Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Dinner Party: The Recipes


If you haven't read all about our fabulous Pinterest-inspired dinner party, go read all about that first here.

I'll wait.  Really.  Go on.

Okay.  So, I promised you some recipes. Therefore, I bring you; Easiest Ever Meatballs, Addicting Ranch Crackers, Caprese Pops, Easy Onion Dip, Rosemary Olive Oil Bread, Peach Sangria, and BlueberryPom Sangria. Maybe if you're super-duper sweet to Courtney, go visit her blog and ask real nicely, maybe she'll share the recipe for the hot ham and cheese pinwheels she brought.

Most of the recipes are super simple.  I wasn't going for overly complicated.  I was going for delicious comfort food.  Since we all lingered in my kitchen as though tied to the food by an invisible string, I think I was successful.  

The Recipes

Easiest Ever Meatballs

1 bag of your favorite frozen meatballs
1 jar grape jelly

2 bottles chili sauce (can be Heinz, but I made it with the cheap stuff and it was just as good)

Whisk the jelly and the chili sauce together.  Toss everything in the crockpot.  The meatballs do not need to be thawed first.  Cook on low all day, or on high 4-5 hours if pressed for time.  Knock everyone's socks off when you tell them what the ingredients are.  I sadly did not manage to get a picture of the meatballs because they went that fast.

Addicting Ranch Crackers

2 bags oyster crackers
2 packets dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup oil (for once I used canola oil and not coconut)
Dill, sea salt, and garlic to taste

Preheat oven to 250.  Mix all ingredients together in a 9x13 glass baking dish, mixing well to coat all crackers.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes.  Let cool before serving.

Caprese Pops

One 24-oz tub Formaggio Mozzarella Cheese (in marinade)
1/2 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Cut the tomatoes and cheese balls in half.  Place one half of a tomato flat side down, so the pops will stand up straight.  Pierce it with a toothpick.  Slide half a mozz ball on to the toothpick, and follow with another tomato half so that the cheese is sandwiched between the tomatoes.  Remove to a platter.  Continue until all cheese is used.  Reserve oil marinade to be used as a dip for the rosemary olive oil bread.

Easy Onion Dip

1 package Lipton French onion soup mix
1 1/2 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise

Whip together the yogurt and the mayo.  Add in the soup mix and mix until well combined.  Chill 1-2 hours before serving.  This can be made with 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup mayo, but I find that this version tastes just as good, and is of course much healthier.

 Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

This is easily my favorite bread recipe.  Ever.  In the history of the planet. It's also the most complicated of all the recipes in this post.  And it STILL only took me about 2.5 hours.  I decided around three in the afternoon that I felt like making bread, and BAM. It was ready in time for the party.

1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon cane sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (NOT coconut oil, for once)
1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
½ cup bread flour + extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
dried rosemary, for sprinkling


  • In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for ten minutes.
  • Stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil, and whole wheat flour. 
  • Add the bread flour until the dough forms a ball.
  • Knead on a lightly floured surface for about five minutes, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp paper towel.  Let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
  • Punch down the dough and form it into a round loaf.  Place on cornmeal-dusted parchment paper.  Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Once the dough has risen, brush gently with egg wash and sprinkle with dried rosemary, and if you like, a little sea salt.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Serve with seasoned olive oil, for dipping.
I got this recipe from A Hint of Honey. I would kind of like to go find her and kiss her.  But I don't know where she lives and that would probably freak her out.  So instead, I'm telling all of you to go give her some virtual love on her blog.

I'm not going to lie, I totally did not go out and buy bread flour or whole wheat flour.  I used plain old Gold Medal All Purpose flour, and this bread is still the best thing I've ever tasted in my life.  Also, I used 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary, because I freaking love rosemary.  Other than that, I did everything according to the recipe above, and the result was pure heaven.  I don't care how scary a bread recipe seems, if I can make this recipe, so can you.  And you should.  Because it's wonderful.

 Peach Sangria

1 large bottle Sutter Home White Moscato
1 bottle Tropicana Peach-Mango Juice
1 package red raspberries
1 lime, sliced into quarters
1--1 1/2 cups Sprite

The night before you plan to serve the sangria, combine the wine, juice, raspberries, and lime quarters in a large pitcher.  Refrigerate overnight.  Just before serving, add the sprite.  A little vodka or Triple Sec can also be added to make the drink a little more boozy, but we had it without and it went down just fine.

Blueberry Pom Sangria

1 large bottle Sutter Home Sweet Red Moscato
1 bottle Tropicana Blueberry Pomegranate Juice
1 package strawberries, halved
1 lime, sliced into quarters
1--1 1/2 cups Sprite

The night before you plan to serve the sangria, combine the wine, juice, strawberries, and lime quarters in a large pitcher.  Refrigerate overnight.  Just before serving, add the sprite.  Again, a little vodka or Triple Sec can also be added to make the drink a little more boozy, but we liked it without.

So there you go!  All the recipes I promised you.  If you liked them, please repin them on Pinterest, share this post on Facebook, and don't forget to like RHW on Facebook to stay in the loop!

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