Ginger Chicken KabobsSpicy Shrimp with Citrus Avocado SauceSausage Stuffed MushroomsGrilled Avocado Caprese CrostiniCowboy Breakfast Casserole with Sausage & SpinachOvernight WafflesFavorite Cinnamon Rolls

Appetizer Recipes to Ring in the New Year

This week, we ring in the new year. We have included a few appetizer recipes for celebrating the arrival of the new year, and a few brunch ideas to celebrate in the new year.

If you have a favorite dish, that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you! Recipes, with photo (and a short story/history), if available, can be submitted to

Ginger Chicken Kabobs


Yield: 4-6 Servings

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips



4 shallots, minced (can substitute 1/4 c. minced onion)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 T. freshly grated ginger

2 T. soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free)

2 T. Asian fish sauce

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

2 T. Molasses


Dipping sauce:

Leftover (or additional) marinade

1 T. olive oil

1 T. fresh lime juice

1 T. Asian fish sauce

1/2 T. Molasses


Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or baking dish and add the chicken, tossing to coat. Marinate the chicken pieces for 30 minutes to 2 hours (in the refrigerator), mixing it around from time to time.  (You can also combine the marinade ingredients in a food processor).

Remove from marinade and thread on skewers.

Cook on the grill over medium heat, or under the broiler, flipping once, until done.

Scrape leftover marinade into a saucepan with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and warm over medium heat until sizzling. Stir in lime juice, fish sauce and molasses and simmer gently for five minutes.

Serve alongside the chicken.


Spicy Shrimp Recipe With Citrus Avocado Sauce


3 T. olive oil

1 T. grated orange zest

1 T. allspice

1 T. Molasses

2 tsp. lime zest

2 LBS. raw shrimp, peeled with tails left on

Sea salt and pepper


Citrus Avocado Sauce:

1 ripe avocado

1 clove garlic

2 T. orange juice

1 T. + 1 tsp. fresh lime juice

Sea salt & pepper

1 T. olive oil


For the Shrimp: Combine all ingredients except shrimp, in a large bowl and mix well. Add shrimp and toss to coat. (I like to use my hands for this part).

Let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes or in the fridge for 30 minutes. (While the shrimp is marinating mix up the avocado sauce.)

To cook the shrimp: sauté in a large pan over medium high heat until pink, turning once. (Do this in 2-3 batches).

Or grill over medium heat

For the Citrus Avocado Sauce: In a blender or food processor puree the avocado, garlic orange and lime juice.

Season with salt & pepper then gently blend in the olive oil.


Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms


Prep: 15 Min.

Cook: 35 Min.

Yield: 20-24 Appetizers


20 - 24 extra-large white mushrooms, washed, dried with paper towel and stems removed

3 T. olive oil divided

1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage casings removed

1/4 c. dry white wine

1/4 c. finely chopped scallions or green onions

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c. breadcrumbs, opt.

1/2 c. cream cheese

1/2 c. sour cream

3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets or oven trays with cooking oil spray. Chop mushroom stems finely and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook the sausage, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon for 8 to 10 minutes until browned.

Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half and absorbed into the sausage. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes.

Mix the panko through the sausage. Add in the cream cheese and sour cream continue cooking until the cheese melts becomes creamy through the mixture.

Mix in the scallions, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Take off the heat and stir in half of the Parmesan cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste (if desired). Allow to cool slightly.

Using a metal spoon, fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. Arrange the mushrooms on both baking sheets in a single layer and drizzle with the remaining oil.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty.

Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling (about a further 15 minutes).

Broil in the last 2 minutes to make the topping a little crispy.


Grilled Avocado Caprese Crostini


Prep: 10 Min

Cook: 20 Min

Total: 30 Min


8 pc. sliced French or Italian baguette, sliced 1/2” thick

2 T. olive oil

1 avocado, sliced thinly

9 oz. vine ripened cherry tomatoes, halved

3.5 oz. fresh bocconcini in water (or baby mozzarella balls)

1/2 c. basil leaves, divided

2 T. balsamic glaze


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Arrange bread on a baking sheet, drizzle both sides with olive oil and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden, flipping toasts midway through to crisp all over. Rub the crostini with the cut side of the garlic while still warm and season with a little salt and pepper.

Divide 1/4 cup of the basil leaves on each slice of bread (about 2-3 basil leaves per bread), then top each with the avocado slices, tomato halves and mozzarella (bocconcini). Season with salt and/or pepper to taste.

Broil (or grill) for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese has started to melt through.

Finely chop remaining basil leaves and sprinkle over the crostini. Drizzle with balsamic glaze to serve.

Notes: To make these Avocado Caprese Crostini into Avocado Caprese Bruschetta, use a large sourdough loaf and cut your slices into 1-1/2-inch wide slices. Then double or triple the rest of your ingredients to ensure your topping fully covers each slice!


