Monday, December 14, 2009

Leadership Open House &
Most Requested Recipes

Last night was our annual holiday open house for church leadership at our home.  We had about seventy people over.  I don't have even one photo.  I know that's not customary!  Last night I decided to just enjoy myself and talk to folks, and dispense with the camera duties for the night.  Besides it was enough for me to keep an eye on other things, and I didn't drive myself crazy with another thing on the list.  I think Lisa took some photos and if she sends them to me I'll post them. 

We've hosted this holiday open house for 8 years since we moved to Florida and it's one of the highlights of my entertaining year.  We welcome everyone in our leadership team and their family to celebrate with us in pretty much every room of the house and by night's end most of us are huddled out on the patio around the fire, drinking hot chocolate and talking til' late. 

 Last night Todd and Bonnie Stewart, and David and Gayle Lechner asked if I would post two recipes from the evening on my blog and I gladly obliged.  They asked if any of my recipes are secret ones. I said, "absolutely not!"  I totally believe in sharing anything that is enjoyed by others.  Recipes and food bring people together and I'm of the belief...let's do it! 

The first recipe is my own original after trying many others over the years, I experimented to come up with my own hot crab dip.  Being from Baltimore, Maryland this is a popular dish and I've probably tasted at least a few hundred versions of this.   The second recipe -- crab puffs,  is one people beg for time and again.  It's not mine originally but so yummy...this would make a tadpole slap a whale!!!  Enjoy!!! 

Following that I will list for you this year's open house menu for those who may be interested in knowing what I serve, for your own information in case you're looking for ideas for your own holiday party.  Any questions or requests for recipes, just ask and I'll be glad to post them and share.

I do add or subtract a thing or two from year to year, depending.  Most years I make my cocktail meatballs and this year I did not and instead had a another dessert in it's place.  Next year I'm planning on adding them back in so I've put them on the list below.  Alright, here's we go:

 Hot Crab Dip
1 cup real crab meat (I use white, not claw meat)
2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp onion salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
 3/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
 1/4 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning, plus sprinkle on top

Directions:  Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, onion salt, dry mustard, worcestershire sauce and 1/4 tsp Old Bay . Add crab meat and mix. Place in casserole dish, lightly sprinkle Old Bay on top, and cover with lid. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. If you like, you can also top it with a little bit of shredded Mozzarella, about 1/4-1/3 cup.  Sometimes I do, other times not.  Bake at 350 for about 30 min.  I normally serve it with Ritz Crackers or Fritos Scoops.

Crab Puffs
1 pound of imitation crab meat, torn up in pieces
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup fresh spring onion diced
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 packs of Hungry Jack Biscuits or Grands "flaky" biscuits. (MUST be the flaky kind that comes apart in layers for this recipe to work properly.)
Curry Powder

Directions: Mix all the above ingredients together except the biscuits and curry powder. Then, open the biscuits, and "separate" them into at least two layers. (You can also do three if the biscuit dough is thick enough.) Put the separated layers on a cookie sheet, preferably a baking stone, or airbake cookie sheets that are non-stick.   Place the "puffs" about 1 inch apart. Put a heaping teaspoon full of the mixture onto each biscuit. Then, sprinkle each one lightly with curry powder.  (A little curry powder really is essential for the signature taste of this recipe.)  Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or so. Check them, sometimes they need a few more minutes depending on how big they are. You want them to be very lightly brown and you want to serve these very hot and fresh. These do not keep for later and you probably won't have to worry because people scarf them down. I serve these at every extra “special” church functions especially for holidays, the staff celebrations, weddings, receptions, showers, etc.  I usually have servers carry them around on trays right as they come out of the oven.  If you are making them at an event away from home, prepare the mixture ahead of time, carry there with you along with the biscuits and bake fresh on site and serve.  It'll be the talk of the town, I promise!  :) 

Open House Menu
Cream cheese and Red Pepper Jelly on Crackers
Chicken Salad Sandwiches (my special recipe)
Mexican Layered Dip Appetizer
Hot Artichoke Dip with Crackers
Hot Crab Dip with Crackers
Crab Puffs
Fresh Vegetable Tray with Ranch Dip
Fruit Tray with Dip
Cheese, Olive and Cracker Plate
Cocktail Meatballs
Cheesecakes
Cream Puffs
Chocolate Eclairs
Fresh Strawberries dipped in Chocolate
Homemade Fudge
Holiday dessert from my friend Lisa (she always makes something very special for this occasion)
Grape Punch

Really wish I could have a "blog readers" open house!  :)  Really, I do.

4 comments:

Eagles Wings said...

Okay, I need the recipe for Chicken Salad, my hubby just loves chicken salad and I haven't found a recipe yet he likes :-) I would greatly appreciate it....

Here is a recipe for the best artichoke/spinach recipe I've ever eaten. :-)

Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 4 8 12

Ingredients
2 fresh artichokes
1 lemon, juice squeezed
1 tsp salt
OR
1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced

1 lb cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5 green onions, chopped
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1 6-oz pack fresh spinach, chopped
8 slices crusty Italian bread
Extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle)

Procedures
Preheat oven to 325ºF.
PREPARATION WITH FRESH ARTICHOKES

1.BOIL artichokes in 3 quarts water with 1 tsp salt and lemon juice.
2.COOL artichokes. Clean, peel, remove center “choke” and slice artichoke.
3.FOLLOW Dip Preparation steps below using fresh artichokes.

DIP PREPARATION

1.MIX all ingredients in a large bowl, except bread and extra virgin olive oil.
2.COAT a large non-stick baking pan with pan spray; fill pan with mixture. Bake at 325ºF for about 25 minutes or until bubbling and center is hot.
3.DRIZZLE both sides of bread with extra virgin olive oil. Grill bread on both sides.
4.SPRINKLE top of heated dip with parmesan cheese. Serve hot with grilled bread.

Ruth, PA said...

You'll just have to plan on a Blog Bash at your mansion in Heaven. We have eternity to get together! LOL

Deanna said...

Eagles Wings - thank you for sharing! I'll have to try that one.

My chicken salad is so easy, it's unbelievable but I promise, this will also get rave reviews. We have a tea at our church and usually several hundred women come. We've had others make the chicken salad over the years just because I'm so busy with many other details not to mention getting the music and message ready for the day but if I don't do this chicken salad and we use somebody else's recipe I hear about it, so in addition to all else I do, I'm usually making chix salad for 200. :) Here's the recipe.

Take a packet of 6 boneless chicken breasts and cover with water - boil along with a sprinkle of onion salt and garlic powder, along with 1 bay leaf.

Once chicken is completely cooked through, remove bay leaf. Take chicken out of water, and run through food processor and completely shred for a couple seconds. (It's going to be a very smooth mixture - no chunks.)

Place in large mixing bowl. Liberally sprinkle Old Bay on Top. I never measure but I would say I use at least 3-4 TBS. Add AT LEAST 1/2 jar HELLMAN'S (must be Hellman's) mayo. At times I use almost 3/4 jar to get it smooth and creamy enough. You do not want this to be dry AT ALL and want to make sure it's very creamy but not "soupy".

I do not do any exact measurements for this but just go by taste and feel.

I serve this on a variety of breads for all kinds of occasions. Three favorites are croissant rolls, Martin's potato rolls, and marble rye/pumpernickel. Enjoy!

Eagles Wings said...

Yummy sounds easy enough and great considering it has Old Bay!!!
Thanks for the recipe....
Blessings