28 December, 2015

Menu: Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

Dinner Menu for 8

Mixed Greens Salad

Steamed Fresh Broccoli

Sister Schubert® Parkerhouse Rolls

"Spa Water"

Assorted Christmas Cookies


23 December, 2015

Rosemary Garlic Marinade / Vinaigrette

We created and tested this recipe to marinate Tortelloni / Tortellini Skewers; however, it can also be used easily as a vinaigrette for mixed greens or tortellini salads.

Rosemary Garlic Marinade / Vinaigrette ingredients
Makes 1.5 cups
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4.5 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 squirts of honey
1.5 Tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, stems discarded and leaves crushed and snipped (about three 9-inch stems)
1 clove Baked Garlic
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp lemon zest

Add tarragon leaves. (I didn't have any.)

Rosemary Garlic Marinade / Vinaigrette Directions
Get ready
Assemble ingredients.

Prepare marinade
In a 2-cup measuring glass, whisk together the first five ingredients (olive oil through rosemary) plus the tarragaon, if using. Transfer mixture to a blender.

Squeeze one clove of the Baked Garlic out of its skin and into the blender; cover and process until the mixture is smooth. Stop the machine.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Add the second clove of Baked Garlic, without skin, and the salt and white pepper, according to personal preference. Cover and process briefly.

Stir in the lemon zest. Set marinade aside briefly for the flavors to merge.

Use Rosemary Garlic Marinade / Vinaigrette to marinate cooked, fresh pasta or to dress mixed greens or tortellini salad.

Cover and refrigerate any unused portions.

Source: Proportions inspired by "Dill Vinaigrette." Nina Graybill and Maxine Rapoport, The Pasta Salad Book (Washington, D.C.: Farragut Publishing Company, 1984), 162.

Rosemary Garlic Marinade / Vinaigrette Notes
  • This recipe quantity is sufficient to marinate approximately 2-lbs cooked, fresh tortelloni. I prepared the Rosemary Garlic Marinade the night before needed and set it aside for the flavors to merge.

  • For a more pronounced rosemary flavor, marinate fresh pasta in the refrigerator for forty-eight (48) hours before serving.

  • Since pastas vary, always pay close attention to the texture; avoid the pasta getting mushy while marinating.

Condiments > Salad dressings > Vinaigrette
Condiments > Spice Mixes > Marinades

Page last modified 3 January 2016

Tortelloni / Tortellini Skewers

We created, tested, and serve this recipe.

Just stack skewers on tray to serve. 
Marinated Tortelloni with Parmesan Lemon Dip and Baked Garlic garnish.

Tortelloni Skewers ingredients
Makes about forty (40) skewers
Rosemary Garlic Marinade / Vinaigrette (optional)
1/2 of (3-lb / 1.36kg) pkg Kirkland Five Cheese Tortelloni with Parmigiano Reggiano
1 (16-oz / 454g) pkgs Citterio® Family Pack Deli Style Rosmarino (Oven-Roasted Rosemary Ham, optional)

For serving
40 (6-inch) bamboo skewers
Parmesan Lemon Dip

4 to 6 heads Baked Garlic, depending upon size of tray
Fresh rosemary stalks

Tortelloni Skewers Directions
Get ready
Assemble ingredients.

Prepare six (6) heads (seven, if you are using the marinade) of Baked Garlic (you will have some extra cloves) and the Parmesan Lemon Dip.

Prepare pasta
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.

Cook tortelloni until just tender, following the package instructions; drain. Sprinkle the pasta with a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.

If serving warm, place two tortelloni on six-inch (6-inch) skewers; pile skewers on serving tray garnished with six heads of Baked Garlic, placing two beside a small bowl of Parmesan Lemon Dip. Serve immediately.

If marinating the tortelloni, continue with remaining steps.

Marinate the tortelloni (optional)
Prepare the Rosemary Garlic Marinade / Vinaigrette. Set aside.

Gently place the cooked tortelloni in a large (9- x 11-inch / 2-quart capacity works well) flat, covered storage container. Pour over the marinade and toss lightly to coat each piece; cover and marinate for at least four to five (4 - 5) hours, gently turning occasionally. See Notes below.

Assemble skewers
If using the Italian ham, neatly roll the long side of individual slices of the Citterio® Rosmarino. Then, slice the into 1.5-inch sections.

Remove tortelloni from the marinade and drain on several layers of thick paper towels. Place one tortelloni on six-inch (6-inch) skewer, followed by one rolled section of the Rosmarino, and a second tortelloni; repeat until you have used all of the pasta.

Arrange skewers on platter or tray garnished with six heads of Baked Garlic, placing two beside a small bowl of Parmesan Lemon Dip. Serve at room temperature.

Tortelloni Skewers Notes

  • I prepared the Marinade the night before serving the skewers and set it aside for the flavors to merge.

  • For a more pronounced rosemary flavor, marinate the Tortolloni in the refrigerator for forty-eight (48) hours before serving.

  • Since pastas vary, always pay close attention to the texture; avoid the pasta getting mushy while marinating.

