Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Study Snacks: Remix

Flashback: 2002. Pi Beta Phi house.
The week before finals in December, you would find me, Reams, TRog, TheLoj, Braids, L-Merc, April, and all the rest of my Pi Phi sorority sisters sitting in the dining room of the Pi Phi house in our flannel pj bottoms, long sleeve Songfest t-shirts, and slippers. We'd be surrounded by stacks of books and we'd be studying. Maybe. Or more likely, we'd be eating study snacks. Study snacks was a time-honored sorority tradition where our house mom made us a bunch of junk food and set it all out on the counter to eat while studying. I think the real reason why they did it was because it drew boys from all over the neighborhood. They came to "study" too.

Flashforward: 2011. Norwood house.
This last Sunday, we hosted dinner for Brent's study group here at Duke. Every MBA student is put in a study group of six people. This is the group the study with, work with, and do all assignments with. Let's just say they are going to get to know each other really well! Brent has really liked his group, and he wanted to have them over for dinner. I did the calculations in my head: six people, two wives, that makes 8 people total including two vegetarians. Issue: our dining room table only seats 6, and what could I make that would satisfy both meat eaters and vegetarians? I pondered it for a few days, and then it hit me: Tapas. Kind of an all-grown-up version of study snacks!

Now if you know me, you know I'm a little crazy. I tend to take things to the extreme. So what began as a harmless tapas party turned into a full blown, all day Sunday prep, eight dish meal. Somehow, we pulled it off.

Now this study snacks session did not have "puppy chow", slice & bake cookies, pretzels, giant bags of potato chips, or ranch dressing. It did, however, have mushroom Gruyere tarts, bacon wrapped jalapeno shrimp, bite size caprese salads, summer fruit salad, Greek quinoa, crab cakes, apple & pancetta pizza, and turkey meatball sliders.

My, how times have changed...

Mushroom Gruyere Tarts (vegetarian) - Recipe found from "Everyday Food" here.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Shrimp: Peel & de-vein shrimp and season with salt & pepper. Place a sliver of jalapeno against the back of the shrimp, wrap with bacon, and cook in a skillet.
Bite Sized Caprese Salads (vegetarian): Thread a cherry tomato, marinated mini mozzarella ball, and basil leaf on a toothpick. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt.

Summer Fruit Salad (vegetarian): Watermelon, blueberry, strawberry, & pineapple

Greek Quinoa (vegetarian): Cook 2 cups of quinoa according to box directions. Add chopped feta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sun dried tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Dress with olive oil & white wine vinegar.
Crab Cakes: Purchase from Whole Foods. Cook in a skillet :-)
Apple Pancetta Pizza - so good! A Sandra Lee recipe. Pre-bake a thin pizza crust until lightly browned. Top with apple butter (found on the jam aisle), mozzarella, thinly sliced apple, sliced pancetta, and thinly sliced sweet onion. Yep, you read that correctly. Bake at 400 until cheese is melted and toppings are browned and crispy.
Turkey Meatball Sliders: Make my turkey meatball recipe found here. Simmer meatballs in store bought marinara for 10-15 minutes. Place each meatball in a mini potato roll.
Here's the spread! It was quite a lot of prep work, but the last dish went on the counter as the first guest arrived, so it was nice that I didn't have to do ANY cooking while people were here. People just ate in the living room and at our breakfast table - very casual. Fun times!



Liz said...


Meghan said...

Your spread looks amazing! You throw the best parties :-)

Did I know you were a Pi Phi? I don't think I did. I am one as well, and a dues paying member of the Denver Alum Club, although I don't go to events often. Shame on me!

Enjoying reading about your new life in NC! - Meghan

Shayla said...

I was planning to invite Jason's law school buddies over for hamburgers, but now I'm thinking I may need to up my game! Or just hire you to cater.

Kelly said...

Ummm, YUMMM!!

Tiffany said...

I can't even get on board with this. I mean, if I were there, maybe. But study snacks was not gourmet. Study snacks was opening a bag and putting in in a bowl. Maybe. Marth Crocker, you're kind of throwing Elmira under the bus right now and I'm not sure I can stand for it. Unless of course you send some of those snacks my way....but not the mushroom or shrimp infested ones...

And you're out of control. BTW. XOXO- TRog

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