Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let's Party

Friends, this is it: the last hurrah of "oh just one more lap around" the hors d'oeuvres table, nibbling one or two (ahem, six) Christmas cookies for breakfast, all-day grazing from the cheese platter, and 4 pm extra meals holiday happy hours before DUM DUM DUM - January 1st drops the gavel to put all resolutions in session.  Time for the gym to get crowded again and Lean Cuisines to go flying off the shelves like hotcakes. Wait, I'm pretty sure we can't eat hotcakes after the New Year.

Wow, that sounds bleak.  Good news: we're not there yet!  We've still got 10 glorious days of guilt free indulgence remaining.  So let's live it up, shall we?  Here are some holiday apps to help get the party started.

This is my version of (yet another) Pinterest idea to simply fancy up the presentation a little!  I've already gabbed about how I love me a big, fat antipasto platter and have no shame in calling it dinner. Here's an old picture:

Now here's the fancied up version.  It's pretty much the same stuff, but way cuter, huh?

Up next is something I've seen all over blogland and the Food Network Magazine:  Toasted Ravioli!
Crispy Baked Ravioli
Courtesy of

This actually is not that bad for you!  Though nearly every recipe I found renders "toasted" synonymous with "fried in oil", I knew there had to be a version that didn't require the splattering and calories of a quarter cup of oil.  After some digging, I found this baked recipe in a totally random place:  Whowouldathunkit.  Here is the recipe, and I made Barefoot Contessa's easy marinara sauce on the side for dipping.  We actually prepared a whole wheat version of these as a main course instead of an app one night, and they were seriously awesome.  They were tasty, satisfying, and pleasantly crunchy (without frying!).   Sorry, by the way, that the above is not my photo.  In the midst of our evening chaos, they were on plates and then in our bellies before the thought crossed my mind to pick up the camera. 

Butternut Squash, Sage and Ricotta Crostini (Click here for recipe)

I saved the best for last.  Okay, so I know in my last breath I was all anti-fried food and health conscious.  Can you ignore that I said that for a sec?  Fried sage is my new best friend, and I don't regret it in the slightest.  Its savory freshness is just perfect against the sweet caramelized butternut squash, creamy ricotta and fresh lemon.  And a crunchy toasted baguette offers a divine backdrop to all this goodness.  Sold.

Merry Christmas all, and of course, happy feasting!


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