Friday, September 4, 2015

Labor Day Morsels

I love Labor Day weekend! Some of the reasons for this adoration have changed through the years. In the past, it was the time to celebrate a final cookout or camping trip with friends. Now, it means fantasy football draft weekend!

However, one reason has always remained: To me, this weekend signals the end of summer (the season I loathe for its heat and humidity) and the approach of autumn (my favorite season of the year…well, along with winter!)

Here are a few morsels I’m noshing on this weekend:

Last night I attended a dinner party featuring recipes honoring the famous New York Times food critic Craig Claiborne. For my contribution to the evening, I was asked to bring this caraway and cheese spread. Don’t let the amount of caraway seeds put you off. The result was delicious. It pairs nicely with cocktails or wine and I foresee making it often for gatherings this fall. (The recipe is below.)

Also this weekend, I will be making these two recipes from the past for the fantasy football draft gathering:

Mint Double Chocolate Cookies, but without the mint this time. I mentioned making chocolate
chocolate chip cookies to my brother-in-law, Don (The Comish), and asked it they would be alright to bring. He said, “I just heard chocolate chocolate. I'm in!"

Birthday Baked Beans. I originally developed this recipe for The Picky Eater, who loved baked
beans. For the draft gathering, we are having a hot dog bar with all the fixin’s. My brother-in-law, Scott, asked me to bring these as his birthday present. I’m happy to comply.

I will also be testing this recipe for Pink Lemonade Thumbprint cookies from a past issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine. The pink color comes from a single raspberry! I’ll share the results in an upcoming post.

Enjoy your weekend!

Caraway and Cheese Spread
Adapted from The New York Times Cook Book, edited by Craig Claiborne (1961 edition)
Be sure to make this at least 4 hours ahead of serving time to allow the caraway seed time to soften. Otherwise it will be too crunchy to enjoy!

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 tablespoons capers
4 tablespoons caraway seeds
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 garlic cloves, finely minced (I grated them on my microplane grater.)
Rye bread, for serving

In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together with a fork until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with pieces of rye bread.

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