Roast Beef Phyllo Cups (and 16 great book suggestions) [UPDATED]Published 3:38pm Friday, May 17, 2013 Updated 5:16pm Monday, May 20, 2013
After rolling up the 6-month shade of winter, I’ve emerged from my cocoon much wiser thanks to an extended jag of reading that left my Kindle overflowing, my bank account lighter, and my heart a little damaged.
Since November, I’ve finished off 16 very different yet engaging books, with nary a dud in the bunch thanks to those who recommended their favorites and steered me to good reads.
The first snowfall found me finally getting to Louise Erdrich’s Round House, a National Book Award winner, from an author I’ve loved since reading The Beet Queen in college. Her writing feels like home to me, much like that of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her subjects are honest and raw, and always keep me up through the night to finish because I can’t sleep without knowing the conclusion.
After reading a good novel, I usually feel the need to jump to non-fiction, with biographies as my favorite. The Presidents Club was next in line, and did not disappoint. As someone who works in politics, I’m always in awe of those of any political persuasion who are willing to devote themselves to public service. Reading about these very different men achieving great things, leading their country, and finding wisdom from their predecessors was inspiring.
And so on and on I went, through the blizzards and cold, swapping a good novel for some heavy non-fiction, til I ended up late last night finally finishing Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln and feeling like I could finally pack up my turtlenecks and pull out the shorts.
But wait. This is supposed to be about food.
For my brother-in-law’s birthday, I conjured up a fancy appetizer that I thought he might love, given his affection for a good prime rib and spicy horseradish. These were nice little bite-sized appetizers that we polished off rather quickly. Definitely a repeat recipe!
Roast beef phyllo cups
1/2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
4 T. mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 T. fresh dill weed
1 cup chopped roast beef
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 packages (15 count each) frozen mini filo pastry cups, thawed
4 T. chopped flat-leaf parsley
In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and mayonnaise and horseradish together until smooth. Stir in dill weed. Add roast beef and red bell pepper. Cover this mixture and refrigerate until time to serve.
Using a small teaspoon, fill each pastry cup with some of the roast beef mixture. Place on serving platters and sprinkle with parsely.
Enjoy, and then go read one of these books!
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Team of Rivals, The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The Good House by Anne Leary (Denis Leary’s wife!)
Blood Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The End of Your Life Bookclub by Will Schwalbe
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy
Crossing to Safety by Will Stegner
Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Elsewhere: A Memoir by Richard Russo
Ask the Dust by John Fante