|12/30/2021 1:08:00 PM|
Happy New Years!
by JEFF NORTONI hope everyone had a delightful Christmas and enjoyed time with family and friends! I enjoyed mine plenty, with a lot of family time and a trip to the Vikings game.
Unfortunately, I also had to bring one of our dogs to the hospital on Christmas Day.
We were hosting my wife’s family, and Benny, our Newfoundland, got very sick out of nowhere. I’m not one to panic over a little issue either, but it seemed serious enough to get him into the vet. Of course, all the emergency clinics around the cities were fully booked, so I had to trek out to St. Cloud to get him seen.
It ended up being just a severe upset stomach, but when there was blood involved, that’s when we got a bit worried.
Luckily, I was able to get back to my wife and her family that night and still enjoy present opening and some of the fun stuff that we do together, so it was still a good Christmas!
But, we’re moving on to New Year’s now, and there’s plenty of good shareables and appetizers to come up with for your gatherings. Here’s some of my favorites!
These are some of the easiest appetizers you can make, and they are always a hit. I have a stone ground mustard for dipping, but honestly, almost anything works, depending on preference. use Ranch, honey mustard, cheese sauce, you name it.
1/3 c. baking soda
1 egg, beaten
Coarse salt, for sprinkling
Green onions, for sprinkling
Grainy mustard, for serving
Bring a small pot filled with five cups water to a boil. Add baking soda.
Meanwhile, roll cherry-size pieces of pizza dough (about 1/2 oz. each) into balls. Drop balls into boiling water. Cook one minute or until slightly puffed. With slotted spoon, remove balls and place on paper towels; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet, with dough spaced 1/2" apart.
Brush dough with egg; sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.
Serve with green onions and grainy mustard.
CHEESY BACON SPINACH DIP
10 slices bacon
1 oz. (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. sour cream
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 lb. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, 8 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, then chop.
In a large bowl, stir together cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Fold in chopped spinach, bacon, Parmesan, and 3/4 cup of mozzarella.
Transfer dip to a baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella. Bake until golden and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve with crostini.
These things taste amazing and they look so delightful. They have an almost cinnamon roll-look to them, but you get that beefy, oniony goodness in a pinwheel.
2 tbsp. butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for surface
2 (8-oz.) cans crescent dough
8 slices provolone cheese
1/2 lb. deli roast beef
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and thyme sprigs and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften and turn golden, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool to room temperature.
Assemble pinwheels: On a lightly floured surface, unroll crescent dough and separate into two rectangles. Pinch together seams. Top each rectangle with provolone, roast beef, and caramelized onions.
Starting with the short side, roll up each rectangle. Pinch edges to seal, then cut each roll into 4 slices and place cut side-up in baking dish. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
Bake until dough is golden, 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, make au jus: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add broth, Worcestershire, and thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until slightly reduced, 10 minutes.
Serve pinwheels warm with beef stock, or store-bought or homemade au jus for dipping.
TFD: We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day - Edith Lovejoy Pierce