Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dinner at Mom's

My mom enjoys the simple pleasures of a good meal and good wine shared with family and friends. She's a great cook and loves to entertain. She is always trying out new recipes and with great success. So, when she invited my family and I over for dinner the other night, I knew we were in for a treat.

On the Menu:
Champagne and Cassis
Shrimp Ceviche
Ranch Vegetable Bruschetta
Salad Bar
Baked Ziti
Gingerbread bars with champagne lemon glaze

In honor of my mom, I'll start with dessert first. These gingerbread bars are amazing. The Champagne Lemon glaze is my Aunt Lori's recipe and she uses it on my many different desserts because it's just so tasty. The gingerbread bars were moist and chewy and the champagne glaze puts them over the top. These are the perfect holiday treat.


Gingerbread Bars with Champagne Lemon Glaze
Bon Appétit | July 2009
Yield: Makes 24
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
7 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided2 large eggs
1/4 cup light (unsulfured) molasses

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 15x10x1-inch baking sheet. Place 2 cups flour in medium bowl; transfer 2 tablespoons flour to small bowl and reserve. Add spices, baking soda, and salt to flour in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and 6 tablespoons sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then molasses. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat to blend. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Sift reserved 2 tablespoons flour evenly over batter, then sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake gingerbread until golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 22 minutes; cool completely in pan on rack. Cut gingerbread crosswise into 4 strips, then cut each strip into 6 pieces, forming 24 bars, each about 31/2x13/4 inches. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead.Store airtight at room temperature.

* Serve these with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and grating of fresh nutmeg. If you're feeling ambition add some crystallized ginger for decoration.

Champagne Lemon Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons melted butter
Zest from one lemon
2-3 T champagne or sprite

Whisk powdered sugar, melted butter and lemon zest together until smooth. Add champagne one tablespoon at a time and mix until spreading consistency. Add more champagne if too thick or more powdered sugar if too thin. Pour over cooled gingerbread bars.

Champagne and Cassis
4 oz chilled Champagne
1/2 oz Crème de cassis
Raspberries for garnish, optional

Pour the champagne into a champagne flute. Add a healthy splash of Crème de cassis and drop in a few raspberries. Serve

*If you want to make them a little fancier use Chambord in place of the cassis.

I think these Christmas suction cup glass markers are very festive and adorable. Find some here.

Ranch Vegetable Bruschetta
1/2 Cup Ranch Veggie dip
1 loaf french bread, cut diagnolly into 1-in slices
1/3 cup olice oil
1/2 an english cucumber, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red onion or chives, diced

preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush each slice of b
read with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toast in oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Cool completely. Spread each toast with veggie ranch dip. Combine cucumbers, tomatoes and onion in a medium bowl. Spoon vegetable mixtures on top of ranch. Serve

Shrimp Ceviche
This recipe comes from my aunt Lori who is an amazing cook.
1 lb bay or salad shrimp
1/2 lb lump crab
1 small container pico de gaio, drained
1 jalapeno
diced cilantro
lime juice
salt to taste
cumin to taste
Any other spices you like

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve with crackers or thin slices of toasted baget.
Main Course

Growing up, my grandma (my mom's mom) always had the family over for Sunday dinner and one of her staples was a salad bar with endless toppings. It's a great way to serve salad and everyone gets to choose what they want.

Salad Bar
Big bowl of lettuce
Homemade Ranch (a must!)
Vinaigrette, Cesar etc.
Shredded Carrots
Small Garbanzo beans
Red Kidney Beans
Sliced Mushrooms
Shredded Beets
Chopped Green Onions
Baby Corn
Black Olives
Raw Broccoli and Cauliflower
Sunflower Seeds

Baked Ziti

Recipe from Marguerite Henderson's, Savor the Memories.

1 comment:

shauna said...

You make my dinner look better than it actually was. Thanks for making me look good. Glad you enjoyed. I'll have to have you over for dinner more often if I'm going to make your blog.


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