Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Crossing Oceans Book Club Sweets and Savories

We enjoyed a delicious potluck menu of summertime favorites at our recent book club discussion of Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes. Appetizers included fresh fruit and dip; cream cheese with cocktail sauce and crab meat served with crackers; Missy's Greek style tomato dip with toasted french bread; and warm spinach dip with wheat crackers. Dessert included key lime pie and coconut cupcakes. Find a couple of our favorite recipes below.

Missy's Greek-Style Tomato Dip
Missy Jones has served this refreshing dish all summer to rave reviews. Enjoy this appetizer for a taste of summer anytime.
Fresh cherry tomatoes (a pint will do for a family or small crowd)
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Long, skinny loaf of french bread
Quarter tomatoes, leaving seeds and juice. Add feta, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar and thyme. Before adding the dried rosemary, crush it in your hand. Add just enough extra-virgin olive oil to "hold" it together. Adjust measurements to suit your own tastes. Let it sit at room temp for about 30 minutes before serving in order to allow the flavors to meld. In the meantime, take the bread and cut it on the diagonal into slices about 1/4 inch think. Brush with extra-virgin olive oil and toast in a 300 degree oven until very dry and crispy. Be careful not to let it burn! Let toast cool and serve with fresh tomato dip.

Warm Spinach Dip
Lynn McDaniel brought this tasty appetizer, a creamy spinach dip enhanced with picante sauce.

Vegetable cooking spray
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup picante sauce
4 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Spray a 2-quart saucepan with the cooking spray and heat over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook until it's tender, stirring occasionally. Stir the spinach and flour in the skillet. Gradually stir the milk in the skillet. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the picante sauce and cheese and cook until the cheese is melted. Serve with wheat crackers for dipping.

I have been waiting for a chance to serve shrimp tacos to my girlfriends, and book club gave me the perfect opportunity. Doubling the recipe yielded enough filling to make 20 tacos. Find this easy summertime recipe here.

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