Tag Archives: Party

Five-Minute Pumpkin Mousse

If you only try one new pumpkin recipe this fall, let it be my Five-Minute Pumpkin Mousse.

Don’t let the word “mousse” intimidate you because this is as easy as it gets: it takes five minutes and has five ingredients. You simply whisk together sweetened condensed milk, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and whipped topping. Then serve it with gingersnap cookies for dipping (although the velvety mousse is delicious on its own).

I’ve created a variety of pumpkin mousse recipes over the years, but this is my best.

I gave my 3-year-old – who is hesitant to try new things – a bite and asked if she wanted another bite. She said: “I want the whole thing,” and promptly took it from my hands. She licked the bowl clean.

My husband said he could bathe in this; my mom said it was better than pumpkin pie. The rave reviews have ensued every time I make it (and I am sure you’ll get the same response).

This recipe will be a winner this holiday season. It’s even better after a few hours of refrigeration, but can be served immediately, too.

This mousse would be great at your Halloween party. Simply carve out a small pie pumpkin and fill it with mousse and serve it with Gingersnap cookies.

Five-Minute Pumpkin Mousse

Makes 20 (2-ounce) servings

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 (8-ounce) tub of whipped topping, defrosted

Mini Gingersnap cookies to garnish

Beat or stir together sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and whipped topping, until combined.

Pour mixture into 2-ounce glasses and top with a gingersnap cookie. Serve immediately.

Other serving options: If you have a smaller crowd and want to serve larger portions, you can serve pumpkin mousse in wine glasses with or without a cookie. You can also crumble cookies and put them on top.

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Mexican Inspired Corn and Bean Dip- easy and delicious

The inspiration for my warm, kidney bean and corn dip is corn on the cob in Mexico. In Mexico, you’ll see vendors hawking grilled corn on the cob rubbed with mayonnaise and chili powder and a dash of Parmesan. The Parmesan doesn’t seem like it would pair well, but it does.  That slight tang beefs up the flavor in the beans and complements the corn.

In this dip, I add corn, dark kidney beans (you can also substitute pinto), mayonnaise, green chilies, chili powder, cumin, lime, Parmesan and cilantro and warm it on the stovetop for about 3 minutes. Before serving, I add a handful of shredded cheddar. Serve it with tortilla chips. It’s best warm, but is still delicious when it cools.

I’ve served it twice and it’s been a huge hit!

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Mexican Inspired Corn and Bean Dip

1 (15-ounce) can of whole kernel corn

1 (15-ounce) can dark kidney beans or pinto beans

1 cup chopped red onion

1 teaspoon canola oil

½ teaspoon cumin seed

1 (4-ounce) can of chopped green chilies

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Chop onion and set aside. Drain the beans and corn and set both of those aside.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cumin seed and cook 4 minutes. Then pour in the rest of the ingredients and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 3 more minutes until everything has melted together and is well combined. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Green Tomato Salsa

My  Green Tomato Salsa which uses both tomatoes and tomatillos. It’s delicious with chips and wonderful on fish tacos. It pairs well with sour cream and cream cheese, so you can use it in a layer dip or pour it over a block of cream cheese for a dip and serve with tortilla chips.

When you’re salting it, be sure to taste it with a chip because that will add salt and you may over salt the salsa if you just taste it plain

Green Tomato Salsa

2 cups green tomatoes (cut into quarters)

6 tomatillos

Garlic salt

½ cup chopped red onion

1/3 to ½ bunch of cilantro

1 teaspoon lime juice

½ teaspoon cumin seed

1 jalapeno (or more to taste)

Preheat oven to 425

Place sliced green tomatoes and tomatillos on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In the meantime, chop red onion, cilantro and deseed and chop your jalapeno. I am a wimp when it comes to spice, so I only use 1 jalapeno, but you can use several.

Add onion and jalapeno to a large bowl.

Place tomatoes and tomatillos in a food processor and chop. Then add the chopped cilantro to the tomatoes and process (you may have to do this in two batches). Pour into the bowl.  Add lime juice and cumin seed and stir. Add garlic salt to taste. The salsa is after 2 hours and even better the next day.

Options: If you want more contrast in flavor, only cook 1 cup of tomatoes and use 1 cup of fresh, finely chopped green tomatoes. It makes it slightly more bitter, but I adore the flavor and texture and it tastes really fresh.

If you want to add some sweetness, add ½ of cooked corn (about 1 ear of fresh corn or you can use canned).

Mango, Pineapple Salsa (serve it as an appetizer first and leftovers on pork, chicken or fish)

I love salsa. Fruit salsa. Smokey salsa. Charred salsa. Jarred salsa. Green salsa. You name it, I love it.

But I particularly love this Mango, Pineapple Salsa. One of my best friends makes a similar salsa and this is my version. My salsa won “Best Overall Salsa” at a friendly competition and it was up against an array of excellent salsas.

Aside from being delicious served on its own, this salsa is great on grilled fish or pork. I recently marinated pork chops for 24 hours in Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce (online) http://www.soyvay.com/flavors/veri-veri-teriyaki) and then pan fried the pork and topped it with the leftover salsa. It was fantastic!

 Pork with Mango, Pineapple Salsa

If you don’t have that sauce, use soy sauce, ginger, 1 teaspoon canola oil, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar  and 1/2 a garlic clove for 3-4 pork chops. That makes a nice marinade. A pork loin marinated in Asian sauce, grilled and then served with this salsa would be spectacular.

