Asparagus and Cheese Tart

This week I will be posting some recipes that will be great to have on Easter. This recipe would be great for an Easter Brunch. I was brainstorming to come up with something that included shaved asparagus and Boursin Cheese since I had both in my refrigerator. I decided to make a tart using puff pastry. This is really easy to make and has only a few ingredients. I was getting very odd looks from my family, as I was explaining what I was doing. But after they tasted it, they knew that mommy knows what she is doing. I hope you enjoy too!

First you will shave the asparagus spears by using a vegetable peeler. Place in a bowl and add the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and set aside.

Lay out a sheet of puff pastry dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. With a pairing knife, lightly score the puff pastry about a 1/2 inch in from the edges.

Carefully spread the cheese in the center of the puff pastry dough. Spread to the edges of where you cut the dough. (Do not go to dough edge)

Add the asparagus to the center. Brush the edges of the dough using the egg wash and a pastry brush. Place in oven and bake.

Enjoy!

Asparagus and Cheese Tart:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed in refrigerator
  • 1lb asparagus, shaved
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 5oz Boursin cheese, room temperature (I used shallot and chives)
  • egg wash (whisk one egg with 1tbs of water)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Carefully shave the asparagus spears using a vegetable peeler. Place in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together and set aside.
  3. Lay the puff pastry on the parchment lined baking sheet. Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/2-inch-wide border around the dough. (make sure to not push the knife all the way through) Spread the cheese from the center of the dough to the edges of where you scored the dough. (it’s ok if you don’t use all the cheese) Lay asparagus on top of cheese.
  4. Brush the edges of the dough using the egg wash and a pastry brush. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until dough is light browned and puff and the asparagus is tender. Remove from oven and let cool a couple of minutes before cutting. Slice tart however you would like to serve it and enjoy.

Source: Gina Marie Original

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Review: Tostitos® Dip Creations™ Freshly Made Guacamole Dip

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I sometimes get products to test out and blog about. This one is Tostitos® Dip Creations™ Freshly Made Guacamole Dip. I have my own personal way of making guacamole but was willing to try out this mix. If you are unsure of how to make a great tasting guacamole from scratch, this mix would be perfect for you.

I was a little nervous about how it was going to turn out when I opened up the bag. The directions say to add the mix to three large avocados.  I mashed up my avocados and added the seasonings but thought it looked plain. I love texture in my guacamole so I decided to add tomatoes, something I always do anyway. I set it in the fridge to sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld (scared that it would turn brown). When I took it out to taste, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was still nice and green.  I was even more surprised at how good it tasted. The seasonings were dead on and there wasn’t one flavor that overpowered another. I really enjoyed the flavors, as did my family. Within minutes the guacamole was gone.

Overall: I would make it again but of course I’ll be sticking to my regular recipe which doesn’t have a lot of sodium and other things I can’t pronounce. I do suggest this dip mix for people who are unsure of what to put in their guacamole. You will be very happy with the outcome.

Note: I was not paid for this post; the opinions and views are strictly my own.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Last week I catered a Bridal Shower and served these stuffed mushrooms. I apologize for the photo. After I plated them and put them out, I realized I hadn’t taken a picture. The mushrooms were very popular and before they were gone I had to run out and grab a photo of what was left. I made a double batch and by the time I was able to take a photo these 5 were the only ones left. That just shows you how popular and wonderful they are.

I was very excited to make these, I have had this recipe bookmarked for a long time and was waiting for the right time to make them. My kids and I are the only ones in the family who really like mushrooms, so I don’t usually buy them. After making the mushrooms, I told myself that I will make these again for us, I know my son would go crazy over them.

The Bridal Shower was a success and along with the mushrooms I made chicken salad in phyllo cups, pasta salad, meatballs, stuffed strawberries and cupcakes. I can’t wait to show you the cupcake stand I made. I’ll be posting that later this week.

Stuffed Mushrooms:

  • 24 whole fresh button mushrooms
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, or less if you don’t want a big kick
  • 2 tbs Bread crumbs
  • minced herbs, for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully remove the stems from the mushroom caps, setting the caps aside for later.  Add the stems to the bowl of a food processor.  Add the garlic to the food processor as well, and pulse in brief bursts until them mushroom stems and garlic are finely chopped.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped mushroom stems and garlic and cook until all the moisture has disappeared, about 5-7 minutes.  Lower the heat to medium-low.  Stir in the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and spices.  Stir together until the mixture is smooth and creamy; remove from the heat.  Using a small spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of filling.  Arrange the mushroom caps on the prepared baking sheet. (At this point you can refrigerate the mushrooms till ready, I made them a day in advance)
  3. Top with bread crumbs.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are hot and liquid starts to form under the caps.  Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with fresh herbs if using and serve immediately

Source: Annie’s Eats who adapted from Allrecipes

Spinach Dip

I love spinach and this dip is one of my ultimate favorites. It’s a very popular recipe but I will still post it just in case there are those who have never made it before. One of the things I did change was the amount of mayonnaise used. The original recipe calls for 1 cup but I feel that it gives to much of a mayonnaise taste so I cut it back to 3/4 cup. Other than that, I don’t change up the recipe too much and it’s always a hit. I love to double the recipe so I know I will have leftovers.

