Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ladies Night

  • Roasted Garlic Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Baguette
  • Cantaloupe Bocconcini Prosciutto Salad
  • Roasted Cauliflower White Bean Dip
  • Individual Strawberry Shortcakes
  • Cinnamon Caramel Popcorn

Last night my close girlfriends and I got together for girls night so I thought what better way to start out the night then appy’s and drinks before going out downtown? It was a bit of a random selection, but recipes I’ve been meaning to try, or in the strawberry shortcake case, a poundcake from the freezer that needed some lovin! The crackers I used for the white bean dip are Lesley Stowe's Raincoast Crisps and if you've never had them before, you need to go out and get some right now! The caramel popcorn recipe is from Dinner with Julie and I decided to add cinnamon to the recipe since I think caramel and cinnamon are the most amazing combo together. I also had picked up the cutest little popcorn containers from Gourmet Warehouse and have been meaning to use them. I love how the box says delicious and nutritious, this popcorn may not be nutritious but it sure is delicious! Nothing better than good food, good friends and a little dancing...

Cinnamon Caramel Popcorn (Adapted from Dinner with Julie)
8 cups air popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup kernels)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda

1.Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray and put the popcorn in it
2.Combine brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add cinnamon and mix in.
2.Reduce the heat and boil without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda.
3.Quickly pour over the popcorn and stir to coat well. Spread onto a cookie sheet or roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cool.

Individual Strawberry Shortcakes
1 Poundcake
1 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups frozen strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
mint garnish (optional)

1.In a mixer whip cream with icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Chill in fridge
2. In a pot add frozen strawberries and sugar.Cook on med-high heat. When strawberries soften, mash them and let reduce until sauce because thick and syrupy. Serve warm or cold.

Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Baguette
1 baguette
2 garlic bulbs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp thyme or rosemary, chopped
2 large white onions,sliced
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup nicoise or kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut tops off garlic, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast in oven for 30 min or until garlic is soft.
2.In a large pan heat oil on med-high heat. Add onions and saute with sugar and thyme until soft and caramelized. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Slice baguette in half and warm in oven for 5 minutes. Take baguette out and turn broiler on.
4.Combine softened butter with roasted garlic and spread over baguette, top with caramelized onions, crumbled goat cheese and olives. Place in broiler for 2 minutes and serve warm.

Roasted Cauliflower White Bean Dip
1 can white beans (Cannellini,White Kidney, rinsed)
1 bulb roasted garlic
1 head cauliflower
1/2 lemon, juice
1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
3 tbsp warm water

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut cauliflower into small pieces and toss in oil, salt and pepper. Roast until caramelized. Let cool
2. In a food processor combine white beans, roasted garlic, lemon juice, chili flakes, water and 1/2 of the roasted cauliflower. Puree until smooth. Season with s+p and adjust consistency of dip by adding more water if necessary. Add in the rest of the cauliflower (saving a few florets for garnish) and pulse until chunky. Chill and serve.

Cantaloupe Bocconcini Prosciutto Salad
1 Cantaloupe
1 cup bocconcini
8 basil leaves, chiffonade
1 lime, juice
2 tbsp honey
6 slices prosciutto, julienned

1.Slice cantaloupe in half and scrape out seeds. Using a melon baller scoop out balls.
2. Mix honey and lime juice together. Toss everything together and serve chilled.

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