Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sending off friends, with laughter and good food :)

Our best friends left Sunday for a seven day vacation to Jamaica.  We had them over Saturday for supper and the menu was:

Appetizer: Warm Artichoke Dip
Main:  Lemon Mustard (Dijon) Chicken and Dill Butter Shrimp, Bacon Maple Scalloped Potatoes, veg tossed in olive oil and spice roasted on the bbq
Dessert: Lemon Truffle Cake.

Oh, it was so yummy!!!!!  I was a wee bit worried when I made the marinade for the chicken up, it was SOOOOO lemony, Leigh stepped in and told me to remember that it is just a marinade and the taste won't be overwhelming, he was right, it turned out perfectly!  The lemon was NOT too lemony, but just the right balance with all the fresh herbs.  Recipes are below, enjoy! 

Warm Artichoke Dip

1 can water packed artichokes, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise (do not use Miracle Whip!)
1/2 cup grated parmesan (or more if you like)
granulated or fresh garlic to taste
lemon to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients in a oven safe dish, and pop in the oven to get all hot and bubbly for about 15 minutes.  You can reheat left-overs in the oven or the microwave, but there probably won't be any left!!!

Serve immediately with crackers or tortilla chips.


www.RecipeGirl.com (love her recipes!)

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced lemon zest
¼ cup dijon mustard
¼ cup finely chopped fresh herbs (any combo of rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano and parsley)
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp coarsely cracked pepper

4 whole large skinless, boneless chicken breasts- halved (or use chicken tenders to top a salad)
lemon slices, parsley and fresh herbs for garnish

1. Combine marinade ingredients in a large freezer ziploc baggie. Mix well.
2. Add chicken breasts to baggie and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.
3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and grill 3 inches from heat for 6 to 8 minutes on each side.
4. Place on individual plates or on a platter surrounded by parsley sprigs, lemon slices and fresh herb leaves.
Servings: 6

Bacon Maple Scalloped Potatoes ... Kraft Canada
You need:
1 red onion, thinly sliced
125 g (1/2 of 250-g pkg.) Brick Cream Cheese, cubed
1 can (10 fl oz/284 mL) 25%-less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Bacon, chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 lb. (900 g) Yukon gold potatoes (about 6), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 cup Cheddar Shredded Cheese

HEAT oven to 400°F.  (I used 350 and left it in for 2 1/2 hours, nothing worse than undercooked scalloped potatoes!!)

COOK onions in a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat 3 to 5 min. or until crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Remove onions from skillet.

ADD cream cheese, broth and milk to skillet; cook and stir on medium-low heat 5 min. or until cream cheese is melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat; stir in bacon and syrup.

PLACE half the potatoes in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; cover with layers of onions and shredded cheese. Top with remaining potatoes and cream cheese sauce; cover.

BAKE I baked at 350, covered, for 2 hours... I uncovered for an additional 1/2 hour - 245 minutes until golden brown.

And the dessert :)



2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup unsalted butter or white vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 large egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup water
2 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup (6 ounces) chopped white chocolate or vanilla baking chips
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

1 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

2. Prepare the cake: In a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, and butter or shortening. Blend until the butter is evenly mixed. Add the vanilla. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl constantly, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.

3. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently but thoroughly fold the whites into the cake batter. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.

4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cakes are no longer jiggly in the center. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Split the cooled layers horizontally to make 4 layers in all. (I use a serrated knife… and gently saw around the center to cut even layers).

5. Prepare the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in water until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with a fork. Slowly stir about 1/4 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, whisking quickly while adding the hot liquid. (You don’t want to create scrambled eggs, so be sure to add the hot mixture slowly, whisking it into the eggs as quickly as possible). Continue adding ¼ cups of the hot mixture to the eggs until you have warmed up the egg mixture. Whisk the egg yolk mixture back to the mixture in the saucepan. Cook over low heat until the mixture boils, whisking constantly, then continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring.

6. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice and zest. Transfer half of the hot filling to a small bowl and set aside to cool. Add the white chocolate to the hot filling in the saucepan and stir until the chocolate is melted; set aside. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the white chocolate mixture until light and smooth. At this point, you should have a small bowl of lemon curd and a bowl of white chocolate truffle filling.

7. Spread one third of the white chocolate filling over one layer of the cake. Top with a second cake layer, then spread with one third more of the filling; top with a third cake layer and spread the remaining filling over. Top with the last cake layer and spread reserved lemon curd. Refrigerate, uncovered, until the filling is set (2 to 3 hours).

8. Make the whipped cream: In another bowl, whip the cream and sweeten it with the confectioners’ sugar. Frost the sides of the cake with half of the whipped cream frosting. Put the remaining frosting into a pastry bag and pipe decoratively around the top and bottom edge of the cake. Refrigerate up to 8 hours before serving.

Serves: 16
(Don't let this recipe daunt you, it flows soooo smoothly and the finished product is incredible!)


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your recipes!! I'm going to try the scalloped potatoes for Easter dinner with our ham!!
    Keep blogging girlfriend!