Bacon Caprese Cups

Father's Day is coming up and in honor of all the bacon loving dads out there I wanted to create a menu that includes bacon and/or beer in every dish.  I'm starting out with these Bacon Caprese Cups and we'll see where it goes from there!  Caprese Salad is so delicious and simple.  It celebrates the beauty of a perfectly ripe, sun-kissed tomato with just a few simple ingredients like creamy mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, olive oil and salt.  While this version might make a purist cringe ... Continue Reading

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Nothing could be easier than this three ingredient sweet and spicy chicken.  It's honey, Sriracha, and oranges.  I like to use clementines this time of year (in the Mandarin family) but really you can use any kind you can find. The great thing about this recipe is you can feed a crowd or cut it up and put it on skewers as a fancy appetizer.  Either way it's a winner.  The key is to marinade for at least a couple of hours but that's the hardest part about it.  Other than that it's a cinch ... Continue Reading

Tea Sandwiches

These tea sandwiches are perfect for any crowd and any occasion when it comes to easy entertaining.  There is a vegetarian version and a meat version so you can have all the bases covered and they both have a scrumptious herbed butter on the bread that resembles the classic watercress tea sandwiches served in England.  Perhaps best of all is that this is one of those easy, no-cook recipes but still looks fancy for entertaining.  These tea sandwiches can be part of a brunch, bridal shower, ... Continue Reading

Butternut Squash Risotto

Risotto is one of those comforting Fall dishes that makes us think of turning leaves, picking pumpkins and gathering around a fire on a cold night.  And this Butternut Squash Risotto makes the perfect weeknight meal or dish for entertaining, depending on how you serve it.  I've made it for my family in a big bowl as a side dish to a roast and I've served it in small little glasses as an elegant starter to a party.  My favorite way was served in this small, hallowed out pumpkins.  However ... Continue Reading

Roasted Poblano Crema

What is a crème, you may ask?  It's very simply a thick, creamy sauce that is seen in Mexican cooking (think Fish Tacos with crema) similar to crème fraiche (French cultured sour cream).  Crema is thinner than the American version, sour cream.  This Roasted Poblano Crema is my twist on a regular crema because it really packs in the flavor with the roasted Poblano pepper mixed into the puree.  I also add in some cilantro, garlic and lime juice for a balance of flavors.  And I used ... Continue Reading

Mac-N-Cheese Bites

These mini bites of mac-n-cheese are hit in our house.  Whether it's a snack before soccer practice or served as part of my Back To School Party menu cooking mac-n-cheese in mini-muffin tins seems to bring new excitement to a classic.  It's the creamy, cheesy flavors you and your kids crave but with a little crunch from the breadcrumbs and parmesan. My recipe for these little gems starts with a traditional homemade mac-n-cheese.  I freshly grate medium cheddar and white cheddar, but use ... Continue Reading

Peach and Blue Cheese Puff Pastry Bites

Wondering what to do with all those fresh, juicy summer peaches you are seeing on sale in the grocery store?  This peach and blue cheese savory appetizer will have your mouth watering and may just become your new summer 'go-to' app for any gathering.  The sweet, ripe peaches tossed with a little bit of fig jam (to help sweeten the deal) and a little bit of balsamic vinegar (to balance it all out and give it some depth of flavor), and just a tiny hint of rosemary (why not) is everything you ... Continue Reading

Pulled Pork Tacos with Fried Plantains

Slow roasted pork tacos....tender, juicy and fork tender.  Is there anything better?  Really?  Yes, there is.  These tender pulled pork tacos with perfectly golden brown fried plantains (think not sweet bananas) topped with a crisp carrot and cabbage slaw and a slightly tangy, creamy sheep's milk feta cheese.  I mean...there is a reason this taco is my most requested dish when I entertain.  Seriously just the perfect bite. So here's the lowdown on this awesome taco.  The pork can be ... Continue Reading

Fresh Tomato Soup and Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

When it's summertime and tomato season this is the perfect recipe for any cocktail hour or tapas night.  There is nothing like the sweet, tangy flavor of a fresh tomato soup with an ooey-gooey grilled cheese to dip into it.  And served in these soup shot glasses it makes a really elegant and fun presentation that can work for a casual tapas night or a wedding reception or engagement party! I used heirloom tomatoes but you can use any type of fresh tomato you like if you can't find ... Continue Reading

Beef Short Rib Mini Tacos with Pickled Radish

Looking for that great appetizer that will make you look like a chef?  This is that kind of a dish.  It's not a traditional taco with Mexican flavors.  It's has more of a hearty beef flavor to it from the slow cooking process with wine and herbs and tomato paste.  By itself it's not spicy at all.  But I definitely recommend serving it with an array of toppings including the pickled radish.  When you serve something as rich as slow cooked beef you need something to cut through that ... Continue Reading