Summer is here


Summer is here and the best way to celebrate all the green plants and sunshine is with a party! I have been looking forward to this day since I made the menu. A lot of the recipes I found on Annie’s Eats! I found the punch off of the food network.

There were so many recipes I wanted to make. There were so many themes I could go with. I have to thank my mother in law and Grandma W. for everything. They helped me find plates which was a fun adventure in it of itself. They also came over when a few Snafu’s occurred. Also I am thankful to Brooke and Jason for coming over.

Everything turned out wonderful and I did not have as much stress making everything.

I looked up a lot of information about throwing parties etc. Everyone who knows me knows that I love lists! These lists made everything simple and straight forward. The only thing that I had a lot of problems with was creating a cooking schedule. I sat and worried and fretted about the schedule. I have never made a cooking schedule and did not know where to start and how to go about it. Eventually I got it down and was so glad to be done with it. It also gave me another list to be able to mark things off as I finished them! I love putting a line through something on a list. ūüôā I was able to make the schedule and everything was done on time.

I cleaned my house from top to bottom and while it was a lot of work it was worth it in the end.

The best part was sitting down eating, and enjoying everyone’s company.

Gizmo had a ton of fun! She loved the salmon and chicken that fell on the floor.

The menu is comprised of a lot of finger foods.

 App.

Salmon Mousse bites

Vegetable tray

Main

Ham and Cheese bites

Chicken Enchilada Dip Roll ups

Desert

Cookie dough Truffles

Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate

Drinks

Fruit Punch

Sex on the beach cocktails

These were so amazing! Though I would only recommend only chilling it for one hour. I had a hard time piping the salmon so I gave up and used a butter knife to scrape on to crackers yum!

Salmon Mousse

Ingredients:
8 oz. smoked salmon, flaked with a fork
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. dried dill weed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, finely minced

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse repeatedly until all the ingredients are blended and smooth. Transfer to a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least one hour. (Alternatively, pipe the mixture onto crackers and garnish with fresh herbs.)

These were very tasty ! We did not boil them. I had trouble with the dough but hopefully it will get easier the more times I make it.

Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites

Ingredients:
For the dough:
1¬Ĺ¬†tsp. instant yeast
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
¬ľ cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
2¬Ĺ-3 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
¬Ĺ cup small diced ham -2.00
¬Ĺ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

To finish:
6 cups water
4 tsp. baking soda
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted .70
Kosher salt (or pretzel salt), for topping

Directions:
To make the dough, combine the yeast, brown sugar, water, milk, and 2¬Ĺ cups of flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. ¬†Mix until a dough has formed. ¬†Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed until a soft, elastic dough forms. ¬†Add the remaining flour a 1-2 tablespoons at a time until the dough is tacky but not sticky.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. ¬†Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, until the dough has doubled in size and bubbles on the surface, about 1¬Ĺ to 2 hours.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide into 4 equal pieces.  Stretch or roll one piece of the dough into a 12 x 4-inch rectangle.  Sprinkle some of the diced ham and the shredded cheese over one third of the dough closest to an edge, lengthwise.  Roll up tightly, filling edge first, so that the filling is tightly sealed inside.  Slice the log into 12 pieces and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Repeat with the remaining 3 portions of dough, and the remaining filling.

Preheat the oven to 400ňö F. ¬†Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. ¬†Add the baking soda and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. ¬†Boil the pretzels in batches, cooking for about 2o seconds and turning once. They should be slightly puffed. ¬†Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to transfer them back to the baking sheet.

Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Brush the warm pretzel bites with the melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt.

I love this recipe and we always end up with more than enough. They are a little spicy and filling.

Chicken Enchilada Dip Roll-Ups

Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened 2.00
2/3 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, pepper jack, etc.)
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. chili powder
¬Ĺ tsp. cumin
¬ľ tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste
Handful of cilantro, chopped 1.00
3 green onions, chopped 1.00
10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained well
4-6 8-inch tortillas 1.30

Directions:
Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Cook in a skillet ov­er medium-high heat until lightly browned and cooked through.  Transfer to a plate and let cool.

In the meantime, combine all of the remaining ingredients except tortillas in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until well blended.  Once the chicken is cool, transfer to a cutting board and chop or shred into small pieces.  Add the chicken to the filling mixture and stir well to incorporate.

Spread a thin layer of the filling mixture over a tortilla, leaving a small border clear around the edge. ¬†Roll the tortilla up tightly into a spiral. ¬†Place the rolled up tortilla on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut into 1- to 1¬Ĺ-inch thick segments. ¬†Transfer to a serving platter and serve chilled or at room temperature.

These were so easy to make and beautiful. I pulled out a lot of different toppings to roll them in. I rolled them in sliced almonds, pecans, and sprinkles.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries


Ingredients

  • 16 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves 5.00

Directions

  1. Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
  3. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool.

I have never had success with truffles till this recipe! I can only eat one because they are so rich. We made so many that I will be eating them till Christmas.

Cookie Dough Truffles


Ingredients:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
¬ĺ cup light brown sugar, packed
2¬ľ cup all-purpose flour
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¬Ĺ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1¬Ĺ lb. semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate, coarsely chopped
Mini chocolate chips (for garnish)

Directions:
Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up enough to form balls.

Shape the chilled cookie dough mixture into 1-1¬Ĺ inch balls. ¬†Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. ¬†Cover loosely, transfer the pan to the freezer and chill for 1-2 hours.

When ready to dip the truffles, melt the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Dip each chilled truffle, one at a time, coating in chocolate and shaking gently to remove the excess.  (If at any point during dipping, the cookie dough balls become too soft, return to the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.)  Transfer to a wax-paper lined surface.  If using mini chocolate chips for garnish, sprinkle on top quickly after dipping each truffle before the chocolate sets.  Once all the truffles have been dipped, store them in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

This was a wonderful summery drink.

Fruit Punch 30 minutes , 1 hour chill Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

  • 2 (6-ounce) cans frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 (6-ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 (48-ounce) can pineapple juice
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 pints strawberries, hulled
  • 1 (1-liter) bottle lemon-lime soda (recommended: Sprite)
  • Directions

Combine the orange juice, lemonade, and pineapple juice and stir well.

Bring 3 cups water and the sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan and boil until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Add the syrup to the fruit juices.

Place the whole strawberries into a ring mold. Pour in enough fruit juice to fill the mold. Freeze. Refrigerate the remaining juice.

When ready to serve, pour the fruit juice into a punch bowl and add the soda. Float the Strawberry ice ring in the punch.

My husband made these cocktails and they were really great! Then again I am a light weight so one of these makes me feel mellow.

Sex on the Beach 

Recipe courtesy Ken Hall, Legends of Bartending

Prep Time: 3 min

Ingredients

  • 1/2-ounce vodka (recommended: Skyy Vodka)
  • 1/2-ounce melon liqueur (recommended: Midori Melon Liqueur)
  • 1/2-ounce raspberry liqueur (recommended: Chambord)
  • Splash pineapple juice
  • Splash cranberry juice

Directions

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a 14-ounce glass filled with ice. Serve with a tall straw.

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