2012 New Years Recipes

One of the parts I looked forward to most is the meal planning and cooking for New Years. Some would say I'm crazy that I actually enjoy the process, but I really do as it gives me an opportunity to try new recipes and cook with friends. This year we had a total of 17 people and there definitely was no shortage of food! Here are some of the recipes from the weekend:

Day One

Hot Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Toasted Baguettes
*Slightly adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of fresh, chopped spinach
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts - drain and chop them into small pieces
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • Sprinkle of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 baguette for dipping
Directions
  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees. In a microwave safe bowl, soften the cream cheese (about 1 minute). 
  2. In the same bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. Place creamy mixture into an oven safe (small) casserole dish.
  3. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is browned and slightly crispy.
  4. Slice the baguette into small pieces. On a baking sheet, place the pieces of the baguette and drizzle olive oil. Bake for about 6 minutes until the bread is slightly toasted. Serve with the spinach dip.

Crackers with Goat Cheese and Blackberry Preserve

Ingredients
  • Log of Goat Cheese
  • Jar of blackberry jam
  • Box of crackers
  • One pint of blackberries
Directions
  1. Spread goat cheese on crackers. Add a dollop of blackberry jam and top with an individual blackberry.
Texas Pulled Pork via Crockpot
This pulled pork was so delicious! We had nine people for dinner and I cooked 7.5 pounds of pork, which really cooked down and didn't end up being too much pork. We had just enough leftovers for sandwiches the next day :)

Ingredients
  • 7.5 lbs. of pork shoulder
  • 1 and 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2.5 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard
  • 2.5 cups of BBQ sauce
Directions
  1. Place pork shoulder into crockpot. Mix all ingredients together and pour over pork.
  2. Set crockpot for 6 hours on high. Once the pork is cooked, shred the pork and serve.
Cheesy Mac and Cheese
To accompany the pulled pork, we made a side of mac and cheese, which was delicious. Needless to say, there were no leftovers!

Caramelized Onions and Green Beans

Ingredients
  • 1 large onion sliced into thin pieces
  • 1 large bag (I got ours from Costco) of green beans.
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
Directions
  1. Cook onions in a large frying pan for about 25 minutes until brown and softened.
  2. Add green beans to the onions and cook for about 15 minutes until the green beans are softened.
Strawberries, Goat Cheese, Candied Pecans and Spinach Salad

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1 egg white + 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1/2 box of spinach 
  • 1/2 log of goat cheese
  • 1 pint of sliced strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons of Newman's Parmesan Garlic salad dressing
Directions
  1. For the candied pecans, preheat the oven to 375 degrees whisk the egg white and water until it's foamy.  In a separate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Add the pecans to the egg mixture until covered. Drain the excess of the egg mixture. Toss the pecans in the sugar mixture and then spread out on a baking sheet. Cook the pecans for about 20 minutes (note: the mixture might puff up, which is okay). Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Break pecans apart before adding them to the salad.
  2. Mix all salad ingredients together.
Day Two

Ingredients
  • 1 package of bacon (1 lb.). Each piece of bacon should be cut into thirds
  • 1 package of mini sausages (16 oz.)
  • 4-5 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • Toothpicks

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wrap bacon around each sausage and secure with a toothpick. Arrange the skewers on a greased baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar over skewers.
  4. Bake until the bacon is crispy and the brown sugar is melted. Let them cool about 5 minutes before serving as they are really hot!
Maire's Baked Goat Cheese 

Ingredients
  • 1 log of goat cheese
  • 1 crate of sliced grape tomatoes
  • 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil or 1 tablespoon od dried basil
  • 1 baguette sliced and toasted with a little olive oil drizzled on top to accompany dip
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small, oven-safe casserole dish, mix all ingredients together. 
  3. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture is golden brown on top.

Rosemary Chicken
Along the trek into the house, we managed to lose the proscuitto for the chicken dish we were going to make. It somehow fell out of the bag and got buried in the snow so we improvised the chicken dish :)

Ingredients
  • 6 chicken breasts (we doubled this for 17 people as the chicken breasts were huge!)
  • 1 bunch of Rosemary chopped
  • 1 carton of grape tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 cloves of garlic sliced into small pieces
  • Enough olive oil to drizzle over both sides of chicken (about 3 tablespoons)

