December 21, 2012

  • Happy Winter Solstice

    I am hosting my annual Solstice Fete tonight and came up with menu, by design, where I am barely preparing anything … I can’t even claim anything is Semi-homemade

    Here is the buffet for your viewing pleasure


    Punch – Blueberry Pomegranate with seltzer and vodka. I am preparing the punch this time because the usual bartender uses a heavy hand on the booze. I freeze the same juice in silicone bundt pans. When they are frozen, I pop them out and keep them in freezer bags. If I freeze one in the morning it is usually frozen by the end of the day and I can continue making them up to the day before any party where I am serving punch


    Centerpiece – Berkshire Ham, spiral-sliced heritage pork, the king of little piggies. I am giving people the option of making sandwiches by offering cream cheese biscuits (that I am letting a friend make since she really wanted to help), Dijon, sweet & spicy bread & butter pickles, and Swiss cheese


    Smoked salmon – The only thing I did was take it out of its original packaging and arrange it on a plate


    Spinach-artichoke dip – Last time I didn’t serve this there was a revolt. 1 cup packed grated Gruyere cheese, 1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise, 1 10 ounce package frozen spinach, microwaved for 5 minutes, cooled to room temperature and squeezed dry, 1 can artichoke hearts (the quarter-cut variety cost less), drained and roughly chopped, 1 tablespoon Dell A’llpe Italian seasoning. Mix everything together in a large bowl and fwap into a deep dish pie plate in a relatively even layer. Bake at 375 degrees until hot and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with corn tortilla chips, tomatillio salsa and sour cream on the side


    Cabot “Seriously sharp” Cheddar cheese – Like the spinach artichoke dip, the last time I didn’t serve cheese was the last time I didn’t serve cheese. Served with a variety of crackers including wheat, rice, and sesame


    Shrimp cocktail – Extra large shrimp served with homemade cocktail sauce. I found a new freshly grated horseradish at the grocery store and made my usual seafood cocktail sauce and it almost blew my head off. I had to start over and pull way back on the horseradish. 1 cup Simply Heinz ketchup, 1 cup Heinz cocktail sauce, 1/4 cup grated horseradish, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, Favorite hot sauce, to taste


    Roasted potatoes – This was a revelation the first time I served them and are, aside from the spinach artichoke dip, the only vegetable I bother to serve anymore. So easy and who doesn’t love roasted potatoes? I am offering a leek dip with them if people wish to indulge, but they are so good just by themselves


    Mixed nuts – I found a drugstore brand I think is better quality than any of the big name brands. 2 large cans, open and dump into a big glass bowl. Voila!


    Brach’s Peppermint nougat and Dove Dark Promises – I think if you have peppermint, you should have chocolate and even though most people don’t touch the candy platter, I like to have it for the sparkle and the joy


    Happy Winter Solstice! Raise a glass, burn some sage, and light a candle to celebrate the return of the light!


Comments (3)

  • Oh, I love a party like that. Where you can kind of throw it together and enjoy it with your company.

    If we didn’t do Christmas, I think a solstice party would be great. Tonight is the longest night of the year but then the days start getting longer! Hallelujah!!!

    What drugstore brand for the nuts? I like to have nuts around and I am always looking for the best product at a good price.

    It is a fabulous menu! Have a great time welcoming back the sun and longer day with your friends!

  • Sounds scrumptious as usual. Happy Festivus!

  • Yay Tom, so good to see this post. I have wondered where you had vanished to. Thanks for this post. Will try some of the recipes.

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