New Year’s Celebration

Before you know it, New Year’s Eve is upon us and we’re just about spent (financially, energy and time wise).  Throwing a New Year’s party is probably the last thing on our minds; however,  with The Junior League of Tampa’s Cookbook Collection, we have put together a simple and easy to assemble menu that will kick off your 2013 to the perfect start!

New Year’s Eve Celebration Menu

Mini Tomato Rounds

Capture the Coast

This simple appetizer will earn rave reviews at your next gathering.

¼ cup mayonnaise

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 French baguette

4 plum tomatoes, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese, basil, 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper in a bowl and mix well.  Chill, covered, until serving time.  Slice the baguette into sixteen rounds.  Place on a baking sheet.  Bake until toasted.  Spread each round with the cream cheese spread.  Top each with a tomato slice.  Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.

Yield:16 servings

Bacon and Swiss Tarts

Savor the Seasons

1 (10 count) can flaky biscuits

8 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled

1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped

½ small onion, chopped

3 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded

½ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon basil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut each biscuit into thirds and press into greased miniature muffin cups.  Combine the bacon, tomato, onion, Swiss cheese, mayonnaise and basil in a bowl and mix well.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin cups.  Do not overfill.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. 

Yield: 30 servings


Good Luck Bean Dip

Savor the Seasons

 A delicious way to get your lucky serving of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.

3 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained

5 to 8 jalapeno chiles from a jar, seeded and chopped

1 teaspoon jalapeno chile liquid from a jar

½ onion, chopped

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

1 garlic clove, minced

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Mash a few of the black-eyed peas in a bowl with a fork.  Add the remaining black-eyed peas, the jalapenos, jalapeno liquid, onion, green chiles and garlic and mix well.  Combine the butter and Cheddar cheese in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water and heat until melted, stirring frequently.  Add the black-eyed pea mixture and mix well.  Cook until heated through.  Serve warm with corn chips or tortilla chips.  You may prepare the mixture in the microwave, if desired.  Combine the butter and cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on Medium, stirring every 30 seconds.  Add the black-eyed pea mixture and cook until heated through, stirring every 30 seconds.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Easy Chocolate Truffles

EveryDay Feasts

An elegant, sweet treat at the end of a meal or the perfect gift.  Kids can make their own version by rolling the truffles in colored sprinkles. 

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup sifted cocoa powder, chocolate sprinkles or finely chopped sprinkles or finely chopped hazelnuts

Place the chocolate in a non-reactive bowl.  Microwave on High just until melted, stirring every 30 seconds.  Combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in bowl and mix well.  Add the chocolate and vanilla and mix well.  Shape into small balls.  Roll in the cocoa powder, chocolate sprinkles or hazelnuts.  Place on a waxed paper-lined tray and chill for 2 hours or longer.

Yield: about 1 dozen

Cava Cocktail

Savor the Seasons

This cocktail is the perfect drink to accompany our Holiday Tapas menu or any holiday open house.

2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice

1 cup brandy

1 cup Triple Sec

½ cup Chambord

4 cups ginger ale, chilled

1 (750-milliliter) bottles cava, chilled

Combine the pineapple juice, brandy and liqueurs in a large bowl.  Chill, covered for 4 hours or longer.  Pour the mixture into a punch bowl.  Add the ginger ale and cava and mix well.  You may substitute extra-dry Champagne for the cava.

Yield: 29 (4 ounce) servings



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