Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Well, a big Hi there and hello to all my loyal readers. I hope you enjoyed a look into my world with all the pictures yesterday! And I hope you are all having/had a wonderful holiday season. We are fixing to have some friends over for a New Years Bash… and with only 2 days left… you’re probably saying there is no way I can put together a New Years party after just having a huge Christmas right? WRONG! New Years food is all about the munchies and alcohol LOL! Finger foods my darlings… easy finger foods! We have a New Years, Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day party planned/coming up… and 2 of the 3 are going to be finger foods!

However, I got an email request from a follower asking if I had any Dutch oven recipes cause she got one for Christmas. So before we get to the party preps, I’ll share some Dutch oven recipes for a few days as well. I happen to have a few stashed away for good measure LOL! Plus I happen to know a website filled with over 2,600 different Dutch oven recipes. Justdutchovenrecipes.com is a great site! I don’t have my Dutch oven anymore, so I don’t use these recipes as much, but I would love to share a couple over the next few posts!

Belgian Meatballs Braised in Beer (for the DUTCH OVEN)


1 c Fresh white bread crumbs
1/4 c Milk; or more
1 lb. Ground beef, lean
1/2 lb. Ground pork or veal
1 lg Egg
1 tbsp. Shallots; minced
1 tbsp. Parsley, fresh; fine minced
Salt & pepper to taste
1 pn Nutmeg; grated
2 tbsp. Flour
2 tbsp. Unsalted butter
1 tbsp. Vegetable oil


1 medium Onion; thinly sliced
3 Belgian endive; cored/cut in 1/4-inch rounds
1 tsp. Sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 tbsp. Flour; up to 2 tbsp.
1 c Blond Pilsner-style beer
1/2 c Beef broth; or chicken
2 tbsp. Parsley, fresh; garnish

To prepare meatballs, soak bread crumbs in milk until thoroughly moistened; squeeze dry with hands. Combine bread crumbs, ground meats, eggs, shallots, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg in medium bowl. Form mixture into 6 to 8 balls or patties (2 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick); dust with 2 tablespoons flour.

Heat butter and oil in deep, heavy Dutch oven, until hot but not smoking, over high heat. Add meatballs; cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes, making sure butter does not burn. Remove meat balls to platter; keep warm.

To prepare sauce, discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat in pan. Add onion and endives. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Add sugar, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons flour to vegetables; cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add beer and broth; heat to quick boil, scraping up all brown bits from bottom of pan.

Reduce heat to simmer; return meatballs to pan, placing them on top of vegetables. Simmer, partly covered, until meat is cooked through, 45 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

I used to pair this with a warm loaf of beer bread and the guys would just rave about it! Now party time! Lets talk finger foods… The holidays are just about over, so its no craft and food a day… so what to do now? Gotta make you want to stay around right? Well until New Years I’m gonna share with you some Fabulous Finger Foods Fit For Parties! I’m gonna give you a bunch of appealing appetizers LOL! Let’s start off with:

Crab Dip Cups

1 cup cooked crabmeat or one 6-ounce can crabmeat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion or green onion
1 tablespoon snipped fresh dillweed or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel or lime peel
1 teaspoon lemon juice or lime juice
Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
Dash cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and black pepper
Finely chopped red or green onion (optional)
Assorted crackers and/or vegetable dippers


1. In a small bowl stir together crab, mayonnaise, sour cream, the 2 tablespoons onion, the 1 tablespoon dill, the 1 teaspoon lemon peel, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, and, if desired, cayenne pepper. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

2. Transfer dip to a serving dish. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. If desired, garnish wtih finely chopped red or green onion. Serve with crackers or vegetable dippers.

3. Makes about 1-1/3 cups

4. Crab Tartlets: Prepare dip as above through step 1. Spoon dip into 30 miniature phyllo dough shells (two, 2.1-ounce packages). For a hot appetizer, place the 30 miniature phyllo dough shells on a large baking sheet. Spoon dip into phyllo shells. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until heated through. If desired, garnish with finely shredded lemon peel and fresh dill sprigs.

Here’s one of my favorites… shrimp! YUMMY! Being a Gulf Coast baby, I have a passion for seafood of all kinds! I love clams, crab, fish, shark, gator, and more. But my absolute favorite… SHRIMP! YUMMY! And they are so very versatile. You can find TONS of great recipes for shrimp in all kinds of dishes! But here is a great basic appetizer:

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce


1. In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, diced tomatoes, sweet chili sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Pulse in a food processor until smooth and pureed.

2, Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice.

3. Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Baste shrimp with remaining marinade or use marinade in angel hair pasta to accompany shrimp (if making a meal). Discard any unused marinade.

4. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

Oh geez… I am so incredibly drooling! I want to run out right now and get some shrimps LOL! No, seriously… I think I want shrimp for dinner! LOL… Ok so anyway, you can also make some sure-fire finger foods like chicken wings, mini corn dogs (yes I make these homemade too), finger sandwiches, cocktail wieners in BBQ sauce, chips and dips, and cheese & crackers. As a matter of fact, I would recommend them as they are pretty much staples at parties like Super Bowl, New Years, etc. People expect these to be on the table and I’ve actually seen a couple get upset when they weren’t there! LOL So, those are the things I always plan on making… but I try to find new ways to spice them up. I can’t make enough of the mini corn dogs ever… they eat them too fast!

Mini Corn Dogs with Sweet & Spicy Relish (courtesy of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade)

For Relish:
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup pickled hot peppers, diced
1/4 cup pickled sweet peppers, diced

For Corn Dogs:

1 egg
1 box of Jiffy Corn muffin mix
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 package of cocktail franks
Vegetable oil, for frying
20 (6-inch) wooden skewers


1. In a small bowl combine ketchup and pickled peppers. Mix well and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, corn muffin mix, garlic powder, onion powder and milk. Let the batter sit or a couple of minutes to thicken. In a separate shallow dish add flour. Insert wooden skewers half way into cocktail franks.

3. Heat oil to 350 degrees F in a deep-fryer. Dredge each cocktail frank in flour, dust off excess then dip into cornmeal batter. Fry 2 to 3 corn dogs at a time for about 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with the relish.

Well folks, I think that’s plenty for today… be on the lookout tomorrow for some mini empanadas, and whatever other goodies I dream of to share with you LOL! Also feel free to leave a comment on ideas you’d like to see in future posts. So until next time… HUGS!

No comments:

Post a Comment