Lots of New Recipes

I haven't done as much cooking over the last week and a half because we've had something almost every night of the week! I did manage to squeeze in a few new dinner recipes and have some fun, new appetizer recipes from our Christmas party on Friday night...Bon Appetit!

Appetizers and Drinks
















Cranberry and Brie Sparklers 
(Adapted from Yummy Mummy)


Ingredients
  • 2 large pieces of brie cheese (if one of your main appetizers); if not, you can get away with 1 large piece of brie
  • 1 bag of cranberries
  • 1 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • Crackers to serve
Directions
  1. Marinate cranberries overnight in medium bowl with maple syrup (store in refrigerator).
  2. In a strainer, place cranbery mixture and let the excess maple syrup drain off the berries.
  3. Place the cranberries and sugar in a clean bowl and lightly stir until cranberries are completely covered in sugar.
  4. To serve, cut a small piece of brie, place on top of a cracker, and top with two cranberries.
Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Gruyere Bites 
These puff pastry bites were so delicious and easy to make! I didn't make them with mushrooms like the recipe calls for as Tyler doesn't like them.




Mini Chicken Tostada Bites
Sooooo easy and also delicious!

Ingredients
  • Round (flat) toastada chips
  • Guacamole (I bought pre-made from Trader Joe's)
  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
  • Fajita marinade (i bought a bottle at Trader Joe's you could also use taco seasoning)
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. In a medium pot, boil water. Once the water is boiling, put the chicken breasts in. Cook chicken for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.
  2. Remove chicken from the pot and let cool about 5 minutes. Shred chicken into small pieces.
  3. Mix chicken and about 1/4 cup of the marinade.
  4. Make the tostada bites by putting 1/2 tablespoon of guacamole and then top with shredded chicken. (Optional, add a piece of cilantro for garnish.)
 Mini Chicken Parm Meatballs with Marinara Dipping Sauce

Pomegranate Martinis Served in Ornament Balls






















I made a big pitcher of the Pomegranate Martinis and then poured the drink into the ornament balls and served them with the festive straws. Next time, I will purchase clear ornament balls so that 1) you can see the deep red color of the cocktail and 2) avoid and paint chips from slipping into the drink (apparently these ornaments were pained on the inside and the straw caused some of the paint to chip).


Dinner Recipes

Calzones
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce
  • 3/4 package of sliced proscuitto
  • 1/2 ball of sliced momozzarella cheese
  • Olive oil for brushing crust and flour to dust counter 
  • Trader Joe's garlic and herb pizza dough   
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray Pam (cooking spray) on baking pan.
  2. On a slightly floured counter, roll pizza dough into out (circle). Spread marinara sauce on half of the dough leaving about 1/2 inch border. Top marinara with proscuitto and mozzarella. 
  3.  Fold top half of dough and pinch edges to seal. Place calzone on baking sheet and brush top with olive oil. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Fajita Chicken with Black Bean Salsa
*You can make this recipe with more chicken breasts (probably two) without having to increase the quantity of ingredients for the black bean salsa.

Ingredients
  • 1 can of black beans rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced
  • 1 red pepper chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup fajita marinade
  • 2 chicken breasts
Directions
  1. Marinate chicken breasts with 1/4 cup of marinade for at least 30 minutes. You can definitely marinate them longer if you have time.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Combine the black beans, corn, grape tomatoes, peppers, and onions with 1/4 cup of fajita marinade. Spoon mixture in the bottom of a medium size casserole dish.
  4. Place chicken breasts on top of black bean salsa and bake for about 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

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