Archive for the ‘starters’ Category

from pillsbury.com

I’m totally breaking Julie’s #1 rule of “not posting until tried.”  Sorry.  These look waaaaay too delicious to not share!  Hoping to make them for our first Thanksgiving abroad!  Pretty sure I can find all of the ingredients, or at least something close…


1/3 cup water

1/3 cup honey

1 1/4 cups fresh whole cranberries

1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed

3 Tbsp almond paste, softened (from 3 1/2-oz tube)

1 1/2 tsp sliced almonds

8 tsp honey


Heat oven to 425°F. Place cooking parchment paper on cookie sheet. In 1-quart saucepan, heat water and honey to boiling. Stir in cranberries; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until berries have popped and mixture is thickened. Cool slightly, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, unroll crust on work surface. Roll crust out slightly; cut into 8 (4-inch) rounds. Reroll scraps and cut remaining rounds if necessary. Place rounds on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Discard scraps.

Gently press 1 heaping teaspoon almond paste in center of each crust round. Divide cranberry mixture evenly over almond paste. Fold 1/2 inch of each crust round over filling, pinching slightly so crust lays flat on cranberry mixture. Sprinkle each with almonds.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Drizzle 1 teaspoon honey over each crostata. If desired, serve warm with ice cream.


from pillsbury.com





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bacon & pear pizza

5 slices bacon

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp chili powder

1 pear, cored & sliced

1 tsp lemon juice

4 oz cream cheese (in tub)

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 thin pizza crust (ie: 12″ boboli)

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/3 cup fresh basil

optional: honey

Preheat oven to 400.  Line bacon on foil-lined pan, set aside.  In small bowl stir together brown sugar and chili powder, generously sprinkle on bacon slices.  Bake 15 minutes until browned; remove and set aside.  Increase oven temp to 450.

In small bowl toss together pear slices and lemon juice, set aside.  In medium bowl stir together cream cheese, onions, and a couple shakes of black pepper (add more if needed).  Place pizza crust on clean baking sheet.  Spread cream cheese mixture on crust.  Chop bacon and evenly sprinkle on cheese mixture.  Arrange pear slices on bacon.  Top with pecans and feta.

Bake 12-14 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown.  Sprinkle with fresh basil.  Cut into party bites.  Drizzle with honey.

Makes 10-12 appetizers.

from BHG, March ’10

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As soon as I can eat shellfish again, this will be at the top of my list!  Pretty sure I won’t be making 25 cakes, so I’ll try to scale it down and re-post with the results… after November. 😉


  • 7 eggs
  • 6 oz heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 dashes Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper – freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 5 pounds Dungeness crabmeat
  • 2 cups flour


  • Mix everything EXCEPT the crabmeat together in a bowl.
  • Squeeze the excess moisture from the crabmeat and fold it into the mixture.
  • Form into balls and then flatten.
  • Sautee in clarified butter and then transfer to 350 degree oven for five to six minutes or until internal temperature of 145 degrees is reached

Makes 25 crab cakes.


from Spencer’s for Steaks & Chops


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cucumber cups

I totally stole this from FamilyFun.com, but how cute!  And I can think of so many variations.

6 medium cucumbers
1 (8-ounce) container red pepper hummus
1(8-ounce) container lemon hummus
Chopped chives for garnish

1. Create decorative stripes on the sides of the cucumbers using a vegetable peeler (for wide stripes) or a citrus zester (for thin stripes).  The picture above shows a combo of both. 

2. Cut the cucumbers crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick rounds. Using a teaspoon or melon baller (I used an apple corer), scoop out the seeds to form a well, about 1/3 inch deep, in each slice. (A great job for kids!)

3. Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon of the red pepper hummus into the wells of half of the cucumber cups, mounding it slightly. (For a fancier look, use a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe in the filling.) Repeat the process with the lemon hummus and the remaining cups.

4. Sprinkle all with chopped chives. Serves 20 (makes about 64 cups).


from FamilyFun.com


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These are cute little treats.  Top with a cherry or sweetened raspberry for a festive look.

3 – 8 oz pkg cream cheese

5 eggs

1 1/8 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

*Blend cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth.  Add eggs.  Mix.  Fill mini cupcake pans.  Bake 300 for 30 minutes.

*Cool in pans on racks.  Centers will sink as they cool, but perfect for adding a little garnish.


This can also be used as an appetizer.  Substitute vanilla with hot sauce, worchestershire, cumin, whatever sounds good.


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spiced cranberry dip

I haven’t tried this, but thought it looked perfect for the Holidays!

1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup canned whole berry cranberry sauce

1/4 cup orange marmalade

1/8 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

*Spread cream cheese onto bottom of 9″ pie plate

*Mix cranberry, marmalade, & red pepper.  Spoon over cream cheese

*Sprinkle with almonds


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fancy apple pinwheel

2 Granny Smith apples, sliced
2 Tbsp.  chopped pecans, (option: toasted) 
2 Tbsp. Gorgonzola  or Bleu Cheese
1/2 cup Italian Dressing Mix, prepared with balsalmic vinegar
from Kraftfoods.com

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