Monday, December 7, 2009

Progressive Dinner Party - Day 1 - Appetizers and Drinks

Welcome to the Book Blogger Progressive Dinner Party!! Are you ready to have some fun??

It's day one, and we are all about the appetizers and drinks. Because you can't have a party without some yummy starters, right? I have a couple of great, fast recipes for you, but first, make sure you head over to visit Trisha at eclectic/eccentric - she has a yummy recipe for Green Bean Bundles to share!

I don't know about you, but I tend to have problems with recipes that have too many steps - my brain starts wandering, and then it's trouble! That's why I love this recipe for Parmesan Star Puffs - it's so easy, even I can't mess it up!

Cut a sheet of puff pastry with a star-shaped cookie cutter. Arrange the stars on a parchment-lined baking sheet; brush with olive oil and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees until puffed and crisp, about 15 minutes.

See - super easy. And look how cute!

This second recipe is a little more labor intensive, but definitely a party pleaser. It's from funny lady Amy Sedaris, and is called The Heavyset Cheese Ball.


1 1/4 cups whole natural almonds
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
3 crispy cooked bacon slices, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
salt and pepper to taste
pine or rosemary sprigs, for garnish


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Place and spread all the almonds on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan, pushing the almonds around until they turn color, about 20 minutes.

Mix together the cream cheese and the mayonnaise. Add the bacon, salt and pepper, dill, and onion. Chill overnight.

On a serving platter, make 2 pine cone shapes with the cheese.

Begin to press the almonds at a slight angle into the cheese, starting at the narrow end of the pine cone shape. Do this in rows, continuing to overlap rows until all the cheese is covered.

Garnish with fake sprigs, or real ones, or with rosemary. Serve at room temperature and spread on crackers.

Yum. My only issue with this recipe is making the pine cone shape - sometimes mine look a little lumpy. =) If you're not into the look, just crush the almonds and roll the cheese ball in them - the taste is still wonderful!

Now that you are drooling, head on over to Joyfully Retired - Margot has a tasty recipe for shrimp dip ready to share.

Also, make sure to visit the Book Blog Social Club this week - it's Progressive Dinner Central, with links to all the blogs who will be participating each day this week. I know I'll be there - I can't wait to see all the recipes!

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