Thank you to Fromager d’ Affinois for sending me a variety of cheeses to try and photograph for this post. All ideas and opinions are my own.
If you entertain often, then cheese platters are your friend.* Not only are they delicious, but they are filling and SO easy to put together! When pressed for time, or bring an appetizer to a potluck party, or even when I just have a lot going on, I reach for my cheese boards and hit the deli section of my local grocery store.
Fromager d’Affinois is the top-selling cheese for Fromagerie Guilloteau. It is a smooth double cream cheese expresses that has been delicately matured. In addition to the original Fromager d’Affinois, this cheese also comes in flavors of Garlic & Mixed Herbs, Olive, Truffle, and Pepper. I tried the original, mixed herbs bleu and pepper varieties— all of which were creamy and flavorful! The high fat-content of this cheese positions it halfway between a traditional Brie and a triple-cream cheese. I was able to find this cheese at my local Whole Foods Market.
*Cheese platters are your friend unless you do not eat dairy, or your guests do not eat dairy. In that case, you may want to make other entertaining friends.
Continuing with all the oyster goodness (sorry for my followers that are not a fan… I will give oysters a break soon!) I have one more quick way to make a tasty topping for your oyster platters. At my recent Black, White & Gold birthday celebration I served to different platter of oysters. I served a briny oyster with champagne granita and a sweeter oyster with tabasco and lemon. I always love a good oyster with tabasco and lemon. However, these champagne granita topped oysters were AMAZING. I could have eaten a dozen of them myself!
Serving a less briny oyster? Pair it with little slices of lemon and tabasco for guests to use to taste or a top with a spicy tabasco shaved ice!
This post was not sponsored by Whole Foods Market even though it sort of reads like it is… I learned a lot about oysters when I visited the store for an oyster tasting and then have visited several times since to purchase oysters and feed my oyster addiction.
There is just something so decadent and fancy about oysters. They are not an everyday treat and at a restaurant they can get quite expensive. Oysters are actually quite affordable as an at home appetizer and not at all difficult to make… especially if you let the wonderful people at the seafood counter take care of the shucking for you! The fun part (for me) of serving oysters is making toppings that complement the oysters. For this recipe I used a Miyagi oyster with a full meat flavor and mild brininess (to me they were almost sweet!). I like the spicier topping for oysters that are less salty and sweeter toppings for the oysters that have a strong brininess. You’ll have to scroll through some amazing photos taken by the amazing Mary Boyden before you get to the recipe. Hopefully you don’t get TOO hungry.
Tops approximately 12 oysters
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Today I’m sharing a round-up of holiday party appetizers that will be perfect for your Christmas Eve cocktail hour or your New Year’s Eve bash! Thank you to all the bloggers that took a part of this round-up.
This post is the eighth in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! (Check out yesterday’s post: “Free Holiday Potluck Facebook Invites & Printable Recipe Cards“)
This DIY is brought to you by an awesome recent Oyster and Wine tasting at Whole Foods Market in Portland, Oregon. I learned SO much about oysters…. and, I’ll be sharing little bits between now and New Years because I think Oysters make a fabulous party appetizer. It is decadent, tasty and so out of the everyday that they will make any celebration instantly feel like a fancy party. I was always intimidated by oysters until earlier this year when I found out that they are not only EASY, but also not nearly as expensive as you might think! I recently stopped by to grab 6 oysters and they only cost me $7.80!
Watch this video of how to shuck an oyster from a super awesome Sean from Whole Foods Market and learn how you can DIY your very own Oyster appetizer platter!
Check out this blog post from Whole Foods Market for fresh oyster toppings. Also, check back in over the next few weeks… I’ve got a couple of fun toppings to share!
This post is not a sponsored post. I was invited to a tasting at Whole Foods Market in Portland, Oregon. I had a fantastic time and wanted to share the fun!
Fruits de Mer is a seafood platter of raw and/or cooked shellfish usually served on a bed of ice. A long time ago I saw a beautiful fruits de mer platter in one of my favorite events books and have wanted to throw a party with a fruits of the sea platter.
Right before my Mohs Surgery to remove my skin cancer I really needed a good excuse to be distracted for the evening. I invited friends over for a big meal and made the above platter as an appetizer… boy, let me tell you. We didn’t need the meal! I actually made enough seafood for TWO of these large platters. Then we followed it up with steaks and veggies for dinner and then something for dessert. I’ve never been so full in my life!
Making this platter was much less intimidating than I originally thought. I used precooked crab and lobster… it would be even better with fresh shell fish, but it wasn’t readily available in my area. The whole thing was still delicious, but someday I plan to make it with all fresh shellfish. I’d also like to pair it with ceviche someday! YUM. Below is how I made this dish… know that it is completely easy to customize this dish to your cooking comfort level and your tastes. If you go to a great fish purveyor you can even asked for your lobster to be steamed and your oysters shucked… then there is NO work for you and your guests are completely wow’d!
Great appetizer for a dinner party or can even be served as hors d’oeuvres at a cocktail party. One large platter will serve 4 easily. I served this dish with a tarter sauce, cocktail sauce, chile lime sauce and butter.
Cooking directions below this list!
Crab, Lobster, and Shrimp:
Cucumbers filled with spicy salmon:
There is nothing quite like a good sandwich. This sandwich is no exception. It is super simple to make, and freaking full of flavor. A big part of the flavor punch is due to the great ingredients. Believe me when I say that sometimes it makes a HUGE difference whether you buy quality ingredients over value priced items. Making a big stew? A few value items aren’t going to make a huge difference. But, when you have an item like this sandwich where there are few ingredients and you aren’t going to be changing the flavor profiles with a ton of seasoning and cooking… quality ingredients is where it is at.
