December 10, 2012 by Meg G.
While I was out in the Pacific Northwest, we had a big family dinner at my aunt & uncle’s home. I happily volunteered to help my aunt, Beth, with the menu and preparation for our meal of 8 adults + baby. Beth loves to cook as much as I do and she even tried out for Master Chef! (She got past the food round, but apparently wasn’t “FOX reality television material” aka eccentric/annoying/dramatic enough to make it through the next round.)
We were planning a more elaborate meal, but due to time constraints we wound up making lasagne (appropriate, since I made lasagne in honor of my new niece a few weeks ago). Again, due to a shortage of time, we opted for store-bought noodles for both the classic lasagne and the pesto lasagne. Both were still delicious! We served the lasagne with a fresh spinach salad topped with pears, candied walnuts, crumbly cheese, and a homemade balsamic-honey vinaigrette.
For the appetizer course, my Aunt Beth whipped up a white bean hummus that we served with toasted pita bread and baby carrots.
For a hot appetizer, I made mini artichoke cups. These little beauties involve a simple artichoke dip that is served in phyllo cups and warmed in the oven. It’s a super easy recipe that looks like you spent a lot more time on it than you did! (They were so yummy that they were eaten before I remembered to take a photo, so you’ll have to take my word for it!) I’ll be making these again – based on this recipe – (with some adjustments) for our holiday cookie party this Sunday. Here goes!
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder (we were out, so we skipped this)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cups (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
- 2 packages of frozen mini phyllo cups (30 cups total)
- Combine all of the ingredients (minus the phyllo cups, of course) in a large bowl.
- Place phyllo cups on a cookie sheet and fill each one with the artichoke mixture.
- Bake according to phyllo cup package – in this case, I believe it was 7-8 minutes at 325F.
Survey says: Super easy and SUPER delicious! Next time, I’m planning to substitute the mayo since it totally grosses me out and therefore we never have it in the house. I might also add a bit of red bell pepper just to give it some more color. However you fill it, the phyllo cup is a party food winner! Just whip up the filling in the morning, refrigerate, then scoop it into the cups, and pop it in the oven just as your guests are pouring their first drink.
And of course, we ended with a scrumptious dessert that consisted of my brother-in-law’s homemade pecan pie, Beth’s homemade chocolate pie (my grandmother’s recipe), some mini pies from a local bakery, and my Christmas cookies! YUM!