Sunday, October 24, 2010
FALL FUN PARTY MENU AND RECIPES
Chicken Soup and Goblins (Dumplings)
Vegetable Broomsticks and Dip
Brewed Microwave Iced Tea or
Bubbling Brew Punch
AKA Georgia’s Homemade Pizza
Ingredients for dough:
2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 pkg. dry yeast
5 - 6 cups all purpose flour
Ingredients for toppings:
2 - 15 oz. jars or cans of pizza sauce (Ragu/Contadina)
4 - 8 oz. shredded mild and sharp cheddar cheeses (mozzarella for regular pizza)
1/2 pound pepperoni
1 - 4 oz. can drained mushrooms
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Any other topping you like, including sausage, bacon, ham, olives, chopped tomatoes, pepper rings or jalapenos (use your imagination)
Place the lukewarm water in a very large bowl (preferably one that is microwavable). Add sugar, salt, and oil and stir to mix...sprinkle dry yeast on top and let sit for about 5 minutes. Stir yeast until completely dissolved and allow mixture to stand in a warm place for another 5 minutes.
Add the first 3 cups to the water/yeast mixture and stir until all the flour disappears. Let sit until bubbles appear on top of the mixture, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, add the rest of the flour until the dough becomes a little more like a big lump of dough... On a lightly floured bowl, dump out all the dough and with clean, floured hands begin to knead the dough until it becomes a shiny, smooth consistency and a little more elastic. Add a little more flour, if needed, and be sure the dough is not sticking to your fingers. Add oil to the bowl and place the dough into the bowl, turning it once so that the dough is coated in the oil.
To activate the rising process, place the covered bowl (with kitchen towel) into the microwave. Set it for 5 minutes and if your levels are from 1 to 10 for cooking, set it for #1 (which is even below the defrost level). This will start the dough to rise without beginning to bake it. Let it sit in microwave until double in size (which usually takes an hour). Punch the dough down and knead a couple of times back into a ball, and replace it into the greased bowl, cover and let sit in a warm place until double again.
In the meantime, prepare 4 pans by oiling them lightly and setting aside. This would be a good time to chop your vegetables, if that is what you're putting on your pizza and getting the cheeses, sauce, etc. ready to go.
After it has doubled for the second time, now separate into 4 balls, and keep covered. Put the first ball onto the floured table and flatten out with the palm of your hand and stretch it and turn it and stretch it again until it starts taking shape. You may also use a rolling pin, if you feel you need to in order to get it to the thickness you want. Quickly place the dough onto the greased pan and with your fingertips, continue to stretch and push the dough to the edges of the pan, making a rim so the sauce will not go over.
Using the different toppings, you can create pumpkins or Jack O'Lanterns making eyes, ears, noses, mouth and hair. Have fun and use your imagination. The cheddar cheeses are delicious and give the appearance of a pumpkin as opposed to the normal Italian cheese.
With a medium-sized spoon, spread the pizza sauce evenly until it covers out to the edges. At this time, I sprinkle parmesan cheese and a little garlic salt all around the crust area. This adds a nice flavor to the crust when it is baked. Sprinkle a mixture of mild and sharp cheddar cheese evenly and then build your pizza as mentioned above.
The oven should be preheated to 450 degrees. When it is ready, and your pizzas are all complete, put them in and check after about 10 minutes...you may want to alternate the one on the top rack to the bottom and vice versa. I usually bake 2 pizzas at a time and watch very carefully so the bottoms do not burn. Total baking time for each pizza should be around 20 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the crust and the amount of toppings it has. The ones with all the vegetables sometimes takes a little longer. The main thing is, you should keep an eye on them and stay close to your oven. The crust should be golden brown and the cheese all melted and bubbly before removing.
