Tag Archives: appetizers

Spinach and Feta Puffs

Seasoned to Taste - Spinach and Feta Puffs

Sometimes it seems all we eat during the month of December is in appetizer form. So many parties, potlucks, gatherings and get-togethers, all of which constitute a meal made in bite-sized portions.

I’ve been looking beyond my typical pesto palmiers recipe lately, but haven’t given up my appetizer stand-by: puff pastry. So I tried an idea from Bon Appetit that combines my love of spanikopita with my annoyance of phyllo dough. Solution: wrap up those Mediterranean flavors in puff pastry instead.

I made these for a neighborhood party, where they were gobbled up quickly, and I will be making them for our annual family Christmas party as well.

A great snack that you can eat with one hand but is more substantial than chips-and-dip.

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Spinach and Feta Puffs

Ingredients, serves 6: (note, I doubled this)

  • 1 ten-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well (squeeze dry)
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta
  • 1/4 c. minced onion
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and cracked pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix spinach and next 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, beat 1 egg and fold egg into spinach mixture.

Roll puff pastry out to a 12-inch square and cut into three strips, then cut those strips in thirds for a total of 9 small squares. Place each square in muffin tin cup, leaving corners pointing up. Divide filling among cups, roughly 1 heaping Tablespoon per cup ( you don’t want too much). Fold dough tips over and pinch together. (Note: next time I will use cooking spray to make them easier to get out)

Seasoned to Taste - Spinach and Feta Puffs

Beat remaining egg and brush over pastry. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper.

Seasoned to Taste - Spinach and Feta Puffs

Bake until pastry is golden and puffed, about 25 min. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Use sharp paring knife to loosen puffs and cool to desired temperature on wire rack.

Seasoned to Taste - Spinach and Feta Puffs

There you go! I have made these ahead and then just nuked them before the party so they are still a little warm. The filling is also easy to make in advance.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

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Citrus-Scented Olives with Goat Cheese

I don’t know why, but I’m just not someone who is creative with leftovers. I’m trying so hard to be that person who plans all meals ahead and uses one night’s leftovers as a totally different dish later, but alas, the time comes and I just can’t pull through. But I’m trying. And the next few posts will show you how.

We had a little party last weekend, where we served some artisan olives along with other finger food. I bought way too many, so I prepared the leftovers in a way I love to get olives at restaurants – warm, with oil, herbs and spices.

I challenge you to use whatever’s on hand – heck, do you have old jars of olives in the fridge? Bring them out!

Citrus-Scented Olives with Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/2 c. assorted olives of your choice (mine have pits)
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme (just clip whatever’s still in your garden)
  • Zest of 1 clementine orange (or any other citrus)
  • 3 T EVOO
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan, combine everything except the goat cheese and heat over low until just warmed.

Place goat cheese on your serving plate and pour the olive mixture over.

The olives taste so much better warmed! And that orange zest – don’t you all have those little sweeties around the house this time of year? It really adds a nice elegance. I served with some Triscuit crackers and it was a lovely little snack.

In other attempts to empty my fridge, I have a cranberry-sauce and creme fraiche cake coming up and right now I have a pot roast working in the Crock Pot, full of veggies and herbs left over from the holiday. I hope it works!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Baked Goat Cheese with Pink and Green Peppercorns

I am always looking for new ways to use goat cheese – dotted in quiche, rolled into a meat, fried and served on a fresh arugula salad … ah, the tangy purity of fresh cheese.

Goat cheese’s flavors range from grassy to lemony – I prefer the lemony kind, which connects perfectly with that lemon essence in fresh thyme. Inspired by something I saw on The Kitchn (my fave foodie website), I recently made a baked goat cheese appetizer to serve at a small-plates gathering with friends.

I had been looking for an excuse to buy pink peppercorns for some time – but alas, I couldn’t find them not included in a tri-colored mix. So I separated out the pink and green peppercorns and popped them between my fingers, sprinkling them over the goat-cheese filled ramekins. Delicate thyme leaves followed, along with a drizzle of clover honey.

Baked until warmed through and bubbling at the edges, it’s my new favorite way to serve goat cheese as an appetizer.

Baked Goat Cheese with Pink and Green Peppercorns

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 tsp pink and green peppercorns, some lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 375. Fill one small ramekin with goat cheese, then top with honey, thyme and peppercorns (I obviously doubled the recipe). Bake until warmed through and bubbly at the edges, about 10-15 min. Serve with crackers or sliced baguette.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo