Tasty Recipes To Close 2016 Out!

Good afternoon everyone!

2016’s end quickly approaches, and it’s definitely been a long year, so what better way to show it the door out than by more NYE party foods, including one (#7) from Dick Huneke! Don’t forget to check out the recipes that saw 2015 out the door here.

#1) Pomegranate-Champagne Punch

Pomegranate-Champagne Punch
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Every party needs a drink, and this recipe will add some festiveness to the punch bowl.
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 12
  • ½ cup Water
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • 1 block of Ice
  • 2 bottles Brut Champagne, Chilled
  • 1½ cups White Rum
  • 1¼ cups Pomegranate juice
  • 1 large Lemon, thinly sliced
  1. Bring ½ cup water and sugar to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. Simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Cool syrup completely.
  4. Combine Champagne, rum, and pomegranate juice in punch bowl.
  5. Add enough syrup to sweeten to taste.
  6. Mix in lemon slices, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves.
  7. Add ice block to bowl.

#2) Sweet, Spicy, & Salty Party Nuts
Sweet, Spicy, & Salty Party Nuts
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You'll find yourself grabbing more than a handful of this tasty snack!
Recipe type: Appetiser
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 Cup untoasted Pecans, halved
  • 1 Cup unsalted & dry roasted Almonds
  • 1 Cup unsalted & dry roasted Cashews
  • 1 Cup untoasted Walnuts, halved
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • ¼ Cup Water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  3. Combine walnut halves, pecan halves, almonds, and cashews in a large bowl.
  4. Add salt, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper; toss to coat.
  5. Heat sugar, water, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted.
  6. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat.
  7. Slowly pour butter mixture over the bowl of nuts and stir to coat.
  8. Transfer nuts to the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
  9. Bake nuts in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  10. Stir nuts until the warm syrup coats every nut.
  11. Spread into a single layer, return to the oven, and bake until nuts are sticky and roasted, about 6 minutes.
  12. Allow to cool before serving.

#3) Spanakopita
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There's a little greek restaurant near the San Diego convention center, we use to have these on our way to CCI while visiting grandma, absolutely delicious!
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Greek
  • ½ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 packages frozen chopped Spinach, thawed, drained, & squeezed dry.
  • 2 Onions, Large & Chopped
  • 2 packages crumbled Feta Cheese, about 4 ounces per container\
  • 4 Eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1½ packages Phyllo dough
  • ¾ Pound of Butter, Melted
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Dill, Chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Slowly cook and stir onions until softened.
  4. Mix in spinach, dill and flour.
  5. Cook approximately 10 minutes, or until most of the moisture has been absorbed.
  6. Remove from heat. Mix in feta cheese, eggs, salt and pepper.
  7. Separate one sheet of phyllo from the stack and evenly brush with a light coating of butter. Place another sheet of phyllo over the butter and press the two sheets together.
  8. Cut the layered phyllo dough into long strips about 3 inches wide.
  9. Keep the remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.
  10. Lay out one strip of phyllo at a time on your work surface with one of the narrow ends close to you.
  11. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling 1 inch from the end closest to you.
  12. Fold the bottom right corner over the filling to the left edge to form a triangle.
  13. Fold the triangle up, bringing the point at the bottom left up to rest along the left edge.
  14. Turn the lower left corner over to touch the right edge.
  15. Continue turning the triangle over in this manner until you reach the end of the phyllo.
  16. Repeat with the remaining filling and phyllo dough.
  17. Place filled phyllo dough triangles on a large baking sheet and brush with the remaining butter. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

#4) Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese
Bacon Wrapped Dates w/ Blue Cheese
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Can't have a holiday without bacon. Can't have any day without bacon!
Recipe type: Appetiser
  • 1 pound Bacon, sliced & cut in half
  • 1 pound Dates, pitted
  • 4 ounces Blue Cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice dates in half, and open them up.
  3. Pinch off pieces of blue cheese, and place them into the center of the dates.
  4. Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside.
  5. Secure each one with a toothpick.
  6. Arrange in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with sides to catch any grease.
  7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bacon is crisp.
  8. Turn dates over after the first 20 minutes for even cooking.

#5) New Year Spinach Fettuccine with Scallops
New Year Spinach Fettuccine with Scallops
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Sea Scallops are delicious and the perfect addition to a fettuccine, as you'll find in this recipe.
Recipe type: Main, Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
  • ½ pound, Dry Fettuccine Pasta
  • 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 package frozen Spinach, Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • ¾ pound Scallops
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 2 cans Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 Cup White Wine
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and reserve.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil and add spinach and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Saute spinach for 5 to 7 minutes or until wilted and no longer watery.
  5. Remove spinach from skillet and toss with pasta; transfer and keep warm.
  6. In the same skillet, heat 2 more tablespoons of oil and add scallops and 2 cloves of sliced garlic.
  7. Cook scallops for 1 to 2 minutes or until they appear opaque.
  8. Add scallops and garlic to fettuccine and spinach mix; transfer and keep warm.
  9. In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil.
  10. Add 2 more cloves of sliced garlic and saute until golden.
  11. Add mushrooms, soup and white wine to skillet.
  12. Stir over medium heat for 8 minutes or until warm. Pour over fettuccine and spinach and add ground black pepper to taste.
  13. Serve and enjoy another New Year!

#6) Pine Nut & Feta Cheese Ball
Pine Nut & Feta Cheese Ball
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Let the cheese firm in the fridge as it will be easier to work with and roll in the nuts.
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 8
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup pine nuts, toasted, chopped
  • Crackers (for serving)
  1. Process cream cheese, feta, and butter in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Pulse in capers, oregano, fennel seeds, and lemon zest; season with salt.
  3. Scrape into a small plastic wrap–lined bowl; gather up plastic around cheese, shaping into a ball. Chill until firm, 3–12 hours. (Recipe 'cook time' says 3 hours below, this is what it is referring to.)
  4. Unwrap cheese ball and roll in pine nuts just before serving.

#7) Dick Huneke’s Caponata Relish
Dick's Caponata Relish
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This is something I first tried at the Pine Grove's Christmas Party. Dick was kind enough to share the recipe with me and allow me to post it here for everyone to enjoy. This recipe calls for green olives which I've never been able to enjoy until I tried them in this!
Recipe type: Appetiser
  • ⅓ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ⅓ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • ½ cup chopped Yellow Onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced Garlic
  • 1 large Eggplant (about 2 pounds), finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups seeded and chopped Tomatoes (about 4 large)
  • good handful of Golden Raisins
  • ½ cup pitted, chopped Green Olives,
  • 1 cup toasted Pine Nuts
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh Basil leaves
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and sugar.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  4. In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds.
  7. Add the eggplant and salt, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the tomatoes and sauté until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes.
  9. Add the olives and pine nuts, golden raisins and stir in the vinegar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency and flavor is reached.
  10. Stir in the basil and remove from the heat.
  11. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  12. Serve & Enjoy!

That wraps it up for now! Have a wonderful end to your 2016 and we’ll see you in 2017!

Some of you will see us in the Polar Plunge tomorrow too, and for those both near and far be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook for live updates, pictures, & more throughout the day!

Have a safe and wonderful New Year’s from all of us here at the Little Apple!