Lemony White Bean Dip
3 packed cups arugula, stems trimmed and discarded
3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern, prefer- ably low-sodium, drained
Lemon slices (optional; garnish)
Whole-wheat crackers, pita chips or toasted pita bread for serving
Combine the arugula, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice with ¼ teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Add the beans and pulse a couple of time until they are just chunky, not pureed. Scrape into a serving bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with a few lemon slices.
Serve with crackers, pita chips or toasted pita.
– From “100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know” by Cindi Leive and the editors of Glamour magazine (Hyperion, 2011).
Spicy Bacon Spinach Artichoke Dip
Tip: Divide among small ramekins before baking and place them in several places around your party.
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan (see note)
1 cup shredded mozzarella (see note)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the frozen spinach in the microwave for 5 minutes. Carefully squeeze out as much water as possible and set aside.
Microwave the cream cheese for 1 minute. Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, cayenne and garlic powder in a large bowl and blend together well. Add the spinach, bacon, artichoke hearts and cheeses. Stir together.
Spread in a pie plate or small casserole dish (or small ramekins or baking dishes). Bake until bubbling and slightly browned on top (30 minutes in a small casserole dish or pie plate; less time for smaller ramekins).
Serve hot with crackers, pita chips or vegetable sticks.
Note: Instead of grating the cheese, you could use 2 cups of the Italian cheese blend sold in supermarkets. Makes about 6 cups.
– From “Savory Sweet Life” by Alice Currah (Morrow, 2012).
2 pounds raw shrimp
1 cup ketchup
1 (5-ounce) jar prepared horseradish, preferably Zatarain’s
1 (5-ounce) jar Creole mustard, preferably Zatarain’s
¼ cup olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and sliced into rings (optional)
Cook shrimp 3 to 4 minutes in boiling, salted water, until just pink. Drain and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel shrimp, leaving tails on.
Combine ketchup, horseradish, mustard, olive oil and onion if using. Mix gently with the shrimp. Refrigerate overnight.
Remove shrimp and arrange in a bowl. Serve with the marinade. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
– From Kathy Rowan of Charlotte
3 (10-ounce) boxes frozen, chopped spinach
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and minced
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 to 2 teaspoons dried dillweed
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed)
3 eggs, beaten
1 to 1½ pounds feta cheese (either a block in liquid or a solid piece), grated
2 dashes of ground white pepper
1 to 1½ cups butter (2 to 3 sticks), melted
1 pound frozen phyllo dough, thawed in refrig- erator overnight
Filling: Cook the spinach according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion, cooking over medium heat until softened. Stir in the spinach, parsley and dill. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed and mixture is mostly dry. Remove from heat and stir in the evaporated milk. Cool.
Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl and stir in the feta cheese. Add the spinach mixture. Season with pepper and mix well. Refrigerate while you prepare the phyllo.
Spread out a sheet of waxed paper on a work surface. Wet and wring out a dish towel. Have melted butter nearby with a brush.
Remove 1 roll of phyllo from refrigerator and keep the rest chilled. Unroll the phyllo and cover with a sheet of waxed paper and the damp towel; always keep it covered so it doesn’t dry out.
Remove one sheet of phyllo from the pile, spread it out on the waxed paper and brush with butter. Lay another piece on top of the first and brush with butter. Continue until you have five layers.
Spread about 1 cup of the spinach mixture on the top layer, spreading it horizontally and leaving a ½-inch border on all sides. Fold over the ends, then fold over the long bottom edge. Continue rolling together tightly, then brush the seam with butter.
Put assembled roll on a baking sheet, seam down. Continue making rolls until all the filling is used (about 6 rolls). Place the sheet of rolls in the freezer for 30 to 40 minutes. Slice into the roll but not all the way through, making 1-inch pieces that can be easily cut after baking. Wrap the individual rolls in heavy aluminum foil and freeze up to 6 months.
To serve, bake a roll in a 375-degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until slightly brown on top.
Remove from oven, let stand 10 minutes and cut into pieces.
Makes 6 rolls, each with about 14 slices
– Kathy Rowan
About ½-pound dates or an 8-ounce package
4 ounces blue cheese
About 6 to 8 slices of bacon, cut into quarters
Use the point of a sharp knife to slit dates open lengthwise. Pull out the pits. Stuff some blue cheese inside. Wrap a quarter of a strip of bacon around the date and skewer with a toothpick. Refrigerate up to several hours.
Place on a rack over a baking sheet with the openings up. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, until bacon is crisp and cheese is melted. Serve warm.
Raspberry Champagne Cocktails
This mixture can be doubled easily. The raspberry mixture can be made in advance and chilled.
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen raspberries, thawed in refrigerator overnight
1 small container fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1½ cups vodka, divided
1 (750ml) bottle of sparkling wine, chilled
8 ounces Chambord (berry liqueur), divided (optional)
Place thawed frozen raspberries, sugar, honey and ½ cup vodka into a blender. Puree until smooth. Pour through a fine sieve into a small pitcher. Stir in remaining vodka. Chill until ready to serve.
Pour a little of the raspberry mixture into a small flute or cocktail glass. Top with sparkling wine. Add a small splash of Chambord if using. Garnish with a fresh raspberry. Makes about 6 servings.
– Adapted from “Tiny Food Party!” by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park (Quirk, 2012).
Chilled Eggnog Shooters
2 egg yolks
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk (whole or reduced-fat, or soy or almond milk)
½ cup cream
¾ cup bourbon
2 egg whites
¼ cup honey
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon cinnamon, divided
Beat egg yolks with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar and continue to beat, scraping down sides. Stir in milk and cream.
Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened (you should see a definite track when you draw a finger across the back of the spoon). Strain through a fine sieve and place in a bowl in a bowl of ice water to cool completely. Refrigerate at least an hour and up to 8 hours.
Just before serving, remove from refrigerator and stir in bourbon.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. (Stiff peaks will stand up straight when beaters are lifted.) Fold egg whites into the chilled yolk mixture until completely combined.
Pour honey onto a small plate and spread it around. In another shallow bowl, combine sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Dip each glass into honey and then into cinnamon sugar. Ladle eggnog into glasses and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Makes 12 small or 6 larger servings.
– From “Tiny Party Food!”