Tag Archives: cheese

Appetizer Snacks

Brie Crostini with Spiced Raisin Compote

The holidays are upon us!

I don’t know about you, but every store I’ve been in recently (CVS, Home Goods…) already has Christmas decorations out. I thought that always started after Halloween, no?

Brie Crostini with Spiced Raisin Compote

Since I am trying to keep up, I started testing a few new holiday recipes last weekend.

You’re going to LOVE these Baked Brie Crostini with Spiced Raisin Compote. They’re the perfect little hors d’oeurve for a holiday get-together.

Brie Crostini with Spiced Raisin Compote

I tried to make these crostini healthier than most recipes I saw by reducing the amount of cheese (a little goes a long way), using a whole wheat baguette instead of regular, and cutting way down on the sugar in the compote. Raisins and apples already provide plenty of sweetness – why add copious amounts of sugar?

The results were amazing! There’s so much flavor in each bite.

Brie Crostini with Spiced Raisin Compote

If you have a large group, feel free to double or even triple this recipe. You can also make the raisin compote ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to prep the crostini.

Brie Crostini with Spiced Raisin Compote

I know your friends and family will be begging you for this recipe!

Brie Crostini with Spiced Raisin Compote

Brie Crostini with Spiced Raisin Compote

 

Brie Crostini with Spiced Raisin Compote
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 medium granny smith apple, peeled and chopped (about 1.5 cups)
  • ¼ cup red onion, sliced very thin
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1.5 Tablespoons white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch each salt, ground ginger, nutmeg
  • 2 ounces Brie
  • Whole wheat or multigrain baguette, sliced ½ inch thick
Instructions
  1. Combine the apple through nutmeg in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 7-8 minutes. Uncover and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°.
  3. Spread 1 heaping Tablespoon of raisin compote over each baguette slice. Top each with 1 piece small slice of brie. Arrange the slices on a large baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
 

Soups

Summer Squash and Zucchini Soup with Parmesan

Soup in the summer? Not exactly something you’re craving in 100+ degree weather, is it?

Well, this soup is different — it takes full advantage of summer vegetables and fresh herbs and most importantly, it tastes DELICIOUS either hot or chilled. I served it hot the first night, but enjoyed cold leftovers straight from the fridge over the next few days and I swear it got better with each day.

 

Summer Squash and Zucchini Soup with Parmesan Recipe

This soup came out of one of those “let’s use everything in the fridge and throw it in a pot” evenings. Honestly, sometimes these types of creations turn out terribly (it turns out Peanut Butter doesn’t go with everything…), but when you have such fresh veggies and flavorful herbs, anything can be tasty.

Summer Squash and Zucchini Soup with Parmesan Recipe

This soup is ready in no time – great if you’re in a hurry.

For a simple dinner or a flavorful appetizer, try this. One piece of advice – I urge you to use fresh herbs (not dried) and a good quality block of parmesan to make this extra special.

Summer Squash and Zucchini Soup with Parmesan Recipe

 

Summer Squash and Zucchini Soup with Parmesan
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 6 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2.5 cups uncooked whole wheat fusilli (I used Trader Joe's brand, most types of whole-wheat pasta should work)
  • 2 cups zucchini, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups yellow squash, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh herbs (I just used thyme because it is what I had, but feel free to use whatever you have. Oregano would be delicious)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
  • ¼ cup basil for serving, sliced
Instructions
  1. Bring the chicken broth and water to a boil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes. Then, add the zucchini, squash, parsley, basil, lemon juice and herbs. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the pasta is done and the squash is tender. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve among bowls and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil.

 

Main Meal Salads Vegetarian Meals

Farro Salad with Apples, Almonds and Smoked Mozzarella

I’m back.

Sorry, I know it’s been awhile. Stuff got busy you see. A lot of things have happened since I’ve been gone.

I got a job (woo!), I graduated from college (MAJOR milestone there), packed up everything in my college apartment, moved back home, unpacked everything, and now I am starting to pack up all my stuff AGAIN to move across the country. Yeah, big things.

Over the course of all that, my time in the kitchen decreased more than I would have liked, so it is great to be home. Now I have all the time in the world to experiment with the massive pile of recipes I have been meaning to get to.

This is one of them:

Farro Salad with Apples, Almonds and Smoked Mozzarella Recipe

As much as I consider myself a carnivore, I have been loving certain vegetarian dishes recently. This is my favorite so far. I could have eaten the entire bowl of this salad if I wasn’t forced to share.

Farro Salad with Apples, Almonds and Smoked Mozzarella Recipe

If you have never used farro, you have to try it. It is similar to brown rice, but the grains are larger and it is slightly nuttier. Oh, and it cooks in half the time. Yeah, thought you’d like that.

It also packs in a lot of protein and fiber. Healthy stuff, people.

You can use any apples of your choice. I used a granny smith and a pink lady as a mixture.

Farro Salad with Apples, Almonds and Smoked Mozzarella Recipe

All of the flavors come together so nicely in this dish.  It can be eaten as a main meal or as a yummy side dish.

This would be PERFECT to bring to a summer BBQ. Trust me, you don’t want to be the fifteenth person bringing chips and dip, do you?

Farro Salad with Apples, Almonds and Smoked Mozzarella Recipe

You’ll love this farro salad, I swear.

 

Farro Salad with Apples, Almonds and Smoked Mozzarella
 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup toasted almonds, chopped*
  • 2 apples (any will do)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup craisins (or raisins if you prefer)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 6 oz smoked mozzarella, cut into ½ inch cubes (regular mozzarella will be fine if you can’t find smoked)
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine the farro, salt and six cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 25 minutes, until tender. Drain the farro in a colander and let dry on a paper-towel lined plate or tray
  2. Cut the apples into ½ inch cubes. Toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice and enough water to cover the apples.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic in a small bowl.
  4. Combine the cooked farro, almonds, craisins, parsley, mozzarella and dill weed. Drain the apples and add them as well. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic over the mixture. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Notes
* You can easily toast almonds by putting them in a medium skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, making sure to shake the skillet often. The almonds are done when they are slightly browned and smell toasted.

Recipe adapted from Serious Eats