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Crab and Brie and Kabobs ... Oh, My!

A few recipes and a cooking demo for some fun and delicious hors d'ouevres for your holiday and New Years parties.

You've done the Thanksgiving feast. The fine china from Christmas dinner has been washed and put away. You're about to kick the tree to the curb.

And now you think you have to make another huge meal for New Years? Well, think again. A great way to allow your friends, family and guests to mingle and be entertained and fed is by serving some quality hors d'ouevres.

While the options of hummus and pita chips, the old standard vegetable tray and the many and various options of dips is certainly available, I want to suggest a few alternatives. Food can and should be exciting. It should inspire conversation and emotions; these recipes are no exception.

I wish you and your family the best during the New Year. And as always, live deeply and happy eating, my friends. 

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Fried Crab Cake Balls

1 pound of lumb crabmeat

1 egg

1 cup of breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley 

1/3 cup of mayonaise

Dash of salt

Enough vegetable oil to submerge balls for frying.  

Combine all of the ingredients listed above and mix well and thoroughly. Once mixed, roll the crab mixture into balls. After rolling the crab mixture into balls, refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to allow the form to set. Heat the oil and drop the balls into the oil. Allow to fry for 4 - 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let dry on paper towels. Serve with a dipping sauce (seafood aioli or cocktail sauce) and lemon slices.  

Apple and Pear Kabobs w/Cream Sauce Dip

3 apples (variety of your choice)

3 pears (variety of your choice) 

Lemon juice

2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoon of ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon of ground cardamom 

Small bamboo or wooden skewers

Preheat oven to 350. Cut the apples and pears into small cubes. Place the apple and pear cubes onto skewers. Roll the skewers with the fruit in lemon juice. Combine the cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom in a small bowl and mix well. Sprinkle the spices over the fruit skewers. Bake on an ungreased baking tray for 20 minutes. Serve with the cream sauce, recipe listed below.  

1/4 cup of dark brown sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons of white sugar

4 teaspoons of cornstarch 

3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons of butter 

1 teaspoon of vanilla 

Handful of chopped walnuts 

Combine the sugars and cornstarch in a small saucepan and mix in the cream slowly until smooth. Add in the vanilla and bring the mixture to a boil until smooth and slightly thickened, while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter until smooth and then stir in the chopped walnuts. Pour into a small bowl and serve with the fruit kabobs.  

Baked Brie

1 large wheel of brie cheese

1 sheet of puff pastry

Handful of chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, and/or pecans)

Preserves (raspberry, fig, apricot, or peach)

1 egg yolk 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Trim the skin off the large wheel of brie. Use a shot glass or other small sized glass to cut a rounded hole in the middle of the brie. Roll out and flour both sides of the puff pastry sheet. Cut a small cross in the middle of the puff pastry sheet.  Spread the preserves in a circle around the center of the puff pastry.

Place the brie on top of the preserves. Sprinkle the nuts on top of the brie. Wrap the puff pastry around the brie and tuck the excess into the circle. Brush the edges with egg yolk.

Bake the brie wreath for about 20 minutes (or until golden brown) at 325 degrees on an ungreased baking tray. Some cheese will likely leak out, but that is not a problem. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes before carefully moving it from the baking tray to your serving tray or platter. Serve with crackers.  

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