Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Party Favorite...

One of my favorite things about Christmas is the food. Especially the party food! Chex Mix, peanut brittle, chips, dips, spreads, cakes, cookies, deviled eggs... if its festive I love it!

Today our homeschool group is having a casual Christmas party at our weekly park day. Everyone will bring a little something to share with the rest. Usually, we bring lunches for our own so this is a treat. My contribution to our table came about from a number of ideas. Several years ago I made an Olive Cheese Ball(recipe is on an old computer somewhere) that was well received. I've also been craving those little cream cheese and walnut finger sandwiches and tortilla pinwheels. So, here is a combination of a few of my favorite things...

Lavash Pinwheels

1 pkg Joseph's lavash(I used 3.5 of the 4 sheets)
2 8oz blocks cream cheese, softened
1/3 of a stick of butter
1 cup sour cream
2 cups finely grated cheddar cheese(sharp or mild, your call)
1 small can of chopped black olives
1 3oz pkg real bacon bits
1/4 cup salsa, I use a local brand that tastes very fresh-not like the cooked Pace kind
1 tablespoon taco seasoning(I use a blend from Frontier Foods)
or few shakes of cumin, oregano, and chipotle powder.
few shakes of onion and garlic powder
4 scallions, finely sliced
1/2 cup, loosely packed, cilantro, finely chopped(measure before chopping)
1-2 tablespoons finely minced jalepeno or bell pepper(optional)

Mix cream cheese and butter together with a hand mixer or cut with a knife(my method) until well blended. Add shredded cheese, salsa, and powdery seasonings and continue to mix well. Stir in olives, scallions, bacon bits, and sour cream. Spread onto a lavash sheet, covering the whole thing, make sure to divide the filling by the number of sheets you have so you don't come up short. Starting at one of the long sides, roll up, taking care not to squeeze the filling out. Wrap in plastic wrap or foil and refridgerate for several hours. Using a serrated knife, cut into 1/2 inch slices and serve!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chicken Veggie Soup

The kids and I are a bit under the weather so I thought a good chicken soup would hit the spot. The more veggies the better, right?

Chicken Veggie Soup

2-3 bone/skinless chicken breasts

Cook chicken in water until cooked through, cool and cube.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 small turnip, chopped
1 bunch kale, torn into small bits and rinsed well
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, pressed, or a tsp garlic powder
seasonings of your choice, I used savory and a bit of greek seasoning
1 tsp chicken boullion paste or a cube
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup elbow pasta or rotini(or pasta of your choice)

Cook first 4 veggies in oil until soft. Add kale and a cup or so of water and spices. Add chicken and several more cups of water, maybe 7-9 total, to fill your pot up(I trust your judgement). Simmer about an hour, until the kale is tender, add pasta and cook til soft. Serve with parmesan cheese and crackers or a good bread.

This was soooo satisfying, perfect on a winter's night, and even better the second night!