Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

1/2 cup dried tomatoes
6 oz cream cheese
4 oz blue cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup fresh basil

Placed dried tomatoes in a small bowl and add enough boiling water to cover them. Let them stand for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and plump. Drain the tomatoes and chop them. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese and blue cheese. Beat with a mixer until smooth. Then stir in the mayo, pecans, tomatoes and basil. Cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature with good french bread


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1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 28 oz can italian plum tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butte an 8 in shallow baking dish.
Stir together sugar salt and pepper in a cup.
Put tomatoes in baking dish and sprikle all over with the sugar mixturE. Dot tomatoes with butter, then bake them until the tmate are partially cllapsed and deeply caramelized in places ( about 1-2 hours). Serve warm or at room temperature.

I serve this with good cheese and olive as an antipasta. Or just as an excellent winter side dish.

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1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
4 ounces cream cheese
5 ounces bottled pimentos, drained and chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
5 tablespoons finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
Texas Pete brand hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne, to taste
COMBINE cheeses, pimentos, mayonnaise, onions and horseradish with an electric mixer.
Continue mixing until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and mixture is nearly smooth, with some of the texture of the grated cheeses remaining.
Season to taste with Texas Pete, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Yield: 12 servings

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I got this one from Mom. Its actually pretty good, and it was making all the rounds for a while.

Olive Cheese Puffs
• 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
• 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 1 cup flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 dash cayenne pepper (to taste)
• 48 medium olives (I prefer pimento stuffed)

Preheat the oven to 400
Cream the butter and cheese together
Combine the flour, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper into the cheese mixture. Mix well.
wrap each olive in about 1 teaspoon of cheese dough.
place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 mintues.
these are salty and cheese in one delighful bite.

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  • 1/2 cup of grated Asiago Cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry , thawed
  • 2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
  • 2 ounces packaged sliced pepperoni
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend

Mix the cheese, herbs and pepper into a medium bowl.  Cut puff pastry crosswise in half to form 2 rectangles.  Spread 1 tablespoon mustard over each of the rectangles.  Place half of the pepperoni in single layer on top of the mustard.  Top pepperoni with half of the cheese mixture.  Brush plan border with egg.  Then start at the side opposite the plain boarder roll up the pastry, and seal at the egg coated edge. Transfer pastry roll, seam side down to medium baking sheet.    Chill both rolls until firm, about 30 minutes, or wrap and freeze longer. 

Preheat over to 400.  Lightly spray baking sheet lined with foil with vegetable oil spray.  Cut each pastry roll into about 30 1.4 inch thick rounds.  Place pinwheels on prepared sheets.  Bake until golden about 15 minutes, transfer to a platter, and watch them be devoured.

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For a little variety…


Add mango or pomegranate to your guacamole!

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I’ve also just made the artichoke puree and set it out as a dip – very nice to have a heavy veggie dip on hand for those vegetarians at the buffet. 


1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained

3 tablespoons mayo

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (or a pinch extra – cheese is always good)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

¾ teaspoon dried tarragon

1 teaspoon lemon rind

2 garlic cloves minced

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Sliced French bread (or you could use cocktail rye, but I don’t love it)


2 8oz beef tenderloin steaks (about 1 inch think)

2 teaspoons vegetable oil


2 handfuls of small arugula leaves

Thinly shaved parmesan cheese (for garnish)


Puree artichokes in the processor until almost smooth, add mayo, grated Parmesan, lemon juice, tarragon, lemon peel, garlic, nutmeg and cayenne.  Process until well blended.  Transfer to a small bowl, season with salt and pepper.  (I use an actual blender, and either I have a cheap blender, or this takes a while to get blended.  Be prepared to pause and stir the contents to really be able to get it blended smooth. 


Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium – high heat.  Season steaks with salt and pepper.  Place steaks in skillet and cook (about 5 minutes per side for medium rare).  Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.  Can be made a day ahead and just brought to room temperature before assembling. 


Slice French bread and toast (350 oven – until light brown). 


Spread 1 teaspoon artichoke puree on toast, top with arugula leaf.  Cut each steak across grain into thin strips.  Starting at 1 short end, roll up each beef strip, and place on top of arugula leaf.  Garnish with shaved Parmesan. 



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