Cowboy Breakfast Casserole with Sausage and Spinach 


Yield: 12–15 servings


7 slices white sandwich bread

1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage

Softened unsalted butter or nonstick vegetable cooking spray (for pan)

4 scallions, white & pale green and dark green parts separated, thinly sliced

1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry

8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 c.)

8 large eggs

1-1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. full-fat Greek yogurt

1 tsp. mustard powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 425°F. Toast bread on a rimmed baking sheet until dry, 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add sausage and cook, breaking into pieces with a spatula, until browned, about 7 minutes.

Butter a 3-quart baking dish. Arrange 6 bread slices in dish in one layer, covering bottom of pan completely and cutting slices to fit if needed. Tear remaining slice into smaller pieces to fill in any gaps.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to baking dish, scattering over bread.

Heat skillet over medium and add white and pale green scallion parts. Cook, stirring, until softened and just starting to take on color, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, stir to combine, and cook until warmed through, 1–2 minutes more. Top sausage with spinach mixture, then top spinach mixture with cheese.

Whisk eggs, milk, yogurt, mustard powder, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Gently pour over casserole. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Uncover dish and transfer to a cold oven. Heat oven to 375°F and bake casserole until eggs are puffed and cheese is browned, about 40 minutes.

Let casserole cool several minutes. Top with dark green scallion parts.

Do Ahead: Casserole can be assembled 1 day ahead. Tightly cover and chill.


Overnight Waffles 


Yield: 4–6 Servings

Total Time: 8 Hrs. or more, largely unattended


2 c. flour

1 T. sugar

2 tsp. instant yeast

1/2 tsp. salt

1-1/2 c. milk, lukewarm

1 stick butter, melted & cooled

1/2 tps. vanilla extract, opt.

Neutral oil (like grapeseed or corn) for cooking

2 eggs, separated


The night before you want to serve the waffles, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, then the melted butter and the vanilla if you’re using it, until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight at room temperature. (Of course you can do this in the morning if you want waffles for supper.)

When you’re ready to bake, brush the waffle iron lightly with oil and heat it. Stir the egg yolks into the batter. Beat the whites until they hold soft peaks, then fold them gently into the batter until it’s relatively smooth.

Spread a ladleful or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Serve immediately or keep warm for a few minutes in a 200°F oven. If you’re making them ahead, store at room temperature in an airtight container and warm them in a 300°F oven for about 5 minutes just before serving; or freeze them in single layers, separated by sheets of parchment, and reheat in a 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Variation: Whole Grain Overnight Waffles: Replace some or all of the all-purpose flour with any whole grain flour (whole wheat, oat, quinoa, kamut, or fine cornmeal, for instance) or combination of flours.


Favorite Cinnamon Rolls


Yield: Makes 16 Rolls

Active Time: 1 Hour

Total Time: 4 Hours


For the dough:

3-1/2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

2-1/4 tsp. rapid-rise yeast

1/3 c. sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten

1 c. whole milk

4 T. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. kosher salt

Vegetable-oil cooking spray


For the filling:

1-1/4 c. packed dark-brown sugar

2 T. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

6 T. unsalted butter, room temperature

2 c. chopped, lightly toasted pecans


For the glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar

1 T. plus 2 tsp. whole milk

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch kosher salt


Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add flour, yeast, and sugar. Mix on low speed until well combined. Add eggs and mix on low to combine. In a small pot, heat milk, butter, and cinnamon over medium-low heat until butter is melted and mixture is between 120 and 130°F (use a thermometer).

Add warm milk mixture and salt to stand mixer. Beat on low speed 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula. Beat on medium speed until smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes. Dough will be very sticky.

Lightly oil a large bowl with cooking spray. Form dough into ball and transfer to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

While dough rises, cut 2 pieces of parchment to fit 2 9-inch round cake pans. Butter pans, line with parchment, and butter parchment.

Make the filling: Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in medium bowl.

Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt.

Assemble and bake: Preheat to 375°F and position rack in center of oven. Punch down dough and transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 16-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border on the long sides. Sprinkle filling mixture evenly over butter, then add pecans. Starting at a long edge, roll dough toward you into a log, pinching gently to keep it rolled tightly. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with a thin sharp knife into 16 equal slices.

Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up; rolls will be touching. Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.

Bake rolls until tops are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up. Drizzle glaze over rolls and serve immediately.

Cooks’ Note: Rolls can be assembled, arranged in pans, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated for several hours or overnight. If refrigerated, allow to come to room temperature for about 2 hours, watch for second rise (rolls should almost double in volume), and then bake.


Quote of the Week:

“And when the Lord Jesus has become your peace, remember, there is another thing: good will towards men. Do not try to keep Christmas without good will towards men.”

~ Charles Spurgeon



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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