It seems as though the Par-Tay-ing has been non stop this holiday season. Between going out and eating, going to friends' houses and eating, entertaining out of town visitors/family and eating, there's only been one constant. Eating. We've certainly been doing a lot of that. One of the most anticipated events of the last few weeks was the Cousins Party we had at the house a couple of days before Christmas. Patsy had been freshly groomed and bathed and was waiting by the tree.
My cousins came down from Eugene and Portlandia while on the way to visit more cousins in San Francisco, who were unable to come up to Sonoma because of entertaining in-laws from England. The bunch of us that did get together had a great time. I'd almost have to call us the Facebook Cousins because that's generally how we communicate, via FB and Twitter and IM'ing, we stay in touch. Actual RL visiting, not so much. So it was time overdue for a reunion. Especially since there was one new cousin added to the mix, my cousin Derek's little boy Isaac who just turned 8 months old. Isaac's mom was catching a later flight that day because of work. Of course the littlest cousin had to greet my mom.
And was a big hit with my dad.
Cousin Pat and her grandson.
Cousin Al and my mom. And Patsy and Isaac got acquainted.
So what do you feed a bunch of cousins of varying ages? Cheeses and crackers and homemade fig preserves, wines and sodas, lemon olive oil tart and apple caramel tart with whipped cream. Apple sauce made with ground organic Gravensteins and well water. And of course Easy Baked Spinach Samosas.
I love these because they whip up fast in a pinch, the filling can be made ahead of time and they can even be baked, refrigerated and reheated. You gotta love that. Another fast step, frozen spinach can be used. This is the basic 'go to' in a hurry appetizer, party finger food. As long as you have a few basics in the house (frozen spinach, and frozen fillo dough) this is doable like almost instantly.
Baked Spinach Samosas
Here's What You Need:
1 package of Fillo Factory frozen fillo dough
3 packs of frozen chopped spinach
1 finely chopped onion
2 fionely chopped shallots
2 pinches of nutmeg or to taste
1/2 cup crumbled roictotta salata cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
the grated zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbs of olive oil
Here's What To Do:
Defrost the fillo dough (follow package instructions)
Defrost the frozen spinach
Preheat oven to 500 degrees
In a large skillet or kadhai heat 2 Tbs of olive oil
When the oil is hot toss in the finely chopped onion and the finely chopped shallots
When the onion and shallot are translucent add in the defrosted chopped spinach and stir it around until it's warmed through and cooked
Add in the crumbled ricotta salata, parmesasn, lemon zest and nutmeg until everything is combined well and the parmesan is melted.
The ricotta salata will not melt in the skillet , it melts in the baking just make sure it's mixed in evenly.
Another way I dress these up is by adding 1/2 cup of sultana raisins and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts while cooking the spinach. These were eliminated from this recipe since my mother hates raisins and all nuts.
As to how to turn these into samosas, follow the directions for this recipe right here (with pictures)
Bake them in the 500 degree oven for about 8 minutes, then turn them and bake for an additional 6 minutes or so until they're crispy.
How did they work out? They're Cousin approved! Even my mother who is notoriously suspicious of everything I cook and is the pickiest of eaters, loved them and asked for the recipe.
Here's photographic proof.
Note the shock on my face. The only one who didn't sample the samosas (aside from Isaac who's just getting teeth) was Patsy who had found another source of treats.
Amazing what a husky will put up with to get food. We had a great afternoon of reminiscing and the sort of catching up one can't do on FB or Twitter.
And so the Holiday fun continues. One fun thing is I'm giving away a great Hand Beater courtesy of the good people at OXO.
If you'd like to win this beater here's what to do:
Leave a comment at the bottom of this post and let me know what you'll whip up with this cool OXO Beater
For an extra entry :
Follow @OXO on Twitter
Follow @kathygori on Twitter
And let me know that you have.
I'll be choosing the winner on Dec 30th at 12:00 noon.PST via random.org Because of shipping rules, winner must be resident in the US.
So what else is happening? Our Christmas house guest has gone back to LA, and the prep now begins for Alan's annual New Year's Eve Birthday feast. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori