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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Housewarming Party & Spanokapitas

The Spatula is another great gift from Foodbuzz.

I have been busy in the kitchen for the last two weeks making appetizers, desserts and testing cocktails for my husband and my Housewarming Party & my 30th Birthday Party, which we combined into one event. Although we missed the pleasure of seeing some of our out of town friends, we were happy with the turn out. We even managed to squeeze 20 people in our small quaint new pad. Thanks to all that made the night a great time.

I love organizing food & drink for parties, even though it always gets a bit hectic at crunch time. We (my husband and I) decided that serving savoury appetizers and a couple cocktail testers would be a nice touch to the party. It stood to good reason that I should make some "tried & tested" appetizers, so I used some recipes from the "The Best of Vanilla Bean Cafe", as well as some recipes I love but have yet to post. However, I could not resist making a couple new items for this party som e of which were inspired by my fellow foodies.

My next posts will consist of all the new recipes I made for the housewarming party and perhaps highlighting a compilation of "Vanilla Bean Cafe" recipes.


Chicken Empanadas
Lemon Garlic Shrimp
Cucumber with Smoked Salmon
Dips (Roasted Red Pepper, Spicy Hummus, Hot Artichoke Dip)
Vegetables, Bread, Crackers for Dipping
Cheese Platter with Salami, Fruit & Nuts
Apple-Raisin Chutney
Tostitos with Salsa and Guacamole
Cheesecake Pops
Mini Kahlua Truffles
Pomegranate Champagne Spritzer
Cranberry Martini


Spanakopita is a Greek pastry with a filling of spinach, feta cheese, onions, egg and seasoning. . The filling is wrapped in layers of phyllo pastry. It can be made and served as a pie or folded into triangular shapes and served for appetizers. I found various recipes in my search, but decided to make my own filling using different ingredients from different recipes and played with the measurements until it tasted good. The pastry was crispy golden brown and the filling had a creamy texture with wonderful flavors, the lemon zest was a great addition. The only glitch was that apparently I do not know how to fold a flag. After folding about 6 of them totally wrong I figured it out and had to start all over again, this time they turned out right.

10-12 phyllo pastry sheets
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 lbs spinach (regular or baby)
2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 garlic minced
sweet white onion, finely chopped
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
ground pepper to taste

In a small skillet add 1 T butter and melt over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for 5 mins. Set aside to cool.

Melt 1 T butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool, about 10 minutes. Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl and stir in feta, parmesan, lemon zest, garlic and onion mixture, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Melt remaining 1 stick butter in a small saucepan, then cool.

Cover phyllo stack with a dampened kitchen towel.

Take 1 phyllo sheet from stack and arrange on a work surface with a long side nearest you (keeping remaining sheets covered) and brush with butter. Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with more butter. Cut buttered phyllo stack crosswise into 6 (roughly 12- by 2 3/4-inch) strips.

Put a heaping teaspoon of filling near 1 corner of a strip on end nearest you, then fold corner of phyllo over to enclose filling and form a triangle. Continue folding strip (like a flag), maintaining triangle shape.

Put triangle, seam side down, on a large baking sheet and brush top with butter.
Bake triangles until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Frezing: You can freeze in air tight container for months. Do not cook before freezing. Cook from frozen.
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VeggieGirl said...

Happy belated birthday!! Glad that the celebrations went well :-)

Spanokapitas = classic!!

RecipeGirl said...

Happy bday! I remember making those with my mother. We used to have a big Christmas party every year and those were one of the apps we made. They freeze well.

Cranberry martinis? Yum!

Psychgrad said...

Happy belated birthday! Sounds like a great menu. I think I may have to find an excuse to make spanokapita triangles. They're time consuming, but I love them!

I think you should coordinate a blogger potluck :).

Holler said...

Mmmmm, lovely :P

Happy Birthday!

Sophie said...

These came out too pretty, perfect for a party :).

Aimée said...

Whoa, wierd. This would be exactly the menu I would choose for a housewarming of my own. Nice! I just turned 30 too. Happy birthday!

Peter M said...

Nice job...they look tasty. Greeks will brush melted butter or olive oil on them...great colour and flavour.

Lo said...

No party at our place goes on without a nice batch of spanikopita (and countless variations). Yours looks absolutely stunning!

Happy birthday!!

Adam said...

Wow that's quite the spread you guys have going on over there. I mean a birthday and housewarming combined is a big deal, but geez that's alot of good food :)

Kait said...

Looking forward to this series. Happy birthday, and your party sounds like my kind of party :) The food sounds great.

Kerri said...

The food was great and we had a great time!!! Hope you enjoyed yourself too!

Alex said...

My biggest regret was eating a big supper before heading over on Saturday. Everything looked great, and the few things I tried were indeed delicious! Hope you had a good time, and were able to tear yourself away from the food for a while to enjoy yourself later on in the evening!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow, that menu sounds awesome! What a great variety! I am sire it was a lot of work. I always love hosting appetizer parties until I remember how much work it takes to get everything ready! LOL!


We Are Never Full said...

spanokapita... why do i never think about making those for a party? what a great go-to app.

Kevin said...

Spanakopita is one of my favorites and those look good!

Happy cook said...

Happy belated b'day wishes.
I love that you baked them than deep frying .
And now that the party season is nearby, i am sure lot of these are going to be prepared every where

giz said...

Looks to me like you worked forever to create that whole menu. Your b-day - you do all the work... ooookkkay

Bellini Valli said...

Absolutely no doubt that this is our family favourite. I hope you had a very special birthday!!

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