Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Prep

I should've done this earlier - but better late than never - right??

MENU
CRUDITES & AMUSE-BOUCHE
Bell peppers
Carrots
Cucumber slices
Cheese
Black olives
Blue cheese stuffed green olives
Artichoke dip & chips
*We usually also do asparagus wrapped in ham - but I dropped the ball

DINNER
Sweet Broccoli Salad
My Mom's Famous Rolls
Ham
Ham Sauce 
Decadent Mashed Potatoes (usually we have Funeral Potatoes but we just had them last week & the kids are craving my mash)


December 23

Sweet Salad Dressing for the Broccoli Salad: My dressing is usually pink by the time I dress the salad bc of the purple onion in it - but I didn't feel like cutting onions today. This dressing just gets better the longer it sits - no brainer!
 Ham Sauce: Game changer people. So glad I found this. Also gets better the longer it sits.
Artichoke Dip: add all ingredients and combine thoroughly, put in a 9x13" casserole dish, cover w plastic wrap and put in your refrigerator. Christmas Day, bring it out of the fridge about an hour before you want to cook it (I generally take it out after breakfast so we can munch on it in the afternoon) then bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, bread chunks, celery sticks, carrots - whatever!!

December 24
Decadent Mashed Potatoes make and refrigerate instead of putting in the oven. Pull out after breakfast so it has time to come up to room temperature before putting it in the oven.
Sweet Broccoli Salad - make and dress

December 25
Mis en place (cutting/prep) for apps
Ham
Rolls

DONE!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dill Pickles


Dill Pickles
2 large cucumbers (or 4-6 pickling cucumbers), cut into spears or sliced


16 sprigs fresh dill, divided


4 garlic cloves, smashed, divided


4 tsp black peppercorns, divided


4 pinches red pepper flakes, divided

For the Brine:
4 cups water
8 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons kosher salt

Add 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of peppercorns, 1 pinch of red pepper flakes and 2 springs of dill to the bottom of four pint-size canning jars.

Add the cut cucumbers to the jars, packing them tightly and adding as many as you can without forcing them into the jars.

In a 4-cup measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the water, vinegar and salt until the salt has completely dissolved. Pour the brine mixture into each jar, completely covering the cucumbers. Add 2 additional sprigs of dill to each jar and affix the lids.

Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, but preferably up to 2 days before eating (this allows the flavors to fully absorb). If you remember, give the jars a gentle shake every now and then during this initial chilling time. The pickles will last up to 2 months in the refrigerator.

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