This would also be great on chicken or fish tacos.

The key to this salsa is ripe, sweet fruit. Mangoes are hardly ever ripe when you buy them, so I buy them 3-4 days before I need to make this salsa. I also buy extras in case some are not sweet. Whenever I have to use avocados or mangoes I buy extra because you’ll often get a disappointing one in the batch. I bought 5 mangoes to be safe. There were all sweet, so I ate the others for breakfast.

Let this marinate for 2 hours or more before serving. You can adapt this recipe and add 2/3 cup drained black beans to this and it’s delicious, too. In that case, I also add 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

If you can’t find ripe mangoes, you can use the jarred refrigerated type, but fresh is always best!

I like to serve it in a margarita or martini glass for nice presentation. It’s such a refreshing salsa for summer. I adore it!

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Mango, Pineapple Salsa

2 1/2 very ripe mangoes, chopped fine

2 ½ cups finely chopped fresh pineapple

¾ of a medium red onion, chopped

2/3 of a bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine

1 teaspoon cumin seed

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Sea salt to taste

.Directions:

Chop all the ingredients and place in a medium bowl. Add salt to taste. Toss and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Strawberry. Basil Dessert Flatbread

My sweet tooth today has me craving dessert, so I thought I’d make a dessert flatbread. This lovely little dessert has sweetened vanilla cream cheese as a base and is topped with sliced strawberries and basil. Slice of fresh summer peaches would be a lovely substitute for the strawberries. I topped it with fresh basil, which is incredible on strawberries and peaches.

This dessert comes together in minutes and is gorgeous as well as delicious.

I drizzled 18 year old balsamic vinegar on it, but that’s optional. It’s perfectly delicious without vinegar.

Look at that! How pretty

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Strawberry, Basil Dessert Flatbread

1 Stonefire Tandoori Baked Original Naan

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ to 1 cup sliced strawberries

Fistfull of basil

Excellent quality aged Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

Bake Naan according to package directions.

Beat together softened cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Spread over the flatbread.

Rinse, hull, dry and slice strawberries. Place berries on the cream cheese. Slice basil and sprinkle over flatbread.

If desired, drizzle a tiny bit of excellent quality aged balsamic vinegar on the dessert. Slice and serve.

Note: If you use balsamic vinegar, make sure it’s excellent quality and you taste it before drizzling any over the flatbread.

Enjoy with a glass of red wine or port.

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Try this Fabulous Chicken, Bacon, Gorgonzola Flatbread

Divine. Heavenly. That’s how I’d describe my Chicken, Bacon, Gorgonzola Flatbread, which is bubbly, creamy, bacon goodness.

Every day this week, I am showcasing a new flatbread creation and this is my favorite so far. Now, I am not done creating yet, but I’m in the home stretch.

This wonderful flatbread is topped with bits of tart apple that provide a nice contrast in terms of texture and flavor.

This pairs beautifully with red wine. The funny thing is I don’t usually like blue cheese, but Gorgonzola is much lighter than many other varieties and this doesn’t even taste like blue cheese. So if you think you don’t like blue cheese, it’s still worth trying this.

I can’t wait to eat it again.

Chicken, Bacon, Gorgonzola Flatbread

Makes 2 flatbreads

1 (8.8 ounce) package (which contains 2 flatbreads) of Stonefire Tandoori Baked Original Naan

5 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup real bacon pieces or chopped bacon, plus 1 teaspoon (do not use bacon bits)

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ cup Gorgonzola crumbles

1 ¼ cups chopped rotisserie chicken

2/3 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 Granny Smith apple

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir together cream cheese, bacon, heavy whipping cream, garlic powder and Gorgonzola. Set aside.

Remove the breasts from the rotisserie chicken and chop those. Finely mince the Granny Smith apple and set aside.

When oven is preheated, spread half the cream cheese mixture on each flatbread. Sprinkle half the chicken on each flatbread and top with Mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 9 minutes. Then sprinkle with the apple and serve.

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Garden Vegetable, Dill, Chicken Flatbread

Flatbread week continues with another cool flatbread. Flatbreads are usually served warm, but it’s so hot. I am in the mood for something refreshing. This is REFRESHING! I don’t know how hot it is where you are, but we have a heat index of 108 today! So, cool is key. This flatbread was inspired by Greek salad and dill dip. You could add feta to this if you wanted, but I love it as is.

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Garden Vegetable, Dill, Chicken Flatbread

Makes 2 flatbreads

1 ¼ cups sour cream

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 green onion, chopped

1 (8.8 ounce) package of Stonefire Tandoori Baked Original Naan (or use my recipe for flatbread dough and precook it)

½ cup chopped rotisserie chicken breasts

2/3 cup chopped cucumber

2/3 cup sliced grape or cherry tomatoes

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

4 large fresh Basil leaves to garnish

Mix sour cream, dill, chopped garlic and sliced green onion. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

When time to assemble, toss together chicken, cucumber, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt to vegetables and toss.

Then spread half the sour cream mixture on a cooked flatbread crust. Top it with half the vegetable and chicken mixture. Finely slice the basil and sprinkle it on top. Repeat the process for the second flatbread, then slice and serve.

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