Did you guys know I’m a board game nerd? I am. And we host game night about once a month with just a handful of other people. We usually try to make it after dinner time so we can do appetizers and drinks while we chat and play. Everyone brings a dish and a game. We usually eat all the food and only play one or two games. This time it was Cards Against Humanity and Qwirkle. I highly recommend both. Heads up: play Cards Against Humanity with friends before you play with a family member or co-worker. I just saved you from a lifetime of awkward family dinners and silent elevator rides.
Any who, for my dish this time I decided to attempt to replicate my favorite dish from York St. Cafe. They have an appetizer they call “Dirty Hummus”… I gave it a whirl.
1 TBSP lemon juice
a container of store bought plain hummus
half of a red pepper
half of a green pepper
half of a red onion
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
I diced the red pepper, green pepper and red onion and folded them into the hummus. Olives are in the dish at the restaurant but I didn’t have them on hand and they aren’t my favorite anyway.
I added 1 TBSP of lemon juice to cover the bottom of a glass oven safe dish (but I didn’t grease the dish). Then I spooned in the hummus mixture. I added about 1/3 to maybe 1/2 cup BBQ sauce in an even layer over top. I topped it off with a healthy layer (1/2 cup ish) of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes until cheese is well melted and BBQ sauce is bubbling around edges. Serve with pita chips or warm pita bread. It was so popular that didn’t have time to snap a picture of the finished product.
I love a good appetizer. And its hard for me to resist one with cheese, let alone Brie. MMMmmm… Brie! My friend Erika makes this amazing appetizer she calls “Brie Cups”. I was asked to bring an appetizer to a family bridal shower this weekend and I called her up for the recipe. I was shocked at how effortless it is!
What you’ll need:
Red Pepper Jelly
Brie Cheese wheel
Mini Fillo Shells (ready made/already baked shells can be found in the freezer section at the grocery)
Start by cutting open the Brie wheel. I tried to avoid the rind because I thought it may not melt as well as the rest of the cheese but the rind is edible if you want to include it. Then I made small tablespoon-ish sized balls of Brie. I just rolled them in the palms of my hands to help them fit into the shells without overflowing out of the shell. That also help me make uniform sized portions for each shell. I followed up by dropping small spoonfuls of pepper jelly onto each ball of cheese. For the assembly process I found it easier to leave the shells in the tray that came in the box, as you can see in the picture above.
Place the filled shells on cookie sheet and bake for about 4 minutes at 375 degrees (F). You only need to bake long enough for the cheese to melt since the dough is already baked. Serve warm… although they still taste very good once they’ve cooled. I found that the Brie wheel filled 30 fillo shells (2 frozen packages) and I used about a third of the jar of jelly. I was sort of disappointed with how far the Brie went and I might try to make it go further next time by using the rind as well.
The shower was a blast and I got to see my awesome family and celebrate with a beautiful bride! The Brie cups were a huge hit at the shower! And my cousin made similar fillo cups with Brie! Great minds think alike. Instead of pepper jelly, she used blueberry preserves on some and sprinkled Thyme on others. Delicious! I’ll have to remember those combinations for next time I make these.
We were invited to my parents’ house last night for a cookout in honor of some family friends that are in town visiting. Steak, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob and grilled veggies were on the menu. When I asked what I could bring my mom asked me to bring a “light appetizer” since the rest of the menu was fairly rich and we were having birthday cake from the amazing BonBonerie Bakery afterward. I immediately thought of this fantastic apple bruschetta my friend used to make. She sent me a link to the recipe but I changed up some of the measurements.
1 Fuji apple (really any sweet apple will do) peeled and cubed
1/3 cup goat cheese
3/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 ground black pepper
1 baguette sliced thin
Lay the slices of bread out flat onto a cookie sheet. Turn on your broiler and toast the slices for just a minute … maybe two. Just to get them warm and a little crusty. Mix goat cheese, thyme, oregano and pepper then toss in apple cubes. Spoon mixture onto bread. Place in oven for a minute until cheese is melted well.
This was so delicious that the finished product didn’t even stick around long enough for me to snap a picture! It was a great fall appetizer because of the apple. But it is a really unique mix of spices, savory goat cheese and sweet apples. I was tempted to add a drop of honey but I wasn’t sure if it would be too sweet. Of course my favorite part was how easy it was and the fact that it took practically no time to mix together. My kind of recipe.
*Baking related side note: I made those amazing homemade pop tarts yesterday…but I switched out the filling for my Mother-in-law’s homemade strawberry preserves. She even picks the strawberries herself! Hubby ate half of them for dessert and I’m guessing the rest of the batch won’t last through the day.