Tree Trimming Party Menu!



Tomorrow night we will gather to decorate the Christmas tree!  It’s tradition for us to  decorate the tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving because all 5 of us are home.  It is absolutely one of my favorite nights of the year.    I always  put together  a “snacky” menu so that we can eat and decorate at little, eat and decorate a little more.  This year’s menu is perfect for any casual holiday gathering.  Enjoy! xo

My Mom’s New England Clam Chowder

3 or 4 cans of minced clams

½ pound salt pork, diced

1 cup diced onion

5 cups diced raw peeled potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

4 or 5 bottles of clam juice

2 cups cream

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons butter


Fry diced port in a large kettle until golden. Remove port and reserve. Drain off all but ¼ cup of the fat and sauté your onions in it for 5 minutes. Add potato, salt and pepper and your clam juice, adding another bottle of clam juice or enough water to cover the potatoes.   Simmer until the potatoes are tender.

If you like a thicker chowder use an immersion blender at this point to break down some of the potatoes, leaving most in shape in the broth.

Add clams, cream, milk and butter. Reheat but do not boil.

To serve, top each bowl with crisp pork and sprinkle with paprika.


Beef Tenderloin

Beef Tenderloin Sliders


Twice Baked Potato Cakes

3 quarts water

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, divided

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cubed

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 large elf, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cups panko

olive oil for frying

garnish: sour cream, finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, cooked crumbled bacon, chopped green onion.

In a large saucepan, combine water, 1 tablespoon salt and potatoes.  Bring to a boil over medium high hear; cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fork-tender.  Drain potatoes well, and return to saucepan,  Add butter.  Using a potato masher, mash potato mixture until butter is melted.  Add cheese, green onion, cream, egg, garlic powder, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper, stirring to mix well.  Stir in panko, refrigerate mixture for 1 to 2 hours or until chilled.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop potato mixture, and place on a baking sheet.  Form each scoop into a 1/2 inch thick patty.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. In a large nonstick skillet , heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Cook potato cakes, in batches, covered with a lid, for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, adding more olive oil with each batch, if needed.  (do not overcrowd pan.) Drain on paper towels. Keep in warm oven until ready to serve.  Garnish with sour cream, cheese, bacon and green onions if desired.


Roasted Shrimp Cocktail


Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

1 5.2 ounce package garlic and herb cheese spread (Boursin)

1 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup finely shredded fontina cheese

1/2 cup finely chopped green onion

1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 3/4 cups panko

36 large baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed

1/2 cup plys 2 tablespoons butter, melted and divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  In a medium bowl, combine garlic and herb cheese, cream cheese, fontina cheese, green onion, bell pepper, sour cream and seasoned salt.  Beat at medium spreed with an electric mixer until well combined. Stir in 1 cup panko.  In a large bowl, combine mushrooms, 1/2 cup melted butter, salt and pepper, tossing to coat.  Place mushrooms in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.  Spoon filing into mushrooms,  In a small bowl, combine remaining 3/4 cup panko, remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter, parsley and paprika.  Bake mushrooms for 15 minutes, top with panko mixture, and bake 10 minutes longer.



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2 Responses to “Tree Trimming Party Menu!”

  1. November 25, 2017 at 3:27 am #

    Looks like such a fun – and delicious – party! Thanks so much for including my sliders in your menu! I hope you enjoy them!
    Robyn xo

    • admin
      November 26, 2017 at 11:25 am #

      They were delicious! Perfect addition to any casual holiday gathering! xo

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