Happy almost New Year friends! I hope you've had a a wonderful Christmas. I've spent the last few days crawling out of wrapping paper and shirt boxes, stepping over talking dinosaurs, remote controlled cars and praying that the batteries in the singing dogs and fire truck would fizzle quickly. I'm still on vacation and loving the time spent going to bed late after a Christmas movie, waking up late and making a big breakfast, and enjoying lots of fun family time. (Not to mention sneaking cookies and candy at ALL times of the day).
Christmas Eve was hosted at my humble abode with my family and I made a lasagna that truly is the best in the world. It's my great grandmother's recipe and she was an immigrant from Italy in the early 1900s. You don't get more authentic than that. Each bite made me feel as if I were walking down the streets of Venice. I can't tell you the recipe - family secret. Shh! I also attempted two desserts that were both amazing - a White Russian Pie and the Apple Danish with the flakiest of all crusts. Why eat one piece when you can have a sampler of two?
Christmas morning is a long standing tradition of Moravian Sugar Cake, heated until the brown sugar is just starting to melt and served with a side of eggs and bacon. Delish! As soon as those dishes clear, I wade through gift wrap into the kitchen to begin the meal I'm taking to my in-laws. I'm making the turkey this year! This is a life altering event for my mother in law who has made it for the last 30+ years. Popping that bird into the oven and whipping up the Cranberry Sausage Apple Stuffing, Corn Souffle and a Pumpkin Pie leaves me just enough time to blink before it's over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go!
I am pleased to report an exceptional meal and a WHITE CHRISTMAS! It's a first for the Carolina's in over 50 years. Of course sledding was sure to ensue.
Now that I'm catching my breath, I look forward to New Year's. A self proclaimed pajama and appetizer day! My husband and I make a list of all our favorite appetizers and we make them and watch movies. There are two that will for sure be on the list - Hot Blue Cheese and Pecan Dip & Artichoke Parmesan Dip. I made both as appetizers for Christmas Eve and could barely take a picture in enough time as it was disappearing so fast.
Here are the recipes for you to enjoy as well. The pictures are remnants of what was perfection until savage wolves came in and devoured the dips. I was able to keep them at bay long enough for a photo before the plates were licked clean.
Hot Artichoke Parmesan Dip
2 jars of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 pinches of salt
1-2 dashes of Cayenne Pepper
1 clove of garlic, mashed
1/2 - 3/4 c. mayonnaise
Coarsely chop the artichokes and mix all of the remaining ingredients together with them. Spread in a small baking dish and sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake at 350 degrees fro 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve with crackers, toasted baguette bread or bagel chips. Enjoy!
Hot Blue Cheese and Pecan Dip
2 8oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
8 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 T. butter
1 c. soft bread crumbs
1/4 c. fresh parsley
1 T. butter
Toast pecans in 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring them so they don't burn. Remove them from the heat and allow to cool as you mix the cream cheese and blue cheese together with a mixer. Stir in pecans and butter and spoon this mixture into a greased baking dish (a pie plate did the trick for me).
Combine the breadcrumbs, parsley and 1 tablespoon of butter and sprinkle it over the cheese dip. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and serve with apple slices (trust me) and crackers. OH MY WORD this is so good. If you love blue cheese, this is your dip of all dips.
I am now off to enjoy a date with my hot husband. The kids just left with Grammy and we're going to paint the town with a dinner and movie. Yahooo!
Have a safe and Happy New Year and I look forward to chatting again real soon!