Saturday, December 19, 2015

Weekend Round-Up

I did not have to look far for some of the week's best just my own neighborhood. We recently were a part of a lake neighborhood progressive dinner party. The party abounded with many holiday treats. 
Let's begin with the first course: appetizers. This tray was a definite showstopper featuring a northwoods theme-pine cone almond cheese balls. 
Pine Cone Almond Cheese Balls
Mary shaped cream cheese balls to resemble pine cones. She then added creative touches using whole almonds and real pine sprigs. And yes you too can easily recreate this festive appetizer using your favorite cheese ball recipe.   
Brie Kisses
Cook's notes: An easy appetizer made with Athens mini fillo shells, Brie cheese topped with fig preserves or walnut chutney. Recipe previously posted
Pomegranate  Champagne Cocktail
Cook's notes: For each drink add a couple tablespoons of pomegranate or cranberry juice to a flute glass. Then add two tablespoons of raspberry sherbet or sorbet. Top with champagne. 
Second Course:Dinner
Chicken Tetrazzini
Cook's notes: Despite consuming multiple appetizers we all manged to find room for this creamy flavorful casserole. In fact it was so well received some even had seconds. Perhaps it helped we walked to the next house from course #1.  
A time saver is to make the chicken in advance and refrigerate until needed or purchasing a roasted chicken from the deli. Kathleen made the main course and the recipe comes from a cookbook called Gustie Gourmet from Gustavus Library Associates.  Recipe serves 8 and was adapted. Some other suggested options include: 1 tsp. herbes de Provence mixed with 1 tsp. parsley flakes then adding the spices to the cream mixture, 3/4 cup diced sweet onions and/or adding a seasoned breadcrumb topping.  
  • 1- 4 lb. chicken or 4-5 cups cooked chicken breasts, cut in chunks
  • 3 cups hot water 
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp each celery salt and onion salt
  • 1/2 lb. spaghetti
  • 4 TB. butter divided
  • 1/2 lb. fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 TB. lemon juice
  • 2 TB. flour 
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika and 1/4 tsp. pepper
  •  1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2-1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Simmer chicken covered in water with 1/2 tsp. each salt, celery salt and onion salt. Cook until tender about 35 minutes. Remove meat, cool and cut into bite sized pieces and refrigerate in a large bowl.
  • To the broth add 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil and add spaghetti. Cook until al dente. Drain and place in a lightly greased 12 x 8 baking dish.
  • Melt 2 TB. of butter, add mushrooms, lemon juice and 1/2 tsp. salt. Saute until mushrooms are soft. Pour over cooked spaghetti and refrigerate. 
  • Melt 2 TB. butter and stir in flour, paprika, pepper and nutmeg. Slowly stir in 2-1/2 cups of chicken broth and cook over low heat until thickened. Add cream and pour over chicken in a bowl. refrigerate at least one hour no more than four.  
  • Just before baking add chicken and sauce to spaghetti/ mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, paprika and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.   
Dessert Course will be featured in the next posting.
We had choices. This is a photo of two of the four desserts.  

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