It's FRIDAY!! And it's also the Friday before CHRISTMAS!! Which means a few things. First, that I must go back to the store and get all of the ingredients for dishes I am making for Christmas that I picked up the other day, but have now already eaten because I could not wait . Second, that I will start burning my holiday candles( fresh balsam, home for the holidays, winter, etc) pretty much all at the same time in an attempt to make my home smell like a winter wonderland. Third, that Brian is inching closer to completely shedding his Grinchy exterior and perhaps, maybe, dare I wish it? Actually enjoying the holiday!
You see, Brian isn't exactly a holiday nut like I am. It's not that he has anything against it, it's just that he isn't obsessed with this time of year the way that I am. I literally jumped out of the bed this morning because I was just so darn excited that it is actually coldish outside today and that means I can turn on the heat and make some hot chocolate and wear my snowflake pj's without sweating. Well, Brian may argue that me waking up didn't exactly go that smoothly. He may say it went something like this:
Brian: **putting away dishes and making coffee at 7:30am like a normal person**
Me: **still in bed** What are you DOING??
Brian: Happy Friday!!
Me: **Throws pillow over head**
Brian: *sneaks into room* Hi sweetie, what time do you need to get up this morning?
Me: I have an alarm set! *Throws pillow back over head*
Brian: Ok, love you!
He is so dramatic sometimes.
But anyways, what I am getting at is that I am always completely filled with the joyous magic of the holidays from around October 31st through February 14th, and Brian feels it somewhere between now and the end of New Year's Day. But that's ok, I have enough holiday spirit for us both. Except, perhaps, for the mornings when I haven't had my coffee. Or, ya know, before 8am. But whatevs.
But you did not come here for stories about Brian's dramatics, you came here for reviews and recipes. Unfortunately, this week, I have no reviews for you. I just didn't eat anywhere that I thought was worthy of your time hearing about it, and certainly not anywhere that I would want you to go and spend your money because I recommended it. So, in exchange, I am going to give you two recipes! I have not forgotten that I promised a recipe from my Holiday Party, so I will post that, and also the recipe for Sausage Balls, a sacred recipe in my family as my Mother makes them every year and it is just not the holidays until the first batch has been made. Since I am married and no longer living close enough to my Mom to just walk on over and demand food from her, I had to make the first batch myself this year. They were delicious, to be sure, but just missing that special Mommy touch. Perhaps she will make them for me on Christmas Day if I supply the ingredients? *Hint, Hint, Mom....Mom? Please?*
What you will need:
1 tube sage sausage(I like Jimmy Dean)
1 pouch bisquick biscuit mix(original flavor)
1 8oz block medium cheddar cheese, shredded(you have to shred your own, don't use the pre-shredded stuff because it has some kind of flour on it)
Approx 1-2 tbsp hot sauce
Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, preferably a non-stick sheet.
Mix the sausage, biscuit mix, cheese and hot sauce together. Now, the reason for the approx measurement of the hot sauce is that it's really up to the person making it. It's an eye-balling situation. My Mom and I go by how the mix feels. We use enough hot sauce to make it easy to mix, because it is a dry mixture and your fingers risk breaking off if you don't moisten it enough with the hot sauce. Or, if you don't want it that spicy but need to make it more moist, add a few drops of water. Either way, mix it all together until it is just combined.
Roll into whatever size balls you want. This recipe calls for them to be a little smaller than golf balls. Place them all on the baking sheet, and spread them out a little because they will puff when they bake.
Bake for 20 minutes, turn over, and bake for another 15-20 minutes until just cooked through. Move to a paper towel-lined baking sheet when they come out of the oven, and let them cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Bruschetta with Arugula and Prosciutto Salad
*This was a HUGE hit at the party. It seems like a lot of work, but it's really not, and it will be the first thing to go. People go crazy for it.
What you will need:
1 thin baguette
8oz fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
4 tbsp pesto(I buy the pre-made stuff)
4 cups fresh arugula
6-8 thin slices prosciutto, cut into ribbons
1 half lemon, or 1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp(approx) olive oil
salt and pepper
Turn oven to high broil. Slice the baguette open so it is butterflied(longways, like you are making a sub sandwich). Spread each half with 2 tbsp pesto. Place the cheese slices on top of each half evenly,place the bread on a baking sheet and place in the oven. WATCH IT CAREFULLY, it will only take a minute or two. You want the cheese melted, but not browned.
Take out of the oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes. Cut the bread into 2 inch slices, and transfer to a serving platter, or plate, or whatever you have on hand to serve it on.
Pile the arugula in the center of the platter, then arrange the prosciutto on top. Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze the lemon over the salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve. Enjoy!!
I hope you love these recipes as much as I do. I think they are things that most people really enjoy eating, but might not make for themselves. I, personally, always end up making about five to ten batches of the sausage balls at the holidays. They keep really well, and re-heat really well in the microwave(no more than 40 seconds!) for a quick snack, or even to have for breakfast.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, or for the rest of the tribe, a wonderful time at the movies with your Chinese food. What? You don't sneak it into the theatre? That's just me? Hmmm.
I will probably be back next week, but just in case I'm not, have a healthy, safe New Year and I will see you in 2013!!!
Tidings of Joy,