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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tastey Tueday Recipe Exchange.....the 4- days- before- Christmas edition.....

We're prancing into the final hours of Christmas preparations.
Are you holiday-ready?
Are your cookies baked? Are your menus figured out? Is your fridge stocked with all those special ingredients? Are your pantries filled with everything you need? Are your holiday linens and dishes and glassware clean and ready to go?
Yeah, me neither.
I'm getting a bit woozy just thinking about it all....
Today is all about making lists.
Because I seemed to have forgotten what I wasn't supposed to forget.
I know you feel exactly the same way.
Just another reason to reach into my Santa sack of easy but festive recipes and share them with you.
If you've got a minute to spare......why don't you share some of yours?

Classic Crab Dip
This is so yummy!
Take it with you to your next party and you will be the center of attention!
Trader Joe's has a good price on crab right now!
Btw....I adapted it from a recipe on

Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup plain panko bread crumbs
Lots of freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened at room temperature
1/2 cup light mayonnaise 1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 (8-ounce) container lump crabmeat, picked through

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a small 6 by 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the panko, cheese, and parsley in a small bowl. Whisk the cream cheese in a large bowl until completely smooth. Stir in the mayonnaise, milk, shallot, chives, lemon juice, Worcestershire,salt, and hot sauce. Gently fold in the crabmeat until just blended. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with the panko mixture. Bake on the top rack until the topping is browned and the filling is hot and bubbly, 35 minutes.
Serve with celery or other crudites.

Cauliflower Goat Cheese Gratin
OMG....this is to die for!
It's the only way to eat cooked cauliflower!
Do you have to bring a side dish to a dinner party?
THIS IS what you MUST take!

Print out a few copies of the recipe...everyone will be asking for it!
BTW....I adapted it from a Bobby Flay recipe.....

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (don't use frozen)
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated
1 cup grated Romano
1cup grated Parmesan
6 ounces goat cheese, cut into small pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper, nutmeg

Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Layer the cauliflower, heavy cream, and the cheeses in a medium casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper and nutmeg. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft and the sauce has thickened slightly.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Chili-Lime Shrimp
I use Aldi's large precooked shrimp for this.
It's perfecto!

This is a family favorite! Plus, it's taken on a life of it's own in social circles. Each time my girlfriend's husband greets me--he says "did you bring me some of that shrimp?". The greeting and the recipe has caught on so much so that now I've got other people greeting me this way! It's gotten so popular that I have to come up with good responses when I don't have this shrimp with me....

Up to 2 days before serving.....marinate all of this together in your fridge....
2 pounds of precooked, frozen shrimp
2 small cans of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 shot of Frank's Hot Sauce
a few shakes of Old Bay seasoning
1 can of corn with peppers and onions (drained)
liberal sprinkling of chili power
1/4 cup of bottled lime juice
1 lime cut up, plus a tsp of grated lime zest
1 tbls. of crushed garlic (I use the kind in the jar)
Salt and pepper to taste
Add the following dried or fresh herbs: oregano, cilantro, cumin

Drain before serving. I serve this is an oversized martini class rimmed with limes and old bay seasoning. It makes a beautiful presentation.

Apricot and Chicken Bruchetta
This is one of Giada's recipes. Trust me, you will get a standing ovation and lots of adoration for this one. It's simply dazzling and delish!


  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 5 ounces fontina cheese, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces roasted chicken breast, cooled and thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces (about 5 slices) prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the bread into 10 slices, each about 1/2-inch thick. Brush the bread slices with the olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until crisp and golden. Cool to room temperature.

Spread each slice of the toasted bread with the apricot preserves then place a slice of the cheese on top. Arrange the sliced chicken on top of the cheese. Cut each piece of prosciutto in half and place on top of the chicken. Transfer the bruschetta to a serving platter. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil and serve.

Tuna and Pasta Puttanesca
A Feast of Seven Fishes staple. This version is easy and delizioso! Serve this in a rustic pottery bowl and you will feel 150% Italian even if you are just a 50 percenter like me.....

1 pound penne pasta (use DeCecco brand, please)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cans (about 5.5 to 6 ounces each) Italian tuna in oil, drained well
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (depending on your tolerance for heat)
A generous handful olives (kalamata or oil-cured), pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 can crushed tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano)
A generous handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Ground black pepper

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil. Salt the water and cook penne to al dente. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with 3 turns of the pan extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook a minute or 2, then add tuna and break it up with your spoon. Add olives and capers, cook a minute or 2 more, then add white wine; stir and cook down a minute. Add tomatoes. Add parsley, zest and black pepper, then simmer the sauce a couple of minutes more. Add a couple of ladles of starchy pasta-cooking water to the sauce. Drain pasta, add to the skillet and toss to coat. Serve with good quality grated romano cheese.

Italian Manhattan Punch
A throw back to my childhood Christmas Eves. This will make Uncle Sammy sing Silent Night in Italian. Cousin Phyllis will chime in after a few sips.
I promise.

In a punch bowl, mix.....

  • 16 ice cubes
  • 8 orange slices
  • 20 maraschino cherries
  • 1 bottle Kentucky bourbon whiskey (recommended: Maker's Mark)
  • 8 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 6 ounces Italian bitters (recommended: Campari)
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
Stir it up and serve......

Cheesey Onion Dip
DELISH!!!! I'm head-over-heels in love with this dip. I had this dip at the party we went to on Sunday night. Let me tell you---it is amazing. I had a weekend filled with amazing food but this is the food I remember most. I can't wait to make it on Christmas Day. I'm craving it right's that good. I can't believe I've never had this before. It's a Lap bander's dream food. Heavenly.....


  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
  2. In the prepared dish, mix the cream cheese, onion, Parmesan cheese and mayonnaise.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

So, what are you cooking up????

1 comment:

Robin said...

All your recipes look great! Have a question though... what size bottle of bourbon whiskey in the punch?