Mary - cocktail, Milk Punch
Carol - appetizer, Crab Dip
Tonya - appetizer, Salsa Baked Cheese
Tonya - side dish, Risotto
Angie - soup, Fennel and Carrot Soup
Mary - main dish, Stuffed Mushrooms
Sandy - dessert, French apple tart
Mary decorated with a Mardis Gras/New Orleans Theme. Very festive and colorful!
We started with Milk Punch, which Mary modified as below. It was delicious, like a cross between a milk shake and egg nog.
"I added some extra 'spice'..... some nutmeg, cinnamon and a little pumpkin pie spice. I also added some superfine sugar for sweetness. I used 1% milk (almost a half gallon) and for richness I added 1 pint of fat free half & half. I stored the punch in the freezer for a few hours so that it would be slushy cold when served."
Mary's friend, Carol, brought a flavorful, hearty, hot, crab dip. It was served with triscuits but would also be good with a bagel chip or sturdy bread.
New Orleans Hot Crab Dip
- 5 tbsp. stick butter
- 1 small onion (yellow or white) chopped
- 2 stalks of celery (chopped)
- ½ cup of red pepper (chopped)
- Small can of mushrooms (drained)
- 1 lb. fresh blue crab meat – (rise and check for shells)
- 1 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup chopped green onion
- 2 dozen baguette slices or box of Triscuit
- black pepper
- 1 tsp of red pepper
- Sauté chopped onion, celery, red pepper in melted butter in skillet over medium heat until tender.
- Add blue crab meat and mushrooms and stir
- Add cream cheese reduce heat to low and continue to stir
- Add Worcestershire sauce
- Add salt, black pepper, red pepper to taste
- Add green onions
- Serve warm in a bread bowl or bowl with Triscuit or toasted butter baguette slices
Salsa Baked Cheese is an appetizer that Tonya brought. You can use any salsa and either cream cheese, goat cheese or a combination of both. It is baked until creamy and warm. A very tasty variation of the room temperature version.
I made Fennel and Carrot Soup as an alternative to a salad. It was rich and creamy. The swirled in creme fraiche with maple syrup was a sweet addition. I used hazel nuts rather than chestnuts as a garnish.
The main dish was Stuffed mushrooms with a side of Risotto. The mushrooms had some kick with the hot sausage and essence seasonings. The risotto was made in the oven which makes it a simpler version of the typical constant stirring stove top version.
French Apple Tart was the dessert prepared by Sandy. It was beautiful and elegant with the arranged apples.