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Menu Ideas: Game Day

Monday, 6 February 2012 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Tis the season of big get-togethers. Good food, great people, lots of fun. Here are some of our favourite recipes we're serving up, all from cookbooks we've tested on Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag. We've even found links to a few of the recipes online. Get cooking!

Starters:

Bruschetta Four Ways 
Simple and delicious finger food. Try the easy versions for quick crowd pleasers, or the more involved versions to wow your guests with unique flavours. We made the bruschetta with braised artichokes, guanciale, and chicken livers on our show, and a few times since!

Other starters (antipasti) to try:

  • Marinated Olives (quick and can be made ahead of time)
  • Any of the pizzas, sliced up into smaller finger-food pieces. 

From the cookbook:
A16: Food + Wine 

 
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Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
A great twist on a traditional winter staple vegetable, this salad is a delightful mix of textures, flavours, and temperatures.

We found the recipe available online, but we highly recommend the Barefoot Contessa cookbook to anyone who’s looking for some delicious dependable dishes.

Also check out Ina Garten’s list of 10 no-cookthings to serve with drinks on p. 28 for more easy ideas.

From the cookbook:
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics 

 

 

 
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Vegetable Sides:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
If you tend to turn your nose up at these little, green, vitamin-packed nuggets, we guarantee you’ll love them after you try this recipe. Simple, easy, yum.

We also found the recipe available on one of the author’s websites. Bonus!

(Note: the website recipe gives an oven temp of 400F, but the book recipe we tested uses 425F.)

From the cookbook: 
The Ski House Cookbook

 
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April’s Rosemary Straw Potatoes with lemon salt
A nice change from mashed potatoes, these zingy spuds are a common old-English side dish traditionally served with grouse or partridge. Why not try them with turkey?

Here’s the recipe on Jamie Oliver’s website.

Other recipes to try from this cookbook:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Egg “salad” (p. 35)
  • Baked potatoes stuffed with bacon, anchovies and sage.
  • Sticky saucepan carrots
  • Slow-cooked leek soldiers with bacon.

From the cookbook:
Cook with Jamie 

 

 
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Braised Fennel with Onions & Balsamic Vinegar
The Oprah Magazine’s cookbook has many good recipes that aren’t difficult at all. Braised Fennel is a simple dish with unique flavours that will surely become a tradition at your family gatherings. It’s really that good!

Here’s a link to the recipe on Oprah’s website. 

Other recipes to try:

From the cookbook:
The Oprah Magazine Cookbook 

 
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Main Courses:

Roast Turkey 
If you like to put on a traditional spread for family gatherings, roast turkey will be on your menu.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Joy of Cooking is a must-have for everyone who likes to cook. Reliable, accurate, and packed with information, you won’t go wrong with this recipe, or this cookbook.

Read the poultry primer pp. 418-423, and the turkey recipes are pp. 441-446.

Going with ham, roast beef, or another idea for a main? We guarantee you’ll find the recipe in Joy of Cooking. 

From the cookbook:
Joy of Cooking (75th Anniversary Edition) 

 
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Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding & Red Wine Gravy
This whole cookbook is dedicated to family meals, with plenty of great dishes to choose from. For a traditional family get-together, roast beef is sure to hit the spot, and Gordon knows how to do it up right.

We found the recipe available online here.

 

Read our cookbook review:
Gordon Ramsay’s Family Fare

 
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Duck à l’Orange 
For a smaller gathering when you might want to try something different than the usual roast turkey, try this classic French dish. When we made this recipe on our show, we both couldn’t get enough of it. Juicy, succulent, flavourful. Crazy good.

 

Read our cookbook review:
Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles 

 
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Desserts:

Pumpkin roulade with Ginger Buttercream
Avoid the stress of pastry crusts and go for something a little different than typical pumpkin pie with this easy to make cake roll. Just be sure to give yourself enough time for it to cool completely before you add the filling and roll it up.

Also check out the suggestions on p. 188 for 10no-cook things to serve for dessert. Easy! 

 

From the cookbook:
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics 

 

 
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Crème Brûlée
Delicious and classic, this is a great dessert dish you can make a day or two before. 

 

From the cookbook:
Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles

 
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Lalo’s Famous Cookies
Ok we have to admit that we’ve both tried almost all of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookie recipes. Heck, they’re healthy, so why not?

Great options for finger food desserts, and sweet, guilt-free pleasers for the little ones. Other options include:

  • Grandad Danner’s Favourite Peanut Butter Cookies 
  • Mutti’s Pecan Butterballs
  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 

From the cookbook
My Father’s Daughter
Delicious, easy recipes celebrating family & togetherness
By Gwyneth Paltrow

 
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Hot Buttered Rum
We tested this one at a true Christmas dinner with Anna’s family and it was very well received. The cinnamon and ginger add a spicy warmth to the sweetness, and the recipe is not too labour intensive. Cheers all around!

Here’s a link to the recipe on Martha Stewart’s website. 
 

From the cookbook:
Martha Stewart Living Christmas Cookbook 

 

 
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The Day After:

Italian Egg Sandwich
Intended for breakfast, but good any time of the day. Totally to-die-for and easy to make as a savoury morning starter the day after any kind of night before.

Here’s a link to the recipe available online.

Other recipes to try:

  • Any of the fritattas
  • Turkey meatballs (if you have leftovers) 

 

From the cookbook:
Everyday Italian

 

 
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Roasted Vegetable Salad or Sandwich

The Frankies were our guests on our A16 episode and left a lasting impression, especially with their own cookbook of recipes from their New York restaurant Frankies Spuntino. When you have leftover vegetables after a big family dinner, you can enjoy them all over again in a deliciously different way.

This cookbook also has a great guide to roasting a variety vegetables at the beginning.

Also check out the Frankies’ Monday Meatballs recipe they shared with us during their visit. Great for an intimate Grey Cup get-together!

 
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