We had the little party at a friend's house that was built in 1901 and is on the National Historic Register ... and that is a post for a different day! My friends and I have had numerous events like this over the years and we always use their house because it is much larger than mine!
We didn't go overboard on the food ... just a little snacking with good coffee and a cold green tea punch. My friend, Sue, made heart shaped brownies with Mike's initial on them! Notice the stacks of dessert plates Sue used ... She has a huge collection of lots of patterns of small china plates, and small china platters when she serves a full meal. Very cute ... and so "Sue"!
We wanted both sweet and savory. My daughter made these. They are so easy and the perfect thing for a busy mom to put together! Marinated mozzarella pearls with half a grape tomato. She added a good sprinkle of chopped fresh basil, and when she makes these in the summertime, she puts a whole basil leaf skewered on each one. So good.
I've been making savory cream puffs stuffed with chicken salad for 35 years! The original recipe was in a little thin Better Homes and Gardens cookbook about chicken. I've made thousands of these things! They take a little time, but are well worth the effort.
Savory Cream Puff Recipe
Melt a stick of real butter in a cup of water .. .bring that to a boil to melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly whisk in 1 cup of flour and continue to whisk it until the dough sticks together in a sort of a ball. Use your mixer to beat in 4 eggs ... one at time. The dough will become glossy. Beat in 1 cup of parmesan cheese, 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley, a teaspoon onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chipotle powder. You can vary the herbs to your own liking.
Now here is the trick to making these right. Some recipes will tell you to bake them for ten minutes at 425 degrees ... then turn the temp down.
DON'T DO THAT.
Put both your oven racks on the two middle levels of your oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use a tiny ice cream scoop (or two teaspoons) to drop portions of a little more than a Tablespoon of this dough on a lightly greased baking sheet. You'll probably have about 30 puffs on two sheets.
As soon as you put the sheets in the oven, turn it down to 375 degrees ... and bake these for 15 minutes. They should be puffy and brown ... and if the color doesn't suit you ... you can bake them for another 5 minutes. The reason I caution you about the highest temperature ... is that these babies will burn and have black bottoms in five minutes, if you aren't careful ... but you need to start out at the high temperature to jump start the rising.
These are the popular pineapple cheesecake bars that are all over Pinterest these days! You can find my post right here ... I borrowed the recipe from The Sisters Cafe blog I substitute the vanilla and almond extracts for 2 teaspoons of lemon extract. I like that combination of flavors better ... and these were complimented by an old friend who owned a popular bakery for decades! So, I think they hit the mark.
These easy little chocolate pudding tarts were made using packaged phyllo pastry cups ... but you have to know why we made them. Our candidate's opponent's daughter threw a chocolate cream pie in the face of the Illinois Governor George Ryan several years ago. Can you imagine? We just want to make sure that voters remember that! Like him or not ... that is a bit inappropriate. Ya think?
I'll be sharing this post with a few of the following parties. Make sure you click through to take a look at the other posts!
Creatively Living for Monday Funday Party
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
Dwellings-Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home