Blog :: 12-2013

Appetizers and Cheese

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Are you sensing a theme yet? We're continuing our Holiday Favorites and I for one have certainly noticed that we definitely lean heavily toward appetizers and cheese. This is of course because you can't go wrong with either. This recipe for Hot Artichoke Dip is from Felicity Tuttle is always a must-have at any get-together - including this month's Holiday Party. Hot Artichoke Dip


This recipe came from the original West Chop Little Cookbook (Martha's Vineyard). One of my favorite aspects of the recipe is that I can ALWAYS remember what to get and how much even when I'm standing in the grocery store without my list! Any recipe you can put together without a list automatically shoots higher on my list of possibilities. You know you won't get home and say, "Oh, no! I forgot the kumquats again!" or "Gracious, I'm out of articulated mini-quail!" Because it's hot, I actually rarely do it in the summer even though it came from a "summery" publication; but once the leaves turn orange, there's a nip in the air, or the snow is flying, I turn to this one again and again.

  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 8 oz can artichoke hearts in water
  • 1 box thin crunchy crackers
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Mustard
  • Horseradish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Open, rinse, and drain the artichoke hearts.
Gently squeeze extra water out using paper towels (or you will have artichoke soup, not dip :)
Quarter and eighth lengthwise the pieces of artichoke, then dice them nicely with a knife without worrying about getting incredibly perfect and toss the diced artichoke hearts into a middle-sized bowl (Editor's cheat: I've popped artichoke hearts into the food processor on pulse.)
Measure and combine 1 cup regular Mayonnaise (better bulk than the light mayo, this is a treat - live it up!) with 1 cup of grated Parmesan.
Stir all together
For a bit of zip, I usually add:
  • 3-5 grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp of mustard
  • 1 tsp creamed horseradish or rough horseradish (if rough, use a tad less)
Stir again and put the mixture into your ovenproof, covered bowl
Set the timer for 15 minutes, removing the cover for the last 5 minutes. (If you forget to take the cover off, don't lose sleep; it will taste virtually the same. It just won't be lightly browned.)
Serve in the baking dish with a small appetizer knife
Felicity's Tips and Tricks:
It is wise to remove it from the oven and put on the lid about 10 minutes before arrival of guests. Serving it straight from the oven means the dip is a bit too hot!
Choose crackers that are fairly thin with good crunch to contrast the soft dip
Put a square piece of wet paper towel between the ceramic bowl and your serving dish so the bowl doesn't skid around.
We hope you've enjoyed our taste of the Holidays! We wish you all the Merriest of Christmases and a prosperous, happy New Year, filled with peace and opportunity! It is our pleasure and honor to be part of your lives.

Shanahan's Third Annual Kids' Turkey Trot

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Turkey Trot Logo SmallThis Thanksgiving, we organized our third annual Kids' Turkey Trot! Every year, this event is heart-warming -- which was more important than ever with our fingers and toes frozen! Its a great hometown event, with so many local groups involved and contributing to The Bridget Brigade, the Winchester-based charity founded in the memory of Bridget Marie Dobbins, that raises funds to provide needed support to families from Massachusetts with a critically-ill child.

Community organizations like FAN (The Winchester Family Action Network) and Rotary Club support the event with volunteers and publicity. Every year, fellow businesses like Kids Footstop, Petersons Party Center, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks donate time and goods. Local professionals like Beth Locke and Alyssa Suffredini helped us behind the scenes this year with our new logo and banners. WinCam generously loaned their equipment to an awesome team of McCall Middle School students who are producing a Turkey Trot video for us this year (we can't wait to see it!). All this happens at Lincoln School field, in the heart of our town on a day when we give thanks for all of the things that we hold dear.

Turkey Trotters

Over 115 children, ages 3-8 participated in this years races. Their parents bundled everyone up in coats and hats and mittens and came to Lincoln School early on a freezing Thanksgiving morning. It was truly special and our honor to lend support to an organization that does so much good! Every dollar that we raise, from admissions and other donations from the Turkey Trot goes directly to the Bridget Brigade to support families caring for critically ill children. What better way to start a Day of Thanks?

