New Years Eve

It is the eve of New Years Eve which means time to entertain again! Breakout the cookware, heat up the oven and crack open some eggs because we’re going to ring in 2012 big time!

First up, some delicious finger foods.

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup Gluten Free Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or Garlic salt (I would actually use both – 1/2 teaspoon of each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons buttery spread (such as Earth Balance) melted
  1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
  2. Mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt, garlic salt, ground black pepper and paprika in 1-gallon resealable plastic food-storage bag.
  3. Dip half the chicken strips into egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat.
  4. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.
  5. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes  until no longer pink in center.
  6. Serve with you favorite dipping sauces and fresh home fries!

Home French Fries 

This is a super simple recipe for thick cut french fries fried up at home!

Ingredients

  • 2-4 large white potatoes (depending on how many you are feeding)
  • Canola oil or olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Seasoning (whichever you like)
  1. Wash and peel potatoes (or wash really well and leave skins on for a rustic look and taste)
  2. Heat up oil in a large frying pot (We have a wok which works great) You want the oil to be HOT!
  3. Slice potatoes into long stripes (I usually cut them 1 inch thick but you can cut them thicker or thinner)
  4. Slowly drop potatoes into the hot oil.
    Fry until golden brown
  5. Place on a plate that has been lined with paper towels.
  6. Season fries with salt, pepper and seasoning of your choice. (I usually go with a little bit of garlic powder). Make sure you season the fries while they are still hot.

Now for some sweets.  How about another cocktail cupcake this time inspired form a classic drink ordered by young and old. A Shirley Temple Cupcake.

Shirley Temple Cupcake

Ingredients

For the Cupcake

  • 1 and 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Cherry 7-Up, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
  • Red food coloring

For the Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread, at room temperature
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

For the Garnish

  • 12 maraschino cherries with stems
  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a cupcake pan with your desired paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 and 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttery spread and sugar together and beat, on medium-high speed, until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and alternate adding half of the flour mixture and half of the Cherry 7-Up, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Repeat until the flour and Cherry 7-Up are completely added to the batter.
  6. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, mixing well.
  7. Place about 3/4 cup of the cupcake batter in a separate small bowl and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, maraschino cherry juice, and red food coloring (to your desired tint).
  8. Evenly distribute the red cupcake batter among your prepared liners, about 1-2 teaspoons per cupcake, gently smoothing out the batter to make sure it is flat.
  9. Once the red batter is in place, evenly distribute the remaining cupcake batter among the cupcake liners, making sure not to mix the two batters.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cool completely before frosting.
  11. For the Buttercream Frosting: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the buttery spread until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  12. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the pinch of salt, powdered (confectioners’) sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice, and maraschino cherry juice, adding more powdered sugar as necessary for your desired piping consistency.
  13. Pipe as desired onto your cooled cupcakes and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

You can’t have a Shirley Temple Cupcake without sipping on an actual Shirley Temple can you!?

Shirley Temples 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7-UP)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grenadine syrup
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  1. In a highball glass, over ice, combine lemon-lime soda and grenadine. Stir well and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Time for another cocktail cupcake! Here is a Margarita Cupcake

Margarita Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes

  • 1½ cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttery spread such as Earth Balance, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • Zest and juice of 1½ limes
  • 2 tablespoons tequila (your choice)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk substitute (mix 1 cup of rice milk (or coconut milk) with 1 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. To ensure that the mixture doesn’t get lumpy, mix the cream of tartar with 2 tablespoons of rice milk. Once mixed, add the rest of the cup of rice milk. Cream of tartar is an acid and will simulate the acidic environment of buttermilk.) – then only use half a cup of the substitute

To Brush the Cupcakes

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tequila (your choice)

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting

  • 1 cup buttery spread, at room temperature
  • 2¾ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila (your choice)
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the buttery spread and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, it will all come back together)
  6. Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk substitute  in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
  7. Divide the batter between the cupcake cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pan at the halfway point.
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
  9. To make the frosting, whip the buttery spread on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.

And last but not least a frozen margarita with a twist of cranberry!

Frozen Cranberry Margaritas

Ingredients

  • 1 can (11 1/2 ounces) frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7-UP)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup tequila (your choice)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  1. In 3-quart plastic container, beat all ingredients with wire whisk or spoon until well blended.
  2. Cover and freeze at least 24 hours until slushy. Serve in margarita glasses with sugared rims

There you have it! A wonderful New Years Eve line up that will have you cheering all night long!

ENJOY!

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