Sunday, April 13, 2014

It's A Wrap!

I went to a party with my boyfriend last night for his biology friends to celebrate their accomplishments. The hostess said she was eating a wrap a couple of weeks ago and someone asked about it and what was in it and all she could think to say was "it's a wrap." This led to the party theme "it's a wrap" with all wrap themed foods, decorations, and of course, rap music.

Theme parties are so fun to make a casual get together more interesting. It's always exciting to see what different dishes people come up with, too! I spent quite a bit of time on Pinterest (what else is new?) and just went with my original dish idea anyway. I asked for recipes so I could share the theme with you guys and save you hours on Pinterest!

The theme is perfect for something like last night where you're celebrating people getting scholarships, wrapping up PhD projects, getting awards, etc. It's also almost summer, so plenty of people are graduating, which is a huge reason to celebrate wrapping up! The theme could also be applicable to someone retiring, going to a new job, etc. and a bunch of these dishes are easy to bring to an office setting because they can just be warmed in a kitchen quickly or can be served room temp.

I brought my infamous bacon wrapped dates. Easiest dish ever and people actually request them!

Bacon Wrapped Dates
One piece of bacon for every date you have

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut dates lengthwise, but not all the way through so you end up with two halves. You just want to get the pit out.
3. After you pit all of the dates, wrap each in a piece of bacon and stick a toothpick in it to keep them from unrolling.
4. Place all wrapped pieces on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes (make sure the bacon is cooked!).
5. Serve right out of the oven or you can warm them in the microwave or an oven when you get where you're going! Warm is preferred, but people eat them cold and still love them!
Note: Before wrapping the date in bacon you can put some goat cheese with an almond, walnut, or pecan inside where the pit was! They're to die for. 

Another extremely simple, yet delicious app was cream cheese rollups. 

Medium sized tortillas
Vegetable cream cheese

1. Spread cream cheese onto flat tortilla so it's evenly distributed and completely covering the tortilla
2. Roll tortilla into a log
3. Cut into 1 inch pieces

This was considered to be "wrapped in cornbread." It just has a layer on top, but regardless of how much of a stretch that is, it was delicious. And vegan! You would never know it when you ate it though!

Vegan Jamaican-Style Black Bean and Coconut-Cornbread
Serves 6
2 15 oz cans of black beans, rinsed and drained (or soak you're own beans if you prefer.. I'm not big on canned anything, but it's the easier option!)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilled (include he juices- don't drain them)
1 1/2 cups frozen yellow corn, thawed
1 white onion, chopped
A couple of handfuls of string beans (boil so that they're edible, but not mushy, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces)
1/2 tsp jerk seasoning (you can add more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (add more or less to taste)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
2/3 cups light coconut milk
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Lightly oil an 8-inch baking dish and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl combine beans, tomatoes (including juices), corn, onion, string beans, jerk seasoning, and pepper. Stir until everything is mixed evenly.
4. Pour bean mixture into the bottom of the baking dish and spread evenly.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp of salt.
6. Add coconut milk and oil into the flour mixture and stir well to combine completely, but don't over-mix!
7. Spread the cornbread mixture evenly over the bean mixture in the pan.
8. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes (the top should be lightly browned and when you insert a toothpick into the center it should come out clean.)
9. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving!

The next two recipes are extremely easy and both are delish. I made the Elvis bites, which were inspired by Elvis quesadillas I made a while back. Someone else made the s'mores puffs and people were raving about them.

Elvis Bites
Medium tortillas
Peanut Butter
Mini semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

1. Lay a tortilla flat and spread a few tablespoons of peanut butter to cover the whole thing.
2. Lay a banana along one edge, leaving less than a quarter of an inch border showing.
3. Sprinkle a few handfuls of chocolate chips over the peanut butter.

4. Roll the tortilla to form a log. The banana will straighten out and lose it's curve when you roll it.

5. If the end of the tortilla doesn't stay shut just spread some extra peanut butter to act as glue!
6. Cut the log into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces, depending on your preference.
7. Insert a toothpick into any pieces that don't stay shut.

Elvis Quesadillas
Medium tortillas
Peanut Butter
Bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
Mini semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

1. Lay a tortilla flat and spread a few tablespoons of peanut butter to cover the whole thing.
2. Sprinkle a few handfuls of chocolate chips over the half of the peanut butter.
3. On the other half lay banana rounds to cover most of that side.
4. Fold the tortilla in half and press in a panini press for a few minutes, warm in the microwave, or warm in the over so that the chocolate is melted.
5. Cut into thirds and enjoy!

S'mores Puffs
Serves 8
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
8 large marshmallows
1 or 2 (1.2 oz) milk chocolate candy bars, broken into squares

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Roll a chocolate square and marshmallow in a crescent roll and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and chocolate is melted.
4. Serve warm.

Some other things that people brought to fit the theme were spinach and feta stuffed puffed pastries, avocado rolls, turkey wraps, and apple pie (it's wrapped in pie crust!). The theme was fun and super creative.
Spinach and Feta Phyllo Triangles
Avocado Rolls (since they're veggie they're a cheap store-bought dish to bring!)
Turkey Wraps (another easy thing to pick up at the supermarket)


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