I love the holidays for several reasons. First and foremost being that I am officially on break from school! I took my last final of the semester this morning and half of me is elated that it’s all over and the other half is frustrated with my performance this semester and anxious about the grades that will soon be posted. All of those are pretty normal post-final emotions for me..I can never fully relax right away. The good thing about being married during this time is that we can lean on each other. The bad thing is that I still have to cook for two lol. I do enjoy cooking but during finals week, eating becomes less of a priority.
Anyway, I’ve learned how to make some simple appetizers (or teasers as I so cleverly entitled this post) that you can serve at a holiday party or any dinner. For me, they are more like light meals since we won’t be entertaining.
Quick story: My husband’s department had a holiday party at this swanky country club. It was a really nice space with gorgeous decorations, and the professors brought their families. But I didn’t really know a lot of people there and it was not that entertaining. We started talking to a German student who is graduating this semester, and he happened to be eating a slice of German chocolate cake. Of course I had to say something about it, and he went on to tell me that German chocolate cake is NOT from Germany. He said that once he got here, he was surprised at the name and looked it up..turns out the dessert is named after a man whose last name is “German”. He was like, “it’s kind of weird tasting.” I was like “yeah, I’m not a fan of coconut on cake.” And he was like, “We don’t even have coconuts in Germany! Oh yea, Germany is known for its lush beaches and coconut trees!”
Yall, I don’t know why I laughed so hard when he said this. I think his accent made it funnier..I probably laughed a little too hard like it was the funniest thing I had heard all night (and it was). Moral of the story: If you’re not having great time at a holiday party, find someone interesting with a good sense of humor to talk to and your night will be saved.
Now for the recipes, first up is hummus! In one of my past posts, I’ve complained about no one buying us anything on our registry. My mother heard this and for my birthday she got me a blender and a food processor from our list. So for my first use of the processor, I decided to try something simple.
1.Hummus: 2 cans of garbonzo beans, cumin, lemon, curry powder, paprika, olive oil, minced garlic
First time I made this, I completely drained and used 2 cans of beans.
<<My new food processor
I squeezed the whole lemon in there because I like the taste. Overall, the taste was really good and flavorful but the texture was a bit too dry and pasty. You can see the papers in the background..I was in the middle of a 8 hr study session.
I eat it with pita chips or regular tortilla chips..The second time I made it, I used only one drained can of garbonzo beans and poured in a little water. It came out better texture but I lost some of the flavor. I’ll get it right one of these days. To make it pretty for a party, you should garnish it with a parsley leaf or something.
2. Deviled eggs: 4 eggs, mayonnaise or miracle whip, sweet relish, mustard, season salt (It depends on how many you want, 4 eggs makes 8 and 6 eggs makes 12 and so on.)
I’ve always loved deviled eggs and once I found out how easy it was to make, I started making them all the time or whenever I have leftover eggs (usually right before the expiration date which probably isn’t the best policy).
After I boil the eggs, I’m too impatient to wait for them to cool completely so I put them in a bowl of ice and peel them. Cut them long ways and put the yolk in a bowl. Mix in the other ingredients including a little salt. I like a lot of sweet relish in mine.
Put the mixture back into empty eggs.
3. Spinach cheese quesadilla: tortillas, frozen spinach, shredded cheese, chopped onion (optional), season salt and other seasonings
Earlier I gave a recipe for Mushroom Cheese quesadillas and this is fairly similar.
<<Heat frozen spinach in pan and season
Put spinach and cheese on tortilla and top with another tortilla (I forgot but make sure to put cheese as first layer, then spinach, then cheese again so the bottom tortilla can stick). I used our panini grill again! You can use a regular frying pan and it’ll turn out the same. Of course, you can cut them smaller to feed more.
That’s it! Since I’m not a professional, I gravitate to simple recipes that can satisfy anyone and these appe-teasers will definitely make your guests think that you know your way around a kitchen.
Now that I have some time, I will be doing more experiments from some of my cookbooks so stay tuned for possible disasters! lol