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A Savory Sweet Appetizer!

Pastry Puff Sheet (in frozen section)
olive oil
d’anjou pear
honey goat cheese
mozzarella (shredded)
balsamic vinegar
brown sugar

oil cookie sheet
lay out one pastry puff shell (follow thawing directions on box)
drizzle with olive oil
sprinkle on mozzarella
add dollops of honey goat cheese
add thinly sliced pear
add arugula
combine balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and olive oil and drizzle over the whole thing

bake in oven @ 400 for about 15 min (go longer if needed, you don’t want it to be doughy!)



Don’t forget to oil sheet first or it’s a nightmare to get off (learned this lesson the hard way).


(Picture coming soon)

I know I say on most of my recipes: “this is one of our favorites”.  But let me tell you that I have taken this dip to many people and places and every single time at least one person asks me for the recipe and everyone loves it.   It is a dip that someone will try and then go around a party telling everyone else to try it.  And the best part…it is the easiest dip I make.

  • 2 blocks cream cheese
  • 1 pint of Hot/Sweet Pepper Relish (This can be found in stores.  I, of course, recommend that you make a whole batch so you have it around to make this dip anytime you like.  Recipe for the relish was posted just before this one)

Put cream cheese in glass bowl and microwave for a minute or two, then stir until very soft with no lumps.  Open pepper relish, dump in with the cream cheese, mix will.  Refrigerate until chilled.  Take to a party, serve with crackers (I like Triscuits or Wheat Thins), enjoy all the praise you will receive.

This recipe is posted compliments of Wendell.  He is the one who made it for the first time (with help from his mom and grammy) a few years ago when someone gave him Habanero Peppers and he didn’t know what to do with them.  The other day when I was talking about making another batch of this, he said “have you posted that recipe on Circle Feast yet?”  I guess it’s time.  The original recipe comes from the Mennonite Community Cookbook and is for “sweet pepper relish”.  We added the hot peppers.  Overall,  a fairly easy process, took me about 2 hours start to finish.  I would not recommend tackling this without a food processor (if you’re close enough, you can borrow mine).  The relish is good on sandwiches or can be eatwn on it’s own with chips.  It also makes one of the easiest and most-loved dips I’ve ever had…see next post for recipe.

  • 12 green bell  peppers
  • 12 red bell peppers
  • 12 onions
  • 12 green tomatoes
  • 15-20 Habanero peppers
  • 3 Tablespoons salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups vinegar

Grind peppers and onions in food processor (I pulse several times rather than leaving it on so they don’t get too mushy).  Note: Habanero peppers are extremely hot, you definitely need to use gloves and may find yourself (as I did today) sneezing, coughing, and crying as you are cutting them up.Grind tomatoes separately.  Pour enough boiling water over peppers and onions to cover.  Let stand 5 minutes; drain.  Boil vinegar, sugar, and salt; add vegetables.  Return to boil and cook 10 minutes.  Pack into hot jars and seal.   *If you live anywhere near me and are interested in making this recipe, I have an abundance of Habanero peppers in my garden that I would be happy to give away.

These are AMAZING, but they are not healthy.  The first time I made them, I tried to cut down the butter and substituted a different kind of cheese spread but they weren’t nearly as good.  The recipe comes from Nan Wood, Sellersville, PA, but I got it from my co-worker’s wife, Chris,  when she made them for a party and I couldn’t stop eating them.

  • 1/4 lb. butter, softened
  • 1 jar Kraft Old English Cheese Spread (This comes in a tiny jar and is hard to find, I looked all over a few different stores and finally found it next to the velveeta cheese.  Apparently I’m not smart enough to insert an image of it into this post, but you can see what it looks like if you do a google image search.)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 8 oz. can crab meat, free of shells
  • 1 pkg. of 6 English Muffins

Mix butter (softened), cheese, mayo, garlic salt, seasoned salt, and crab meat together.  Spread mixture onto English Muffins.  Cut English Muffins into quarters; broil until brown.  You can also prepare these, cut them, then freeze, covered overnight, or until ready to use.  When ready to use, bake frozen wedges at 375F for 10 minute or until bubbly.

Has anyone else ever done this with chickpeas? I’ve always liked them well enough, but thought they were kind of blah and boring.

Then I went to Harrisonburg to celebrate this guy’s first birthday, which coincides with my own (we planned it that way, he and I):

…and his wonderful mama made roasted chickpeas as an appetizer for his first birthday party. (She also made me this birthday cake – but that’s neither here nor there).

Anyway, my previously lukewarm relationship with chickpeas was totally revitalized. They were crispy, crunchy, flavorful, and delicious.

Roasted Chickpeas

2 (12-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

olive oil (a couple tablespoons)

various seasonings of your choice: salt, garlic powder, cayenne, chili powder, etc.

Combine all of these. Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet and bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes. Watch them towards the end so they don’t burn! Snack on them.

As another side note – for some more awesome food pictures, check out some of Rachel’s (Cole’s mom and my dear friend) other creations at Brown Butter Bakery.

We made this recipe for a work event, and it’s really good and also really easy!  It looks fancy. 🙂

1/2 baguette

3 T olive oil

1 6oz. pkg. Chevre goat cheese

2 T finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes in herbs and oil

1 T chopped fresh basil

Pepper to taste

1. Heat oven to 375.

2. Arrange bread on cookie sheet and brush with olive oil.  Bake bread for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned

3. In small bowl, combine cheese, basil, tomatoes, and pepper.  Spread on toasted bread slices.  Return to the oven for an additional 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

This recipe is adapted from a few recipes I found online from Rachel Ray and Emeril.

Ingredients (these amounts are estimated, I don’t usually count or measure)

  • 12-14  medium jalapeño peppers
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt, peppers, other spices?
  1. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove seeds (a grapefruit spoon works beautifully for this task).  Place on a cookie sheet, covered in foil (this helps save your pan from black spots and also makes for easy clean up)
  2. Mix cheeses, salt, pepper, and any other spices you want to add (don’t worry about having too much of the cheese mixture, what doesn’t fit in the peppers makes a delicious dip
  3. Spoon mixture into peppers
  4. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes until peppers are cooked and cheese starts to brown

These are a wonderful alternative to the usual deep fried poppers, reduced fat cheeses are always an option.  Peppers can be prepared a day ahead and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them.

What I Did

I went to Root’s farmer’s market with Zoe and the kids.

I bought a pound of large mushrooms (and asparagus).

I cut off the mushroom stems and sauteed them with garlic powder and olive oil.

When done, I added freshly grated Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, a bit of grated sharp cheese, and a smidge of butter.

Took that mixture and placed it into the mushroom tops that I brushed with olive oil.

Bake for 30 minutes in greased pan.

1 clove garlic
1 (15 ounce) can black beans; drain and
reserve liquid
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
10 Greek olives

1. Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add black beans, 2 tablespoons reserved liquid, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, tahini, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper; process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add additional seasoning and liquid to taste. Garnish with paprika and Greek olives

I didn’t do the olives, because I don’t like them..but this has a really great flavor!

I would like to eat at least 2 of these right now! The perfect triangle! I would gasp if someone brought these out at an event. TOO CUTE.

Idea from A Cup of Jo

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