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I’m really lucky in many ways, but one that I’m particularly happy about of late is my awesome neighbor.  I’ve heard so many horror stories about neighbor feuds, and now that we’ve put down roots here in Lake Tahoe, I’m so glad that in addition to being on good terms with the neighbors, that we’ve become friends as well.  My neighbor, Michelle, helped me immensely with getting into blogging and taking pictures of my food.  Also, as both of our sweeties travel for work frequently, we’re sometimes left alone to defend our homes against bears (ok, we’re more likely be defending our trash cans against raccoons) so occasionally we’re a two-woman-support-group.

One thing that I’ve noticed about Michelle is that she’s a classy version of Katherine Hegel’s character in ’27 Dresses;’ after getting through a rash of bridal showers and bachelorette parties in the past few years she has now began throwing a few baby showers for her friends, ever the gracious and fun hostess.  She’d fit right in in the south!   Her latest one is a ‘BaByQue’ (so cute!) theme shower, and we collaborated on a ‘make-freeze-bake’ style appetizer that would be easy to make the day of as well as a tasty vegetarian treat for the Mamma-to-be.

We had a great time with a girls bloggy night.  (She has barbecueforlife.com, you know, the people with the awesome broccoli salad recipe!)  We cracked a bottle of chardonnay, made some party appetizers and took some fun pictures!  These little appetizers are a curried vegetable salad wrapped in flaky and buttery pastry dough.  So tasty, don’t worry, we taste tested.  My fireman even showed up for the tasting, surprise!

He had fun posing for photos and pretending to be my boss 🙂

Mushroom Phyllo Triangles

This recipe I would call ‘worth the splurge,’ and what you’re buying with your extra money is buckets of convenience, this one is so quick and easy the day of your party!  About $.25 per appetizer is a good price point though, about what you can expect to pay for appetizers at a catered event.

Makes 32 triangles – cost approx $7.48 per batch or $.23 per triangle

Ingredients

  • 3 oz dried shiitake mushrooms ($3)
  • 1/2 head napa cabbage, thinly shredded ($1)
  • 2 carrots, grated ($.25)
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced  ($.50)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • salt/pepper – to taste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup mayo ($.20)
  • 1 package phyllo ($2)
  • 4 oz (one stick) butter ($.25)

First off, make sure your phyllo is thawed.  (I made that mistake once.)  Warm up a few cups of water and soak the dried mushrooms for about 30 minutes.  Mix the cabbage, carrots, scallions, seasonings and mayo.  When the mushrooms are soft, slice them thinly and add to your mixture.  Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat.

Such happy colors!

Now to assemble your yummies.  Get a damp towel or paper towel, unroll the phyllo dough and lay the damp towel over it.  Phyllo is lots of extremely thin sheets of pastry, which is what makes it so flaky and delicious.  So, first lay one sheet down in your workspace and brush it with a little butter (no need to go crazy with it).  Repeat this until you have three buttered phyllo sheets stacked up on top of eachother. Remember to keep the damp towel over the un-buttered phyllo stack so that it doesn’t dry out.

Layering phyllo dough with butter

Now cut it into four equal sections (If you remember grade school, it’s hot dog style)  and put a tablespoon of your curried vegetable mix at the base of each phyllo section.

Assembling the triangles, you make four at a time.

Fold the phyllo over itself to form a triangle, repeat with three remaining sections.  Folding the phyllo over itself adds up the number of layers your pastry has, for example, instead of having just three layers you will have nine layers if you folded a total of three times.

Once you have assembled all your mushroom phyllo triangles you can bake them right away or freeze them and bake at your leisure.  If you’re freezing the triangles, freeze them on a sheet tray and then transfer them to a zipper bag when they’re frozen, that way they won’t stick together.  When you’re ready to eat them, (if they’re frozen, let them thaw 15 – 30 minutes at room temperature on your baking sheet) bake at 375 F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and delicious.

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