sheet on lightly floured 2 sheets of wax paper-use a rolling pin and roll gently. A pizza pastry wheel works well for cutting squares.
  • 1 thawed puff pastry sheet cut into 36 squares 
  • ¾ cup cherry preserves (any flavor works) 
  • 4 oz. Brie cut into ¼ inch cubes 
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts 
  • 2 TB. minced chives 
  • Lightly spray bottom of mini muffin cups pan and gently press squares onto the bottoms 
  • Bake at 375 for 8 minutes-use end of a wooden spoon handle to make a 1/2 inch indentation in the center of each 
  • Bake 6 minutes longer or until golden brown 
  • With spoon handle press square down again and spoon ½ tsp. of preserves into each cup, add Brie cube, sprinkle with nuts and chives 
  • Bake 3 minutes or until cheese is melted-serve warm 

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