I do have a few resolutions - like getting back to an exercise and healthy eating program and maybe even my fitness blog - but I hate to think of them as resolutions, it sounds so cliché. It IS cliché, but also somehow appropriate to think of the New Year as a vehicle for starting over. More than a resolution, however, I have a New Year's wish. A wish for no change of address, job stability and financial security! We've had enough upheaval the last 3 years or so, I'm definitely ready for a little hum-drum.
I have several appetizer recipes to share from last night. When we don't go out for New Year's Eve - meaning we don't get a party invite of some sort - we like to cook up a bunch of appetizers and just hang out playing games with the kids. And in the case of DH And DS, watching football.
As with our Christmas Cookies, I let each of the boys pick a favorite appetizer they would like me to make and then I threw in a few new ones to try.
DS#1 requested an old favorite, Mushroom Crescents. These are a little bit time-consuming, but they are sooooooo good and well worth the effort. I had him help me to speed things up - he did all of the dicing and sauteeing and then helped assemble the crescents.
Next up from DS#2 is one of those low-brow appetizers (or what's a nicer word - unrefined?) that makes you want to turn up your foodie nose - what my SIL calls Polish Surprises, but I will rename Cheese and Sausage Toasts. The things is everyone loves them and then you try one and against your better judgement, you reach for another and so on. I think it's the only time I ever buy Velveeta! These are a great kid-friendly recipe that are super easy to throw together and easy to keep on hand in the freezer. They'd make a great Super Bowl appetizer too. If you like things spicy, try them with hot pork sausage or a combo of sweet and hot. They may taste good, but I have to admit, they look kinda gross and do NOT photograph very well.........
DH's request is one I reviewed here recently, Cajun-Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip. This time, however, I did not layer it, I mixed the chicken and cream cheese - when I layered it last time, I found that I was not getting even bites of chicken and cream cheese and found that I really wanted them to be blended together.
One of the new recipes I picked to try did not go over all that well - Parmesan Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon. Although this idea of bacon-wrapped dates was new to me, I found through reading the reviews that this has been an appetizer favorite for years and years, kind of like deviled eggs or pigs in a blanket. Still, it was new to us, so we gave it a shot. The combo of flavors works pretty well together, but it simply did not wow us. I can't really put my finger on it, but something just did not work for us and I suspect it was the the texture and/or flavors of the dates that we did not find particularly appealing. Still, it was very easy and fun to try.
Lasty, I chose this super-easy puff pastry appetizer - Red Pepper and Boursin Tarts - mostly because it would make use of some Boursin cheese we had leftover from our holiday noshing. The recipe calls for cutting a circle out of the puff pastry, but that seemed an unecessary waste of perfectly good and perfectly delicious puff pastry, so we opted for a rectangular tart. I used bottled roasted red peppers in place of sauteeing fresh and this worked great and made it even easier to throw together. The simple flavors work very nicely together and the ease of preparation makes this a great appetizer when you're in a hurry or need to balance out the more difficult recipes with a few easy ones.
Next year, I will remember to get a little nutrition in by making a dip to serve with a bunch of raw veggies. Definitely time to get back into the exercise routine after all of the cookies, appetizers and other holiday fare. But it was worth it.....
Wishing everyone out there a wonderful and joyous New Year!