Monday, December 29, 2014

White Bean Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Crostini

This was a very merry Christmas, indeed.  I got to spend lots of time with family and was able to get away to spend a few days after Christmas with my in-laws in Florida. And of course, there was lots of good food, like this White Bean Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Crostini.



Before heading out to Florida the day after Christmas, I hosted my parents for dinner on Christmas Day. I thoroughly enjoyed preparing the meal, but, the truth be told, my favorite part of any holiday meal has always been the snacks enjoyed before dinner.



My favorite dish from this year's Christmas dinner was these White Bean and Spinach Crostini hors d'oeuvres I found in a holiday issue of Fine Cooking. Not only are they very festive dressed in their Christmas red and green they are disproportionately delicious to their ease of preparation.

Dinner was quite good, too. For myself and my daughter (the only non-meat eaters in the family) I took the 'easy' route and bought a prepared gardein Holiday Roast. I paired it with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cipollini Onions and an arugula, roasted yellow beet and radish salad.  Quite delicious, really.  The meat eaters got to eat something they really enjoyed as well, but we won't get into that here.



I hope all of you had as wonderful a holiday as I did. I, for one, feel very blessed to be able to share the holidays with those I love most.

White Bean, Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Crostini

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 oz baby spinach leaves
1 15 oz can cannellini beans
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
5 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Crostini bread or melba toast

In a skillet over medium-high heat add the olive oil and garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle turn the heat down to medium and allow to cook until golden.  Transfer the garlic and all but one tablespoon of the olive oil to a food processor.  Return the skillet to the heat and raise to medium high. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Add to the bowl of the food processor the cannellini beans and fresh thyme.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pulse until a very smooth mixture is formed.

When ready to assemble place some of the bean mixture on a crostini or melba toast, top with some of the spinach and garnish with thin slices of the sun dried tomato.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ice Box Cake

I am told we had Ice Box cake growing up.  It consisted of Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafers Cookies covered in whipped cream and chilled in the refrigerator.  Apparently not just my immediate family had this dish, but my extended family, too.



When I posted a picture of my Ice Box Cake on my Facebook page I was readily informed of this fact. Two of my cousins and my sister confirmed that somehow I missed this part of my childhood:



I am actually not sure exactly where I learned about Ice Box Cake but when the nice folks at So Delicious sent me some of their new CocoWhip to try that was the first thing I thought about making.

I believe the traditional way to make this is how my cousin Angela describes above- to layer the cookies and whip into the shape of a log, cover with whipped cream and then once chilled slice on the diagonal.  I did mine in small stacks of four or five cookies alternating cookies and CocoWhip and then covering them in the CocoWhip.

I thought this was delicious; especially for a cake with a scant two ingredients.

Ice Box Cake

Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
So Delicious CocoWhip

Layer the cookies and whip in a vertical stack of your desired size or create a horizontal log shaped row alternating the layers of cookies and whip.  Cover the stack or row entirely with CocoWhip. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Serve chilled.