Hosting Book Club–Pt. 4, Choosing the Food

I’ve chosen the date, the book and the wine. Now I need to choose the food. Since most of the women serve several appetizers and several choices of desserts, I decided I’d follow suit. I looked through recipe books and surfed around on the internet looking for recipes that I thought most women (and I) would like and I chose the following:

Chicken Avocado Roll-ups adapted from Delish
Hot Shrimp Artichoke Dip adapted from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Buffalo Wing Dip
Sweet Potato Pie adapted from Taste of the South
Mini Cream Puffs and Eclairs from Sams Club
Smores Sticks
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My daughter loves avocados and makes roll-ups and chicken sandwiches with them all the time. Me, I’m not too sure of avocados. I have eaten them in quacamole, but I’ve never eaten one that is just chopped up. There is something about the color and texture of the avocado that throws me off, so I was just a little apprehensive. I’ve never bought an avocado either so when I went to the grocery store, I just chose two green ones. I didn’t know what to do with the avocado, so, of course, I googled it and saw that I just cut it open, remove the seed and scoop out the meat. Except that there was no scooping to be done with the avocados I had chosen. They were hard as rock and the recipe called for them to be mashed.
What now? Well, back to my wonderful friend, Google. I learned I had purchased unripe avocados so what I needed to do was ripen them up. There were several methods for ripening avocados before they are chopped up, but I didn’t see anything for those already chopped. I decided to just microwave them as I would a potato, except not quite as long. This worked and I was able to mash them up.

Chicken Avocado Roll-Ups

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Ingredients
2 avocados, cubed
Juice of 1 lime
2 c. Shredded chicken
1/2 bell pepper, seeds and cores removed, chopped
1/2 small red onion, (I used sweet yellow onion)
1 c. Shredded Colby Jack cheese
2 tbsp. sour cream
4 large flour tortillas

Directions
1. In a medium bowl, combine avocado and lime juice and mash until only small chunks of avocado remain. Add chicken, bell pepper, red onion, Colby Jack cheese, sour cream and stir until evenly combined.
2. spread a thin layer of the chicken avocado mixture onto a large tortilla, leaving a small border around the edges. Roll the tortilla up tightly, then cut off the edges and slice into 1″ rolls. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
3. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Buffalo Wing Dip

Ingredients:

8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup any flavor Frank
1/2 cup any flavor Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (for this one I used Pizza cheese)
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breasts

Directions:

Heat oven to 350°. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth. Mix in salad dressing, hot sauce, cheese and chicken.
Bake 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir.
Serve with crackers, chips or vegetables.

Hot Shrimp Artichoke Dip

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Artichokes are another one of those foods that I have never cooked with before. It, too, is green and I’m just not sure if I like the flavor. I have to say, though, this dip is really, really good.

Ingredients:
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
4 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons mustard
2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts
1/2 pound cooked shrimp, shelled and deveined, cut into 1/4 in ch pieces
2 oz. shredded mozarella cheese
1/8 cup chopped onion

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375°
With hand mixer, combine the cream cheese, cheddar, sour cream, mayo, mustard and Worchestershire sauce until well blended. Add the artichoke hearts, shrimp, mozzarella, onions and mix well.
Transfer to baking dish and bake 20 to 30 minutes. Serve hot with chips.

Sweet Potato Pie

pie

Yields: 1 (9-inch) pie
Ingredients
Pie Crust baked per directions for one crust pie
Cool Whip topping
Filling:
1 (15-ounce) can sweet potato purée or
3 large sweet potatoes baked until soft, mash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
⅔ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400°.
In a large bowl, stir together sweet potato and melted butter until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, salt, pumpkin pie spice. Add egg mixture to sweet potato mixture, whisking until combined. Pour filling into prepared crust. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until edges are set, about 45-55 minutes, covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

Top with whipped topping when cooled.

Smores Sticks

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These little bits are my own creation, at least I think they are. All you need is pretzels, marshmallows, Chocolate Almond Bark, Graham Cracker crumbs and sugar.
Choose nice round marshmallows and stick a pretzel in the top.
Mix grapham cracker crumbs with sugar.
Melt 4 squares of chocolate almond bark over a double boiler until all chocolate is melted.
Dip marshmallow into melted chocolate and then dip in the graham crumbs. Place on parchment paper until the coating is set.

As you can see, there are no measurements here except for the number of squares of chocolate almond bark. The amount of bark I melted coated around 24 marshmallows.

 

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