Connelly Partners is a family. A large, loud and slightly dysfunctional one – but really, whose isn’t?
And whose family isn’t complete without a unique brand of celebrations? Birthdays, Thanksgiving, anniversaries, national “Talk like a Pirate” day, Red Sox Opening Day, baby showers, bridal showers, Cinco de Mayo – give us a reason, and we’ll throw a party to honor it – CP-style.
You may be asking, what’s a celebration without food or drink?
Behold, in celebration of celebrations (and because I love food), I present to you a collection of Connelly Partners’ staffers’ most beloved go-to party recipes – the ones we love and go back to time and time again. Tried and true “family” recipes passed down from generation to generation, with a little something for everyone in the mix.
Take a gander and bon appetite!
Have a favorite recipe that didn’t make the list? Have you made something new that you’d like to share? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.
CP’s Top 10:
SPICY PEPPERONI STROMBOLI (Courtesy of Carissa DiCenzo)
Ingredients: (Makes 2 Stromboli)
- 2 (16 oz.) packages of refrigerated pizza dough
- 2 (8 oz.) bags of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 (7 oz.) bag of pepperoni
- 1(10 oz.) jar of Pastene Italian Style Pepper Salad (use 3/4 of the jar if you want it less spicy).
- ½ cup of Parmesan cheese
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg white (for egg wash)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a large baking sheet and set aside.
- Give the pepper salad a rough chop, and then mix it in a large bowl with the mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and basil.
- Roll out one of the balls of dough in a large rectangle. Spoon half of the mixture on the pizza dough, leaving a 1-inch border.
- Take the egg wash and coat one of the long edges of the pizza dough with a pastry brush. Starting on the opposite long end (the one without the egg wash), start rolling up the pizza dough into a cylinder looking shape. When you get to the end, pinch the edges of the dough to seal it.
- Place on the baking sheet, and repeat steps 3 and 4 for the second Stromboli.
- Brush the top of each Stromboli with some of the leftover egg wash, and a sprinkle of basil.
- Bake until the tops of both Stromboli are a golden brown and start to crisp (about 25 minutes, but can vary with each oven).
- Remove from the oven and let the Stromboli cool for about 10-15 minutes. Transfer off the baking sheets and cut into slices. Enjoy!
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 box brownie mix
- 2 eggs, or as many as needed for mix
- 4 tbsp. oil, or as much as needed for mix
- 1 cup chopped chocolate-mint candy, such as Andes®
- 1 cup crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreo Cookies
- Preheat oven to temperature indicated on the brownie mix box. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray it well with cooking spray (or use a non-stick baking pan).
- Prepare mix according to package directions, stirring half of the candy into the batter. Transfer to the baking pan and sprinkle the remaining candy and crushed cookies over the top.
- Bake according to package directions, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.
- Heads up: Cutting these guys gets a lot easier if you refrigerate them once they’re cool – they’re also deliciously fudgy when served cold!
BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP (Courtesy of Christine Meahan Sullivan) * Best served with blue chips!
- 3 large boneless chicken breasts
- 1 bottle of Ken’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
- 1 bottle of Ken’s Chunky Lite Blue Cheese dressing
- 1 package of Neufchâtel Cheese
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the three pieces of chicken breast. Cook these for about 15 minutes on medium heat to make sure they are cooked through and easy to shred.
- Remove the chicken from the pot, put them in a mixing bowl and using two forks, go to town shredding the chicken apart into millions of thin strands.
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Once all the chicken is shredded, heat up the cream cheese a little bit in the microwave so it’s softer and easier to mix. Combine the cream cheese and the chicken and mix that together until they are really blended.
- Once that’s done, add half the bottle of the blue cheese dressing and three quarters of the bottle of the Ken’s. If you like it spicy, use more!
- Transfer the dip into a baking dish, and place it in the oven until the sides are bubbling.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CRISPIX, OR “CRACK” (Courtesy of Natasha O’Rourke)
- 1 package (6 oz., 1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 6 cups Kellogg’s™ Crispix® cereal
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- In large microwave-safe bowl melt chocolate on high for 1-½ minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in peanut butter.
