Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eating Trees

Back from my Nano hiatus, I have a couple things planned for this space: keep the Tried and Tweaked column, but lose the special day attached. This means that you get it when you see T&T in the title. There are still plenty of these wonderful recipes I haven't shared here and more coming along all the time-- I never post these unless I've made them often enough to almost forget the original recipe concept, so they are eminently usable.

Also, going through my gigundus collection of Christmas/winter holiday themed food mags for inspiration this week, I realized many of the recipes are no longer available online, they've been around so long; or else the mags may have ended, like Gourmet. So beginning now, for a new feature we'll call The Collection, I'll regularly type in with my own two hands some of the excellent recipes from bygone food eras that you probably can't get anywhere else, unless you have a similar room full of old food mags.

Today it's an appie from Food and Wine. In an article about a tree-trimming party, an occasion I've never seen the like of, I found this neat little uptake on the old standby, cheese canapes. Old school entertaining, yes, but they were good! Simple, tasty, and suitable for any holiday just by changing up the shape of the cutter used. I think they'd take nicely to other seasonings mixed into the topping, such as a sprinkle of wasabi powder or a dash of dried dill. Non-stick cookie sheets work best here.

Parmesan Trees Food and Wine magazine, December 1989

Makes 24 trees

"Use various cookie cutters to make these zesty cheese toasts, which are festive for any occasion."

3/4 C freshly grated parmesan cheese (3 oz)

1/2 C good quality mayonnaise

2 Tbsp grated onion

1/4 tsp ground white pepper

24 slices white sandwich bread (such as Monk's, or Pepperidge Farm)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, mayo, onion and pepper.

2. Lay the bread on a work surface and cut with a tree-shaped cookie cutter. Scraps can be reserved for making bread crumbs.

3. Spread about 2 tsp of the cheese mixture evenly onto each bread tree. Arrange trees on a large baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Try them on your picky eaters, or with a soup dinner.

Peace, Mari

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