Tag Archives: appetizer

Pesto Tomatoes

Pesto Tomatoes

These little bite-size appetizers pack a big flavor punch.  It’s a good thing to make when you have endless amounts of summer basil that you just aren’t sure what to do with.

For Pesto:

  • 2/3 cups pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil

For Tomatoes:

  • 24 cocktail tomatoes
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted

For Pesto:

  1. Toast pine nuts in a dry heavy skillet over medium heat, about 4 minutes.
  2. Put garlic through a press and add to food processor. Add basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, toasted pine nuts, salt, pepper, and basil leaves. Turn food processor on low until everything is finely ground.
  3. Slowly drizzle in extra-virgin olive oil.

For Tomatoes:

  1. Mix together panko breadcrumbs with butter to moisten then add 1 cup of Parmesan to breadcrumbs.
  2. With a sharp pairing knife.  Cut a circle around the top of each tomato being careful not to slice through the bottom of the tomato.
  3. Using your finger, carefully hollow out each tomato.
  4. Place 1 tsp. of pesto in each tomato then stuff Parmesan/breadcrumb mixture into tomatoes until they are overflowing.
  5. Place stuffed tomatoes in mini muffin tins.
  6. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes or until browned.
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Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Appetizers, Summer, Uncategorized


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Crispy Shrimp Spring Rolls

Crispy Shrimp Spring Rolls

Yield: 24 spring rolls
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 (3.5oz) package shitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 12oz medium shrimp, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut oil for stir-frying
  • 4 cups peanut oil for deep-frying spring rolls
  • 1/2 package wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  1. Stir together oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and salt.
  2. Finely chop garlic, green onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms.
  3. Heat 2 Tbsp. peanut oil on medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
  4. Add garlic and green onions and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  5. Add celery, carrots, and mushrooms.  Stir-fry for 6 minutes.
  6. Add shrimp and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  7. Transfer to bowl and allow mixture to cool before filling wontons.
  8. Lay the wonton to look like a diamond in front of you.
  9. Place 2 tsp. filling mixture and spread out to form a line in the bottom third of wonton wrapper.
  10. Fold in sides of wrapper.
  11. Fold bottom side up over filling and begin to roll tightly.
  12. Brush egg wash over very tip of wonton wrapper and finish rolling to completely seal.
  13. Heat 4 cups peanut oil to medium-high heat and fry rolled spring rolls for 3-4 minutes until browned on all sides.
  14. Serve immediately.

Step-by-Step Instruction:  “How to Fold a Spring Roll”


Posted by on September 8, 2013 in Appetizers, Uncategorized


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Buffalo Chicken Wonton Cups

Buffalo Chicken Wonton Cups

These little guys are all over Pinterest and I just had to try them for myself to see what the fuss is about.  Since they make such a big batch, I decided to make them for a bachelorette party I was throwing.  They did not fail me!  I honestly think I could have polished off all these by myself.

They are easy, quick, and a perfect bite-size snack.  This recipe will definitely be coming out next football season.  Another plus is that you can prepare a bunch of them and throw them in the freezer until you need them.

Yield: 54 mini wonton cups     Prep Time: 30 minutes     Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 12 wonton wrappers
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • Celery, very thinly sliced.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray miniature muffin tin very lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, Ranch dressing, hot sauce and 3/4 cheddar cheese (save remaining 1/4 cup for topping). You can soften the mixture slightly in the microwave if needed to make it come together. Stir in shredded chicken.
  3. Cut each wonton wrapper into 4 squares. Place 2 wonton squares in each muffin slot so they are overlapping and come up the sides of the tin to form a cup.  Place 2 tsp. of filling, and top with both shredded and blue cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly then remove from pan.  Top with celery slivers.

Posted by on July 23, 2013 in Appetizers, Uncategorized


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Kale and White Bean Bruschetta

Prep Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 (15oz) can S&W white beans + 1 can water
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups kale, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 baguette, cut in half, sliced, and toasted
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. Add entire contents of beans to large pot.  Refill the can with water and add to the pot.
  2. Add onion, garlic, bay leaf, and salt.  Simmer with lid on med-low heat for 8 minutes for flavors to combine.
  3. Add kale and return to burner another 5 minutes, covered.
  4. Drain contents of pot through a colander, discarding liquid.  Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and stir in oil, red wine vinegar, and crushed red pepper.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Spoon bean and kale mixture onto toasted baguettes and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Appetizers, Beans, Uncategorized


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Burrata and Basil Gremolata with Garlic Toast

Burrata and Basil Gremolata with Roasted Garlic Toast


  • 1 bunch of basil
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Burrata
  • French Baguette
  • 1 head garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • arugula (garnish)


  1. Cut top of garlic off.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 25 minutes at 425F.  Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove roasted garlic and mix with olive oil.  Slice baguette and brush with roasted garlic mixture.  Broil until crisp and golden.
  3. In a food processor, mix basil and 1/4 cup e.v.o.o.
  4. Serve all ingredients on a platter to assemble.  Garnish with fresh arugula.
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Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Appetizers, Summer, Uncategorized


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White Bean Guacamole

White Bean Guacamole

Makes about 4 cups


  • 2 (15oz) cans S&W White Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 avocados, chopped and divided
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 4 medium vine-riped tomatoes, chopped and drained
  • 1 Tbsp. light sour cream
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste


  1. Puree beans in food processor with lime juice, 3 of the avocados, and garlic cloves until very smooth.
  2. Transfer bean mixture to a large mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.
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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in Appetizers, Sides, Summer, Uncategorized


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