One Day Before the Celebration 

Diva's Devilish Mini Chicken Pot Pies
  • 1  5 lb rotisserie chicken
Pull all of the meat from the breasts, legs and thighs of the chicken.  Discard the skin, bones, back and wings.
  • 2 8​ oz blocks of cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
Combine chicken, cream cheese and ranch dressing in a bowl.  
  • Frank's Hot Sauce
1/8 of a cup at a time add Frank's Hot Sauce to the mixture.  Continue adding Hot Sauce until desired level of spiciness is reached.  For our recipe we used 1/2 cup of Hot Sauce.  Spoon into a plastic container, tightly seal and refrigerate.

Mini Pot Pie Shells:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • 4 frozen pie crusts 
Bring to room temperature. Between two pieces of waxed paper, roll out pie crusts to a thickness of 1/16 of an inch.  Cut 2 inch rounds from the crusts using a cookie cutter.  Gently lift the rounds using a butter knife and place them on a non-stick miniature muffin tin.  Gently press the crust down into the muffin tins.  Every oven is different.  I recommend that you start checking at 5 minutes to avoid over baking the shells. When baked to a golden brown, gently lift from the muffin tins and place on a rack to cool.  When completely cooled, place in a plastic container, tightly seal and place in a safe area where they will not be bumped.  They will be flaky and you want to avoid cracking and braking the shells.

Are you wondering why we recommend adding the hot sauce incrementally?  Sue always tells me: "You can't take it out if you use too much but you can always add more."  The other thing about hot sauce is if you use a "heavy hand" the heat of the sauce will overcome the pepper flavor rather than allow it to emerge.  We really urge you to taste the entire time you are cooking to make sure you are striking the right balance of flavors.  Plus, it makes it that much more fun!

Fancy Roasted Potatoes and Creamy Dip
  • 30 assorted miniature red and golden potatoes
Scrub and thoroughly dry potatoes.  Place in sealed plastic bag with paper towels to absorb left over moisture.  Do not refrigerate.
  • bunch of chives
Rinse chives, shake and pat dry and finely chop.​
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Mix together creme fraiche, sour cream and chopped chives.  For garnish, reserve 1 tbsp chopped chives wrapped in a piece of aluminum foil.​  Spoon mixture into a plastic container, tightly seal and refrigerate.
Beef Sushi 
( ... steak bites wrapped in carrot strips)
  • 2 lb carrots
First you make the carrot strips.  Peel the carrots and then using a mandolin cut them into 1/16 inch strips. Although you could try it, I think it would be very difficult to cut the carrots this thin simply using a knife.  If you have never used a mandolin before, be very careful the blade is razor sharp.  I ended up with about forty strips which were about 6 inches long.  Drop the strips in salted boiling water and boil them until they are pliable enough to wrap around your finger without breaking.  I started checking at 3 minutes. When done, drain the carrots and lay them flat in a single layer on a piece of paper towel.

  • 3 New York strip steaks 1 inch thick each
Next you will prepare the steak.  Pan sear the steaks in a little bit of olive oil (just enough so they don't stick to the pan) for about 2 minutes on each side.  Place them in a roasting pan in a preheated 400 degree oven and roast them for 10 minutes until they are medium.  As we've said, all ovens are different. After 5 minutes, I started checking to determine whether they were ready.  When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a cutting board.

  • Mustard Sauce for beef sushi rolls (Please see recipe in the box at right.)

To make the assembly easier, buy a sushi mat.  You can get one online for $8.00 if you don't have a store near by that carries them.

Trim all of the fat from the steaks.  You will now cut strips of steak lengthwise to be wrapped in the carrots.  As a guide, each strip will be about 6 inches long and should be cut to no more than 1/2 inch wide.

Line the sushi mat up with the short side facing you.  Cut the carrot strips to 6 inch lengths.  Line them up lengthwise away from you with the edges slightly overlapping so you have a continuous "mat" of carrot that is approximately 6 inches by 6 inches square.

On the bottom 1/3 of the carrot mat put a very light coating of the sauce.  Place a strip of steak crosswise (i.e. perpendicular to the carrot strips)  about 2 inches from the bottom.  Take the edge of the sushi mat closest to you, lift it and gently fold it over about 2/3 of the way up.  Now, very gently, squeeze the carrot around the steak.  Continue folding over and gently  squeezing until you reach the end of the carrot mat and it completely envelopes the steak.  Gently lift the roll and place it on plastic wrap and very tightly wrap the plastic wrap around the roll.  Set aside, start on the next roll.  Refrigerate until you are ready to cut and serve.
This recipe comes directly from Gourmet Magazine, December 2007.  I wanted to include a really impressive dish and was convinced that the Beef Sushi was it.  On the one hand I was right, the guests were very complimentary.  On the other hand, this dish is challenging, time consuming to create and requires an abundance of patience to assemble.  I enjoyed making it, however, would not recommend you try it unless you are passionate about working on complicated recipes. 

P.S.  You need a LOT of patience to do this (or you have to be completely insane).  I watched Mimi and, although I have a ton of patience in the kitchen, it even made me a little crazy.  I know Mimi had fun doing this but, I say forget about these sushi rolls it is too much effort with so many other things to get ready.  Cook the steak, don't bother wrapping it in the carrot strips.  We'll figure out a way to serve it later.

Oh yeah, one more thing!!!!  Take your shrimp out of the freezer today.  Put them in a collander and put the collander in a big bowl.  Leave them in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. We had a screened cold porch that we used for refrigeration.

Mustard Sauce
  • 3 tbsp chopped basil
  • 3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1 tbsp drained capers chopped
  • 1 garlic clove choped
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
Whisk ingredients together.  Then while whisking stream in 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  Whisk until completely combined and oil does not separate from other ingredients.  Place in a sealed plastic container and refrigerate. 
Everyday Divas Celebrations
 Mimi and Sue
Do the Holidays