Appetizer Recipes

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Stuffed Dates with Duck Prosciutto Recipe

Mascarpone stuffed dates couldn't be a simpler appetizer to assemble. I used Deglet Noor dates, which are firm and not overly-sweet. FIrst, I pitted them and stuffed them with a coffee and rosemary-flavored mascarpone cream. This could surprise, but coffee pairs incredibly well with meat and with the addition of earthy rosemary, the duck prosciutto didn't feel lonely. These appetizers made a great snack; baby Aria and I enjoyed them a lot!

Please save the date for my upcoming book signing appearances. The next ones are taking place at Barnes and Noble. If you're in the Bay Area, be sure to stop by Barnes and Noble Blossom Hill, 5353 Almaden Expressway, Building B in San Jose, California. I'll be doing a cooking demo, followed by a book signing, on July 5th at noon.

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Turkey Meatball Appetizer Recipe Recipe

My childhood friend Alexia and her husband Olivier are visiting this week. I've been cooking with whatever is available in our vegetable garden. Olivier harvested lots of ripe radishes and we gathered the "fanes de radish" (the leaves) and made an almond pesto.

I served turkey meatball appetizers sandwiched between the pesto (that acted like a glue) and slices of radish. I garnished the appetizers with sliced almonds as a reminder of the flavor of the pesto.

My French guests are loving California cuisine!


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Summery Bulgur Napoleon Recipe Recipe

Summery Bulgur Napoleon Recipe

05.13.14 by Jackie

With the beautiful summery weather we're having, a refreshing savory mille-feuille that consists of bulgur is ideal to cool off. A mille-feuille in French literally translates to "thousand leaves" but in fact it's just a fancy name for layered puff pastry (the famous Napoléon). 

I flavored the bulgur with marinated artichokes, red, green and yellow roasted bell peppers, shiitake mushrooms and a lot of mint. The pastry layers were simply brushed with an egg wash, sprinkled with herbes de Provence and a little cheddar cheese and baked until completely puffed. I tried to create a visually appealing dish bursting with colors and invigorating flavors, and i have to say, mission accomplished. Remember, we eat with our eyes first!


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Muhammara and Cucumber Bites (Healthy Appetizer Recipe) Recipe

I created these irresistible appetizers for the California Lavash team a while back. It was their idea to combine muhammara (walnuts, charred red bell pepper, fresh pomegranate seeds and mint flavored spread), cucumber, dill, mint and cilantro in their fabulous, healthful lavash flatbread. 

Being the ultimate hostess, in my opinion, requires the art of not only making delicious food but also creating enticing and delectable bites to make sure you please all your guests. I formed twirling portions, which is ideal if you're serving a small number of people. If you're hosting a large party, I would suggest rolling regular pinwheels to save time.

I think this type of food is especially appealing to female guests. The colors are striking, almost bewitching. The appetizers have a lot of flavor, yet are super healthy. If you're looking for store-bought muhammara, I highly recommend Haig's. But if you don't want to be too adventurous, you can replace the pomegranate spread with others such as crumbled feta and chopped olives mixed with Greek yogurt and lemon juice and substitute a touch of oregano for the mint.


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Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper with Roasted Bell Pepper Coulis Recipe

Our family brunch this weekend was delightful but that doesn't mean it took us hours to prepare it. I had ready-made blueberry blossoms (individual free-form fruit pies) that I had stored in the freezer, so my only additions were a quiche and quinoa stuffed bell peppers on a bed of roasted bell pepper coulis. 

I especially loved preparing the quinoa dish. It was colorful, flavorful and nutritious. I cooked the quinoa slightly longer till it became slightly clumpy, so when I seasoned it with a basil vinaigrette, sun-dried tomatoes and blue goat cheese, the quinoa mixture was easy to fill into the bell pepper "cups". The bell pepper sauce added brightness, thanks to the addition of tomato paste and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and contrasted really well with the sharpness and pungency of the cheese.  


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