Thursday, May 8, 2014

Brack's Birthday...The Recipes

Welcome back to Brack's 9th birthday party!  Yesterday I shared the details of the party.  Today, I want to give you some of the recipes.  As I mentioned, he picked two of his favorite things: Rotel dip (without the Rotel) and lemonade pie.  I added a few other things to fill in, like party pizzas, BLT dip, a chicken cheese ball and crudité.  Here are the recipes...
First - instead of cake...or even cupcakes...Brack wanted pie.  A frozen pie at that.  Frozen pie for forty?  Yikes.  But ever eager to please, I set out to make it happen.  After all, a boy only turns nine once.  So, I invented "Mini Lemonade Pies".  They were very good and the kids liked them, however, I have already made a few changes to the recipe.  I will give you the original recipe and then tell you how I will change it next time.

Mini Lemonade Pies
two sleeves graham crackers
one stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
one large can of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
two cans fat-free Eagle brand milk
one large container of Cool Whip, thawed
I doubled the recipe for 48 mini pies.

Begin by completely crushing your graham crackers until they are the consistency of fine sand.  Mix with butter and cinnamon.  Line cupcake pan with liners.  Sprinkle in about 1 tablespoon of graham cracker mixture and press down lightly.  Set aside.  No need to bake.
Next, mix lemonade concentrate and eagle brand milk in a mixer until well combined.  (OK - side note here.  You will notice I used FAT FREE Eagle Brand milk.  I know, I know.  Fat Free?  First, it's hard to imagine that they could even make a fat free version.  Second, you will never miss it.  It is amazing.)  Once they are well combined, add your Cool Whip and food coloring if desired.  I used 20 drops of yellow liquid food coloring.  (We made "pink" lemonade pie growing up, using pink lemonade concentrate and red coloring.  I've also used lime concentrate and green.  Whatever you prefer.)  Mix on a low speed until combined and light and fluffy.  I add the coloring closer to the end.
Use a pastry bag to pipe the filling into the cupcake liners.  I couldn't find a really big piping tip, so I just cut the end off the bag.  Once they are filled, realize that you have no space in your freezer and take an hour cleaning it out while they come to room temperature.  Not ideal, but they will survive.  Seriously, they need several hours to firm up.  I made them at 9:00 am and served them about 4:30 pm and they were perfect.

Before serving, I placed them in a clear plastic punch cup to make it easier for little hands to handle.  I also dusted them with candy sprinkles to match the sugar cookies and make them more festive.

Next time, I will do things a little differently.  First, I will omit the butter in the graham cracker crust.  The butter made the crust set back up and get a little hard.  I think next time I will lightly sprinkle the crust in the bottom so that you can easily get some with just about every bite.  It will be easier, too!  I also think I will make them directly in the plastic cup.  It won't be quite as colorful, but the cupcake liner just got in the way.  Regardless, they were a huge hit.  Mama rose to the (frozen pie instead of birthday cake) challenge and won!
I also served sugar cookies for anyone who didn't like lemon...or wanted both!
The next recipe is one of my favorites to serve at a party.  My mom made these when we were little and every time I serve these, they disappear.  Quickly.

Party Pizzas
one pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
one pound mozzarella cheese, grated
one cup of mayonnaise (about)
one bunch of green onions, finely chopped (if you have kids!)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
two loaves of thinly sliced French bread
Mix the cheeses and green onion together in a very large bowl before adding mayo and garlic powder.  I ended up using right at a cup of mayonnaise for this batch.  You want enough mayo to hold the cheese together but not too much.  It will quickly become wet and then greasy when it bakes.  Start with less.  I chop my green onion (onion tops, too) pretty fine because you need the flavor, but not the complaining from the kids.  Do it just right, and they never even know...  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once everything is well mixed, spread it on the pieces of French bread and run under the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese and get a little color.  You don't want the bread to get hard.  Serve hot.  This mixture keeps well in the fridge, and you can even reheat any leftover pizzas, although you probably won't have any!

Note: Mama used to make these on rye party bread (you know - the little cocktail-sized bread they carry in the grocery deli?), but it is so hard to find sometimes, that I have decided to substitute the French bread.  My brother, Jon, prefers this to the rye.  What'd'ya know?  Something we agree on!

one cup sour cream
one cup mayonnaise
one cup real bacon bits (I use Hormel)
one pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
one bunch green onions, chopped
Ritz crackers (I really prefer the whole wheat ones.  Really.)
Either halve or quarter your cherry tomatoes, depending on their size, and mix all ingredients.  This is better when made the day before and allowed to sit in the fridge.  The flavors marry and the tomatoes give up some of their juice.  Yum, yum.  I topped it with some chopped chives for color.  This recipe is so simple and we have it just about every time we have a party.  It also shows up at the lake every weekend.  (We keep it on ice.)  It is so cool and creamy on a hot day.  Serve with Ritz crackers.
Oh, and in case you're wondering how to make Rotel dip without the Rotel?  Well, it's like this...he doesn't like tomatoes, so here's what I do: cube one large loaf of Velveeta, add one pound mild sausage, (cooked, crumbled and drained), one 8 oz. block softened cream cheese and a packet of taco seasoning.  Stick it all in the crockpot on low, stirring every once in a while.  So, technically, it's not Rotel dip.  But it started that way.  I just got tired of picking out his tomatoes.  (Sigh...)
So, there you have it!  We had so much fun at Brack's party, and ate really well, if I do say so myself!  I hope you'll try some of these recipes and let me know what you think!
I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great recipes!!! Sounds like a great par-tay!