Ways to Save: DIY Dine-In Dinner Party

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Whether your income has decreased or your expenses have increased, you can have fun finding creative ways to save. When it comes to cost-saving entertainment, host a DIY Dine-In Dinner Party. Impress your friends (or your honey) with this do-it-yourself, dine-in dinner party (or date night) menu courtesy of culinary cutie Dave Lieberman, campaign spokesperson for Del Monte “Value without Sacrifice”  and Chef and Author of  The 10 Things You Need to Eat: – a New York Times Bestseller!! You can host a fabulous dinner party without sacrificing value or nutrition.

Appetizer: Spinach and Scallion Dip (perfect with pita chips and veggies)

Entrée: Chicken Cacciatore (an updated classic)

Dessert: Beet Mash Chocolate Cupcakes (super moist and decadent)

  • Try this tip from Dave: Swap in canned ingredients! Not only will you save money, you get all the flavor and nutrition with simpler clean up — enjoy your company instead of standing over the sink!
  • Another tip: Double the recipes so you have leftovers on hand for quick and easy weeknight meals (instead of reaching for the take out menu!!)

Simple Spinach and Scallion Dip

dip

Ingredients:

  • One 13.5 oz. can Del Monte® Leaf Spinach, drained
  • One 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped scallion
  • A few dashes Tabasco
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to combine all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and dip with crudités or chips.

Makes about 1 pint.

Chicken Cacciatore

chickcacc

Ingredients:

  • Two 14.5 oz. cans Del Monte® Original Recipe Stewed Tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 20 grinds fresh black pepper
  • One 3-4 pound chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • About 5 ounces button or cremini mushroom, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, oregano, paprika and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour until well coated.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces and brown well on both sides.

Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions and mushrooms to the hot pan and cook them, stirring often, until soft, about 7 minutes.

Stir in the red wine, tomatoes, and sliced garlic. Add the chicken back into the pan and cover the pan loosely. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 1 hour, until chicken is cooked through and tender.

Makes 4 servings.

Beet Mash Chocolate Cupcakes (or Cake) with Beet Frosting

mashcupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes

  • One 14.5 oz. can Del Monte® Sliced Beets, drained
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Icing

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • Approx. ½ a can of Del Monte® Sliced Beets, drained
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar

Directions:

For Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

For Cake: Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

In a small bowl, mash the drained can of beets finely with a potato masher and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, and water. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold in the mashed beets and mix well.

For Cupcakes: Pour the batter into greased cupcake tins. Bake about 15-20 minutes, until set but moist. (Or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean)

For Cake: Pour the batter into a greased 10-inch Bundt pan. Bake about 70 minutes, until set but moist. Let cool, and turn out onto a large serving plate.

Make the Icing: Mash the ½ can of beets finely with a potato masher. Melt 1 stick of butter in a saucepan and add mashed beets. Simmer on very low heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cream the second stick of butter with a mixer in a bowl. Mix in the melted butter and beet mixture until fully incorporated. Gradually beat in the confectioners sugar.

Ice the cupcakes with a thick layer of icing.

The cupcakes and cake serve 12-15.

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