Friday, September 14, 2007

September Hostess Club

Tonight was Hostess Club night and it was my month to be hostess. I am so sorry to say that things got crazy and I got very few pictures of the food. But it was all delicious! Try these recipes. Today. I promise you will not be sorry.

We started with a corruption of Pampered Chef's Fall/Winter 2007 Season's Best Recipes Cran-Raspberry Fizz. I'll put down the way it was SUPPOSED to go and then what I did.

4 limes, divided
1 can (12 ounces) frozen cranberry juice concentrate
3 cups cold water
1 pint raspberry sorbet, softened
2 liters (8 cups) chilled ginger ale

Slice two of the limes and set aside. Pour cranberry juice concentrate and water into a gallon sized pitcher.

Juice remaining limes into pitcher. Scoop sorbet into pitcher; combine. Add ginger ale and lime slices. Mix well. Serve over ice.

Okay, I went to two different stores in town and nowhere could I find frozen cranberry juice concentrate. I guess the rednecks around here don't drink it. (Kidding - I like rednecks. Really.) So I omitted the limes and lime juice and substituted limeade concentrate. I don't know what it was supposed to taste like, but it was delicious!!! I did pick up some 100% cranberry juice and I'll make another half-batch tomorrow with that instead of the concentrate and the water. My guess is that it won't be as good, but we'll see. At the least, I might could get a pretty picture. :^)
Then we had tortilla chips with guacamole (made completely by Morgan, who did a bang-up job, I tell ya) and black bean and corn salsa.

Connie's Best Guacamole You'll Ever Eat So Make Some Right Now

2 ripe avocados
1/2 small red onion, minced
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. jalapenos chili, minced
4 tsp. lime juice
1/2 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. cumin
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Halve and pit the avocados. Scoop flesh into a bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in other ingredients. May be made two hours in advance if surface of guacamole is covered with plastic wrap. Yields: 2 cups.

While Morgan did almost every single thing for the guacamole, the one thing she didn't do was seed and chop the jalapenos chili. A friend had arrived early for Hostess Club, just in time to see me have an episode of laryngospasm from the chili. In case you are wondering what a laryngospasm sounds like, you can click here for a little movie. It really freaks people out when I have one. It is quite embarrassing, but it's also very scary. Thankfully my children know to immediately bring me a glass of something to drink, as the act of drinking helps to relax the spasm. Chopping chilies ALWAYS brings on an episode. So I try to chop a couple at one time and keep it in the freezer for easy, spasm-free guacamole making.

Alas, I have no pictures of the guacamole. It disappeared. I think there was something in the air. :^D

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon coarse-grained mustard
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small red onion, diced
2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels, cooked and cooled ( or frozen) (I used canned)
1 large red bell pepper, trimmed and diced
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, corn syrup, oil, salt and pepper. Add the onion and black beans.

Cook the corn kernels in a small saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the kernels with a slotted spoon and plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and add to the onion mixture. Or use canned and skip this step.

Add the red pepper to the onion mixture along with the parsley. Toss well. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken Enchilada Ring

This is an AWESOME dish. I made two and they BOTH disappeared. One is supposed to serve 16. I had 14 people here and this is what is left.....

2 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken (about 12 oz) (I bought a rotisserie chicken)
1/4 cup chopped pitted ripe olives (I like sliced)

1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese blend

1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies, undrained

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp Pampered Chef Southwestern Seasoning Mix

2 plum tomatoes

1 lime

2/3 cup finely crushed corn tortilla chips, divided

2 packages (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls (I used low-fat - like it really mattered)

1 cup salsa

1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 375°F. Chop chicken and olives (I left mine sliced). Place in a large bowl. Add cheese, green chilies, mayo, and seasoning mix.

Seed and chop 1 tomato. Slice lime in half. Juice one half of the lime to measure 1 tsp of juice. Reserve remaining lime for garnish (did NOT do this). Add chopped tomato and lime juice to chicken mixture.

Reserve 2 tbsp. crushed chips; add remaining chips to chicken mixture and mix well.

