Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Stuffed Mushrooms and Memories

Only two days left until the beautiful Christmas holiday celebration.  My daughter and I had one last gift wrapping marathon last night and just about completed all our tasks for our long family weekend together, which is definitely overdue for all of us.

In my blog two years ago, I shared some of our special family ornaments that we have collected through our travels and hang on the tree every holiday season.  This year, we took trips to Atlanta, Georgia (for the first time) and also returned to our favorite vacation spot in Sunriver, Oregon...and of course returned with our memories and Christmas tree ornaments to treasure and remember the times with.

The World of Coca-Cola Headquarters and Museum 
and our tour of Atlanta, Georgia in March.

Memories of our Whitewater Rafting excursion
with Ouzel Outfitters in Blue River, Oregon in August.

This week while both girls were out for an evening, my husband and I decided to have one of our infamous "nosh nights".  Instead of just our typical go-to Genoa salami with Vermont sharp white cheddar cheese and rosemary garlic Triscuit crackers, I decided to take it up a notch and go for a little more fancy holidayesque platter...Crab Cakes with Dill Butter sauce, my favorite Stuffed Mushrooms and finished it off with Toasted Baguette slices with Fig Jam, Proscuitto and Cambozola Cheese, (which by the way is now my daughter's new favorite high end lunch...forget the basic grilled cheese sandwich, she is completely addicted to this.

These mushrooms are elegant enough for an 
upcoming New Year's Eve party or 
simply perfect for stay at home date night.

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 pound white, button mushrooms
1 cup Italian seasoned panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbl. butter
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and dry mushrooms well.  Pull stems from mushroom caps (set caps aside).  Finely chop the mushroom stems.

In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped stems, onion and garlic.  Saute about 10 minutes until onion starts to turn light golden brown.  Turn heat to medium and add the panko crumbs and saute another 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the Parmesean and Mozzarella cheeses.  Stir well until cheeses have melted into the mushroom/onion mixture.

Spoon (about 1 heaping Tablespoon) each mushroom cap with the filling, pressing gently.  Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes (check after 10 minutes), until mushrooms are tender and stuffing is gold brown.

One Year Ago: Blueberry-Banana Muffins
Two Years Ago: Rouladen

Monday, December 21, 2015

Holly Jolly Buckets and Bark

Every year I try to put together either Thanksgiving/Fall or Christmas/Holiday home baked goodies for our nearby neighbors.  Last year I had my act together a little earlier and made everyone my Pumpkin Bread.  This year...not so much.  I really struggled for what seemed like eternity with what, how and when to fit it all in before the holiday gets away from me.

Finally figured out some easy recipes that looked festive, along with the help of my daughters.  I proceeded with my Holly Jolly Bark and Holiday Cake Cookies.

As luck would have it, my daughters had some extra "Treat Sleighs" that they made for their Leadership Group.  So, away we went with a plan, ingredients and fun gifts for our neighbors.
I found perfect size chalkboard/galvanized buckets and labeled them in fun holiday chalkboard markers.

The boys even joined in, but between their "spa day",
 holiday baking, wrapping gifts and fitting in all the other weekend 
household duties, they couldn't stay awake another minute.
Looks like they "just settled down for a long winters nap".

Holly Jolly Bark

16 whole "Christmas edition" Oreo cookies with red filling, broken up
1-1/2 cup pretzels (long, skinny ones), broken up
1 cup red and green Christmas M&M's
1 lb. white chocolate bark
Christmas colored sprinkles

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Lay out the broken cookies, pretzels and M&M's

Melt the white chocolate bark according to package directions.
Pour melted chocolate over cookies, pretzels and candies.
Use an offset spatula to spread chocolate evenly and
add the holiday sprinkles over chocolate.
Let set for at least 6 hours, so chocolate can set.

Cut into bite size pieces and package in holiday bags.
(Use any leftover scraps from the sides as
topping for ice cream -Yummy!!)

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

One Year Ago: GGMa's Lemon Shrimp
Two Year's Ago: Thumbprint Cookies