CHICKEN SOUP WITH GOBLINS (dumplings)
AKA Old World Chicken Vegetable Soup With Dumplings
1 whole chicken fryer
1# carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 stalk celery (top half with leaves, chopped)
1/2 # frozen corn
1 can green beans, drained
7 med. potatoes, peeled and cubed
Coarse black pepper
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
Dash black pepper
Water as needed
Clean chicken thoroughly and remove all gizzards, heart, etc. and put into an 8 quart stock pot filled 3/4 full of cold water. Cook chicken until tender. Remove from broth, cool, and bone it into bite-sized pieces. Return chicken to pot. Add all vegetables (fresh, frozen, and canned). Start with approximately 2 Tbsp. of garlic salt and l Tbs. coarse black pepper. As it cooks, taste occasionally, and add garlic salt and pepper as needed.
Cook on medium high until all the vegetables are tender. Keep the pot uncovered until they are tender and skim the foam off the top and discard. Put lid on and let cook at medium low heat for an additional hour. (This would be a good time to taste and use additional salt and pepper. As the soup cooks, the salt will absorb into the vegetables). The key to good-tasting soup is to let it cook slow and long and allow the flavors of chicken, veggies, and seasoning to blend. Your broth will look rich and have some fat on top. If there is too much fat, skim and discard. It has a somewhat yellowish color when it's rich.
The dumplings (goblins) should be added no more than an hour before you serve it. In a medium bowl, put flour in and make a well in the middle. Add to this, the salt and pepper and all four eggs. With a fork, begin breaking up the eggs and mixing it into the flour. Start with 1/2 cup of water and slowly add and stir into flour mixture. The consistency will be somewhat lumpy, thick, and gooey. So add more water until it looks this way. If it's too thin, add a little more flour.
Remove lid from soup, and turn heat to medium high ( so it comes to a low boil). With a teaspoon, dip into the hot broth and then get a spoonful of batter and drop it into the soup. Continue process until all the batter is gone. DO NOT mix the dumplings...because they will break up. Put lid back on and let boil slowly for about 5 - 10 minutes. Remove the lid. Turn down the heat to simmer and then mix the dumplings carefully. Put lid back on and let simmer for an hour or so before serving.
VEGETABLE BROOMSTICKS AND DIP
Carrots and celery cut up into small long sticks
Make your dip (onion or ranch) with a little cayenne to add a little zip and color.
1/2 pound thinly sliced hard salami
1- 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 tsp. horseradish (optional)
If you want this to have a little tang and zip...add the horseradish to the cream cheese and mix well...or just add to half of the cream cheese...But, either way.. spread 1/2 tsp. of cream cheese mixture onto the slice of salami and roll up...and after you complete them all...put on a plate, covered with plastic wrap and chill. A really neat and quick addition to any party!!
MICROWAVE BREWED ICED TEA
Using an empty gallon milk/water container, place 6 tea bags (without tags) in the bottom and fill about 1/4 full of water. Place in microwave and heat on high for 5 minutes.
Let stand for about 10 minutes to steep and add enough water to about 7/8 of the way to the top.
If you like the tea unsweetened, then just refrigerate it. If you like it sweetened, add 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar, place lid on and shake until the sugar is dissolved.
BUBBLING BREW PUNCH
1 - 46 oz. can of orange drink
1 - 12 oz. frozen lemonade, mixed with 3 cans water
2 - 2 liters lemon-lime soda
1 - 20 oz. can crushed pineapple (don't drain)
1 small can mandarin oranges
1 frozen package strawberries
1 kiwi - peeled and sliced
1 lime - washed and thinly sliced
1 quart orange sherbet
Empty all the cans and packages of fruit into the bottom of the punch bowl. Add the diluted lemonade, orange drink, and mix slowly. Empty the container of sherbet on top of this and pour slowly the 2 liters of soda ...Stir slowly...breaking up the sherbet. On top of this place a few of lime slices and kiwi and let them float...I have a huge punch bowl and go through 5 batches of this for the night. To add a little excitement, add spider rings or other scary things to ice cube trays and add them to the punch bowl. BOOOOOO!!!!!