Hosting a Friendly Dinner Party?

We have some family coming to town and I love hosting dinner parties.   I love to cook, I love to stay home, I love to know that the food will fit within my digestive restrictions, and I love entertaining family and friends.

One of the most fun parts for me is planning and cooking the meal.  For this upcoming dinner party I’ve put together the following Menu:

STARTER: Spinach & Artichoke Dip

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained of moisture
  • 10 ounce jar marinated artichoke quarters, drained and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Using a hand mixer, blend together the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, and garlic cloves.
  2. Make sure all of the water has been pressed out of your spinach. Add the spinach and chopped artichoke hearts to the cheese mixture.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a small slow cooker leave on high, stirring often till everything is melted together – then keep on low and serve with corn tortilla chips.

MAIN COURSE: Shredded BBQ Turkey w/ Cranberry and Orange Relish

  • Cooked and pulled apart Turkey
  • 4 jalapeños, stemmed
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 large celery stalk, quartered
  • Stems from one bunch of cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 6-8 crusty dinner rolls, split
  • ½ pound jack cheese, sliced

Instructions:

  1. Pull the turkey carcass apart as much as possible so that it fits better in a medium pot. Place turkey carcass in a medium pot.
  2. Remove seeds from two of the jalapenos and leave the seeds in the other two. If you like the heat, leave all the seeds in. Place those in the pot with the turkey carcass along with the onion, celery, cilantro stems, salt, and peppercorns.
  3. Cover with water to about two inches above ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil then simmer for two hours or until there are about two cups of liquid left. Do not discard liquid.
  5. Separate the liquid from the solids, pick the meat from the bones once it is cool enough to handle and discard the remaining solids. You should have about 4 cups of cooked turkey.
  6. If the turkey isn’t already shredded, shred with two forks.
  7. Heat a large sauté pan and melt the butter over medium-high and place the shredded turkey into the hot butter.
  8. Brown the turkey for about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the pan and place back into the liquid to keep it hot and moist.
  9. Mix the mayonnaise with the cilantro and spread evenly over each top and bottom roll.
  10. Drain the hot shredded turkey and pile between each roll and top each with the sliced jack cheese.
  11. Divide the cranberry relish between each and top with the other half of the roll.

Cranberry Orange Relish

  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • ½ to ¾ cup granulated sugar

Instructions:

  1. Zest the orange and place the zest in a food processor.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the pith from the rest of the zested orange and discard.
  3. Cut the remaining peeled orange into quarters, pick out and discard any seeds and place the orange in the food processor with the zest.
  4. Add the bag of fresh cranberries and ½ cup of the sugar and pulse to a coarse consistency.
  5. Taste and add more sugar if you want the relish sweeter. We only used the ½ cup.
  6. This relish can be refrigerated for up to a week and can be used in a variety of dishes, including our Myles Standish Sandwich.

Side Dish – COWBOY BEANS:

  • 2 cans Brown Beans with Bacon
  • 1 lb. Browned grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 cans Kidney beans
  • 1 can white beans.
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Instruction:

Mix it all together in a slow cooker and keep warm until time to serve.

DESSERT… I let our guests bring that – saves me time and planning, plus most of the time people enjoy contributing to the event.

Enjoy hosting your next dinner party!

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