Category Archives: appetizer

Happy 200th post! Mussels in a white wine, garlic, and thyme broth. And BREAD.

So, I’m about to be off bread again (and other pleasures) for a little bit so i decided that a few “bread is mandatory” recipes needed to be included in this weekend’s menu. Mussels is definitely one of those dishes. Just look at that yummy broth — how could you not mop that up with some crusty, faintly garlicky french bread?  I do not have the answer to that question, but I can say that we did eat a lot of bread in this meal, and it was amazing.

This dish is definitely restaurant quality, and SO, SO easy.

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Butternut Squash and Leek Risotto (and my fam)

This is my first time making risotto…I’m not going to lie, it’s a little bit of a pain in the butt. Not necessarily hard, but high maintenance for sure. What got me through all of the stirring was the promise of arancini later in the week with the leftovers! This risotto was served as an appetizer and was really yum.

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Sweet Potato Skins!

These were outstanding. Salty, bacony, cheesy, crispy and UNFRIED. Make these immediately.

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Stuffed Figs with Prosciutto di Parma

If you make nothing else from this blog, make this (and now, while figs are in season!).

While visiting with my parents this weekend, my mom whipped up a little fig snack with these very same ingredients (minus the prosiutto), and it was delicious. And then, Sunday morning, I was thumbing through Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano (I have a goal to cook more from my multitudes of cookbooks!), and was super excited to see this recipe. This recipe is like a hug on a plate. Eat it now!

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Corn, Kale, and Leek Fritters

All of the veggies in these delicious fritters came from my CSA this afternoon. I was trying to find a way to use up the kale and corn in one fell swoop, and stumbled across this recipe. These fritters are really yummy and I can’t wait to have one with a fried egg on top for breakfast tomorrow morning. Continue reading

Crostini with Cheddar Scallion Butter

Because my bachelorette meal was so darn healthy, I decided to fat it up a bit. I have had this recipe in my “naughty recipe file” ever since I saw it on giada’s show a year ago. Tonight, it happened. And it was incredible. The gooey, cheesy topping is a great counterpart to the crispy bread. Eat this!

Sauteed Calamari with Capers and Cherry Peppers

Because I love to cook so much and always have a seemingly endless stack of recipes to try and cookbooks to discover, I don’t end up eating out too often. When I do go out, I love to try to recreate dishes that I fall in love with. This calamari is one of those dishes.

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Oven Fried Calamari

Fried calamari is virtually impossible to resist for me. Since I know that breaded AND fried food are not so healthy, I was excited when I saw Rocco take on this recipe in his book. I know I go on and on about this book, but seriously, every recipe I’ve tried – and there have been a few (crab and bacon stuffed mushrooms, panko crusted pork caesar salad, shrimp pad thai, creamy pasta with bacon, steak au poivre, pork and snap pea stir fry with orange peanut sauce…) – has been amazing. One of the tricks to getting a fried texture is the use of panko breadcrumbs. Whole wheat panko can be tricky to find, but once you do – stock up. I found mine at Whole Foods and my mom snagged some for me at a health food store while on vacation in Florida. Another trick is using the wire rack so that the heat in the oven can get on all sides of the food – this is key for maximum crispiness. My roomie and I devoured these…”serves 4″ is clearly just a suggestion, right?
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Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers

I bought a big back of these adorable mini peppers at mecca/costco the other day (Brian will tell you it’s because I couldn’t resist the mini pepper cartoon guy on the package, but don’t listen to him) Anyway, I also happened to buy a 50lb log of goat cheese (slight exaggeration) and thought these would make a delectable little snack. I was right. I mixed the goat cheese with basil as I had a gigantic bushel from my CSA this week…any other fresh herbs would be fantastic too.

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Spring Rolls

I had to psych myself up a little to make these, as I thought they’d be a little tricky. It was much easier to work with the rice paper than I thought it would be…can’t wait to try other spring roll recipes now! BTW, these were fantastic.
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Stuffed Piquillo Pepper Crostini (aka Santa Hat Sammiches)

This recipe comes from a vegetarian cooking class I was treated to at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. It’s a bit labor intensive, but overall it is a tasty and impressive looking treat. Colleen came up with the cute moniker (I just typed monkier by accident and laughed for 5 minutes to myself….ahhh, sigh) and I think it would be a super cute Christmas appetizer.
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Lightened Up Cheesy Spinach-Artichoke Dip

I cannot believe this is not bad for you. It is SO good ‘n cheesy that you may feel very naughty eating it. I even doubled my serving and had it for dinner with some homemade pita chips because it was so dang good. I’m still trying to get behind this slow cooker thing, but this may have won me over. All in all, this recipe rocks and I love Cooking Light.
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Lisa’s Asparagus and Blue Cheese Bites

I had these little niblets on Christmas Day and immediately interrogated my cousin for the recipe. Turns out it’s super easy and really inexpensive to make too – both of these things I enjoy.

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Chicken Florentine Meatballs

My first chicken meatball experience. I have to say, it tasted exactly like the beef/veal/pork meatballs my family makes, but a LOT healthier. These would also be really cute in mini size as a party appetizer with a little marinara or BBQ for dipping. Will be making these again for sure — ooh, chicken meatball subs coming at ya!

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Cinnamon Chicken and Pine Nut Pastries

I love to bring fun appetizers to my family’s house for the holidays. This was one of them this Thanksgiving. YUM.

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Marrow on Toast w/ Parsley Salad

Ok, ok. This is definitely an acquired taste, but it’s something I grew up eating and still love the taste and smell (not so much the sight…) of this yummy treat. Growing up and even today, my family fights over the marrow from the lamb shanks in the gravy for Sunday’s supper…Easily the best part. I thought I’d try to prepare a little differently – and since Anthony Bourdain said this would be his choice for last meal, I thought this was as good a choice as any.

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