Appetizers and Snacks > Marinated
Appetizers and Snacks > Warm

Page last modified 3 January 2016

22 December, 2015

Test! Ranch Chicken Cheese Ball

We are adapting and testing this recipe.

Ranch Chicken Cheese Ball ingredients
Makes one (6-inch) cheese ball or two logs
2 (8-oz / 226g) pkgs store brand Greek Cream Cheese & Greek Yogurt, softened to room temperature (If unavailable, use Neufchâtel cheese.)
1/2 (9.0-oz / 255g) pkg Oscar Mayer® Deli Fresh Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast, chopped
4 green onions, sliced
1 (1.0-oz / 28g) envelope Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix
3/4 tsp Accent® Flavor Enhancer
3/4 tsp Lea & Perrins® Reduced Sodium Worcestershire Sauce
Crushed pretzel sticks

For serving
Nabisco® Reduced-Fat Triscuits® or Milton's® Original Multi-Grain Baked Crackers

Ranch Chicken Cheese Ball Directions
In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to thoroughly combine the softened Greek Cream Cheese & Greek Yogurt and the chopped chicken breast; scrape the sides of the bowl. Stir in the next four (4) ingredients (green onions through Worcestershire Sauce) to evenly distribute.

Use plastic wrap to help form mixture into a ball (or two logs); cover and refrigerate for two (2) hours, or overnight.

Just before serving, place the crushed pretzel sticks in a large dish; roll cheese ball in the crushed pretzels to cover.

Place on serving plate and garnish as desired. Bring Ranch Chicken Cheese Ball to room temperature before serving with choice of crackers.

Mary Younkin (Barefeet In The Kitchen) has a great tip for storing and transporting cheese balls in upside-down domed plastic containers. Read her post here.  

For convenience, roll the cheese ball in its outer coating before transporting to a party.

Avoid garnishing the cheese ball too far in advance. Herbs and nuts lose their crispness when refrigerated on the finished cheese ball.

You might like
Gloria's Corned Beef Cheese Ball

Appetizers and Snacks > Cold dips /spreads

Parmesan Lemon Dip | Martha Stewart's Hors D'oeuvres

Parmesan Lemon Dip ingredients (5)
Makes 1.25 cups
1 cup Crème Fraiche
2 (5.3-oz / 150g) containers Dannon® Oikos® Greek Nonfat Yogurt
3/8 cup 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 lemons, zested and juiced
Zest of two large lemons
Juice of one large lemon
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
3 cloves Baked Garlic, peeled and smashed

Parmesan Lemon Dip Directions
In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients; stir well. Set aside until ready to serve.

Parmesan Lemon Dip Notes
  • The flavor is great. I prepared this dip twenty-four (24) hours in advance, refrigerating it until thirty (30) minutes before serving time.

  • As modified above, the Parmesan Lemon Dip is not thick; if thick is your preference, I suggest substituting some reduced-fat sour cream for part of the Greek yogurt, 

Adapts Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart's Hors D'oeuvres: The Creation and Presentation of Fabulous Finger Foods (New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1984), 141. Photo 30.

Christmas Eve
My recipes

Page last modified 28 December 2015

21 December, 2015

Menu: Equestrians' Christmas Eve 2015

Equestrians' Christmas Eve Dinner Party

December 24, 2015 Menu


Goat Cheese and Squash Tarts

Cheese Board

Stuffed Grapes



Prime Rib

Crab Cakes

Roasted Vegetables

Sage Carrots

Mashed Potatoes with Cream



Chocolate Torte

01 December, 2015

Ensalada de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Salad) | BHG Mexican Cook Book

This Ensalada de Noche Buena is a festive dish for a Christmas Eve brunch or buffet table.

Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

Ensalada de Noche Buena 
(Christmas Eve Salad) ingredients (12)
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 fresh pineapple or 1 (20-oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
2 large oranges
1 large apple, washed and peel left on
2 medium bananas 
3 medium beets, cooked, peeled, and sliced or 1 (16-oz) can sliced beets, drained

Optional for salad
1 jicama, peeled and sliced
1 stick sugar cane, peeled and chopped

Lettuce, washed and dried well
1/2 cup peanuts
Pomegranate seeds

Salad dressing (see Notes)
Mayonnaise or salad dressing

Ensalada de Noche Buena
(Christmas Eve Salad) Directions
Prepare fresh fruits
Remove crown of fresh pineapple. Peel pineapple and remove eyes; quarter and remove core. Cut pineapple into chunks. (Skip to next step if using canned pineapple.)

Peel oranges and section over a bowl to catch juice.

Core and slice apple.

Toss oranges, apple, and banana with the orange juice; then, drain.

Assemble salad
Line a large platter or footed pedestal plate with lettuce leaves. Arrange all fruit with the sliced beets (and jicama and sugar cane, if using) in a decorative pattern on the platter.

Sprinkle with peanuts and pomegranate seeds.

Prepare dressing
Thin mayonnaise (or salad dressing) with a little milk to make drizzling consistency. Pass with salad. 

Ensalada de Noche Buena
(Christmas Eve Salad) Notes

Christmas Eve
Latin / Latin-style

Page Last Modified 15 July 2016