Cheese Appetizer Recipes

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Olive Phyllo Cup Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Delicious food doesn't have to be heavy or rich in calories. Selecting ingredients wisely is the key to making these flavorful phyllo cup appetizers. Instead of using calorie-packed mascarpone cheese, I strained plain yogurt and combined the thick mixture with green and kalamata olives, roasted red bell peppers, garlic, lemon, curly parsley and extra-virgin olive oil. I also added tuna and an anchovy filet for extra brininess (you could omit them for a veggie version). The warm pan-seared Nabulsi cheese helped tie together the Mediterranean flavors of these fancy bites.

My philosophy is if you have to sacrifice flavor by using low-fat products, then don't eat it. I'd rather eat in small portions or not eat at all. Of course, eating the way we eat in our home means having to stay active all day. Juggling between my everyday tasks and my wonderful 21-month-old daughter gives me plenty of occasions to spend these calories. 

baby
21-month-old Aria going grocery shopping


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Braided Tapenade Bread Recipe Recipe

Braided Tapenade Bread Recipe

05.13.13 by Jackie

Braiding is a fancy way to present stuffed bread. To get this recipe started, I prepared the dough and let it rest for a few hours. Once it's ready to roll, the sides of the resulting long rectangle are cut into long strands, filled with tapenade (or your favorite filling) then the bread is tied into a two-strand braid. 

I used homemade tapenade made with kalamata olives, mustard and capers. I love the way the deep-purple color contrasts with the bread. The bread would also work well with hummus, guacamole, salsa or roasted bell pepper spread.


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Cheesy Wild Rice Stuffing Recipe Recipe

When I think of stuffing (or dressing), the picture that comes to mind is of day-old bread mixed with onion, celery, other vegetables, dried fruit and herbs. It's time for a change, and this year for Thanksgiving, I'm opting for a healthier but just as tasty version using wild rice, pumpkin, dried mango, cranberries, asparagus and walnuts.

For easier serving, I baked it in individual cups and covered them with a blend of Jarlsberg and cheddar cheese. That might make them a little less healthy, but it’s so worth it! 


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