By Guest Blogger, Wendy Bentien:
Quick, what do you do when your husband says he just invited your neighbors over for cocktails, or you need to take a little something to your in-laws house? Do you channel Julia Childs, get excited and start making homemade puff pastry? Probably not. If you are like most busy moms you A) buy the crudite veggie platter with the built in dip or B) fire up your oven to bake some prepackaged appetizers that are shaped like triangles. I beg you, don’t do it. With just a few simple ingredients from your fridge and pantry you can look like a Food Network Star. Think Giada or Ina, two of my favs.
Most people aren’t like me. I am obsessed with cooking and all things food. I dream about what to make for dinner while piles of laundry overtake my house and the dust bunnies plan a revolt. I have more cookbooks than I will ever use and I NEVER turn down an opportunity to feed people. My husband has a zero percent chance of ever fitting into his college acid wash jeans again, whew!
If your kitchen appliances are a little dusty and you haven’t used your oven for anything other than chicken nuggets and frozen pizza in a while than there is no better time than the upcoming Holidays to try something new (and super easy). Almost all the recipes I use can be made with one toddler hanging on your leg and another screaming in time out because lets be honest, that is how it is most of the time.
One of my favorite appetizers is Roasted Garlic and Lemon White bean dip that only takes a few ingredients and tastes divine. Go turn on your oven. I know you remember how. Trust me this is going to be fun!
All you need is the following:
~2 cans of Cannelini Beans (drained and rinsed)
~1 head of roasted garlic (this is the whole thing) I will tell you how to roast it in a minute.
~Zest and juice of 1 large lemon (zest it first)
~1 ½ tsp salt (I prefer kosher or sea salt)
~1 tsp pepper (or less if you like)
~¼ cup of olive oil
Dump everything but the olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides once or twice. Turn it back on and slowly drizzle the olive oil until the dip is silky looking. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
See that is it. Serve with crackers or pita wedges. It can be made a day ahead and it is best served at room temperature. Easy peasy pumpkin pie! You did it!
To make the roasted garlic, slice off just the top part of the bulb, just enough to show the garlic underneath. Place this on a decent size piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Then wrap up the packet to make a little garlic present twisting the top so no steam escapes. Place in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Unwrap and let cool before squeezing all the delicious caramelized cloves out.
Tip: Sometimes I make a lot in advance and freeze the garlic in little baggies so I can add it to recipes like Mashed potatoes or risotto.
Try this along with it.
Slices of french baguette spread with fig jam and topped with prosciutto ham and shaved parmesan cheese.
The holidays are about being together with family and friends wonderful food just makes it better. I like to say if your house smells great when they walk in they won’t notice the mess.
What are some of your favorite holiday recipes?