Okay, I know. The title of this dinner is totally morbid and depressing, but I assure you it wasn’t. The idea behind this meal was that everyone made a dish that began with the first letter of their last name. We had F, P, H, and O. The first three letters all have a plethora of dishes associated with them, but O was difficult. I’m pretty sure 99% of the recipes I looked at were orange-this and orange-that. In the end, I found an awesome recipe for onion-herb focaccia, which tasted great with the pesto, fruit salad, and honey cookies that made up the rest of our dinner.
Why don’t you try getting together with some friends and recreate this dinner using the first letters of your last name. Or just try out the delicious recipes we used!
Onion-Herb Focaccia (O):
- 1 lb. refrigerated pizza dough
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. rosemary or oregano (I used oregano)
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (I personally find this much to be overwhelming, so I just sprinkled a little on)
- Sea salt
- Sliced onion
- On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into a 10-by-15 inch rectangle; press into an oil-rimmed baking sheet.
- Mix together the olive oil, rosemary/oregano, red pepper flakes, and sea salt. Brush half of the herb oil over the dough, then set aside until puffy, about 1 hr.
- Make dimples in the dough with your fingertips and top with thin onion slices and some shaved parmesan.
- Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, or until golden. Then brush with the remaining herb oil and serve.
Pesto Pasta (P):
- 3 cups fresh basil leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 1/2 cups pine nuts
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a food processor, blend together basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, and cheese. Pour in oil slowly while mixing. Stir in salt and pepper.
- Cook pasta, drain.
- Pour pesto sauce over pasta, stir and serve.
Fruit Salad (F):
- Whatever delicious/seasonal fruits your heart desires
- We had apples, grapes, kiwi, melon
- Wash and slice your fruit.
- Place in a bowl and mix together!
Honey Cookies (H):
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. anise extract
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup black coffee
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 tsp. anise extract
- 2 tsp. heavy cream
- In a large saucepan, bring the honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and anise extract to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat and add the butter and coffee. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature before adding the eggs, sour cream, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir well. Mix in the flour to form a soft dough; refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a heavily floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inches thick (you may need to work in more flour if the dough begins to stick). Cut out 2-inch round cookies, re-rolling dough as needed. Bake for 12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned and puffed. Let cool completely before adding glaze.
- In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar, anise extract and heavy cream. If glaze is too thick add cream 1 tsp. at a time until glaze is spreadable. Spread glaze onto cookies and allow to cool for a few minutes for glaze to set before serving.