Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lisa and baby Hall's Shower

In early March I got to host a baby shower for Lisa Hall at my house. I love hosting showers for people because I love having an excuse to invent new recipes, sticking to a theme. I decided to go with the hors d'oeuvres kind of theme like Christina's bridal shower. Here are a couple recipes from Lisa's shower. A couple of them might be similar to Chrissy's but I made some changes that I think are improvements:)

Puff Pastry Tartletts with Parsley-Almond Pesto and Rotisserie Chicken
makes about 24-36 tartletts

1 box puff pastry (2 sheets)

3 C parsley, packed
3/4 C almonds
2/3 C Pecorino Romano Cheese
1 head of garlic
3/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

2-3 C shredded rotisserie chicken
  1. roast the garlic by cutting off about 1/2 in of the top, placing in aluminum foil and generously coating in olive oil and a little salt. Bake in a 400° oven for 30-35 minutes or until individual cloves are very soft. Set aside and cool.
  2. In a frying pan, toast the almonds on medium-high heat until fragrant and slightly darkened.
  3. Pulse the cheese, parsley, almonds, and lemon zest in a food processor until ground small.
  4. With food processor still running, add olive oil, garlic cloves, and lemon juice and salt and pepper until smooth.
  5. Combine the chicken and pesto in a mixing bowl.
  6. According to puff pastry directions, preheat the oven. Cut the puff pastry sheets into 12-16 squares, depending on how big you want them.
  7. Place a little spoonful (1-2 t) of chicken and pesto mixture in the middle of a puff pastry square and sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano and Mozzarella.
  8. Bake according to puff pastry directions or until golden brown and pastry is puffed. Let cool and serve.
Blueberry Mini Tortes
makes about 24-36 mini tortes
1 recipe of cinnamon paté sucrée (sweet pie crust)*

1 1/2 C heavy cream
1 package gelatin
2 t vanilla extract
3 T white granulated sugar
zest of 1 lemon (use a fine zester like a microplane grater)
juice of 1 lemon
1 container blueberries
  1. Roll out paté sucrée extra thin, cut into little squares (about 1 1/2 in) and fit into mini muffin pans. With a fork, prick the bottom of each crust. Bake at 400° for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and baked through. Set aside and cool completely.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat heavy cream, sugar, lemon zest and juice and vanilla until soft peaks form.
  3. In a small bowl combine 1 T cream and gelatin and heat in microwave for 10-15 seconds and stir until combined. Add to lemon cream mixture until stiff peaks form.
  4. Pipe in cream mixture into shells and refrigerate until set.
  5. Toss cleaned blueberries with sugar and lemon juice and top tortes (with 2-3 berries each). Serve.
*Cinnamon Paté Sucrée recipe:
1 C flour, plus more if needed
1/2 t salt
3-4 T confectioner's sugar
1/2 C cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks beaten with 2 T ice water and 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 T cinnamon (more if you want)
  1. In a food processor process flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and butter for 15-20 seconds until crumbs form. Remove cover and pour in egg mixture. Don't let it form a ball or it will be tough. If the dough seems dry, add a little water.
  2. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and holding the plastic between you and the dough, press forward on the dough away from you. Turn 90° and repeat until dough is combined. Don't overwork the dough.
  3. Flatten dough and tightly wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.
Mini strawberry white chocolate muffins
makes about 36 muffins
1 lb diced strawberries (about 1 good sized container)
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 1/2 C flour
1 C rolled oats
1/4 C white sugar
1/2 C dark brown sugar
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 C melted btter
1 egg
3/4 C milk
1 t vanilla
1 8 oz package cream cheese at room temperature

oat crumb topping: (shown without crumb topping)
1 C melted butter
2-4 T cinnamon
about 3 C brown sugar
2 C flour
about 2 1/2 C oats
  1. Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.
  2. Beat eggs, add milk, oil, vanilla. Stir dry ingredients into wet until combined.
  3. Gently add white chocolate chips and strawberries.
  4. Line mini muffin pans with paper bake cups* and add about 1 T batter into each cup. Sprinkle with oat crumb topping. *remember to use paper liners, otherwise you will NOT be able to get the little muffins out! I promise it's worth it!
  5. Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


This Strata is really yummy for breakfast or dinner or any meal, really. I got the idea from watching Rachel Ray yesterday morning, and made my own adjustments. You can really use any meat or green veggie or cheese you like, I just liked my own combination.

(serves about 6-8, depending on how much each person can eat:))

12 eggs
2 C milk (I recommend using fattier milk, though low-fat will be just fine. Not as rich or tasty)
1-2 heads of broccoli, cut small (I used 2 just because that's how much I had in the fridge and had to use it up. And it didn't feel like too much. But you might like to use less)
2 C grated cheddar cheese
12-16 oz good quality bacon
4 C bread, torn into big chunks. About 1 loaf of a baguette. I used a "flax seed" loaf and used about 3/4 of it. I think a crustier bread would be better, though
salt and pepper to taste
1 T Dijon mustard (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Cut bacon into little squares and cook through until crispy. Meanwhile, tear bread and place into a greased 9x13 baking pan, making sure the bottom of the pan is covered with bread. Cut broccoli into little pieces and toss evenly on top.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, and salt and pepper (and Dijon mustard, if using)
  4. Once the bacon is cooked through, drained of excess grease, and slightly cooled, sprinkle evenly on top of the bread and broccoli.
  5. Sprinkle cheese generously on top and then pour the egg and milk mixture evenly over the ingredients.
  6. Bake at 350 for 60+ minutes. Once browned on top and cooked through, pull out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm-hot.