Author Topic: Share your super easy entertaining recipes  (Read 1489 times)

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Deetee

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Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« on: December 08, 2012, 01:49:48 PM »
So I like to entertain and I also have a tendancy to over-host (spend all day cooking etc..). I enjoy this most of the time but wanted to share some actually easy entertaining ideas. I have been thinking of this as I am in the middle of exams but because some family members will be away for Christmas we will be having some celebrations during my exam period.

So here are my super easy ideas.

Always available around Christmas
Mini- Oranges (and Chocolate)

Appetiser platter one (5 minutes)

Almonds (open package, dump in bowl -1 min)
Grapes (Rinse, cut off snippets, put on plate- 2min)
Sharp Chedder (Open package, cut entire package into cubes put on plate 2 min)


Alternative Appetiser platter (the shop two months ahead edition-I try to keep an emergency supply on hand)
Olives (open jar, dump in bowl)
Artichoke hearts (open jar, dump in bowl)
Potato Chips (Every time I eat pototo chips I forget how dingdangity tasty they are)
Canned or jarred Dip (Hommous or eggplant)

Final alternative Appetiser platter
Veggie tray with pre-cut carrots, grape tomatos and cucumber (only cucumber needs slicing)
Dip (sour cream and mayonaise and herbs if made ahead, sour cream and ranch or blue cheese dressing if made immediately)
Baked frozen appy (mini quiches are often tasty)


Holiday Dinner for 10 (1 hour including setting table)
Crackers (The type with the prizes and the hats)
Champagne
Order Indian Food and transfer to preheated serving platters
Add-Ons such as
thick Greek yogurt
diced almonds
sunflower seeds
dried chopped cranberries
Mango chutney

Desert
-ask someone else to bring
or
-ice cream, crumbled chocolates and the nuts and berries left over from dinner


 
 

Acadianna

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 02:52:29 PM »
I may have posted this before, but it's very easy (unless you can't find prepared pico de gallo, in which case you'd need to chop veggies).  The hardest part is rinsing the beans.

Texas Caviar

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed of sauce
1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed of sauce
1 can sweet corn, drained
2 twelve-ounce packages of prepared pico de gallo (your choice of heat level)
     -- or (if your store doesn't sell pico) then the equivalent (about 1 cup each, total 3 cups)
         of diced onion, tomato, bell pepper;
         you can also add a bit of cilantro and/or chopped jalopenos or other peppers.
1 bottle of Italian dressing
Lots of minced garlic (to taste)

Mix everything together, and allow to marinate in the fridge.  Shake the covered bowl every so often to distribute the dressing.
Serve as an appetizer with tortilla chips, or use as a salad topping.

This recipe makes a LOT of Texas caviar.  If you want to halve it, leave out the corn or one of the beans, and use only one package of pico de gallo.

To make this diet-friendly, use a fat-free dressing.  (I use a fat-free balsamic.)

Acadianna

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 03:36:22 PM »
Another easy one, based on a sandwich from New Orleans.

Mini-Muffalettas

Small round hard-crusted rolls (about 3-inches in diameter), sliced in two halves for sandwiches
     -- These are intended to resemble ten-inch round Italian bread, which is usd for the authentic full-sized sandwiches
Ham
Salami
Provolone
Prepared olive salad marinated in olive oil, minced if it doesn't already come that way
Lots of minced garlic mixed with the olive salad (if it doesn't already have some)
I'm sorry I don't have exact amounts -- I just kind of estimate, depending on how many I want to make.  I would use a double-thickness of ham and cheese, as the sandwiches are fairly tall and stuffed.

Layer the meats and cheese on the rolls, and top the meat/cheese with a generous amount of olive salad.
If the olive salad is light on the olive oil, you can spread a bit of olive oil directly on the bread slices.  I usually at least put some olive oil on the bottom bread slice which isn't next to the olive salad.
Secure sandwiches with toothpicks.
Put into a warm oven until the sandwiches are warm and toasty, and the cheese is melty but not running off the bread.
Serve warm (but can be eaten cold).

-------------------------------------------

If you want to make your own olive salad, the typical stuff from New Orleans includes green olives, pimientoes (but not too much of these), cauliflower, celery, carrots, capers, oregano, and lots of garlic, all of which are marinated in olive oil.  (You can buy the cauliflower pre-marinated.)  The salad also usually contains peperoncinis -- I think that's the same pepper that Olive Garden puts in their salads.  There are some good recipe online.

