Manchego Cheese

Manchego Cheese   Manchego cheese is produced in the La Mancha region of Spain and is made from the whole milk of Manchega sheep.  The cheese is rich, semi-firm and aged in natural caves for 3-6 months.  It has a distinctive herringbone design embossed in the rind.  The taste is slightly salty, but not too […]

Onion and Goat Cheese Tartlets

Yield: 12 tartlets INGREDIENTS 2 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon olive oil ¼ cup finely sliced red onion ¼ cup finely sliced yellow onion 2 scallions, finely sliced 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives 1 egg 1/3 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon salt 3 ounces goat cheese   PREPARATION   Preheat […]

Tomato, Basil and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

Yield:  6-8 slices (more for smaller appetizer portions)   INGREDIENTS   1 lb pre-made pizza dough (I buy mine at Publix supermarkets in the Bakery section), let rest at room temperature 1–8 ounce jar of your favorite pizza sauce or pasta sauce 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ½ cup […]


Yield:  2 cups   INGREDIENTS   2 lbs bacon 1 cup sour cream 1 cup good mayonnaise 4-5 tomatoes – seeded and finely chopped Lettuce leaves Bagel chips or crackers of choice   PREPARATION   Cook bacon until very crisp.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream and […]

Chili Cheese Dip

Yield: 12 Servings INGREDIENTS 2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided 1 – 27 ounce can of chili beans, I prefer Bush’s 3 tablespoons chopped green onions 3 tablespoons pitted black olives (optional) PREPARATION Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Spread cream cheese into the bottom of a […]

Stuffed Mushrooms with Spinach, Walnuts and Cheese

Yield:  12 mushroom appetizers INGREDIENTS 12 medium-sized mushroom caps 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon unsalted butter ½ cup finely chopped yellow onions 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts 1 clove garlic, minced 5 ounces spinach, thoroughly defrosted and squeezed dry 1 ounce feta cheese 1 ounce Gruyere cheese, crumbled 2 tablespoons fresh dill Salt and […]

Minature Quiches

Yield: 16 – 2-inch tarts or 1 – 10-inch quiche INGREDIENTS Pastry Dough 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt Pinch of granulated sugar 5 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled ¼ cup ice water PREPARATION Sift the flour, salt and sugar together into a bowl; add the butter and […]

Cherry Tomatoes with Spanish Olive Tapenade

INGREDIENTS Tapenade: ½ cup Spanish olives with pimento 1 ½ teaspoons drained capers 1 teaspoon brandy, preferably a Spanish brandy   ¼ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Cherry Tomatoes 32 small cherry tomatoes Chopped fresh parsley for garnish   Tapenade:  In a food processor, pulse the olives until finely chopped.  […]

Crabmeat Casserole

Yield:  4 Servings INGREDIENTS 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 6 green onions, trimmed and finely chopped 6 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and finely chopped 2 teaspoons dried tarragon 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1-½ cups milk ½ cup heavy cream 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 lb cooked crabmeat, picked over for shell and cartilage […]

Four Cheese Crostini

This spread makes a great hot appetizer when spread on Crostini and broiled in the oven for a few minutes, until the cheese is hot and bubbly.    Yield: 2 ½ cups – enough for 4 dozen Crostini appetizers   INGREDIENTS 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, at room temperature […]

Egg Salad Crostini With Chives

Easy and delicious appetizer for when the unexpected guests drop in!  Time saver tip:  Purchase a bag or two of already toasted baguettes from your local supermarket to keep on hand.  Great for quick appetizers or for dunking in homemade soups. Yield:  18-20 INGREDIENTS 6 eggs, hardboiled ½ cup good mayonnaise, I prefer Hellmann’s ¼ […]

Game Day – Nachos with Chorizo Sausage

Yield:  8 Servings INGREDIENTS 1 lb chorizo sausage, removed from casing 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 2 cups pinto beans, drained ¼ teaspoon cumin ½ teaspoon chili powder Homemade Taco chips (see recipe below) Toppings 1 ½ cup grated cheddar cheese 1 ½ cup Monterey jack cheese 3 green onions, chopped with white and some green […]

Roasted Red Pepper Tartines

Tartines are the French version of an open-faced sandwich.  They start with a slice of good rustic bread that is either toasted or not, and then topped with a variety of meat, cheese, vegetables and herbs.  Tartines are a great appetizer, as they can be assembled at the last minute without much fuss.  Depending on […]

Cream Cheese Dumplings with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

CREAM CHEESE DUMPLINGS Yield: 25-30 dumplings INGREDIENTS ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and diced 6 ounces cream cheese, softened 2 garlic cloves, minced 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper ¼ teaspoon salt 30 wonton wrappers Vegetable or canola oil PREPARATION Stir together sun-dried tomatoes, cream cheese, garlic, basil, salt […]

Zesty Blue Cheese Dip

  Yield: 2 ½ cups INGREDIENTS 1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened ½ cup sour cream ½ cup crumbled good blue cheese, I prefer Maytag 1 teaspoon lemon juice ½ teaspoon prepared horseradish ¼ cup grated carrots ¼ cup finely chopped green onion tops 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 6 slices bacon – cooked […]

Benedictine Spread

INGREDIENTS 1 large cucumber 12 ounces cream cheese, softened 2 tablespoons sweet yellow onion, finely chopped ¼ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon mayonnaise Pinch of cayenne pepper PREPARATION Pare, grate and drain cucumber. Combine cucumber, cream cheese, onion, mayonnaise, cayenne and salt in a food processor. Pulse for a few moments until all ingredients are blended. […]

Cheddar Cheese Ball

INGREDIENTS 2 – 8 ounce cream cheese 1 cup grated cheddar cheese 3 tablespoons sweet yellow onion – finely chopped 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1-2 cups chopped walnuts PREPARATION In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Roll mixture into two balls. Roll the cheese balls into […]

Fresh Herb Dip

INGREDIENTS 8 ounces cream cheese 4 ounces sour cream 2 tablespoons garden thyme 1 tablespoon sweet basil 1 tablespoon fresh parsley PREPARATION In a food processor, blend all ingredients and place in a small bowl. Refrigerate overnight so all the flavors of the herbs can meld. Transfer to a small serving dish and garnish with […]

Savory Blue Cheese Tart

Makes 12 appetizer servings INGREDIENTS 1 prepared 9-inch pie shell ½ cup toasted chopped pecans 6 ounces cream cheese at room temperature 2 eggs 4 ounces Maytag Blue Cheese ½ cup half and half 1 teaspoon cornstarch ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ¼ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper Fresh chives – finely chopped for garnish PREPARATION […]

Pinecone Dip

  PINECONE DIP  INGREDIENTS 1 ½ cup almonds 1- 8 ounce cream cheese – softened ½ cup good mayonnaise 6-8 crisply cooked bacon slices – crumbled ½ teaspoon freshly chopped dill weed 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion PREPARATION Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Spread almonds on a shallow baking pan […]

Homemade Nachos

HOMEMADE NACHOS INGREDIENTS 1 lb extra lean ground beef 1 package taco seasoning mix 1 can refried beans 1 large yellow onion 2-3 cups grated Mexican melting cheese 8 white corn tortillas 1-2 Jalapeno peppers – seeded and sliced Garnishes – sour cream, guacamole, chopped tomatoes and taco sauce Makes 4-6 servings In a large […]