Turkey Trotters 2

Frankly, we're can't believe this is our third annual! The first year of the TurkeyTrot, we werent sure how many people would show up. We even joked that it might just be a few of us and our kids! That day, I remember looking around and thinking about how the people I saw represented so much of what makes our town great. The second year, the event grew even larger and there was a sense of tradition and community as parents, organizers, and all of the kids lingered for coffee and snacks well after the races were over. This year, there was less lingering given how cold it was (17 degrees thank-you-very-much!) but there was a growing feeling that this was something our community would be doing for many Thanksgivings to come. Finally, a very special thank you to the Turkey Trot committee at The Shanahan Group. This group of agents has been organizing the event for the last three years with great enthusiasm and dedication. We have such fun putting the Turkey Trot together every year. Thank you to Paula Sughrue, Rebecca Brennan-Laird, Lulu Coakley, Felicity Tuttle as well as Jacqui Curtin and Mary Savage. Thank you, ladies! Gobble, gobble!Turkey Trot Committee

Tis the Season (for Eating well)

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Today, Mary Price is sharing another Holiday Party favorite of ours because after all...Tis the season for eating! This is Mary's famous and delicious Easy Hot Cheese Dip. There is simply nothing about these four words together that sounds bad to us. And Mary is even kind enough to give a shout out to her friend and former neighbor. Mary Price's Cheese DipEASY HOT CHEESE DIP: Originally from Joyce Edwards (my former neighbor) 8 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese I use the block cheese grated in a food processor. I like Cabot brand: Seriously Sharp. Any sharp cheese will work. 1 small onion (also put in processor) Put into a mixing bowl and add: approx. 1/3 cup mayo Mix together usually, I add a few red pepper flakes Put in appropriate size baking dish Sprinkle paprika on top Bake ate 350 degrees for approx 25 minutes (until bubbling) 20-30 minutes. MOST TIMES, I DOUBLE THIS RECEIPE AND DO BAKE FOR A FULL 25 MINUTES. ALSO, BEFORE SERVING, I BLOT THE EXTRA MAYO OIL ON TOP. Serve with pita chips, vegetables, crackers, bread sticks...just about anything! Enjoy!

The Perfect Holiday Side Dish

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With Thanksgiving arriving so late this year, it seems like we're all sprinting to the finish line. I'm trying to breathe and enjoy the build up to the big day rather than just working to tick things off my check list. With the whole, 'slowing down and savoring the season' thing in mind, I wanted to share one of my favorite dishes. I only seem to make it around the holidays - with good reason: It's decadent and delicious! We spent Thanksgiving with my husband's family and this was one of my contributions. It was again taste tested at our office Holiday Party this past weekend, and I think it met with good reviews. It will be making its final appearance of the season at Christmas with my side of the family. I posted this picture to my Facebook page on Thanksgiving morning and received quite a few requests for the recipe. I think it originally came from the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook. Any modifications I've made are in parentheses. My personal belief is that anything that starts with a full stick of butter and ends with two cups of Swiss cheese can only bring good things!
The Perfect Holiday Side Dish

The Perfect Holiday Side Dish

Cauliflower Au Gratin Ingredients: 6 Tbs butter 4 cloves garlic 4 oz Prosciutto (sliced thin and diced) 1 head of cauliflower (cut into inch slices) 1 cups cream (I always use 2% milk) 2 Tbs Flour 1 pinch Cayenne Salt and pepper to taste 1 cups shredded Swiss cheese (okay, I add more...) cup chopped fresh parsley (to me, this seems like a lot I use less) In a large skillet, melt butter, add garlic and prosciutto, cook for about 2-3 minutes Add cauliflower and cook until it loses its crispness Blend flour and cream together then add to the skillet Add peppers and salt Heat to a boil, then remove from burner Add 1 cup of shredded Swiss and mix well Pour entire mixture into a casserole dish Sprinkle the remaining Swiss on top Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes In the last 10 minutes, sprinkle with fresh parsley If you're looking for more recipes to add to your holiday repertoire, be sure to check out our Pinterest Boards and of course, one of our very favorite bloggers, the amazing Pioneer Woman. Blog Post by Christine Curtin