For as long as I can remember, I have loved celebrating birthdays!! I mean who doesn’t like rockin’ parties, delicious food, and making the birthday queen/king feel absolutely and whole-heartedly loved? Sure, there is the pesky-little idea of getting older, but that detail can certainly be eased with a great celebration!
…and so you now know this weekend’s plan! You see April 27th kicks off birthday season in our family…today is my beautiful auntie’s birthday, tomorrow, my veijita’s- Granny Gracie’s B-day…and this list continues throughout May with over 10 significant celebrations of life- including Yours Truly who will be embracing the big 3-0 on the fifteenth of May.
My cousin, Kristy, and I thought a delicious get-together is in order to commemorate Gracie’s 95th birthday, as well as my aunt’s ____ birthday ;).
With that said, I decided to share some appetizer recipes that are sure to explode insanely good flavors on our guests’ taste buds, taking them on the ride of a lifetime!
Cheesy Onion Dip:
2 cups of diced yellow onions
16 oz of softened cream cheese
½ – ¾ cup of mayo
15 oz of finely shredded Swiss cheese (I use Sargento)
2-3 Pinches of brown sugar
2-3 Pinches of ground mustard
1 round King’s Hawaiian Bread
Time to get creative:
1- Pre-heat oven to 375˚
2- In an oven-friendly mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayo, brown sugar, ground mustard and mix well.
3- Add onions and mix
4- Here is where your ‘arms’ work-out’ for the day comes into play- Gradually add the shredded cheese, as it will be A VERY GOOD USE OF YOUR UPPER ARM STRENGTH to thoroughly mix it in.
5- Put dip in for about 25-30 minutes-ovens vary- HOWEVER, DON’T GO FAR- YOU SHOULD BE MIXING YOUR YUMMY CONCOCTION EVERY 7-10 MINUTES!
6- As the cheese melts, it will be much easier to stir- similar to the cool-down period in your work out ;)… Here is where you can grab a sip of wine as a reward for your strenuous efforts!
7- The bread will serve as your bread bowl and hold the dip, so cut a BIG circle in the center. Cut the piece you just removed into smaller serving pieces.
8- Decorate to please, as I am known for great food, but poor presentation-so I am no one to give advice on that! 😉
9- Once your dip is CREAMY and the cheese is completely melted, you are ready to transfer to bread bowl and serve!
Tomato- Mozzarella Salsa with Home-made Pita Chips
This one is a favorite because you get to taste as you go…no true measurements, just go slow and moderate and give it a taste-OFTEN.
2-3 cups of diced tomatoes
2-3 cups of diced Fresh Mozzarella
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar- My ABSOLUTE favorite is the Rozzano brand- I have only found it in BJ’s-but it is worth the membership because there is a certain sweetness to this particular brand I have never found in other Balsamics
Dried or fresh parsley
Garlic Tandoori Naan Bread (find at the Publix Deli)
- Set oven at 400˚
- Mix tomato, mozzarella and olive oil together-This helps all the other spices blend better. You do not want the salsa drenched under no means-however, you are looking for a moist look.
- Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley-again, taste as you go…This is going to be eye-balled.
- Add Balsamic and taste….refrigerate salsa
- Cut the Naan bread into triangles
- Generously douse triangles with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
- Cook in oven until crispy- Serve and Enjoy- The warmer the chips and cooler the salsa is the better the flavors.
Remember, cooking is fun and you need to laugh and love while you are doing it! You will taste all the difference in the food if you add those special ingredients!
Blissfully enjoy every second of it and e-mail me pictures and/or post comments…this is as much your blog as it is mine!
Here’s to Blissful Cooking and Sensational Celebrations,