Different recipes add different things to the olive salad, such as green onions, parsley, or other kinds of sweet peppers (not jalopenos!)  Some recipes include black olives, but in my experience, a "real" New Orleans muffaletta has green olives only.

For a ten-inch muffaletta, the veggies would be cut in chunks (a bit larger than diced).  For the mini-muffalettas, you'd want to mince the veggies, so they don't fall off the bread.

You can also use the olive salad, spread on French bread, as  bruschetta.

If you want "authentic New Orleans," then the muffaletta actually contains capicola ham and genoa salami, but that can get pretty expensive.  I find the more generic (and cheaper) versions work just as well for the mini's.  An authentic regular-sized muffaletta would also probably contain mozzarella, but for the mini's you don't want too many layers or the top slice of bread will fall off.

Last of all (contrary to what is served in many restaurants outside New Orleans) an authentic muffaletta does not contain mayonnaise, mustard, butter, lettuce, tomatoes, jalopenos, or turkey!
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 03:39:58 PM by Acadianna »

NyaChan

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 04:28:16 PM »
For something casual, I like pizza rolls.  Pre-made dough cuts down prep considerably.  Just roll it out your dough, sprinkle a goodly amount of cheese, some seasoning, and toppings.  I like turkey pepperoni or veggies.  Then roll, seal the ends, and bake until golden.  Cut into pieces and serve warm with pizza sauce.

buvezdevin

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 06:41:13 PM »
Puff pastry, with almost anything.  Pepperidge Farm's puff pastry from the grocery freezer makes regular appearances on my shopping list, and is a go to in a time pinch.

For light nibbles with cocktails, lightly roll or stretch a sheet or two of the pastry, cut long strips, twist, place on cookie sheet and dust with grated Parmesan and cracked pepper.  Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.

For more substantial apps, take cooked sausage, cut into bite sized pieces, lightly roll a a sheet or two of pastry and cut into squares between 1 and 2 inches long and wide.  Put a piece of sausage in each square, top with a good dab of flavored mustard, twist the four corners of dough together on top - kind of like a won-ton, bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.  This can also be done with pie fillings, or bites of cheese with nuts and honey.

Puff, the magic pastry!
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POF

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 09:16:58 PM »
Baked Brie in puff pastry - serve with apples, pears, crackers

This next two are notreally cooking - but my nephews considered them food of the gods !

block of velveteeta cheese and a jar of salsa - put in crock  - let melt together, serve with chips.  I like to add refried beans.

Ranch cheese ball - these freeze really well  - they are salt bombs - but I get asked to bring all the time.  2 blocks cream cheese, 2 bags of shredded sharp cheddar, 1 envelope of ranch dressing - mix well with mixer .   Roll in nuts or parsley or bacon bits - freezes well.

Any soup you can make in a crockpot ( I love chili ), add bakery bread and salad and maybe bakery cornbread.  All done.

jpcher

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 02:14:53 PM »
Seafood spread/dip --

Soften a brick or 2 of cream cheese (leave it out of the fridge for a bit) then smush it down/spread on a plate (I use the wrapper to smush and spread) so that the cream cheese is about 1/2 inch thick.

Cover the cream cheese with your favorite cocktail sauce* and top with a can or two of crabmeat.

Serve with crackers.

Prep time: about 5 minutes (unless you make your own sauce)


*or make your own -- ketchup, horseradish, lemon, and worcestershire to taste, I use equal parts ketchup and horseradish to start. Your taste may vary.


*********


Tortilla roll-ups --

Spread cream cheese on the large flour tortillas, place a layer of thinly sliced corned beef (deli style) over the cream cheese, roll into logs then slice into 1/2-3/4 inch slices.

You can vary this by using flavored cream cheese, roast beef, ham, salami -- whatever.

I've had this with pickles in the center -- line up a row of baby pickles (thin) or quarter the large pickles on the edge of the tortilla before rolling.


Prep time: 30 minutes. (Depending on how many you make, I usually do a whole package of 10 large tortillas, a pound of corned beef, 2 whipped cream cheese containers -- ending with whichever runs out first. Each tortilla will make about 8 pieces, so 30 minutes worth is a large batch.)


*********


Veggie Pizza --

Use the Pillsbury crescent rolls and lay them flat on a cookie sheet, pinching the seams together. Bake as directed. Once cooled spread with a thick layer of cream cheese and sprinkle with dill.

Using a food processor (you said super easy ;)) or coarsely chop by hand: cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, red onion, radish (some people like peppers, I do not) or whatever mix of veggies you prefer. Stay away from the juicy veggies like cucumber or tomato.

