Ever since we sprung forward last weekend I have shifted into spring time mode. I’ve been cleaning like a pregnant woman in her nesting phase. I’ve traded my cowgirl boots for flip flops and I’ve put away the winter scarves and broken out the spring scarves (oh didn’t you know I have a scarf addiction. It’s true). Now if the weather would just cooperate and warm up I won’t look like a fruit loop. Until then I’ll just continue along pretending I’m not still cold and dream about serving sweet little appetizers like these on our deck while sipping on Prosecco. Dare to dream.
The incredible edible egg. It’s such a little powerhouse (good things DO come in small packages) and it just happens to be one of the star ingredients for the Easter season. With good reason. It’s incredibly versatile. When I think of eggs, deviled eggs immediately come to mind. They are a classic appetizer and they go with everything. This classic version uses McCormick bold ground mustard to wake up the flavors and then it’s finished with what else paprika (anyone else thinking of Blue’s Clues? Just me. Okay. Moving on.). Food should be flavorful and these little bites of bliss definitely are. Go ahead and try to eat just one.
I’m a dipper. It’s true. I like to dip things. It’s just part of who I am and come on let’s be honest it’s just fun. Guacamole and hummus are two of my favorites (not that I’d turn down queso, ever). Do you know that hummus is easier to make than guacamole? It is. My KitchenAid food processor does all the work for me. No chopping, no mincing. I just chuck all the ingredients into my food processor and press the button. Besides being obviously good for you, making it at home means you can make it just the way you like it. Thick or creamy. Heavy on the lemon juice. All up to you.
Who has time for a 7 layer dip when you can make a 5 layer dip that is even more fabulous? I mean it’s a no brainer right? This recipe is just in time for the big game. You know the one where all the guys are running around after that little brown ball? Or as I like to call it the best commercial day of the year.
You can never go wrong with baked brie. Period. It’s one of those appetizers that’s easy elegant and won’t stick around for long. It’s great at a party (New Year’s Eve maybe?) or heck just because. You can go au natural and serve it baked with just a side of crackers or you can get a little more fancy schmancy and try this baked brie with cajeta sauce with fruit and nuts. It’s kind of a show stopper in the appetizer department and couldn’t be easier.
I blinked and it’s November. I am finding it hard to believe in less than a week Thanksgiving will be here. There’s a whole lot of cooking that will be going on next Thursday. Most of it takes hours. That bird alone consumes most of the day and most of the oven space. To keep everyone from pulling their hair out because they’re starving waiting on it all come together (or is that just at my house?) I think it’s a good idea to have a few appetizers out. While I may want to bust out a bag of chips and dip and let them go at it, sigh it is Thanksgiving so I think a little bit of a more dressed up bite is in order.
Fall is one of my favorite times of year. The weather is cooler which means we can open the windows, fire up the oven and bust out our boots and cardigans. It makes me want to cook even more. We typically have friends over at least once a week. I like to have a small appetizer ready to go when they arrive.
Scallops make me swoon. The only scallops I’ve ever met that I didn’t like are overcooked scallops. There is a fine line between ridiculous (as in you want to lick the plate they’re so good) and rubbery. I love them because they’re sweet, succulent and when you sear them my knees buckle. A little butter, a little olive oil, a simple sprinkling of sea salt and pepper and you’re halfway there. Honestly they would be just fine like this but I am saucy ehem a sauce girl so we press forward. With whiskey. And cream. And butter. Because I love you.
You might have noticed there is a whole lot of pink floating around in the blogosphere lately. It’s not just for sprinkles and sparkles, it’s for a good cause! Cook for the Cure is a program for people who love to cook and entertain. It’s a way to help raise money for the ongoing fight against breast cancer. Want to join us? There are so many ways to help out. You can host a small fundraising party for 1,000 Cooks for the Cure between now and July 29 for your friends and family. Rather than bring a gift, food or wine, ask your guests to make a small donation for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Every penny helps and does add up.
