Graduation Party Recipes

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My own daughter graduated from high school last year and we had a lovely party. Here's a few of the recipes that were enjoyed to help your party go smooth.

Mexican Sushi Bites
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup salsa, plus more for dipping
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lime juice
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, salsa, chili powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl, lightly sprinkle the avocado with the lime juice to prevent browning.
2. Trim each tortilla to make a roughly 6-1/2-inch square. Spread 3 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture on a tortilla. Arrange 2 rows of spinach in the center of the tortilla, then top them with a row each of red pepper, yellow pepper, and avocado. Roll the tortilla up tightly and wrap it in plastic wrap. Repeat for the remaining tortillas. Refrigerate the rolls for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
3. Right before serving, slice the rolls crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces and spoon extra salsa into a bowl for dipping.
Serves 10 to 12.

Paella Salad
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
5 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 tsp saffron
2 cups long grain rice (uncooked)
3 cups cooked chopped rotisserie chicken
2 lbs. cooked frozen shrimp
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 16 oz. bottle reduced-fat Italian salad
Heat oil in a heavy saucepan.
Add onions, cooking until translucent.
Add chicken broth, hot pepper sauce, and saffron.
Bring to a boil.
Stir in rice.
Reduce heat to low.
Cook, covered, until water is completely absorbed, 20-30 minutes.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and cover.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
One hour before serving, remove rice from refrigerator.
Add chicken, shrimp, peppers and celery.
Toss with Italian salad dressing until well mixed.
Serves 12.

Oriental Chicken Wings
1 1/2 - 2 pounds chicken drummettes (first joint of wing)
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Put ""drummettes"" in large zip-lock bag.
Combine remaining ingredients except sesame seeds.
Pour over wings; seal and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, turning bag to coat wings occasionally.
Spray a shallow baking pan with non-stick spray.
Put wings, including marinade in prepared pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, turning wings occasionally.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake 15 minutes longer.

Dark Chocolate Brownies
1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over low heat, frequently stir butter and chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and walnuts until well blended.
2. Spread batter evenly in a buttered and floured 8-inch square baking pan.
3. Bake in a 350° oven until edges feel firm to touch and begin to turn a shade darker, 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Run a knife between pan rim and brownie. If desired, spread with chocolate glaze. Let cool in pan on a rack, about 1 hour. Cut into 9 or 16 squares.

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