Spread the veggies over your cream cheese and gently press them down (so they stick and don't fall off)

Cut into squares and serve.

Prep time: 15 minutes (using the food processor to chop and not counting the cooling-off period)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2012, 04:27:13 PM »
Take an 8 ounce brick of cream cheese and cut it in half, so you have a square.  Then put red pepper jelly on top of it and serve with crackers.

A little more intensive is bruschetta but the mixture can be made ahead and you only have to do the oven part during the party.

My recipe is simple:  3 cups diced tomatoes, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp dried basil or 2 to 3 fresh, chopped, 1 tsp salt.  Toast baguette slices under the broiler, pull out, flip over and spoon on bruschetta mixture.  Sprinkle with parmesan, toast under the broiler until the edge of the bread is toasted and the cheese starts to brown.

A friend's mother does this one:  Take a slice of good quality deli ham.  Spread it with some cream cheese then place a pickled asparagus spear in the middle and roll it up.  Cut into two or three pieces and secure with toothpicks.
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Deetee

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2012, 04:43:15 PM »
mmm...red pepper jelly and cream cheese. I had forgot how awesome that is.

Can anyone think of something green that could go with it? Because that is quite a festive type dish.

Note to self: Find red pepper jelly.


Acadianna

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2012, 04:52:53 PM »
Note to self: Find red pepper jelly.

Tabasco makes both red pepper jelly and green pepper jelly.

mechtilde

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 04:58:13 PM »
You can't beat a good cheeseboard. Decorate with grapes and sliced apples if you like, serve chutnies in attractive small bowls.

You can do a lot of pre-prep with some other things- so if you need blind baked pastry cases you can do them in advance and freeze them. If you want to make a quiche, for example, you can use one of those bases, and pre-cook the onions, bacon etc. Use pre-grat3ed cheese, and all you have to do put them into the case, beat some eggs and pour over. They can then just cook in the oven while you are sorting other stuff out.

For desserts, pre-prep as much as you can, so all you have to do is assemble it.

Cover two chocolate cakes with ganache (you can add some liqeur to it as well if you like) and freeze. Defrost and sandwich together with whipped cream. Make bases from crushed cookies/crackers and melted butter then top with something interesting. You can do a banoffee pie with a digestive biscuit base (I think Graham Crackers are similar?) cover with one tin of dulche de leche, bananas and whipped cream. Either make in advance or buy a cake flan base, cover with either creme fraiche or thick greek yogurt and a layer of fruit- that way you don't have to bother glazing it. Some mousses can be frozen.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 06:36:31 PM »
Pickle tray always goes over well.  Small dills, sweet pickles, olives, etc.

At my work party on Friday, the hostess made skewers with a grape tomato, a ball of boccocini about the same size as the tomato, a slice of salami, folded up and a queen sized olive.  They were then drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  They were really good and she'd made them the night before.

Something green to go with the red pepper jelly?  Maybe a couple of mint leaves or some parsley on top for the colour?
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Mikayla

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 01:56:02 PM »
Note to self: Find red pepper jelly.

Tabasco makes both red pepper jelly and green pepper jelly.

This.  Or jalapeno jelly. 

My variation on this theme is chutney.  You set out the cream cheese, cover with a jar of chutney and sprinkle scallions on top.  I love this with Triscuit.

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 05:45:13 PM »
My new favorite easy appetizer is spinach bean dip. It's a nice healthier change to all the heavy holiday foods.

You'll need 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves, a drained can of white beans (like great northern), a couple cloves of garlic and the juice of one lemon. Combine everything in the food processor and blend until smooth. I serve this with pita chips. It's so tasty and simple!
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lowspark

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Re: Share your super easy entertaining recipes
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 03:24:18 PM »
Outdoorgirl beat me to it but cream cheese topped with jelly is my go-to EZ appy. I don't bother cutting the cream cheese in half because the whole thing always gets pretty much eaten up anyway. And the best jelly to use is any kind of sweet-hot jelly you can find. I've used jalepeno jelly but also some other flavored hot jellies that I've picked up at craft shows or specialty markets. Although I have to say, those fun flavors are becoming more commonly available at regular markets too. And if you don't like the hot, just use any kind of jelly or preserves.

Another great super easy cheesy dip:
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz cheddar or jack cheese, shredded
8 oz salsa

Throw all that in a saucepan, melt over low heat, stirring occasionally till thoroughly melted and blended. Serve with tortilla chips.