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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tastey Tuesday Recipe Exchange....Week 3!!!!

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The weeks are flying by! Before you know it, we'll all have to pick which appetizers we want to put on our Christmas tables. I've assigned my sisters each 3 appetizers to bring....I wonder if they are reading my blog for ideas! Hmmmm....
In addition to my 3 appetizers, I will do a crab bisque and a festive salad. As soon as Vince returns from PhDland later this week, he and I will put the finishing touches on our crab bisque recipe and then Toni and I will figure out which salad should adorn our table. The desserts are still in the discussion stages. Toni and I will be using next weekend to do our annual cookie bake-a-thon. So, we know there will be cookies. They may not be all-star cookies but I can guarantee you that they will be baked with love and laughter.

As for the libation portion of the day, Vince brewed his "Christmas Beer" when he was home for Thanksgiving. It's still "fermenting" in the back room. So, the beer drinkers will be celebrating with his brew. As a Lapbander (no fizzy or carbonated drinks!) and a non-beer-drinker, I will not partake. I'm thinking of going with a martini bar. The only little concern I have is that most of the male beer drinkers are also big time martini lovers. The thought of them mixing beer and martinis has me concerned. So, I'm thinking about doing more cha-cha martinis as opposed to the old stand-bys. Stay tuned on that....

Yes, these holidays are quite complex here in Judiland. But, I'm working very hard to make them less so. This is a wonderful start. No marathon cocktail hour to be followed by a huge multi-coursed dinner with perfect wine pairings anymore! Knowing when to stop is probably the hardest part for me. Perhaps I'm growing wiser in my old age. Who knows....by next year, I might be serving take-out!!!

Speaking of Take-Out.....

Here's my take on a great and festive looking antipasti!

Arrange on a large platter.....
Buffalo mozzarella....sliced or buy the ones that come in little balls
Olives (I use a variety of green stuffed olives & black)
1 jar of roasted red peppers....you'll need to cut these in bite size(I use scissors)
1 jar fried red/green peppers with onions--in their "juice"
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts--cut in bite size pieces/drained
Large chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 small loaves of Italian bread--thinly sliced on diagonal

Serve at room temperature.


As for my most recent Kindness Taste Test....
This is a tough one. Not because it's tough to be nice. But, it's tough to figure out if it's something I would have done anyway or if it's a new thing that I did because I have tried to be more aware of treating others with random acts of kindness. Anyway....as some of you know, our dear blogger friend Jody is going through a very difficult time following the untimely and tragic death of a family friend. Although this type of situation is heartbreaking and sad in itself, it can become magnified by the fact that it's the Christmas season. In as much as I can support her through encouraging and comforting words, I can't be there in a physical sense for her. But, I can draw from her words to do something comforting and thoughtful right where I am planted--dedicating it to her example of care and friendship. In reading her most recent blog posting about not knowing what pain and loss people carry with them when they are standing right in front of you, I couldn't help but wonder how many times in any given day I pass judgment on the way someone behaves or treats me without knowing what secret heartaches they carry with them. You know--the guy who cuts me off in traffic, the woman who jumps in front of me in a long line, the person who doesn't smile or acknowledge me in the hallway, the individual on the phone who complains without cause and the grumpy old man who makes a snide comment about my park job. I have no idea if the guy in traffic is racing to the side of a dying friend or if the woman in line just lost her job or if the individual on the phone is *this* close to losing her home or if the unfriendly person is living in a loveless marriage or if the old man just buried his beloved wife of 60 years. So, armed with that thinking....I bought a big bag of candy canes and some lottery tickets to randomly pass out. Not to friends or family or to anyone I know. They are just for people I see....

6 comments:

Jody V said...

Judi -

What a wonderful idea with the lottery tickets and candy canes!! This one I will also use! Thank you so much for your encouragement. I really appreciate it.

Jody

Jody V said...

I made this recipe on Sunday. They were a huge hit but VERY rich. The large portobellas could be a meal! I recommend the small ones.

Broiled/Grilled and Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Gorgonzola
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
12 ounces turkey sausage, casings removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 cup (4 ounces) Gorgonzola, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
Either 6 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed or a container of Baby Portobellos

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the mascarpone cheese. Add the thyme, oregano, bread crumbs, 1/2 of the Gorgonzola, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir until all ingredients are combined. **If you are using the Baby Portobellas for stuffing chop up that sausage to a fine consistency **
Brush the mushrooms on both sides with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms, stem side down, for 3 minutes. Turn the mushrooms over and grill for 2 minutes until tender. ** I used the broiler and it took longer to cook the mushrooms **
Fill each mushroom with the sausage mixture and top with the remaining Gorgonzola. Return the mushrooms to the grill and cook until the stuffing is warmed through and the cheese starts to melt, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Cook's Note: The assembled mushrooms can also be placed on a baking sheet and cooked under a preheated broiler until warmed through.

Jody V said...

I wanted to post this recipe too! It is for a dessert but it was wonderful. I got it from the Barefoot Contessa. It lasted minutes at my house this past weekend.

French Chocolate Bark

9 1/2 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Melt the 2 chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper facedown on the baking sheet.
Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the cashews, apricots and cranberries over the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1 by 3-inch pieces and serve at room temperature.

Daffodil Hill said...

You just never know how deeply another person may be hurting. We've been conditioned not to let it show, but there are a lot of people out there walking around in silent pain. The least lovable ones probably need it the most. Christmas is a great time to reach out and love the unlovely (and the hurting lovely, as well). Thanks for reminding us of that! : )

Founder, Organizer, Mayor and Chief Cook And Bottle Washer of the Anger Management Girls. said...

As your esteemed Prof. Randy Pausch said "If you give people enough chances, eventually they will show you their good side."
Or something like that! You get the point.

I'll give you a receipe tomorrow. I have to go to bed.

Kathy said...

What a great idea about the candy canes and lottery tickets. I am sorry I didn't get in on this in a more timely manner. I have been a little busy with shopping, etc. Anyway, I picked up this recipe from a coworker from my working years at the telephone company. It was delicious but I have to admit I have never actually made it myself.
Jalepeno Cheese Spread

2 sticks of margarine (not soft spread)
2 8oz blocks cream cheese
12 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1 sm can Ortega, or other brand green chiles
1 sm can Ortega, or other brand chopped jalepenos
Garlic Powder to taste
Let cheeses and margarine reach room temperature and blend all ingredients together. Shape into a log and serve with sliced french or italian bread.