Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer

Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer ~ burst tomatoes, garlic and capers nestled around tangy goat cheese and broiled on top.

Appetizers & Beverages | December 16, 2017 | By

Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer ~ burst tomatoes, garlic and capers nestled around tangy goat cheese, broiled until golden and served with warm toasted bread.  

Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer ~ burst tomatoes, garlic and capers nestled around tangy goat cheese and broiled until golden. Serve with toasted bread.

Back in the winter of 2015 I posted a recipe for one of my favorite combinations, roasted tomatoes and goat cheese slathered thick on a lightly toasted baguette slices. Like women and good wine that recipe has improved with age and is now this Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer.  If you made it before, you’ll notice a couple of subtle changes to the process that in my opinion make the dish even tastier. 

It’s meant to be an appetizer but a nice glass of red or chilled Rosé, depending on the season along with some warm, crusty bread and for me, it’s dinner.

(more…)

Mushroom Brie Bisque

Mushroom Brie Bisque ~ rich, decadent with a creamy texture and delicious rustic mushroom flavor. Simple to make with flavors you'll never find in a can.

Soup | December 13, 2017 | By

Mushroom Brie Bisque ~ rich, decadent creamy texture and delicious rustic mushroom taste. Simple to make with flavors you’ll never find in a can.

Mushroom Brie Bisque ~ rich, decadent with a creamy texture and delicious rustic mushroom flavor. Simple to make with flavors you'll never find in a can.

My husband worked for a company that had an upscale, elegant holiday party every year in downtown Detroit ~ dinner, dancing and extravagant, edge-of-your-seat giveaways like Caribbean cruises and trips to Vegas. For the record, we never won a trip and at one point I told him he couldn’t retire until we did. I was kidding. Sort of.

I thought after he retired I’d never taste the holiday party’s Mushroom Bisque again. It was served as an appetizer in shot glasses and so creamy and decadently delicious. If you waited too long to grab one, they were gone.

Last weekend during our annual girls’ weekend up north I saw Mushroom Brie Bisque on the menu and decided to try it. I literally scraped the bowl with my spoon to get the last bits. It was that good and I couldn’t wait to recreate it at home.

Mushroom Brie Bisque does contain heavy cream but it’s that time of the year, right? Indulge and worry about it tomorrow. Or next year. I’ve been eating Snowball Cookies right from the freezer so attention family ~ by Christmas Eve, there probably won’t be many any left.

Anyway, this Mushroom Brie Bisque is simple and spot on ~ rich, indulgent with a silky, creamy texture and delicious rustic mushroom flavor. Kick the can. You’ll never find taste like this there. And go ahead, indulge. I don’t judge. ‘Tis the season.

(more…)

Honey Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Honey Balsamic Pork Tenderloin ~ tender, juicy, over the top flavor ~ stove to table in just 20 minutes. Ideal for weeknights; elevated for entertaining.

Dinner | December 8, 2017 | By

Honey Balsamic Pork Tenderloin ~ tender, juicy, flavorful pork goes from stove to table in just 20 minutes for a delicious, easy, any night meal.

I love a good fake-out meal; ones that look and taste like you’ve spent hours on them, but can be whipped up quickly. This juicy, tender Honey Balsamic Pork Tenderloin is the ticket we need for this time of year when we’re all short on time because it goes from stove to table in just 20 minutes, less time than it takes to have a pizza delivered, but tastes better. Way, way better.

That’s why it seemed like the perfect time to update the photos and reshare this recipe. I’m not kidding one bit if you make it once, you’ll have it on repeat the whole year.

(more…)

Blackened Shrimp Pasta

Blackened Shrimp Pasta ~ Cajun shrimp and linguine in a zesty, flavorful tomato sauce. A simple, weeknight meal that's also ideal for entertaining.

Dinner | December 6, 2017 | By

Blackened Shrimp Pasta ~ Cajun seasoned shrimp and linguine in a zesty, flavorful tomato sauce. A simple, weeknight meal elevated for entertaining too.

Between shopping, baking, wrapping, holiday parties and the actual holiday gatherings are meals we need to eat and prepare for our families and some out of town guests that *may* be staying a tad too long. That’s where Blackened Shrimp Pasta comes in. 

Most times, but especially this crazy, chaotic fun time of year, there are certain food items I keep in my pantry ~ cans of diced tomatoes and dry pasta are a couple of them. There are so many things you can make with them and when you’re hungry, tired and short on time you can work actual magic with them. A good dry Cajun spice doesn’t hurt the cause either.

In the freezer, I like to keep shrimp and from there, well ~ you can probably guess where I’m going with this.

(more…)

Snowball Christmas Cookies

Christmas Snowball Cookies ~ nutty, buttery melt-in-your-mouth shortbread, dusted with confectioners sugar outside. Skill level: Easy

Dessert | November 30, 2017 | By

Snowball Christmas Cookies, sometimes known as Russian Tea Cakes, Butterball Cookies or Mexican Wedding Cookies. Buttery, nutty, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread lightly dusted with confectioners sugar.  A holiday must!

As you know, I don’t do a lot of baking, but the holiday season brings out the best baker we can be in all of us. Snowball Christmas Cookies are my holiday favorite. No other cookie comes close to their nutty, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth flavor and the dusting of confectioners sugar seals the deal.

I love them with a mug of hot tea and literally eat one after the next with little self control. They blend quickly with just a few ingredients and the skill level to make these cookies is easy ~ just how I like it.

