When I think of Weekend Football, hearty appetizers come to mind. To me a good-sized piece of crostini is like eating a mini sandwich. Except you get to see what you are eating and I fill up quickly on just 3 or 4 of these – okay maybe 5 or 6, cuz I like them. I have a reputation for not being able to keep anything green alive (although green happens to be my favorite color). I purchased one of those bags of fresh “living” basil that has roots and dirt attached and sits in a plastic bag. This I knew would not be difficult to keep alive so quickly brought it home and placed it in a tall glass on my kitchen window ledge. Needless to say I was pretty self-satisfied that I had a “live” plant that I could count on being around for a couple of months or so. I didn’t realize I was supposed to take it out of the plastic and water it weekly. I went to get some fresh …
I love Beef Wellington, but let’s face it, it can be complicated (getting the puff pastry wrapped around the tenderloin can be equal to the first time you tried to diaper a squirming baby). It also takes a boatload of time to prepare, so I usually make it only on a holiday or special occasion. How sad – that’s like only using your “good” china and glassware at Thanksgiving, and we ALL know that has become a “No, No” since you never know if you will still be here for that next special occasion. I decided to deconstruct the traditional recipe and make it a new and easier way without compromising the flavors. This recipe still has the same flavor profile (beef, pâté, mushrooms, onion, sherry) but now I can make and serve it in around 30 minutes instead of 2.5 hours. When I prepared the steak I used Hawaiian salt to season it. Until about a month ago I had never used the stuff (even though I had a package of it in my …
New Year’s Eve is approaching and Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar) are perfect for bite-sized appetizers. Make ’em, freeze ’em, bake ’em and serve them in a chafing dish, crock pot, or fondue pot – whatever you have on hand that will keep these babies warm. I made these on Monday and froze them to be used on Christmas Day – then all I had to do was bake them that afternoon and make the sauce. I like to use a combo of both ground beef and pork when I make the meatballs – and I know some people even add veal for a more rounded flavor. Use whatever bread you have on hand and make fresh breadcrumbs in a food processor – you will notice the difference, but use the Pulse button so you don’t end up with sawdust. I was in Stockholm last year (see here) and had the most amazing Swedish Meatballs – they were large, very large, as this was an entrée and not an appetizer and tasted absolutely amazing! As …
Layers of salty prosciutto with cold and crispy melon topped with whipped cream cheese – makes this canape delightful. The slices of prosciutto should be paper thin, so I have it cut at the deli as opposed to buying it sliced and packaged with the other cold cuts. Although prosciutto can be expensive (around $24 per pound), you are buying 12 very thin slices, which nets out to about $4 or $5 – this is actually cheaper than the packaged stuff as you are not paying for the marketing and packaging costs – definitely have it sliced at the deli while you wait – worth every penny.
Roasted onions and parmesan cheese are a great flavor combo. For this canape I use Parmesan/Reggiano grated cheese. If you need a quick canape at the last-minute this one fills the bill – only five ingredients to make the base and then any toppers you want to add. In this case I chose bacon and salmon roe, but you could also do slices of cocktail onion, green or black olive slices, slivers of green apple for a tart twist, or any number of toppers, depending upon your imagination and what you have in your pantry.
A few ingredients can go a long way, when they are packed with flavor. Keep these items on hand and you will have a spot-on tasty treat to give your drop-in guests, or when you have limited time in prepping for your holiday party fare. This canape has a sweet savory flavor highlighting the sweetness of the cranberry with the sharpness of the gherkin. A pleasant surprise when you take that first bite. Quick, easy, flavorful – how simple is this?
One holiday down, and two to go before 2014 comes to an end – the year has certainly gone by very quickly! Lots of holiday parties in the next month, so canapes and appetizers will be at the top of my list of things to prepare. These stuffed mushrooms are quite easy to make and have a slight piquant tangy flavor to them as evidenced from the combo of goat cheese and balsamic vinegar reduction. I served them on Thanksgiving and got two thumbs up from my 5-year-old great-niece Lily – that makes this appetizer a winner as far as I am concerned!
Here is a perfect canape to serve on Thanksgiving while you wait for the turkey to finish cooking. You don’t really want heavy canapes/appetizers as you want everyone to enjoy your turkey with all the trimmings that you have slaved over all day. Make the sugared cranberries right after you put the turkey in the oven, as the cranberries will need to set/dry for about 3 hours. Assemble the canapes about an hour before you serve dinner. Open the oven door and smell your delicious turkey; place the canapes on a white platter and serve to guests. Sit, eat, sip glass of wine/champagne and you are done. Let someone else serve the dinner and do the dishes – after all you have done enough today!
Here’s a quick and flavorful canape perfect for a cocktail party, or something savory for when it’s Girls Night Out at your house. Try this little gem. Serve it alongside a platter of Kalamata olives with cheese and crackers – it completes the flavor cycle. ♥♥♥ HERE’S WHY I LIKE IT: crunch from both the baguette and water chestnut; creaminess of the cheese; rich, and tangy guacamole, and of course the satiny texture of the thinly cut prosciutto. Three different flavors, and three different textures, all in one bite-sized appetizer!
You bet it is! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently took a cruise along the Baltic Sea (Crystal Cruises) and visited the following ports: Stockholm, Helsinki, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Berlin, and Copenhagen. Each city had their own distinct personality, some delightful and others not so much, but all interesting and a journey to places I had never visited before. I took a ton of photos on my iPhone and will post a tiny fraction of them, mostly of the meals I photographed and some interesting museums or attractions. And to start I will share some meals on the ship. Let me preface this by saying I took a cruise about two years ago to Alaska (won’t say the name of the ship, but Tulips they are not) and the food was very disappointing.