Apple Goat Cheese Bruschetta

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.

3 Pumpkin Recipes (That Aren’t Pie)

Pumpkin wasn’t really my thing until a couple of years ago. I think I was always afraid of it (who wants to eat a jack-o-lantern? really). I have also despised pumpkin pie since childhood (don’t ask). And it sounds so gourmet. But pumpkin has a soft, subtle taste that can be spiced up to become savory or sweetened up for baked goods. I’ve gathered a few of my recent finds and new favorites. And none of them are pie!


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (clipped from a newspaper years ago). Makes a fantastic hostess gift!

3 cups sugar

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2/3 cup water

4 eggs

1 cup oil

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

2 cups fresh pumpkin (a 15 oz can does just fine if you ask me)

2 cups miniature chocolate chips (tip: mini chips don’t sink to the bottom and burn!)

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix together dry ingredients and set aside. Mix eggs, water, oil and pumpkin in large bowl (I use my kitchenaid mixer) until well blended. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour into three greased and floured 9×5 bread pans. Bake 1 hour (my oven takes about 1 hour 10 minutes)… test with fork to see if it comes out clean.


Pumpkin Tomato Bisque (from my boss’s kitchen). Try with a grilled cheese! We actually served this to a few friends with gourmet grilled cheese (think gouda, asiago, mozzarella!). It was a huge hit!

4 Tbsp butter

1 large white onion

4 cups vegetable broth

1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes

1 Tbsp honey or pure maple syrup

4 cups canned pumpkin

In a 10″ skillet, melt butter over medium heat add onion and saute 5-7 minutes. Stir in vegetable broth. Allow to simmer partially covered for about 15 minutes.

Pour tomatoes and juice into food processor, add honey and puree. Add pumpkin and puree again.

Remove onion broth from heat. Strain onion, pouring broth into a medium pot.

Toss onions into food processor and puree with tomato pumpkin blend.

Add puree back into pot with broth and heat to desired temperature.


Pumpkin Pie Dip (from my beautiful friend, Kara)

1 (8oz) block softened cream cheese

2 cups confectioners sugar

1 cup pumpkin (1 1/2 if you’re excited about pumpkin)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients thoroughly until smooth. Serve with sliced apples or graham crackers.

Happy Thanksgiving!