Cheese Appetizer Recipes

Olive Phyllo Cup Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Olive Phyllo Cup Appetizer Recipe

09.04.13 by Jackie

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

Cheesy Wild Rice Stuffing Recipe

11.16.12 by Jackie

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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Chevre Tartine Recipe Recipe

Chevre Tartine Recipe

10.16.12 by Jackie

We're hosting a family gathering this weekend so my baby Aria can meet Papa's entire family. To prep for the party, I experimented and made a few tartines today using leftover baguette bread, chèvre, sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, flat-leaf parsley and dill. Once the chèvre was warm, I sprinkled it with coarsely chopped sesame cashew nuts for extra crunch.

The reason I made these little appetizers is that my husband Lulu is a vegetarian. I'm going to serve a few vegetarian bites so Lulu won't starve, but the main dishes are going to be all meat. Can't wait to see everyone; we haven't gathered every single member of Papa's family in the same room since I was a little girl. Now all the cousins are all grown up and married with kids; it's going to make me feel old for sure!


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Tapenade Stuffed Mozzarella Cheese Appetizers Recipe

Tapenade Stuffed Mozzarella Cheese Appetizers

02.08.12 by Jackie

Bite-sized food is one of the best ways to create a romantic atmosphere for your Valentine dinner. That way you can feed each other while talking and kissing in between! To that end, I created cheese appetizers using small mozzarella balls that I emptied and stuffed with homemade tapenade. The preparation is quite simple if you prep everything in advance.

I made the tapenade using kalamata olives. I love the way the blackish deep-purple color contrasts so well with the white mozzarella; they're also the best choice because of their rich and fruity flavor. I served the mozzarella appetizers on herb-Parmesan crackers, so they're easy to pick up and eat in one single bite.


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