 

Spinach Dip:

  • 1 10 ounce pkg chopped frozen spinach, thawed and liquid squeezed out (place spinach in towel and squeeze)
  • 1 16 ounce container sour cream
  • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 package Knorr® Vegetable Soup recipe mix
  • 1 8 ounce can water chestnuts, chopped fine
  • 3 green onions, chopped fine
  1. Mix together the Mayo, sour cream and vegetable soup mix.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix till all combined. Place in refrigerator and chill at least 2 hours. Serve with pumpernickel bread, crackers and veggies.

Source: slightly adapted from Knorr

 

 

Shrimp Mousse

 

When I first heard shrimp mousse, I will admit I sorta cringed. When I think of mousse I tend to think of a velvety chocolate dessert, something sweet and certainly not savory. But when I tried it, I learned that mousse can be savory and really delicious! We decided to add this to the menu of my sister-in-law’s baby shower. We were wanting food that was a little different than what is typically served at baby shower. We wanted to stay away from lunch meat since that’s become a no-no for pregnant women. The shrimp mousse really added a special something to food table and we didn’t have much leftover.

 

Shrimp Mousse:

  • 1 envelope unflavored, clear gelatin
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup onions, diced small
  • 1 cup celery, diced small
  • 2 4oz cans baby shrimp, drained well

 

  1. Spray any type of mold, bunt pan, bowl with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Combine gelatin and water in medium saucepan set over medium heat. When the gelatin is dissolved, add cream of mushroom soup and cream cheese, cook until combined and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Take off heat and add the mayo, onion, celery and shrimp, stir till combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour into prepared mold and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.

 

Source: Gina Marie’s Kitchen

Chicken Enchilada Wraps

I have had these bookmarked ever since I saw them on Annie’s Eats a year ago. I was waiting for the right time to make them. When I started planning my sister-in-laws baby shower I knew it was time to bring out the chicken enchilada wraps. I decided to triple the recipe to make sure we had enough for our guests. I was a little worried about tripling the spices and ended up cutting back a bit on the Chile powder and Cayenne pepper. When we tasted the chicken filling my daughters and husbands mouth were a tad bit on fire. They are more sensitive to the spicy heat than I am, so I always go by what they tell me when it comes to serving something to others. I sat there trying to figure out what to do. I had already added all the ingredients to the filling and didn’t have anymore cream cheese to add to it. What could I do to take some of the heat away? I looked through the refrigerator and saw sour cream. I added small amounts at a time till it finally worked. I actually think the addition of the sour cream helped round the flavors out even more. I love how things work out just when you think it’s ruined. And thankfully everyone at the shower loved them.

Chicken Enchilada Wraps:

  • 2 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin on
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese, Mexican blend
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained well
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 4-6 8-inch tortillas
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Rub each breast with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the breasts for 35-45 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool.
  3. Remove the skin and chicken from the bone. Shred the chicken and set aside.
  4. Combine all of the remaining ingredients, except tortillas, in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until well blended. Add the chicken to the filling mixture and stir well to incorporate. Taste and add sour cream, if desired.
  5. Spread a thin layer of the filling mixture over a tortilla, leaving a small border clear around the edge.  Roll the tortilla up tightly into a spiral.  Place the rolled up tortilla on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut into 1- to 1½-inch thick segments.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats via Sing for Your Supper, originally from Come On Over Cookbook1 from Gooseberry Patch

Baby Shower 2011

Over the weekend we had my sister-in-law’s baby shower. I co-hosted the shower with my mother-in-law. We have been planning for months and finally it all came together exactly how we planned. Later this week I’ll post the recipes to some of the dishes we served but for now I’m going to give you highlights from the day.

Here I am with the beautiful and pregnant Mandi. My niece is there too but you can’t see her yet, she’s still baking.

The place settings were onesie sugar cookies and wrapped silverware. I forgot to get a photo of the tables once the white onesies were on them. We put a white onesie with a paper plate placed inside of the onsie at every table, along with fabric markers. Each guest got to draw or write whatever they wanted on the onesie. (I forgot to get photos of that too and will update once I get those). They turned out so dang cute!

Some of the cookies that were placed around the tables. Yumm

One of the things I was really excited about was this photofetti. You can use any photos you have and have them made into confetti. I got some photos of Mandi pregnant and even used a sonogram photo. They turned out great and were a huge hit.

Let’s get to the important part, the food. Chicken Enchilada Wraps was one of the first things I thought about serving. They turned out so good. I did have to make a few adjustments to the recipe and I’ll get into that later this week.

Spinach Dip was next on the list. Mandi loves it and what mommy wants, mommy gets.

These meatballs are the easiest to prepare and yet taste like you have spent hours on them. Most of you have probably made them or eaten them. The sauce is grape jelly and chili sauce and that’s it. Pour over frozen Italian meatballs, place in crock pot and in a few hours you have the best tasting meatballs.

My mother-in-law made the shrimp mousse. The first time I had shrimp mousse was this past Christmas Eve. It’s really easy to put together and it turns out so pretty. Tastes pretty darn good too.

Fruit kabobs are a fun way to present fresh fruit. They are fun to put together even though my daughter kept sticking herself with the skewers.

To wash it all down we served “Mock Champagne Punch”. You can find the recipe at Delish. She posted this recipe as I was looking for something other than the typical red fruit juice and 7-up punch. We made a fruit ring to keep the punch cold. We took frozen fruit and filled it with white grape juice so it wouldn’t dilute the punch.

I love this picture. Mandi got so many wonderful things and I hope we gave her a baby shower to remember. Now I sit here patiently waiting for the little bambina to arrive.