Pistachio-Dusted Date and Goat Cheese “Truffles”

I’m posting a few of these great appetizer recipes since I recently catered a cocktail party and thought that you, out there in the world, might enjoy having these recipes on hand. These little numbers take a bit of time and are messy to construct, but the benefit is that they are relatively simple and you can make them 2 days ahead — just wrap and refrigerate and you’re good to go.  Don’t make these too big, they are rich, so 2 bites should suffice.  Everyone at the party I catered commented on these cheese truffles – they look really nice, and they cover so many elements – sweet, tart, salty, savory. You can’t go wrong. They would make a nice starter to an Indian themed get-together too. If you bring these to a party, you will get lots of ooohs and ahhhs. 😉

Pistachio-dusted Date and Goat Cheese “Truffles”

from Dish Entertains

makes about 20 truffles

4 oz goat cheese, softened

2 oz cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp cassis or port

salt and pepper to taste

10 dates, pitted and cut in half

1/2 cup pistachios, finely ground

Directions

In a bowl, mix together cream cheese and goat cheese.  Add cassis or port and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until smooth. Chill for 30 minutes.

Measure out about 1 tbsp of cheese mixture and press a date half into it.  Wrap cheese around date and roll into a ball. Roll cheese balls into ground pistachios to coat evenly.  Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Enjoy!

mix cheeses, add cassis, salt and pepper, mix.

wrap cheese mixture around half of a date

roll cheese balls in crushed pistachios

keep refrigerated and covered until ready to serve

Savory Double Cheese Pecan Shortbreads

savory double cheese pecan shortbread cookies

Here’s a quick recipe that comes in handy if you need to bring something to a cocktail party, or you can keep the dough in fridge or freezer and bake them in the oven at the last minute, when company arrives.  They are rich and tasty, and go well with a glass of wine or a cold beer.  It’s a really good recipe to keep in your ‘appetizer’ repetoire. As usual, they are easy and taste great!

Savory Double Cheese Pecan Shortbread Cookies

from Pastry Queen Parties

makes about eighty 2 inch cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup grated Asiago cheese

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

Directions:

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cheeses on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.  Add the flour, salt and cayenne pepper and beat on low speed until combined.  Stir in the pecans.  Divide dough in half.  Shape each half into a roll about 2 inches in diameter (or make it square like I did for square cookies) and 8-10 inches long.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.  (Dough can be made up to 2 weeks in advance, wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Or wrap and freeze for 3 weeks).

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line baking sheets with parchment or silpats.  Unwrap dough and slice into 1/8 inch slices. Place on baking sheet and bake until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges and crisp, about 10 minutes.  *Important* Keep remaining dough cold while cookies are baking. Let baking sheets cool in between batches or cookies tend to spread out and lose their shape. Enjoy with a glass of wine or a cold glass of beer.

easy ingredients

mix butter and cheeses, add flour and pecans

form dough into 2 logs

shape into round or square logs about 10 inches long and wrap

slice and bake after chilling dough

enjoy with a glass of wine

see how much this dude is enjoying himself?

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

chocolate chip biscotti

I wanted to make some cookies to mail to a friend, and when I saw this recipe on Foodtv.ca, I thought they’d be perfect. I was right! I mean, I consider myself a cookie connoisseur and especially love biscotti. Plus, individually wrapped and packaged in a box or tin, these are great to mail in a parcel. Anyway….the fact of the matter is, I became completely obsessed with these and ate seven of them yesterday. I mean, I mailed several, but had several leftover….today I brought them over to my daughter, Emily’s house, so I would stop eating them.

If you’ve always wanted to try to make biscotti, this is the perfect recipe to start. They are super easy, no fancy ingredients and make a delightful treat dipped in a coffee or tea. So, try them.  🙂

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

(makes about 3 dozen 3-4″ biscotti)

From Foodtv.ca (Michael Smith)

Ingredients

¼ cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

3 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar on medium speed in a mixer until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla. Mix.

In separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add to butter/egg mixture. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.

Form dough, which will be sticky, into 2 logs, with floured fingers, approx. 12 inches by 3 inches.

Place in oven and cook 20 to 24 minutes, until slightly firm to touch.  Cool. When able to handle, slice into 1/ 2 inch slices diagonally using a serrated knife. Place slices back on baking sheet, and continue to bake for 7 minutes, flip over and bake additional 7 minutes. Cool. Enjoy dipped in coffee or tea. So good.

batter will be sticky

fold in chocolate chips with a spatula

form into 2 logs using floured fingers

cook for 20-24 minutes, remove when slightly firm

slice with serrated knife, bake again, cool, and enjoy

Turkey Apple Meatloaf

turkey apple meatloaf

I love turkey burgers…so thought I’d try this recipe when I saw it in the Kingston-Whig Standard while I was waiting for my oil change.  I’m not the type who would ever make a ground beef meatloaf, it just doesn’t turn me on at all….but I’m all about the turkey so… Give this a try, it’s easy and it’s seasonal with finely diced apples in it.  The recipe calls for 2 pounds of ground turkey, so I divided it into two 8 x 4 aluminum loaf pans, instead of one large loaf (but go ahead if that’s the size loaf pan you have on hand)-one for dinner, one for sandwiches the next day. I enjoyed both, but let’s face it, a meatloaf sandwich is special and this one does not disappoint.

