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10-Second Recipes: "Double Dip" for both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day Time Savers
01/01/2011
Icon(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare) By Lisa Messinger Food and Cooking  at Creators Syndicate Most of us have been taught not to "double dip" at parties. Once you've stuck that chip in the dip bowl, don't try to later steal a second bite using the same chip! However, when it comes to best utilizing your prep time for the gatherings on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day that many busy party throwers' give (like an elegant adults' evening soiree to ring in the New Year and a casual family football-watching brunch the next day), it's precisely a double dip that'll do you good. You can prepare one super-quick dish for the first party and then just as fast transform many of the same ingredients for the second celebration, such as clam chowder cocktails enhanced with brandy turned into souped-up bread bowls the next day. Or a sophisticated (yet simple!) champagne granita (an icy Sicilian treat) that morphs into a cookie-flanked fruit salad for the following event. Refrigerate well (or freeze in the case of the granita), tightly covered, all New Year's Eve leftovers to be used on New Year's Day. Cooking can be easy, nutritious, inexpensive, fun - and fast - even during the holidays, as these split-second family-friendly sensations prove. They take just 10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare . The dishes are delicious proof that everyone has time for tasty home cooking and, more importantly, the healthy family time around the kitchen table that goes along with it! Another benefit: You effortlessly become a better cook, since there are no right or wrong amounts . These are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations, so whatever you - or your kidlet helpers - choose to use can't help but draw "wows" at holiday bashes. APPETIZERS Mini Cheery Chowders For New Year's Eve,  after heating store-bought clam chowder, stir in a dash of brandy and freshly ground pink peppercorns. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and serve in champagne flutes with mini spoons, such as those used for caviar. For New Year's Day,  scoop out the centers of sourdough bread rolls leaving at least a one-quarter inch border. Fill with the leftover store-bought clam chowder to which you've added a dash of Dijon mustard and a dash of cayenne pepper. Garnish with paprika and more of the cilantro, finely chopped. Potent Potato Skins For New Year's Eve,  order some plain and some topped potato skins from your favorite takeout restaurant, refrigerate, tightly covered the plain ones and additionally garnish the restaurant topped ones with finely chopped pine nuts, finely chopped black and green olives and a sprinkling of curry powder. For New Year's Day,  saute in a small amount of olive oil minced Italian sausage until fully cooked with finely minced red onions, diced mushrooms and a sprinkling of bottled Italian seasoning blend. Spread atop reserved plain potato skins that have been warmed covered with foil in oven and serve with a dollop of nonfat sour cream and some of the leftover olives, finely chopped. Spread it on Thick For New Year's Eve,  in a food processor or a strong blender with a small amount of water, to make a spread: pulverize a mixture of nuts, like cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and macadamia nuts, along with freshly ground pepper and store-bought Cajun spice blend. Serve atop crackers with a tiny dollop of real or mock caviar. For New Year's Day,  prepare bruschetta by toasting small slices of Italian baguette rubbed with olive oil and garlic. When out of oven, spread with leftover seasoned nut spread and top with slices of hard Italian salami. ENTREES Winter Chilliness Be Gone For New Year's Eve,  spread store-bought chili, to which you've added sauteed minced onions and mushrooms, gruyere cheese and champagne, on heated garlic bread. For New Year's Day,  add cooked corn kernels to leftover chili before reheating and serve with large chunks of store-bought jalapeno cornbread on top. Peppy Double-Duty Pizza For New Year's Eve,  after baking store-bought cheese pizza (reserve some unbaked and frozen for next day), carefully spread on a thin layer of mascarpone and sprinkle with finely chopped pine nuts and store-bought Italian seasoning blend. For New Year's Day,  after baking reserved store-bought cheese pizza, sprinkle with a dash of cayenne, top with slices of prosciutto and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Broil for a moment until prosciutto is heated and Parmesan melts. Wings that Take Flight For New Year's Eve,  prepare the following dip for cooked and heated store-bought chicken wings (some of which you reserve for the next day, along with some of the chicken wings): softened cream cheese, nonfat sour cream, orange marmalade, freshly ground black pepper, spicy mustard and champagne. For New Year's Day,  pull meat off of reserved wings and chop. Mix with reserved dip. Roll up in won ton wrappers. Paint with beaten egg. Bake at 350 F for about 8 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Serve with bottled Chinese plum sauce as a dip. DESSERTS This Beer's the Bomb For New Year's Eve,  to a strawberry or other fruit-flavored ale (like imported versions from England), add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to emulate the easy beer floats made by top chefs. Garnish with chopped apples and berries you've marinated in the ale. Marinate extra for the next day. For New Year's Day,  top warm apple pie slices with the reserved berry ale-marinated fruit, vanilla ice cream, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Peppermint Patties Worth Patting on the Back For New Year's Eve,  melt after-dinner chocolate peppermints in a saucepan or in microwave, spoon over slices of peeled kiwi and peeled oranges and serve atop Neapolitan ice cream with biscotti crumbled on top. For New Year's Day,  alternate layers of leftover peppermint chocolate-covered kiwi and oranges in parfait glasses along with vanilla yogurt and the leftover biscotti, crumbled. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of allspice. Sensational Champagne Slushies For New Year's Eve,  pour champagne into a nonreactive bowl and place in freezer, stir gently as gets grainy and icy, every 30 minutes, until it turns into granita (a semi-frozen, slightly slushy dessert that originated in Sicily). Serve garnished with chopped dried cherries and chocolate shavings. Store leftover granita in the freezer. For New Year's Day,  use a melon baller to create balls of cantaloupe and honeydew, which you marinate, along with chunks of orange and strawberries in the leftover champagne granita, which now becomes the fruit salad marinade and dressing. Serve with store-bought vanilla- and strawberry-filled flavored wafers. QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK:  Ring in the New Year by losing weight and getting fit quickly and efficiently through one of the multitasking smart phone apps or websites set up for such enthusiastic endeavors. The phone apps Lose It, Livestrong-Daily Plate, SparkPeople and My Fitness Pal (all have website formats as well) help you figure out what calorie and exercise levels you should follow to lose or maintain weight, track your amounts, and contain nutrient encyclopedias and food and exercise journals. Even Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner recently wrote about how she went from a size 10 to a size 2, while still eating out many times a week, by following a plan she devised with the Lose It phone app.  Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling  The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes   (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and  Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet (Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission Granted for use on Dr.Laura.com.
Tags: 10-Second Recipes, Budget, Finances, Recipes, Stay-at-Home Mom
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