As I announced in yesterday's post about finally attempting some of the things I had pinned, Part II is all about FOOD. Amen. Here is what I tried:
I'm not a fan of bourbon, so I hated these. People who like bourbon said the grapes were fantastic, but that the grapes and cheese combo would have been better with a cracker involved.
This recipe I changed a bit, and it was a big hit. I buttered and lightly toasted french bread for a minute or two under the broiler. Then I topped the bread with slices of plum tomatoes, drizzled a very little bit of olive oil, covered with parm cheese, salt and pepper and a small amount of dried basil. I baked them at the time and temp indicated, and they were fantastic. I will likely be making them again soon.
This pin did not feature any recipe or instructions or link to a blog. It was just this picture and I had to use my imagination. Luckily, I had a lot of very professional help on hand for my New Year's Party (Thanks Amy!!!) Amy is working on her PhD in Chemical Engineering, so you know she had this down to a science! She used the pillsbury crescent rolls, spread on a liberal amount of cream cheese, then added pieces of bacon and chopped jalapenos. They were excellent! The only thing I would do differently in the future is add more jalapenos, because I really like to taste the spicy pain. But they were great for a crowd, because not everyone likes to punish their taste buds like I do.
This recipe was a disaster for me, which is too bad because the thought of using bacon on chicken coated in coarse mustard with sticky honey makes me drool a little. The problem is that you have to know exactly what size to cute the chicken so that it will cook in time with the bacon. And unless you are a professional Chef, there is no way you know the ratio. A better way to do this little flavor combo would be to cook the bacon and chicken separately, then wrap it up at the end in bite-sized pieces kind of like scallops. By the time the bacon cooked fully, the chicken was completely dry, and I looked like the idiot that overcooked the chicken on Christmas Eve. Luckily I think everyone was drunk so they didn't care.
This was a very quick and painless thing to make on New Years. I used Potato Dinner rolls - they came in a 24 pack. It was good, but I think fresh dinner rolls would have tasted better. But let's face it, I'm a bread snob. Overall, this is a great party food, because it doesn't require a plate, and you can make it ahead of time and pop it in the oven right before you need it.
This was a great punch, and I ended up making 2 batches. but I will add that I used almost twice as much pomegranate juice as was recommended. Without the extra juice it was just too "bland" - which was fine for me, because I love champagne, but not everyone does. The extra juice went a long way to make the punch a crowd pleaser.
Finally, the Pièce de résistance: Champagne Cupcakes
There was a lot of drama regarding these cupcakes. I initially saw the photo shown above on Pinterest. It was featured on Some Kitchen Stories. Apparently, they had taken the recipe from Gimme Some Oven who had adapted it from AllRecipes. I like AllRecipes.com because people post reviews. When you are making a recipe for the first time, it's always nice to read the reviews and see how it worked out for others. Well there were a few negativos who noted that the cake was heavy or dry.
So when Amy and I made this, we were super careful, being sure to whip up the butter and sugar until it was very fluffy and pale. Then we sifted the dry ingredients twice. And the egg whites - you have to wait a while to get the egg whites to the correct stiffness. It takes longer than you think. I did end up adding an additional 1/4 C of Champagne to the cake recipe, and I even mixed everything by hand and folded the egg whites in thirds. I would like to add that it was very strenuous physically to mix things by hand. In my cooking career, I have always had a kitchen aid. Mixing by hand is simply not done in my house. But I endured. And I'm glad because these little bad boys were excellent. We did make the mini-cakes and cooked them at 350 for 10 minutes. They were moist, they weren't too dense, and you could taste the champagne, which I liked, because as I may have mentioned... I am a lush. We also ended up using way more confectioner's sugar than the recipe called for, (probably a cup and half more) because it was too watery. But they were great.
I had some again today, and they were not as good. So you want to make and eat them on the same day, but I do believe I will be making these again. I was very proud of our excellent efforts at hand mixing.
So here I am, wrapping up this edition of Pinterest Pursuits, very impressed with my efforts. Have you tried anything that you pinned lately? How did it go? Fill me in!