Monthly Archives: December 2012

Antipasto Platter

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Antipasto Platter

Antipasto Platter


This is not only pretty but also delicious! I made this for a Christmas Day late afternoon repast. I think I will also make for a New Years get together we are attending.

Slice French bread at an angle and brush with olive oil. Toast both sides under broiler. Arrange on tray and add: pepperoni or whatever meat you prefer, marinated mushrooms, sundried tomatoes in oil, marinated artichoke hearts, olives: Castelvetrano olives (nice unique teal color, has firm texture with a buttery flavor), kalamata olives (soft texture and salty with strong flavor), Sundried tomato stuffed olives (nice combination of flavors: salty, sweet), and marinated mozzarella balls.

I also made a cheese platter and was going to post but the photos didn’t come out. So, here are the details!
Three Cheeses –
Triple Cream Brie: soft cheese with a milder Brie flavor. I absolutely love this cheese and it’s a great addition to a cheese plate. I used the Wegmans brand triple cream.
Blue Cheese: Soft and very strong cheese. You either love it or you hate it. I used the Buttermilk Blue brand
Parmesan: Nice firm cheese that goes great with everything! I used the Belgioioso brand.

What makes cheese platters so entertaining is all the great bits you can serve with it. We used grapes, candied pecans, and cranberry orange bread. You can also add anything from the antipasto trey or I’ve also had jellies and dried fruits to accompany.

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Mrs. Weiss’s Snickerdoodles and Tollhouse Cookies

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Nothing says Christmas to me like Snickerdoodles and Tollhouse cookies. Hoping everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Mrs. Weiss’s Snickerdoodles

This recipe was given to my mom by her landlady in Philadelphia where she grew up. It’s been a tradition with my mom when I was growing up to make these every Christmas and I have started this tradition with my family. I love you, mom! 😉

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Mix together:
1 cup soft shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs

Sift together in a separate bowl:
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon and sugar mixture for coating: 2 Tablespoons and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Roll dough into small balls (they will spread). Roll the dough balls into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet or on parchment paper.

Bake 9 minutes at 375.

Tollhouse cookies are the other staple each Christmas. We just follow the recipe on the back of the Tollhouse chocolate chip bag. Check it out: Tollhouse Cookie Recipe
We do add 1 cup chopped pecans and press a pecan half into the top as you can see in the photo. The sky’s the limit!

Beef Stew with Cheese Bread Croutons

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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I found this comforting winter meal on movitabeaucoup.com. To make it even easier I got the precut, pre washed carrots, celery and potatoes at my local Wegmans market. I also went with the precut beef stew meat from the butcher section. As a vegetarian alternative you could use fava beans or red kidney beans instead of the beef.

2 lbs of stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium sized onions, chopped into medium pieces
2 – 3 ribs celery, chopped
4 – 6 carrots, chopped
4 cups chunked potatoes (I used Dutch yellow and did not peel)
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes (I use plum tomatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3 cups sodium reduced beef broth, divided
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Croutons: 1 loaf of cheese bread (recipe not included as I got mine at good ol’ Wegmans)
Slice in one inch slices and toast under broiler or in toaster oven. Cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch squares. Super easy.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then lightly brown the meat in batches. Transfer browned beef to a plate and set aside.

Dump the tomatoes into the slow cooker (juice and all). Crush them with a potato masher or spoon. Add the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the vegetables and then add the beef and any accumulated drippings. Pour 2 1/2 cups of the beef broth over the beef and vegetables. Give the mixture a quick stir. Add the bay leaves.

Cover and cook on low for about 6 – 8 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, add the frozen peas and salt and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together the flour and remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth, creating a smooth paste. Stir into the stew. Continue cooking until thickened (about 15-20 minutes).

Remove the bay leaves and serve. I served mine with cheese bread croutons. You can not ask for a heartier stew after a long winter day. Thanks again to movitabeaucoup.com for this one!