Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ladies Light Dinner

Having the girls over for a fun get together? Serve something light and easy with just that right unique twist to keep them talking you (favorably) after they leave!

Chicken Salad on Croissants.
4 chicken breasts (boiled and chopped) *add 1/2 cup chopped celery while cooking chicken if desired
1 cup seedless grapes halved (I like the red to add a pretty color to the salad)
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/4 c sweet relish (dill relish is also amazingly good but use one or the other - NOT both)
salt and pepper to taste
butter lettuce leaves
Mix and let sit in refrigerator a couple hours then spread on mini croissants or if you can't find mini's use full size croissants but slice them in half before spreading chicken salad. Add butter lettuce leaf, top with a tablespoon or two of chicken salad, top! Serves six. Voila'

Baked Brie
1 8 oz round of brie (leave rind intact)
3 Tbl brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)
2 Granny Smith apples sliced
Ritz Crackers or Town House Crackers
Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Spread pastry on a flat surface. Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans together. Spread nut mixture in the center of the pastry. Set the brie on top of the nut mixture then fold the pastry up and over the brie (wrap it like a package) and pinch the seams of the pastry closed to seal the cheese. Flip the pastry onto the baking sheet (seam side down). Bake at 350* for 20 minutes until the pastry is browned. Serve with sliced apples and crackers.

Melon Salad
This is all about presentation. Select the melon (or a combination of them) to serve as your bowl. Take the top 1/3 off the melon in a horizontal slice. Shell out fruit and cube the contents. Use a paring knife to make a jagged edge to the top of the melon shell (or a scalloped edge if you're good with that knife). Combine the melon cubes (your choice on which melons to use...a combination of Honeydew, Cantaloupe and Watermelon is colorful and delicious). You can even add drained mandarin oranges or peach slices if you'd like. Serve from your decorative melon shell. That's it! Simple, elegant and diet friendly!

Cake Balls
1 package cake mix of your choice, prepared as directed
1 can ready to use cake frosting (a flavor that would go well with your cake mix flavor)
3 oz confectioner's chocolate (melted smooth) Select the better fit for your cake flavor to determine if you use milk chocolate or white chocolate.
Crumble cooled cake into a mixing bowl and combine with frosting. Scoop out with a tablespoon or melon baller and shape into golf ball size balls (roll them tightly using your hands). Insert a toothpick or candy stick and dip cake balls into the melted chocolate. If you feel really jazzy, let cool on waxed paper (I refrigerate mine to hurry the setting) then drizzle with the opposite color chocolate or dip in crushed nuts, or sprinkles. You can leave the pick in or remove it...I leave it is as it makes it easy to serve.

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