Haute n the Kitchen

Entertaining Inspired by my Travels & Traditions


Ornaments from India!

It’s the beginning of the Holiday Season and quite frankly I am just not ready to dive in.

I am thinking more along the lines of a toe dip.

I literally ended my Thanksgiving weekend with a flight to India to get the elves motivated for final pre- Christmas furniture shipments. That might have something to do with my slow ramp up to full-blown Christmas Cheer. Nothing much around me here, in Jaipur, to stir that holiday spirit. No carols, no Christmas sweaters, no decorated windows and definitely no car hood wreaths. 😉

So in an effort to try to kick-start some Holiday spirit, I am going to stream some Frank & Bing! and plan a few parties/nights for my return. I am thinking an intimate Tree Trimming Evening, an Open House Cocktail Party and maybe a cozy Dinner Party for just the Girlz! Feeling more in the spirit already!

I recently test reciped a few quick and EZ hors d’oeuvre that I had been pondering. They came out great, look very festive for the season and take less than 10 minutes each to prepare. As I said, we are easing into the holidaze. Let’s start simple.

H’s EZ-ing into Holiday Hors d’oeuvre

Seasons Spice!

*Poppin’ Piquillo Peppers

1 Jar Pequillo Peppers – Creme Fraiche – fresh thyme – roasted pancetta (or bacon) – fresh ground pepper

Combine 4 tbsp. creme fraiche,  1tsp. finely chopped thyme, 1 tbsp finely crumbled pancetta and a good grind of pepper in a small bowl. Drain the peppers. With a teeny tiny spoon fill the peppers with the creme mixture. Yep, you are done. The spice from the pepper, the sweet cream, the salty bacon and the fresh thyme will have your guests singing joy to the world. (Variations: add 1 tsp horseradish  – mint instead of thyme – add 1 tbsp soft goat cheese – make veg by replacing bacon with fine chopped olive)

Chip Dip Gone Gourmet

** Cheery Chip & Dip

Why is it cheery you ask? All its holiday color! and um…it has a nice jingle.

1 bag store-bought (oh yes I did) Terra Chips (go ahead you overachiever and make your own but it then does not pass the “make in 10 minutes rule” 😉

Same dip as previous recipe with or without any of the revisions  – grape or cherry tomatoes (1 per chip, you do the math)

Roast the tomatoes under the broiler with a splash of olive oil, some sea salt and fresh ground pepper until they are wrinkled but have not burst their skin yet.

Place chips on platter, top with a teaspoon of creme fraiche dip, top with a roasted tomatoe. Voila, next!

Bacon Egg & Chz w/the little black dress

*** Bacon Egg & Cheese Bruschetta

Sounds bizarre, tastes divine!

Prosciutto (finely sliced paper-thin) – Quail Eggs – Xtra Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Baked 1/2″ Baguette Slices (Bruschetta)

Place baguette slices, rubbed with olive oil, on a baking tray and toast under the broiler for 10 minutes until crispy not burned.

Place prosciutto slices on baking tray, under broiler for 5 minutes until crispy, not burned. Can be the same baking tray lol.

Hard-boil the quail eggs, cool and peel. Then slice in 1/2 lengthwise.

Slice cheddar cheese into 1/4″ thin slices.

Bruschetta should still be on baking tray. Top first with the cheese slice, then a bit of the prosciutto (about the size of the length and width of the bread slice, and then top with the 1/2 quail egg. Place under the broiler just until cheese melts. Remove. Grind a bit of fresh chunky black pepper over the bruschetta and serve!

(If you happen to be English , Irish or just a fan of fry up, then lovingly nestle one of the roasted toms up to that quail egg. Ah.

Put all your bruschetta on a fabulous Silver, Gold, Crimson or Cranberry Colored Platter (no reindeer or elves please), pop open a few bottles of something that bubbles and has a grumpy Widow looking back at you, get your Rudolph sweater on (ala Bridget Jones), light the fire and get a little lovin’ from…  Frankie!

H's EZ Party Hints

Hate to do dishes even after a cocktail party? Me too. Here is an EZ Holiday H Tip. Buy parchment paper pastry bags, fill with bamboo utensils and make personal with a wax Initial stamp. H marks the spot!

Part 1 of  H’s 2010 Home on the Hill Holiday – coming to you live from sunny Rajasthan!

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