Fig Jam & Chevre Cheese Filled Turnovers with Puff Pastry

 

cheese and fig appetizers

I came across a very complicated recipe for fig turnovers that called for a homemade crust, homemade fig jam and a sweetened cream and chevre cheese filling.  The combination sounded absolutely scrumptious but I knew I wasn’t going to go through all that effort.  Instead I streamlined the recipe using puff pastry and purchased fig jam.  The verdict?  Awesome!  Everyone loved it!  And if fig isn’t your thing, replace it with any fruit preserve.

Honey Cornbread Appetizer

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Although 99.9% of our recipes are sweets – this sweet cornbread recipe was too good not to share!

These easy cornbread appetizers taste as good as they look!  Use the delicious honey cornbread recipe below, your own recipe or a mix!  I’ve topped them here with a bit of sour cream and fig jam, but other great toppings include: olives, chili, cheese, salsa, sausage, shrimp, roasted red peppers, etc.

And….the cornbread would be delicious topped with strawberries!  So this post is kind of a dessert one after all!

Keys to Success:

    1. Use a recipe made for a 8″ x 8″ square pan but instead cook it in a 9″ x 13″ pan.  That way the cornbread won’t be so thick and they will end up being terrific bite-size appetizers.  Start checking for doneness after 15 minutes; remove when golden brown.
    2. I cut my rounds using an inexpensive fondant cutter found in the baking aisle of a craft store such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  Mine cost less than $3.
    3. You can make and freeze the cornbread over a month in advance.  Just bring to room temperature and then cut into smaller pieces.

Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots with Maple Glaze

Bacon wrapped appetizer recipe

I couldn’t help but smile when I came across this Taste of Home magazine recipe (thanks to the magazine for the photo).  Tater tots were a rare treat in my childhood and a cause for celebration when we did have them. Bacon wrapped tater tots certainly had appeal but it was when I read that the tots were first brushed with maple syrup prior to wrapping in a bacon slice that this recipe turned into a ‘must try’.  I confess – they were really good.  And fun.  A can’t miss appetizer.  And just in time for the Superbowl!

Christmas Party Bites

It’s officially the after-Thanksgiving, after Black Friday, ALMOST December “Holiday Season”!  So.. expect a lot of holiday cheer (AND posts) around here this month.  Today’s post is brought to you by the words “party” and “bites”.  We normally offer FAB recipes on Mondays, but there are just so many great recipes out there waiting to be made, I thought I’d share a few links specifically for your holiday food/party planning.  I’ve got a little savory.. a little sweet… and a lot of Holiday thrown in!

First, from Happy Hour Projects… Bite Size Party Bark.  Not  only do these Christmas party appetizers look great – they taste great – offering a little bit sweet and a little bit salty all in one.  The link includes great instructions and step-by-step instructions. What an incredibly cute and fun way to use candy or ice cube molds!

From Betty Crocker, a fun holiday twist on the Christmas cheese ball… why not turn it into a Snowman Cheese Ball?

For the kids (and kids at heart), check out these fun Christmas Santa Crackers, from Free Fun Christmas.  Not a lot of gourmet in them, but a cute addition to a Holiday party!  Easily made with round butter crackers, pepperoni slices, ricotta or cream cheese, capers and celery.

From Dandelions and Lace, a cute twist (ha!) on using Bugles as a party food.  It’s another great sweet/salty combo that is perfect for a holiday party.  Photo step-by-step instructions in the post.

And finally, from City Wife, Country Life… an adorable penguin Christmas party snack.  Now, I’m not sure what Penguins have to do with the holidays exactly, but I just couldn’t pass up using this one!  Olives, carrots and cream cheese is all it takes!

What kind of Holiday Party “bites” will you be making this year?  We’d love to hear about it!  Leave us a comment, and a blog link if you have one!

Last Minute Thanksgiving Fun Food Ideas!

This is a VERY busy week for hostesses all over the United States!  I am personally cooking TWO turkeys this week, along with ALL the traditional fixin’s for Thursday’s big feast day.  I’ve made lists and more lists to keep myself organized, and in between making lists, I’ve browsed for ideas for making our holiday fun and unique! I was thinking mostly about foods my kids would enjoy (or could help with the making), but these ideas are great for “kids” of ALL ages!

