November 2017 Appetizer Class

November 2017 Appetizer Class

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I love the holidays. They are full of excitement. You can feel the anticipation of the upcoming festivities in the air. The chill outside makes it the perfect time to get together in the warmth family and friends. And there is no better way to experience this comforting joy than having an appetizer party.

The idea behind this class is that you can make all of these recipes and throw a perfect appetizers/holiday open house party, or, since each recipe is delicious enough to stand on its own, you can bring one for a potluck gathering. Perhaps you just need just one to add to your existing holiday menu. 

All of these recipes have a great make-ahead component, which I strive to do with all my recipes. It just makes entertaining so much more relaxing and enjoyable when the preparation can be spread out in the days ahead of the event.

What we are cooking:

Poinsettia Cocktail:
I adore bubbles and nothings rings in the holiday like this festive cocktail named the poinsettia because of its red color!! 
A simple but scrumptious combination of Cointreau, cranberry juice and sparkling wine. Gives you a cocktail with the perfect balance of sweet and tart.  Make sure to use good brute dry sparkling wine. This is the perfect way to celebrate the season whether your celebrating with our appetizers or serve it with brunch. 

Salmon Rilletes:
This is a play on a classic rillettes, which is kinda like a pate that is usually made with a combination of meat usually pork, spices all cooked in fat. To achieve a delectable spread. Instead of meat, we are using perfectly poached salmon combined with smoked salmon along with herbs, lemon, and butter to make a sublime spread that is delicious for an appetizer or try it for brunch. Served with crostini or Melba toast crackers, it's a very elegant and versatile spread.

Spicy Chi Chi Beans:
“Chi Chi beans” is the Italian word for garbanzo beans. These little gems are packed with protein and are so good for you. Simply roast them in the oven and toss them with some spices. They are a perfect little munchy, crunchy dish to go along with your holiday cocktail. 

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms:
Sausage, peppers, and onions are one of my favorite meals. I just love that savory combination of the pork & sweetness of the onions and peppers. In this rendition, those scrumptious, savory, sweet flavors are presented in an easy-to-hold “bowl” of a lightly roasted mushroom. A perfect finger food for an appetizer party! I dare you to eat just one.

Arugula Walnut Pesto in Puff Pastry:
Pesto is greens ground up with garlic. Add some cheese, nuts and olive oil, and you have a sublime sauce that can go on pasta, top bruschetta, or serve as a dipping sauce for artichokes. This is a winter version of the summer classic pesto made with basil. This combination of the sharp bitterness of arugula, walnuts, and the saltiness of the Pecorino-Romano cheese is a winner. For the holidays, we're going to use the pesto as a filling between puff pastry, and then cut it into a whimsical Christmas tree!

Roasted Beet Hummus:
The amazing color of these roasted red beats brings a huge wow factor to this well-known dip. I can’t believe this stunning bright pink/fuchsia color is all natural! When the beets combine with the garbanzos beans, lemon, and tahini, it makes for a really spectacular dip for vegetables or pita chips. Ho Ho YUM! 

Snowflake Cookies:
Nothing beats a simple cookie: egg, sugar, and almonds. When I added the flavoring fiori di Sicilia, it transported me back to my childhood. It reminded me of those classic Italian nougat candies from La Florentine that came in little boxes. My favorite was the orange ones with the picture of Ippolita on them. Have you ever had one?? Backs then these candies were only available at holiday time. These cookies have just enough sweetness, along with a hint of orange, citrus, and vanilla. That is positively addictive. Each one is shaped a little different, like a snowflake. They are so good and will disappear as quickly as a snowflake too!