Sprinkle reserved chips over large cutting board. Unroll crescent dough. Place dough, sticky side down, onto chips; press lightly so chips adhere to dough. Separate dough into triangles. Arrange triangles, chip side down, in a circle on a large pizza stone with wide ends overlapping in the center and points toward outside. (There should be a 5" diameter opening in the center. Please don't measure this.) Using a medium sized scoop, scoop chicken mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle. Bring points of triangles up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of the ring. (All of the filling will not be covered by dough. That's okay. And it won't be nicely spaced like the pictures in the Pampered Chef cookbook, either. But it'll taste delicious.) Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

For garnish (muhahahahaha....garnish, yeah, right), cut remaining tomato into 8 wedges. Cut remaining half of lime into 4 slices; cut in half. Arrange between openings of ring. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Yield: 16 servings (or 7 ravenous wolves)


(Otherwise known as Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies)

1 tsp vegetable oil

1 package (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided

1 package (18-21 oz) brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)

3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided

1 cup salted mixed nuts, divided

5 rolls (1.7 oz each) milk chocolate-covered chewy caramels (otherwise known as Rollos), divided - 40 pieces total

Vanilla ice cream, optional (this is really not optional and you must get Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla)

Preheat oven to 375° (same as for the enchilada ring - how convenient). Lightly brush large stoneware bar pan (or other 15.5 x 10 x 1 pan, but you really do need to get a PC stone one - call your PC lady immediately) with oil. Chop 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate morsels. (I'm going to interject something here - my bag of morsels was 12 ounces, yet measured 1 1/2 cups. You are supposed to have 1/2 cup of morsels remaining for topping. I didn't and was sorely disappointed. Please make sure you have 1/2 cup remaining or buy two bags - you can always eat the rest of the chips on a bad day.) In a bowl, combine brownie mix, water, oil, eggs, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar; mix well. Fold in chopped chocolate. Pour batter into bar pan, spreading evenly.

Chop nuts. Combine half of the nuts and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over brownie batter. Bake 20-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cut 16 caramels into quarters. Place remaining 1/2 cup chocolate morsels (see, I told you that you'd need them) in a small bowl and melt in microwave. Spoon melted chocolate into a Ziploc bag and set aside.

Remove bar pan from oven and IMMEDIATELY press remaining 24 Rollos into the brownie in four rows of six caramels each. Sprinkle quartered caramels and remaining nuts over brownies. Trim corner of chocolate filled bag and drizzle chocolate over brownies. Cut into squares and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Yield: 24 servings

Now, after we ate all of that and rolled ourselves away from the table, we were still able to scrapbook! Here's our project for this month. It was a back to school page. Because I rarely take back to school pictures (or, in our case, NOT back to school pictures), I was really searching. I pulled out Steve's pictures from nursing school and thought they'd be perfect!

Wow - the colors really didn't come out well in this picture. So sorry. I used a strip of striped paper from a retired Simply Scrappin' kit and used the Stampin' Up! spiral punch along one side to make it look like it was torn from a notebook. See...

We also used various size square punches for custom photo corners. And we used our round tab punch for a little date tab to attach to the photo.

Yes, that date says 1993. Even though I probably have 16 scrapbooks, I'm still extremely behind. (Each of my kids has his/her own set of scrapbooks with duplicate pages to the ones in my books.)

Back 2 School Page Recipe - Cardstock: Buckaroo Blue, Mellow Moss, Cranberry Crisp, Marigold Morning. Ink: Cranberry Crisp and Marigold Morning Classic, Basic Black Craft. Accessories: Cranberry stitched ribbon, assorted punches.


De'Etta said...

I like your layout!

josh said...

mmmmmmm that bronie looks good!!!!!!!!!

Teeny said...

everything was AWESOME as usual...late or not. Beside, the collaborative effort was fun ;-) Thankfully I had the 65 mile ride the next day to work all of that yummy stuff off!!!!

Church Punk said...

I'm definitely going to try those brownies! YUM!

Lisa in Jax

dorothy said...

So, was that a scrapbooking evening that it was your turn to host? I didn't quite understand what the hostess club part was about.

Lovely recipes, Ginger.

Cynthia said...

I like the layout!

The recipes sound YUMMY - especially the chocolate one!

You should really think about coming over here to help me get this luau together this week!