Last weekend as I unpacked ornaments to decorate our tree, I felt like I was re-visiting my families past with every bobble I hung on each branch. I flashed back on so many things, so many little memories with each handmade ornament.
With memories and treasures in mind, I am reminded of how easy it is to get swept up in over-planning and over-scheduling around the holidays. We may tend to over-commit ourselves to bringing a dish to this or that function, and we hardly even have time to enjoy the actual event.
I have done this myself. I have been known to decide that Beef Wellington should be on the menu for a family gathering only to find that I spent the whole time buzzing about, busy and fretting over the details.
Now, after many trials and errors, I have adopted a Tapas way of thinking when it comes to entertaining and sharing a dish as a dinner guest — small, individual portions that pack in a lot of flavor. I make three or four of what I like to call ‘Little Bites,’ a bowl of spiced nuts and a stack of small plates and let guests pick and choose what they want. I think this allows for a little more creativity and takes the mundane “meatball in a crock pot of barbecue sauce” to the next level.
One of my favorite appetizers to make, and certainly one of the most requested items I bring when I am a guest at a holiday dinner, is my stuffed mushrooms. But, this holiday season I wanted to give them a facelift so I put the filling in a won-ton cup.
Spinach And Feta Cups
- 8-10 ounces washed and dried Cremini, baby bella or button mushrooms, chopped
- 1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained of excess liquid
- 1 8 ounce package low-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 5 ounce package feta cheese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 package won-ton wrappers
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients (except the won-tons) in a large bowl.
- Using 2 mini-muffin pans, insert a won ton wrap in each hole by laying it on top of it. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of filling to each and insert it into the opening. (It will resemble a cupcake.)
- Sprinkle the completed cups with the parmesan cheese and bake until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.