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken breasts on a large baking pan. Drizzle olive oil on both sides of the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Sprinkle chopped rosemary and slices of garlic on each piece of chicken. Place tomatoes around chicken breasts.
  3. Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Onion Soup Mix Potatoes
Maire had a great idea to make Onion Soup Mix Potatoes to accompany our chicken dish. I've only used onion soup mix for "mommy's chicken" and was excited to make another dish with the mix. 
Ingredients 
*We doubled this recipe for 15 people.
  1. 5 lbs. of red potatoes (quartered) 
  2. 1 package of onion soup mix
  3. Drizzle of olive oil

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Chopped potatoes into quartered pieces and place them in a 9x13 rimmed baking pan. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle onion soup mix over potatoes.
  3. Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes stirring potatoes every 15-20 minutes. Bake until the potatoes are crispy.
Mandrin Orange, Green Onion, Avocado, and Pine Nut Salad
This is Nancy Wilson's (Mark's mom) famous salad recipe that we all love so much! It's quite tasty and definitely a crowd pleaser :)

Ingredients
  • Butter lettuce
  • 2 avocados sliced into small pieces
  • 1 can of mandrin oranges
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • Parmesan Garlic and Olive Oil salad dressing
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast pine nuts until golden brown (about 8 minutes).
  2. Mix all ingredients together

Day Three
Breakfast Stratas
On New Years Eve morning, we baked two stratas, which we had prepared the night before (the best thing about stratas is they can be prepared the night before and cooked the next morning). These were so delicious and easy to make!
Ingredients (we made two stratas)
  • Base of Strata (per strata)
    • 7 eggs + 2 eggs for topping
    • 1 loaf of Italian bread cut into cubes
    • 1 package of Italian cheese blend or Swiss and Gruyere cheese
    • 2 + 2/3 cup of nonfat milk for topping
  • Spinach and Onion topping
    • 1 bag (10 oz) of fresh spinach cooked (until wilted)
    • 1 medium yellow onion chopped and cooked with 1 tablespoon of butter until golden and softened (4-5 minutes)
  • Sausage and Onion topping
    • 1 packaged of sausage sliced into small pieces and cooked according to directions
    • 1 medium yellow onion chopped and cooked with 1 tablespoon of butter until golden and softened (4-5 minutes)

Directions
  1. In a 9x13 baking pan, spray Pam to prevent bread and eggs from sticking.
  2. Spread one third of the bread cubes into pan and top evenly with one third of topping. Sprinkle with one third of cheese. Repeat layering two more times ending with the cheese.
  3. Whisk together 7 eggs and 2 cups of milk and pour evenly over strata.
  4. Chill strata with plastic wrap for a few hours in refrigerator or up until one day prior.
  5. Before baking, whisk together remaining 2 eggs and 2/3 cup of milk. Pour evenly over strata before baking.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let strata stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to baking.
  7. Bake strata uncovered until puffed and golden brown. Cook for about 45 minutes and let stand 5 minutes prior to serving.
Pizza Pull-Apart Bread
I thought I'd experiment with the bundt pan after the Monkey Bread was such a hit last New Years. This dish was so easy to make and was delicious....Makes for the perfect afternoon snack or appetizer!
Ingredients
  • 2 packages of pizza dough
  • 1/2 - 2/3 jar of marinara sauce
  • 1 package of sliced pepperoni
  • 1 bag of mozzarella cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray bundt pan with Pam.
  2. Tear pizza dough apart into 1 inch pieces. Place one third of the pizza dough on bottom of pan.
  3. Spoon one third of pizza dough into pan and top evenly with one third of marinara sauce and pepperoni. Sprinkle with one third of cheese. Repeat layering two more times ending with the cheese.
  4. Bake dish for about 30-35 minutes (you might need to cover the bundt pan with foil to prevent the top from burning).
  5. To serve, place a plate on top of the bundt pan and flip the pan. If you greased the pan enough, the pizza pull-apart bread should easily slide out in one piece.

Taco Dip - This is always a crowd pleaser and went with the Mexican dinner theme :)

Crock Pot Beef Carnitas
*Recipe adapted from Eat, Live, Run

Ingredients
  • For Beef Carnitas
    • 2 lbs flank steak
    • 1 yellow onion, sliced
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • For Spice Rub
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • For Serving
    • Flour tortillas
    • Avocado slices
    • Cheddar cheddar cheese
    • Salsa
    • Sour cream
Directions
  1. Mix together all of the spices in a small bowl and rub the spices all over your flank steak - be generous!
  2. Chop all of the vegetables and place a handful on the bottom of the crockpot.
  3. Place your steak on top of the vegetables. Cover the steak with the remaining onions, bell peppers, and jalapeno.
  4. Turn the heat on low and cook for about 8 hours. Remove meat from pot and shred with with a fork. The meat should be very tender and easy to shred. Serve with the other taco fixings.

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