Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jeff's Birthday Bash

My husband turned 28 this weekend and wanting to keep things simple we decied to have a poker night. Everyone had a blast, including the birthday boy (even though he didn't win). I decided that finger foods would be best to serve for this event. With the help of some friends, the menu included: pinwheels, bacon-wrapped jalapenos, mini chicken salad sandwiches, spinach dip, a veggie tray and then just plain ol' chips and dip. Everything turned out great. Here is some are a couple of the reciepes I used.

Creamy Artichoke and Spinach Dip
From the Deen Bros. Cookbook

Butter for coating dish
2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, drained and coursely chopped
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, all excess water squeezed out
6 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients except the chips. Spoon the artichoke mixture into the prepared casserole. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden. Serve hot or warm with chips.

* After it cooked, I spooned it into a small crockpot to keep warm throughout the night.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies
From www.thepioneerwomancooks.com

Fresh Jalapenos
Cream cheese (softened)
Thin, regular bacon (sliced into thirds)

Cut jalapenos in half, length wise. With spoon, remove seeds and white membrane (the source of the heat). Smear softened cream cheese into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with bacon and secure with toothpick through the middle. ( At this point you can freeze in a ziplock bag for later use).

Bake on a pan with rack in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. (You don't want the bacon to squeeze the jalapeno. If the bacon doesn't look brown enough, turn on the broiler for a few minutes to finish it off. )

Serve hot or at room temperature.

These were a hit and were all gone by the end of the night!

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