- Add Kellog’s Crispix cereal. Stir until evenly coated.
- Place powdered sugar in 2-gallon, zipper-type, plastic bag. Add cereal mixture. Close bag and gently toss until evenly coated. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
MARGARITAS (Courtesy of Scott Madden)
- 1 quart of fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2 quarts of any brand margarita mix (make sure it doesn’t have alcohol already in it)
- ½ of 750ml bottle of Hornitos™ Reposado Tequila (or any other reposado tequila with 100% agave – it’s the 100% agave that’s important in this recipe)
- 2 cups of Grand Marnier®
- 1 cup of Triple Sec
- Stir together all ingredients in a pitcher
- Pour over crushed ice in a salt-rimmed margarita glass with a slice of lime
OHIO BUCKEYE CANDY (Courtesy of Cristina Hilbert)
- 3 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1 ½ sticks butter, softened
- 2 lbs confectioners sugar
- 4-5 small containers of microwaveable dipping chocolate
- Combine peanut butter, butter and confectioners sugar in large bowl until well incorporated into a dough-like mixture.
- Roll peanut butter mixture into teaspoon size balls and place on baking sheet covered in wax paper. Chill in refrigerator 5-10 minutes.
- Melt dipping chocolate. Dip peanut butter balls into chocolate with toothpick until mostly covered, but leave a dime-sized circle on the top.
- Cool in refrigerator on wax paper. Enjoy!
WHALE TOTS (Courtesy of Jonah Hulbert) Adapted from the Lower Depths’ “Kenmore Tots”
- 2 packages of frozen tater tots
- 6-8 strips of bacon
- 1 package of shredded Cheddar cheese
- Freshly squeezed lime juice from one lime
- Small jar of mayonnaise
- 1 small can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare tater tots according to package directions.
- Cook 6-8 strips of bacon; drain and crumble to use as topping.
- For the aioli sauce, in a small bowl, combine ½ cup of mayonnaise, lime juice, a tbsp. of chipotle chilies, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust ingredients to taste.
- Once tots are out of the oven, top with cheddar, bacon crumbles and drizzle with chipotle aioli.
CRÈME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST (Courtesy of Megan Eckroth)
* Prepare the night before and bake just before serving
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp rum extract
- 1 loaf country style bread (I usually use the large soft italian loaves from the grocery store and buy two – it usually takes more than one loaf)
- 6 eggs
- 1 ¾ cups half and half
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp Grand Marnier®
- ¼ tsp salt
- Butter a 9×13 baking dish
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter with the sugar, maple syrup and rum extract. Pour the mixture into the dish.
- Cut the bread into 1 ½” thick slices and arrange in one layer in the dish, squeezing tightly so there is no space between them (I use as much bread as possible)
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half, vanilla, Grand Marnier and salt. Pour evenly overly the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours (overnight) or up to one day.
- Let the dish sit at room temp for 30 mins before baking. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, uncovered, until edges are golden and a little crusty.
- Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
SPINACH PULLAPART (Courtesy of Sarah Lewis)
- 3 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup (2 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 box (9 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeeze to drain and finely chopped
- ½ tsp. basil leaves, if desired
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 2 cans (8 oz. each) Pillsbury® Garlic Butter Crescent Dinner Rolls (16 rolls)
- 1 cup marinara sauce, heated, if desired
- Heat oven to 350°. Spray 12-cup Bundt cake pan with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. In small bowl, mix butter and ½ teaspoon of the garlic salt; set aside.
- In medium bowl, mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, spinach, basil, pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic salt until blended; set aside.
- Unroll crescent dough; separate into 16 triangles. Cut each triangle in half lengthwise to make a total of 32 small triangles. Stretch or press one triangle slightly, being careful not to tear it. Spoon 1 tbsp. spinach mixture onto center of triangle; pull dough around mixture into a ball. Press edges to seal. Repeat with remaining triangles.
- Roll each ball in butter mixture; layer in pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. Cool 10 minutes longer. Serve warm with marinara sauce on the side.
CP THANKSGIVING CRANBERRY JELLY (Courtesy of Justin Vogt)
- Can(s) of cranberry sauce, whole or jellied
- Open and enjoy