(more…)

Yukon Gold Sweet Potato Au Gratin

Yukon Gold Sweet Potato Au Gratin ~ thinly sliced sweet & Yukon gold potatoes topped with gruyere cheese + fresh thyme in a delicious creamy, silky sauce.

Side Dish | November 22, 2017 | By

Yukon Gold Sweet Potato Au Gratin ~ thinly sliced sweet and Yukon gold potatoes topped with shredded gruyere cheese and fresh thyme all baked until bubbly and golden in a deliciously creamy, silky sauce.

Maybe you’ve made classic Au Gratin Potatoes ~ one of my favorite potato-cheesy comfort dishes and while I still love them, the combination of Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes with a rich, creamy sauce just takes potatoes to a whole new level. 

Yukon Gold Sweet Potato Au Gratin makes a simple, yet elevated holiday side, but I can’t help but ask myself why are all these fabulous side dishes saved for the holidays? Let’s make it today!

(more…)

Ultimate Appetizer Board

Appetizers & Beverages | November 20, 2017 | By

This Ultimate Appetizer Board shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #InspireWithCheese

Ultimate Appetizer Board ~ something for all ~ simple, customizable, no cooking. Elevated with creative touches + tips for easy, no-stress entertaining.

Are you in holiday mode yet? We’ve had a pretty warm fall here in the Midwest, so I’m not completely there yet. Yesterday I tagged a few holiday movies on Netflix, now I just need a little snow, a few more gift catalogs crammed in my mailbox and the first holiday song on the radio. In the meantime, I’m stocking the frig with some basics to create the Ultimate Appetizer Board. The holidays don’t make me frazzled anymore because I’ve learned some tips I’m sharing today that make entertaining stress-free and fun ~ even for the host.  

Ultimate Appetizer Board ~ something for all ~ simple, customizable, no cooking. Elevated with creative touches + tips for easy, no-stress entertaining.

The Ultimate Appetizer Board couldn’t be easier to assemble, is easily elevated with just a few creative touches and has something for everyone including the carnivores: Kaukauna® cheese balls, sliced cheese, seasonal fruits, smoked meats, crunchy crackers and breadsticks, but hey ~ I’m not giving away all my secrets here ~ read below!

(more…)

Tradional Bread Sausage Stuffing

Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing ~ classic recipe baked outside the bird with delicious fresh herb & sausage flavors. Serve with turkey, chicken or pork.

Side Dish | November 17, 2017 | By

Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing ~ a classic recipe baked outside the bird with delicious fresh herb and sausage flavors. Serve with turkey, chicken or pork.

Whether you call it stuffing, like we do in these parts or dressing because it’s baked outside the bird like this Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing this is the dish that says Thanksgiving for me. It’s not a holiday without it. I love the crispy bread parts best but that doesn’t stop me from scooping into the moist center, flavored with fresh herbs and sausage. Mmmmm.

I’ve been making Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing for more years than I can count, but used to cook it inside the bird. I know ~ some say it’s a big no-no, but we never had any issues.

A couple of years ago my daughter started hosting the family Thanksgiving dinner and she opted to cook her turkeys ~ yes two ~ in the air fryer ~ delicious, crispy skin, juicy meat and packed with two different flavors, but that means the stuffing needed to be baked in the oven without sacrificing all that crazy good taste. 

Traditional Bread Sausage Stuffing is the best stuffing ever. I’ve perfected the recipe over the years. It’s simple, with classic flavors and the only recipe you’ll need.

(more…)

Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid

Appetizers & Beverages | November 13, 2017 | By

This Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #Chardonnation #NotableHoliday #CollectiveBias

Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid ~ golden crescent filled with warm brie cheese, cranberry sauce, pistachios + fresh orange zest. The ideal holiday appetizer!

Fall brings a few of my favorite things ~ crisp, cool sweater weather, an explosion of fall colored leaves, the return of my favorite TV shows without reruns, cute leather boots and scarves. Plus holiday entertaining which I actually do enjoy! Entertaining used to be stressful back in the day and not as much fun, but I’ve learned a few tricks along the way that I’m sharing today.Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid ~ golden crescent filled with warm brie cheese, cranberry sauce, pistachios + fresh orange zest. The ideal holiday appetizer!

One tip is not to get too fancy which makes a Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid perfect ~ warm brie cheese melted with tangy cranberry sauce, finely chopped pistachios and a burst citrus flavor, all beautifully braided inside golden, warm, flaky crescent dough. A glass of Chardonnay makes it even better and with a few other tips below, entertaining couldn’t be any simpler.

(more…)

Brown Butter Honey Glazed Carrots

Side Dish | November 9, 2017 | By

Brown Butter Honey Glazed Carrots ~ roasted until fork-tender in a delicious brown butter honey-garlic sauce.

Does every family have a picky eater? I know mine does. She ate peanut butter and jelly every day of first grade. Every single day. Growing up, she staunchly refused to eat vegetables (other than corn and potatoes) and called carrots “the devil’s vegetable”. This may have something to do her *ahem* well-meaning parents telling her to try them because they taste like her favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream. Another one of these stories you just can’t make up but if you have kids (or were a kid), you know where I’m coming from.

My picky eater loved chicken (still does) and couldn’t pass up a french fry if her life depended upon it (still can’t) and still doesn’t eat carrots, but if you like carrots, are looking for an simple side dish that doesn’t taste like one with some serious wow factor, this is it.

(more…)