I have had a love affair with King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls for as long as I can remember. They’re soft, sweet and irresistible. I could pop them into my mouth all day long. But that would not be good would it. Sadly no. Sniff sniff. Instead of They’re the perfect size to transform into sliders or bite sized sandwiches. Making them an awesome party appetizer, snack or even a light lunch.
Who needs skewers when you have rosemary? That aromatic herb can be used for so many things. Which is a good thing considering I have a bush of rosemary as large as my car. I’m ALWAYS looking for uses for that hearty herb and one of my favorites is to use it as a skewer. You don’t ever have to remember to soak it for 30 minutes prior to using (pesky wooden skewers) and it lightly flavors the food you’re skewering. AND there’s no washing a metal skewer afterwards (you know how much I hate doing dishes)!
If you’re growing vegetables and have planted zucchini in your veg garden you’ll probably have them coming out of your ears. They tend to produce A LOT. Which means you’ll need as many recipes as you can get your hands on to enjoy them. I know that’s the case for us. Squash and Zucchini are grown not only for the fruit but for their BLOSSOMS around our house. If you’ve never had STUFFED SQUASH/ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS I IMPLORE you to try them. Just trust me on this one.
Big beautiful (straw)berries are every where I turn at the moment. Which, btw, is never ever a bad thing. I could eat a bowl of those plump juicy sweet babies all day every day when they’re in season. Red Red wine all the way through, dripping their sweetness all over the place. Yes, sign me up, and be sure to give me a few napkins too.
Having company over shouldn’t be stressful. I love to have a few nibblers out when my guests arrive so that we can catch up while I’m finishing up dinner and they don’t starve to death. I have a list of go to appetizers that I love to use depending on the season (and let’s face it how much time I have to prep) but one of the simplest and easiest is a no cook appetizer tray! It literally takes less than 3 minutes to pull together and will make you look like a supah star!
I have a thing for appetizers. I find them completely irresistible. I don’t know if it’s because they’re so small and cute. Or because I don’t feel bad about eating several of them at time or what. I just love them. If they’re stuffed, even better. These sweet bell peppers cried out to be stuffed. I saw a bag of them in the produce section and just HAD to get them. Just look at those gorgeous colors. It’s like part of a rainbow on a plate.
Have I mentioned my love of seafood before? Surely I have waxed poetic about crab legs at some point. I don’t want to toot my own horn but I happen to be pretty awesome at cracking crab legs. I know, I know, don’t be jealous ; ) After all you want to eat them while they’re warm, preferably dipped in a vat of melted butter and if there happens to be minced garlic in that butter even better. While the typical portion is 1 pound per person that just isn’t going to cut it with me. Oh no, there must be multiple pounds.
This should just be called the “you won’t be able to stop at one no matter how much you try roll”. I tried and failed miserably. I’m going to be walking a lot this week because of it, but I’m okay with that. Really. And because I love to share in my misery, I want you to make it too and to eat as much as I did. It’s only fair ; ) Do yourself a favor and pick up a loaf of ciabatta bread to go with. You’ll have leftover prosciutto and it just begs to be placed onto a freshly baked ciabatta with a basil leaf and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Trust me.
If you’re looking for a healthy appetizer you’ll love this super simple endive recipe. What exactly is endive? “Endive is a member of the chicory family, which includes radicchio, escarole and curly endive. It is often called the queen of vegetables and is prized the world over. It has a crisp texture and a sweet, nutty flavor with a pleasantly mild bitterness — great served raw or cooked.” And did you know that endive is ALWAYS in season. So you can make this and other endive recipes all year round.
I am crazy about avocados. They’re creamy and dreamy and I could eat my weight in them. Don’t even get me started on guacamole. I could eat that every single day and be happy. One of my other favorite ways to eat avocados are fried. That’s right. Avocado Fries! They’re crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Add a side of Wasabi Lime mayo and you might not ever want to eat a potato fry again.