I love Open House. Just love it. Stop by, enjoy conversation and some nibblies, share in the holiday spirit.
Right now I'm racing around in the holiday spirit myself, so just a few QUICK nibble-recipes today for anyone who's hosting or who's bringing a dish. We took Cutie to see the famous-in-Atlanta Pink Pig last night, as we do every year. She's 7 and I figure in about two more years she'll decide she's too old, and two more years after that she'll gently break it to my husband that, really, she's too old. She's cool like that.
Just a few quick recipes - for "appletizers", as Cutie calls them - before we head off for shopping and volunteering:
Brown Sugared Turkey BaconWe had this at a wedding at a very chi-chi country club. Apparently it's one of their most popular reception items, stacked Lincoln-log style. The good thing about it is that you can do two cookie sheets' worth at once.
1 (12-ounce) package turkey bacon (most kinds are really good - but honestly, Jennie-O turkey bacon is about the nastiest stuff ever. Just my opinion)
Vegetable cooking spray
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
1. Arrange bacon in a ingle layer in an aluminum foil-lined broiler pan (I used a cookie sheet with sides). Coat the foil with cooking spray. Sprinkle bacon evenly with brown sugar and pepper.
2. Bake at 425 degrees for 14 - 18 minutes or until done. Serve immediately.
Load up your toothpicks with:
Chunks of Caribbean Chicken, pineapple, and purple onion.
Grape tomato, cubed mozzarella, a slice of pepperoni
The Mustard-Roasted Potatoes, if you get tiny potatoes, work really well on a buffet if you're serving sliced ham and/or roast beef.
This is a wonderful dip and it can be made the day beforehand and warmed up in the microwave or oven. Or, you can mix it the day beforehand, cover and store in the refrigerator, and bake just before your guests arrive. Serve with tortilla chips or small slices of pumpernickel bread.
SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (real Parmesan, not the dust in the green can)
1 large clove garlic
1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and firmly squeezed to remove moisture
1 (6 1/4-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 container (6 1/2 ounces) garlic and herb gourmet cheese spread, such as Alouette (I used the reduced-fat and it worked fine)
1/2 cup sour cream (regular or low-fat, doesn't matter)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. The recipe says to put the Parmesan cheese into a food processor with a metal blade, turn on the processor and drop garlic through the feed tube to mince, then add the spinach, artichokes, and Alouette. There's no food processor in this house - I minced the garlic with a garlic press and blended everything with a hand-held mixer.
3. Fold in mozzarella cheese.
4. Pour mixture into a 4-cup baking dish (8" by 8") and bake until heated through, 20 - 25 minutes.