Appetizer

Vaccination Gatherings

When the vaccination rate hit a mere 1%, you could feel the angst of people to get back out seeing their friends, traveling, and enjoying life. The first step appears to be moving from our loosely created bubbles to gathering with fellow vaccinated friends and family. Here are some simple but tasty snacks you can have for your first gathering while talking about how you got the vaccine, any side affects, who didn’t get it and yes, also discussing the non-vaxxers.

Mini Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs

Don’t judge. Sometimes a tasty snack that reminds you of growing up can be a delicious party treat. I buy high quality mini hotdogs and wrap them in thickly-sliced hickory smoked bacon from the butcher, and they are always the first to go. I am a big fan of “Fork in the Road” min dogsContinue Reading

Three Cheese Jalapeño Cornbread w/ Honey Butter

When you spend time in the South, you will quickly see a lot of variations of cornbread, making you think it is Southern cuisine. In reality, its beginnings go back not only to Native American cooking, but to traditional Greek, Turkish and Portuguese dishes. It’s really a blank canvas and you can experiment with soContinue Reading

Mini Puff Pastry Pizzas

The after hours menu at Claridge’s Hotel in London is a spectacular celebration of late night food which is troublesome, especially with their puff pastry pizza option dangling out there at 2 AM or so.  It’s too delicious to pass up but do you really need a sheet of pastry dough drenched with cheese, sauceContinue Reading

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Tomato season really livens up the menu and when I am serving a 🍅 Tomato & Burrata Salad  there is always left over tomato ends that aren’t good looking enough it make the dish.  I will cut out the core and chop the tomatoes and mix in red onion, basil and put one a mixture ofContinue Reading

Tuna Tacos

Friends on the island put together an amazing dinner that kicked off with the best martini I have had in a long time. Almost too good, to be frank. The star of the night was a tuna pizza that was filled with flavor and texture that made it a truly spectacular entrée. No one knowsContinue Reading

Pimento Bacon Toasts

When you come to the south, you should plan on having some pimento cheese on a cracker, in your grits, on your burger and on and on.  Why?  It is delicious in every form.  Everyone has their own variation of how to make this delight and each recipe is about one degree off from theContinue Reading

Sausage Rangoon Wontons

These are a “take them by surprise” spectacular appetizer to greet guests with. What can go wrong with cheese and sausages deep fried and topped with a ponzu & white truffle (oil) aioli? You can make them fairly quickly before guests arrive, give them a quick hot oil bath, and let rest for 5 minutesContinue Reading

Herbed Mustard Shrimp

This is the best and easiest grilled shrimp recipe that friends will love to get after. You can make this as a main dish or serve as appetizers. Set aside some extra grated Parmesan, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and chopped dill to sprinkle on top before serving. Ingredients 2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimpContinue Reading

Mediterranean Pizza

Some good friends, Cintra and Grace, said they wanted more easy-to-make recipes. I reminded them that everything is easy, it all depends on how you look at it. They rolled their eyes, but I thought about what could be delicious, store-bought, and take just a few steps to make. We made a very easy pizzaContinue Reading

Baked Stuffed Clams

Clams are the heart of millions of delicious recipes that involve either stuffing, baking, grilling, steaming and on and on. However you make them, make sure you do not crowd out the flavor of the clams with too many ingredients or add-on flavors. For the most part, when something can be made quickly, effortlessly andContinue Reading

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Sticks

We had one of our best meals of the year a great new spot on Great Diamond Island off the coast of Maine. The Crown Jewel is truly that and if you are ever in the area be sure to boat out there and enjoy some spectacular food. Their sweet and spicy bacon was anContinue Reading

Antipasti or Antipasto

I was always confused when we went to the Italian section of Boston, also known as The North End, because some restaurants offered antipasti and some had antipasto. It was very perplexing so I finally got to the bottom of it. Antipasto translates to ‘before the meal,’ the Italian version of appetizers that are notContinue Reading

Beef Carpaccio

Giuseppe Cipriani’s started a world famous bar & restaurant, Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. He created not only the Bellini there but a few yers later he introduced the world to Beef Carpaccio.  “Carpaccio” has now become most types of beef, veal, lamb or fish that has been thinly sliced and served as an appetizer.Continue Reading

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are extremely easy to make and they have lasting powers to make it through a cocktail party.  It’s easy to make a big batch before the party, toss in the oven to reheat just before you serve them.  This is one of these dishes you can swap out what you don’t like andContinue Reading

Asian Lettuce Wraps

I was traveling out to Los Angeles in the late 90s and went for the first time to Chin Chin, an amazingly delicious and expensive Asian restaurant that attracted the whose who from the entertainment industry.  Of course, we were all in blue blazers or suits and looked terribly out of place.  This was evidentContinue Reading

Zucchini Caramelized Onion Tart

Tarts can be a very boring endeavor that ends with a bland cheesy mess.  I like a punch it up so I throw in red pepper flakes and a host of other ingredients to really wake up the tart and make people want another piece.  This can be served as an appetizer or with aContinue Reading

“Spanish” Tomato Bread

We have spent a lot of time in Spain from Barcelona to Madrid and just about everywhere else.  The one thing we look forward the most is the tomato bread which has now gone global.  In it’s simplest version is grilled bread with raw garlic rubbed on in, a little olive oil, then you smushContinue Reading

Muffuletta Sandwich

We popped into the ever so famous Oakville Grocery in Napa Valley, a stop that is long known for gourmet treats, from amazing sandwiches to delicious pastries.  Since we were mid-way through a long visit out west and had countless amazing and fancy meals, I was ready for something very casual, so when I walkedContinue Reading

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