From Living Locurto, some SUPER FUN  Thanksgiving veggie tray ideas for the holidays:

 

From 7th House on the Left, she teaches how to make turkey cookies (adorable, no bake!):

 

From Dash Recipes, check out these teepees!!

And from Woman’s Day, super cute pilgrim hat cookies!

Maple Bacon Cookies

Bacon Appetizer Recipes

These delicious maple bacon cookies are a breeze to make.  And they can be made well in advance (1 or 2 days, covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated) and baked up right before serving.  Or bake them early in the day, brush on some maple syrup and serve for breakfast, as a snack (albeit not a healthy one) or as a perfect party bite if looking for a bacon appetizer recipe.

Puff pastry is what makes this so simple.  I always keep a box in my freezer so that I can quickly throw together an appetizer or dessert.  Some cooked, diced bacon and maple syrup – that’s all there is to it!

Fruit & Nut Phyllo Cup Appetizer – Simple and Delicious

filo cup appetizers

I am always on the look out for simple yet exceptionally delicious recipes.  Often that means turning to store-bought ingredients to save time without sacrificing flavor.  Phyllo dough cups are one such item that I always keep in my freezer to help me create fabulous appetizers with minimal effort.  This recipe comes from Family Circle magazine with photography credit going to Romulo Yanes.

Brie cheese and mission figs are an extraordinary combination – one your guests will sure to love.  Add a bit of almonds and honey – ooh lah lah!

Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob with Cheese

how to grill corn on the cob

Although fresh farmed corn needs little other than salt and a bit of butter, sometimes I like to dress it up.   This recipe from FineCooking.com was perfect – tons of flavor.  And as an added bonus, it taught me how to grill corn on the cob without husks.  Once grilled, you could stop right there and then and eat it.  Or, as a delicious change of pace, spread the ears with a zippy sauce made from mayonnaise, chili powder, and lime zest.  Then give it a roll in some cheese (Cotija, ricotta salata or feta). Finish with a little hit of kosher salt!

Why grill corn versus boiling?  Simple – the high heat brings out the natural sugars of the corn and intensifies them. Yum!!

Key To Success:  The first time you make these, watch them carefully as they grill.  You want some charred spot on the ear of corn; not the entire cob burned.

Thanks to Finecooking.com for the beautiful picture.  Although my corn looked like that when I made – my picture of the corn didn’t:(

Mango Salsa for Fish, Chicken…..Even Chips!

Mango Salsa Fish

I came across a mango salsa recipe soon after we married and it was my first ‘fancy meal’ for company! 17 years later I still make it when I want to impress.  It’s a very easy fruit salsa recipe that takes about 15 minutes to throw together.  Mango salsa is delicious on most fish, chicken and pork.

Feel free to add/change ingredients to this mango salsa.  And although the recipe above calls for cilantro, it is equally as good with parsley.

4th of July Dessert Recipes

I realized yesterday that June is basically HALF over already.  (Wait, what??)  And that means I better get a move on with my 4th of July party plans.   SO, I went in search of ways to celebrate and EAT well for 4th of July.   (And I was specifically looking for EASY ideas, because… well, it’s summer, and I don’t want complicated!) Found these terrific 4th of July dessert recipes that I had to share!

From Bakers Royale, check out these adorable EASY Fruit Pops.  I love, love, love the star shapes!


If you are looking for a super cute, super EASY 4th of July patriotic dessert, check out the Red, White and Blue cookie from Get Off Your Tush and Cook:

So, I’m not a fan of the beet and blue potato chips idea in this next tutorial from Martha Stewart, BUT I love the free printable paper cones.  I’m thinking popcorn would be cute in the cones, and maybe even colored popcorn!?

I’ve seen a lot of variations for EASY 4th of July Fruit Kabobs, but my daughter is voting for this recipe from The Frugal Girls.  Why?  Because it has MARSHMALLOWS!  (Bananas would work too, but we love marshmallows around here).

And finally, because I couldn’t help myself, I have one more EASY Fruit and Brownie Kabobs recipe for you.  And this recipe from Simple Organized Living?  Has brownies!  AND Marshmallows. Oh yea, baby!

Is it July yet??