Food and Drink

Published on December 31st, 2010 | by thevyne

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Simple & Chic Hor D’Oeuvres

By Gigi Hayes

Whether your ringing in the new year with a group of friends, your honey, or solo one of the key elements of a lovely evening is having something delicious to enjoy.  If you don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen try one, or all, of these simple yet chic treats.

Baked Brie:

Baked Brie is super, super simple and it pairs perfectly with Champagne.  If you’re serving a group I suggest getting a whole wheel instead of a wedge.

To make Baked Brie you will need: a wheel or wedge Brie cheese , Crescent rolls that come in a tube and a cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I prefer to cut some of the rind off of the cheese, so I stick it in the freezer for about 2 minutes so that it doesn’t get to soft while handling.  Once some of the rind is trimmed, pop open your crescents and roll them out on the cookie sheet, and cut it in half.  Press  the seams together so you have a single sheet of crescent dough.  Next place your wheel of cheese in the middle of one layer of dough, bring the edges up – to make this a little more decorative, try folding /fanning the dough.  Place the other half of your dough on top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

You can also transform this into baked brie bites by cutting your brie in even-ish pieces and wrapping in single crescents.

Mini-Quiche:

I adore quiche, my way; I don’t like to know there’s a lot of egg going on so I stuff it with the veggie filling.  This version of quiche, however, is even simpler and is almost egg free.

To make these Mini-Quiches you will need:  2 cups of biscuit/pancake mix, 1 stick of melted butter, 1 cup of milk, 1 egg, 2 cups shredded cheese, 3 cups sautéed vegetable, and ½ to 1 TSBP of olive oil or cooking spray and muffin pans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

You can use any good melting cheese and vegetable combination that you like, for this recipe I’m suggesting Asiago cheese, Crimini mushrooms and Sweet White Onion.

In a large mixing bowl combine the biscuit mix, melted butter, milk and shredded cheese – set aside.

Sauté veggies in oil until just tender and add to the “dough” mixture, mix well.

Lightly coat the muffing pan with oil or cooking spray and fill to ¾ full with the quiche mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes or until set.

Pecan Tarts:

Is any meal complete without dessert?  I don’t think so, these tarts are the perfect little bite of sweetness.  These are a family favorite that I usually make from Thanksgiving through the New Year.  Of all the recipes I’m giving you today, this is the most complicated of the bunch.

To make these Pecan Tarts you’ll need:  (for the dough): ½ pound butter, 2 cups flour, ½ pound cream cheese; (for the filling): 3 eggs, 2 ¼ cup brown sugar, ¾ tsp vanilla extract, 3 TSBP melted butter, 1 cup chopped pecans; mini-muffin pans, cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

First make the dough,  in a mixer combine softened cream cheese and butter and slowly add flour until dough is formed.  Form the dough into 48 small balls and press into sprayed mini-muffin pans.

Next make the filling, in a mixer beat  the eggs with brown sugar, vanilla and melted butter.

Then, sprinkle a small amount of nuts in the bottom of the dough shells and fill each shell with 1 TSBP of filling.

Bake for 25 minute.

Don’t be afraid to let your local grocer or warehouse store fill out the rest of your menu, you’d be surprised to find that they offer more than just chips and dip.  And if you want to try something new like caviar, don’t be afraid to ask advice from the fish monger or person in the deli/cheese counter.  Most importantly don’t stress yourself out good food is simple and the most important thing is to ring in the new year with joy and love.

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