July 29, 2011

Marshal Mike's Party

Marshal Mike is home on his two week break from Army duty in Afghanistan, so we decided to get our friends together for a little party.

Herewith the food I made for the party:

Crostini with fresh ricotta, honey and lemon zest

If you try nothing else new this year, try making fresh ricotta. As I mentioned the first time I made ricotta, it is so simple, but the results are so amazing.

I wanted to try a new recipe this time, so I chose this one from Food 52.  I hate to say it, but I was underwhelmed. It just tasted like cream in curd form. Delicious and creamy, yes, but it was lacking the tang and the flavor of the recipe I made last time (Ina Garten's). So I went back to the store, bought more whole milk and heavy cream, and whipped up a batch of Ina's ricotta. Yum, yum, yum. I did find that if using Ina's recipe, let the mixture sit in the pan for about 10 minutes (instead of the recommended 1 minute) before transferring to a cheesecloth-lined sieve. The recipe will yield about 3 cups of ricotta this way instead of 2.

Now, the ricotta is fabulous on its own, but it really shines when you use it in this recipe for Bruschetta with Ricotta, Honey and Lemon Zest. The flavor combination of these items is perfection!

I thought about trying to make pigs in a blanket as I have never made them (from scratch, anyway), but then I stumbled upon this recipe for Chicks in Blankets on epicurious.

Chicks in a blanket

I love apple chicken sausage, so decided to give this recipe a try. As you can see in the picture, some of my blankets didn't stay closed (exhibitionist chicks?), but they still tasted great! I did include little bowls of mustard to dip them in because I found each piece to be a little pastry-heavy.

To round out the homemade appetizers, I made avocado hummus, which I have posted about here. It is a recipe from the Washington Post that I have made a couple times (and never photograph!) and it is a crowd pleaser every time. I made pita chips to go with it.

Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

For dessert, I tried this recipe for salted double chocolate peanut butter cookies, which was created by a fellow Rhode Islander! These were also a crowd pleaser; if you like chocolate and peanut butter, give them a try!

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