Turkey Apple Meatloaf

adapted from Foodland Ontario

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium apple, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 small or 1 large firm apple, finely diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (if you have it, I didn’t use it)

2 lb ground turkey

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tsp worcestershire sauce

1.5 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp bbq sauce (I used PC Louisiana style mustard based bbq sauce)

Directions

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, stirring occasionally.

Stir in garlic and apples; cook for about 3 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in bread crumbs and parsley, if using.

In large bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper; stir in apple mixture until well combined.

Press turkey mixture lightly into two 8 x 4 aluminum loaf pans sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread bbq sauce over top of loaf (loaves).  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for about 40 minutes to  1 hour or until digital rapid-read thermometer registers 165°F (74°C).

saute onion, add garlic and apples and continue to cook until tender.

mix turkey with mustard, spices, egg, bread crumbs...

press into pans, top with bbq sauce

yum

Sweet Potato Coconut Milk Soup

IMG_7681

This is my ‘go to’ soup for comfort and flavour. It has the richness of sweet potatoes and coconut milk, savoury flavour of onions and ginger and is brought to life with fresh lime juice. It’s simplicity adds to it’s awesomeness. It can be served as a appetizer for an elegant dinner party or served for lunch with crusty bread and a salad.  Also, whenever my stomach and or digestive system goes crazy, which is often, I make this soup (with homemade chicken stock that I keep in the freezer) and serve it over a little rice. It’s very soothing and yummy.

Sweet Potato Coconut Milk Soup

adapted from Foodtv.ca

serves 6-8

2 Tbsp butter

1 large onion, diced

6 cups diced sweet potato (about 2 large)

2 Tbsp grated ginger

1 can coconut milk (14 oz)

3 – 4 cups chicken broth

2 Tbsp lime juice

salt and pepper

fresh coriander leaves (optional)

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepot over medium heat and cook onion 3-4 minutes to soften, but not browned.
  2. Add sweet potato and ginger and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and 3 cups of stock. Simmer 25 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender. Purée until smooth with a hand blender, add remaining stock if soup is too thick. Stir in lime juice. Return to heat and season to taste.
  3. Ladle into bowls and top with coriander leaves and another squeeze of lime juice. Keeps well in the fridge for about 4 days.

saute onion…add sweet potato and ginger

add chicken stock and coconut milk and cook until potatoes are tender.

IMG_7675

Buckwheat Pancakes with Blueberries and Pecans (GF)

buckwheat pancakes

I found some organic, stone milled buckwheat flour at our Local Family Farms store in Verona.  It is gluten-free, despite it’s name…and it’s Sunday…so I figured I could indulge myself with some pancakes.  The addition of blueberries and pecans comes from our menu from Sunsets Restaurant (2003-2008).  It was a popular and well-loved breakfast item amongst cottagers, locals and our kids.  If gluten is not an issue for you – try the blueberries and pecans with your regular pancake recipe, or try half buckwheat, half all-purpose flour for some extra fiber and flavour.  Either way, blueberries and pecans make a great combo in baked goods.

*This product does turn out drier than conventional pancakes, so try serving maple syrup on the side– it tends to get absorbed quickly.

Buckwheat Pancakes with Blueberries and Pecans

adapted from Umbrella-d.com

makes about 8  5inch pancakes

1 cup buckwheat flour

2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup milk (I used soy milk, use whatever you like)

2 tsp melted butter

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients together, mix all wet ingredients together, then mix both together. Stir until well-combined.

Preheat large skillet to medium-high.  Grease pan lightly with a neutral oil.  Pour about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake into hot pan.

Sprinkle pecans and blueberries over pancake batter. Cook until edges are browned, flip and continue to cook for another minute or two.

Serve with butter and maple syrup.

mix together dry, mix together wet, then combine

cook pancakes in medium hot pan

serve with butter and real maple syrup

yum

Walnut Recall and New Index

Hi Y’all – just thought I’d post a link to the walnut recall – since I posted a walnut recipe yesterday (sheesh!)…so check yer walnuts, will ya?

Walnut Recall

Also, I wanted to point out that I have put a new index on my blog for those who were finding it annoying to locate recipes…sorry, I had to figure out how to do that…it’s all good now, check it out at the top of the page beside “About Me”.

Alright, that’s all…hope you are all well!  I will post about some late fall classes to be held in Crow Lake soon.

Cheers,

A