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Appetizers

Appetizers/ ColdApp/ Sandwiches

Goldenrod Finger Sandwiches

Apricot and Pimento Cheese, Yum!

My craft circle auctioned off another tea this past November and it was so much fun putting together the menu for 20 ladies to enjoy.

I love tea foods; savories, sweets, the scones, the jam and clotted cream and of course the different kinds of teas I like to try. For this tea we served Georgian Village and Versailles Blend. One of my favorites is a Green Walnut tea and an Almond Cookie tea both of which I buy from the Tea Embassy in Austin (online). We gave those teas as part of their favors they picked up on their way home. I like to add in a little Amuse Bouche for an opener. In case you didn’t know an Amuse Bouche is a little bite that is meant to show the chef’s style. A little mouth amuser. I first had one in NYC and before that I had never heard the term. This made the perfect little bite to go with the Blackberry Thyme Champagne Cocktail we served.

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Appetizers/ Entree/ Game/ HotApp

Jalapeno Quail Legs

Tiny little quail legs made fantastic appetizer.

Sometime last year I was visiting my daughter, Alexis, in Austin and one day her mother-in-law, Kittie took us to Jack Allen’s Kitchen for lunch. We ordered some quail legs for an appetizer and they were so delicious I knew I had to try and recreate the recipe. (Thanks for lunch Kittie.)

At Christmas we rented a house on Lake Travis and it was a nice big house where we enjoyed five nights of being together, playing our favorite game, Catan, and of course cooking. The kitchen wasn’t as well stocked with equipment as I would have liked but we made do with what we had. My son, Paul, and I are pretty hard to please when it comes to the way a kitchen is equipped; but we managed to do some Escargot and these quail legs for appetizers while there.

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Appetizers/ HotApp

Escargot in Parsley-Garlic Butter

Escargot for Christmas. 

Oh, no! not snails. Not those little slimy things that wiggle on the sidewalk that we use to pour salt on when we were kids. Ahh, yes.

Well, they are similar. The ones we prepared for Christmas dinner were Helix snails from France and were nice fat/plump ones.  The ones that use to get salted are common brown garden snails and probably not enough meat to even get stuck between your teeth but still edible. Snails are low in fat except, of course, for all the butter you put on them before baking in the oven. This is only my third time making escargot and I think they get better each time I make them. (Don’t use jumbo ones though, that wasn’t my favorite.) I like them garlicky, buttery (of course) and the best crunchy bread I can find.

I first had escargot on a cruise years ago and I remember after eating them one night we ordered 2 orders each every meal for the rest of the cruise. I found my escargot on Amazon because they were much cheaper than the $7.50/can/dozen at my HEB market (and those were the jumbo ones). And I have already reordered them so I would have on hand for a last minute appetizer. They were $16 for 48 snails.

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Appetizers/ Bread/ Breads/Biscuits

Rosemary Goat Cheese Biscuits

Another yummy biscuit right out of the oven.

Happy New Year to everyone! I have a short list of New Year’s Resolutions and that is to keep mall walking 5-6 times a week and hopefully add going to the gym a couple of days on top of that. Also and to try new biscuit recipes. 

How many different ways can you possibly make a biscuit? Probably a lot more than I have baked. I love making biscuits and I can almost make them as fast as cracking open one of those tubes from the grocery.  I always cringe when I pop those things open. I seldom buy canned biscuits but when I do and you take that wrapper off and you whack it on the counter I’m always jumping like I’d just exploded a M80 firecracker or something. 

My mother use to make the best biscuits and her’s were thin. I’m sure I said this before but we liked the tops and bottoms because they were crunchy so she would hit them on the counter a few times so they would fall and then not rise as much. These days I like big biscuits but still like a crispy bottom and I finally learned how she got them that way. My mother always used melted bacon fat on the sheet pan and she would take the biscuit and put it on the pan (before baking) and let it touch the fat then flip it over leaving the tops of the biscuits with bacon fat on top too; no brushing with milk/cream/butter. So if you save your bacon fat like I do, use that instead of the milk or butter for brushing the tops of the unbaked biscuits. If you want you can always brush the baked biscuits with some melted butter when they come out of the oven. I brushed these with  butter before baking because I didn’t want bacon taste to the biscuit since I was filling with country ham.

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Appetizers/ ColdApp/ Sandwiches

Roast Beef Rose Tea Sandwich

Sweet little rose sandwiches for Christmas!

I love having tea at different places and after visiting tea at the Fairmont Hotel in Victoria, Canada and then again at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and many other places I still prefer my tea sandwiches and savories. I usually want things a little less traditional than a pimento or chicken salad sandwich or smoked salmon on pumpernickel bread and it is so much fun coming up with beautiful food for a tea party.

If you need a little appetizer over the holidays, here’s one that was a tea favorite at a friends tea we did this fall.

I love little bites of food and I think it is more fun to graze on a lot of little finger foods than to sit down with a big plate full of food. And this was the perfect little tea sandwich — a lightly toasted baguette topped with some horseradish sauce, arugula leaves and a roast beef rose. How much easier can it get.

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Appetizers/ HotApp

Baked Goat Cheese with Tomatoes and Pesto

Sailing, Sailing Over the Bounding Main!

Sailing, sailing we did back in August on a visit to our son’s house. We loaded the kids up and lots of yummy food and headed for the marina in Chicago. A long ride and it proved to be a good ride for grandson Oliver since he usually gets sick.  His mom did give him something so he wouldn’t get sick on the boat. See pictures below and what happened.

