Sunday, November 25, 2012

Marky is Famous!

THERE HE IS!  "Can I see some ID?"
Last night was pretty exciting, because I got to watch my boyfriend on television!  He had a small part in a movie called The March Sisters at Christmas, which was played on the Lifetime Network last night.  It was so cool to see him on the screen, and even hear him say a few lines!  Needless to say he stole the show, in my opinion :)

Since it is not every day you get to watch your boyfriend be a movie star, I decided to throw a little premiere party complete with tons of snacks.  I went grocery shopping after book club and between5:30 and 7:30, I managed to make four different appetizers: homemade pretzel bites, feta dip, oven toasted ravioli, and cheddar and olive balls.  A special thanks to Kenzie for helping me plan my menu and finding most of the recipes :)

First I started with the pretzel dough.  I have made homemade pretzels before, but this recipe was quicker because it only needed one 1-hour rising period.  I still had to boil and then bake them, but that's really not all that much extra work.  I was serving them within two hours from starting them, which is pretty incredible with any yeast bread! I tried to turn them into little bites as the recipe says, but they puff up fairly large when you boil them, which I forgot, so my bites turned into little rolls, which ended up being just fine because everyone loved them.  Betsy said they might be the best thing I ever made, and they all went.  I made way more than the 8 pretzel bites that the recipe claims to make; like I said, I thought I was making lots of tiny little bites.  Even without them being tiny, they were still small enough to get a big batch of pretzels.  I salted them pretty well once I had the egg wash on them right before baking, and we all agreed they were salted just perfectly.  I did not brush them with melted butter when they came out of the oven like the recipe says; it's not needed!  These are great as is.

Guilty much?
The next appetizer I made was the feta dip.  Sometimes my family calls it bruschetta dip; we discovered it this summer and it has been made for numerous parties and get-togethers since then!  It is so easy and really, really delicious.  Basically you just combine olive oil, diced tomatoes and scallions, and Greek seasoning on a platter, and serve with fresh sliced baguette.  That's it!  It is so good and always one of the first snacks to disappear.  This was the case last night.... except unfortunately, it did not disappear the way I wanted it to.  You can ask Delilah about that :(

I made oven-toasted ravioli for another party last month, and they were a big hit.  They are also really simple: dip frozen (and thawed) ravioli in an egg/milk wash, dunk them in bread crumbs and parmesan, and bake.  That's it!  Then you serve it with warm marinara.  Simple and delicious.  I made a huge pan of them last night and nearly all of them went.

Last was a bit of a gamble: cheddar olive balls.  I love cheese and I have a newfound obsession for olives, so I had pinned them a while ago and Kenzie thought I should try them out last night.  Basically they feel like the unhealthiest thing I made last night; you have to mix up shredded cheddar cheese and a whole stick of butter; add paprika and flour and then you use the dough to wrap around olives, and bake.  The dough ended up being a little dry, and I had no more cheese to add like the recipe recommends, so I added a little water and it worked out that way.  I thought these were good - Betsy pointed out that somehow, they taste fried! But I also think that olives themselves are so delicious that they probably don't need to be wrapped in a crunchy cheesy buttery layer.  I would have most likely enjoyed a platter of plain olives just as much if not more.  Nevertheless, people liked them.

Today, being my last day of Thanksgiving vacation, is a bittersweet day, but we are having a second Thanksgiving for just my family here, and I am going to attempt a couple new recipes, so stay tuned!

homemade pretzel bites
feta dip
cheddar and olive balls

oven toasted ravioli
 from Plain Chicken blog

12 frozen ravioli, thawed (I have found that you can make far more than 12)
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
6 Tbps Italian bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
cooking spray
marinara sauce or pesto for serving


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2)  Whisk together egg and milk in shallow bowl. In another bowl or pie plate, combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Dip ravioli in egg and then in bread crumbs. Place on baking sheet. Repeat until all ravioli are coated. Spray ravioli with cooking spray.

3)  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with warm marinara or pesto

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