My daughter-in-law, Missy and I decided to try a cold version of a goat cheese appetizer we had at dinner one night at The Greenwood American Kitchen in Highwood –goat cheese mixed with pesto and baked until hot and bubbly and then topped with some heirloom tomatoes chopped and mixed with some more pesto and then sprinkled with some pine nuts. I like the hot version better because there is nothing better than hot goat cheese or any kind of bubbly hot cheese smeared on a piece of fresh bread or toasted baguette.

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Appetizers/ ColdApp

Potato Cakes & Smoked Salmon

You either like it or you don’t. 

You either love it or hate it. I’m talking about smoked salmon and I’m thinking if you reading this post then you are a fan of the smokey flavored fish.

Smoked salmon in those little 5 oz. packages next to where the fresh fish are sold is one of the easiest, quickest things you can pick up for an appetizer.

There have been quite a few salmon recipes here for you to try. Remember the smoked salmon on a potato chip? Well this is a little more refined than that recipe. Or, how about the smoked salmon stack appetizer; now that one is pretty easy too. And this smoked salmon with boursin cheese recipe is as quick as cutting a cucumber, rolling up the salmon and putting it on top of some cheese.

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Appetizers/ Bread/ ColdApp

Rosemary Lafa Bread and Hummus

Homemade Lafa to go with my homemade hummus!

So, one day while touring Tiberius, Israel we stopped at Pagoda restaurant for lunch; and it turned out to be our St. Peter’s fish meal. The lunch that I had been warned about by several people to “not eat the St. Peter’s fish”. However, we found it delicious. The waiters first brought out (family style) platters of hummus (with the hummus swoosh), fresh warm bread, big blocks of onion rings, bowls of slaw and after that came the platters of the St. Peter’s fish (heads and fins on) and chicken schnitzel for those who did not want fish.

While we were eating the owner came out to talk to us. She told us how much the Israeli people love America and what we do to support them and then she sang us a song which definitely brought tears to my eyes. It was the most memorable lunch; one I will long remember.

One of the first things I wanted to make when I returned home was hummus and bread. I chose to make lafa bread to go with my homemade hummus. Lafa bread is a Middle Eastern flatbread; and known in other countries as pita/Greece/Middle East; Roti/India; Tortilla/Mexico; Pizza/Italy; Naan/Iran, India; Lefse/Norway, and Goraasa/Sudan just to name a few.

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Appetizers/ HotApp

Classic Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce

Falafel is not a hushpuppy!

After 12 hours on a plane and a 3 hour layover and then another flight to Tel Aviv we made it to your hotel in Israel. What a trip that was and were we ever exhausted.

For months now I have been watching different YouTube videos on the places we would be touring in Israel and have been really excited about the places we are going to be visiting.

I was pretty anxious about the kinds of food we would be eating. Was it all going to be the same — hummus, falafel, tahini, kanafeh, baba ganoush and kebabs (of course) just to name a few. We like everything so I didn’t think I would not be turning my nose up at anything except maybe the falafel. Ya know I do have this thing about chickpeas! 

The food ended up not being my favorite part of the trip. But that was ok because I knew this trip was not “all about the food”.

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Appetizers/ HotApp

Thai Chili Calamari with Orange Gremolata

Crispy Thai Calamari, hot, sweet, and delicious!

Over the years I have seen my husband order and enjoy calamari. I’ve never been a fan; didn’t like the chewy rings that seemed rubbery to me and even though its was fried I would take my “one good bite” and be done with it.

On our Michigan trip this past summer we stopped for lunch at Firefly Grill in Traverse City. This is the same restaurant that I had the Blackberry Bramble cocktail that I posted a couple of weeks ago. We ordered a few appetizers for lunch and Thai Calamari was one of them along with some dumplings and something else that didn’t stick in my mind like the calamari did.

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Appetizers/ HotApp

Smokey Hot Redfish Dip (or Whitefish)

Loved the fish spread we had in Leland, Michigan.

On our trip around Lake Michigan a few weeks ago we saw “smoked whitefish dip” on (no kidding) every menu. By the time we reached Lealand, MI (Fish Town) and we were sitting in a little restaurant overlooking a small waterfall (dam) with all the little weathered fish shanties, old smokehouses and drying racks for the fish and wondering what this life would have been like in the early 1900’s, we decided it was time to try their version of smoked fish dip.

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Appetizers/ ColdApp

Redfish Spread with Toasted Crostini

A great fish spread you thought you would never like!

On a trip to New Orleans we had lunch one day at Cafe Amelia. A little restaurant in the historic 150 year old Princess of Monaco Courtyard in the French Quarter. This little cafe is a favorite of locals and tourist and has a beautiful little courtyard studded with little tables; but it was too hot when we were there so we chose to eat inside.

I knew after reading about this cafe I wanted to eat there. We split a catfish poboy and ordered this Redfish dip (I think they called it that). Normally I stay clear of fish dips. Shrimp and crab dips I like but the thought of fish in a dip/spread makes me remember my dad “canning” fish to use to make fish cake. I can’t say I ever tried those fish cakes because I didn’t like the idea of that “canned” fish being used in a wanna be salmon/crab cake recipe.

So, below is a picture of the appetizer we had at Cafe Amelia. I have to say I really like mine better; looks a little more appetizing I think. I asked the waitress what was in it and she proceeded to give me a list of ingredients and then she went and asked the chef which told her he could not give the recipe. I think she gave me everything I needed to recreate the dish; next time I may add a few drops of Tabasco sauce.

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