Take for instance the butter in this sandwich. Sure, I could go with just any ole butter. But, a nice rich Irish or European style butter will lend a nice base for this sandwich. Heck, a great butter on a piece of bread with a sprinkle of salt is a treat in itself!
This recipe tells you how to build an individual sandwich. The amount of sandwiches you can make depends on the size of the bread that you buy and the amount of prosciutto comes in a package. Because these things are not standard, I didn’t elect to dictate serving size.
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We enjoyed these at a picnic along with my open-faced crab sandwiches. But, these would also be fantastic made in miniature and served as appetizers at your next party!
Over the past month I’ve had several conversations with friends (and foodies) about Thanksgiving and the upcoming meal prep and plans. While some friends couldn’t wait to get to making their traditional items, others were commenting on the fact that they’d love to experiment with new items. Me? I fall into the “loves to experiment” category.
The past few several years we have spent Thanksgiving with friends because we live so far away from family. I love that am able to experiment often with new dishes to bring to our Friendsgiving dinner table. Areas that I find the easiest to experiment with for holiday dishes, even with all kinds of tradition-loving folks around, are the appetizers and desserts!
Which is why when Whole Foods Market approached me with the idea of creating a new holiday dish with ingredients from their store, I immediately went for creating an appetizer and a dessert selection. I created bacon wrapped scallops and elevated them with a fig butter spread. I also made a fun dessert I will share soon!
Click the tab above for the Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Fig Spread Recipe. Read on below for your chance to win a $25 Whole Foods Gift card so you can recreate this dish or something else entirely!
This is a flash giveaway and will be over at the end of the day on the 25! That way you might be able to use your gift card for your holiday food shopping!
1. Cut a length of foil off so that it will cover the bottom of a cookie sheet (a sheet that has at least a 1/2 inch edge) crumple up a bit, and then spread onto the cookie sheet. This will be a place for your bacon to rest on and drain as it cooks in the oven. Lay out slices of Wellshire bacon on the foil. Place bacon in cool oven, set at 350 degrees F, and cook for approximately 30 minutes. You’ll want to check your bacon to make sure it is done, but still pliable. Avoid crunchy bacon as it won’t wrap well around the scallop.
2. While bacon is cooking, spread some of the Fig spread on a platter or dinner plate. Spread using the back of a spoon.
3. While bacon is cooking, and after your platter is prepped, toss your scallops in a bowl with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
4. Take Bacon out of oven when done and let cool some.
5. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Put tablespoon of butter in pan. The pan needs to be hot to sear the scallops just right. Place about 6 scallops in the hot pan. DO NOT MOVE. Just let the scallops sizzle for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Turn the scallops using a pair of tongs. Then, let that side sizzle for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. The scallop will come opaque in color and firm. Move out of pan and onto a plate. Sear the remaining scallops.
6. Take bacon pieces and wrap around the scallops. Place on the platter with fig spread. Or, alternatively, place a few on a bamboo skewer and serve on skewer.
Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.
When eating the scallops make sure you get some of the fig spread in each bite. It is divine! Serve as an appetizer or with a green salad as a light lunch or dinner.
The Fallen For You Printables that I created for a Live the Fancy Life guest post needed a delicious appetizer to really set off the table. Bonus, it served as a sweet and simple date for me and my hubby. These roasted figs are stuffed with a creamy goat cheese, drizzled with a peppered honey syrup, and garnished with sliced almonds. They paired beautifully with a crisp, dry sparkling wine.
Hop on over to Live the Fancy Life to get the recipe for this great early Fall appetizer!
Over the weekend I enjoyed several different events with tasty food… however, this little treat was my favorite! My friends Joan and Brandon hosted a wine tasting at their home and created all of the appetizers to pair with local wines. Brandon is a taste master… this simple, and quick appetizer is a knock-out winner for any party, but especially with a Muscat wine from Purple Cow Vineyards.
This past Superbowl Sunday I wanted to bring something that would fit into the whole “Superbowl Food” category. From experience, I interpreted that as snack food/ bar food/ appetizers. Warning: This is not a healthy treat… but, it is a treat! These were a fun addition to the Superbowl snack table, but they would also work for a carnival themed party, game night, or guys’ night. And, they are not too difficult to make!
I adapted my recipe from the Epicurious recipe, Mini Corn Dogs by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park. I didn’t have all they had on hand and needed a larger batch… so, I made the following changes. But, I encourage you to check out their recipe too!
This is a guest post featuring one of the delicious hors d’oeuvres that was pictured in the Chic & Modern New Year’s Eve party featured on Pizzazzerie.com. This is part of a Portland Blogger’s Collaboration photo shoot and post series. Read on to see a recipe for a delicious (and easy!) party appetizer: The Blini with Creme Fraiche and Caviar.
If you saw Saturday’s post then you know how much I LOVE the Farmer’s Market and the opportunities for parties that come with it. So, today’s menu features my recipe for a delicious dinner party meal using things that are in season RIGHT NOW! I used a grill for this meal but a broiler would also work just fine.
Wouldn’t this be a beautiful dish to set in front of people at a dinner party? It would be great served individually or family style.
-Tuna (We used one big tuna steak for 2 people and it was more than enough)
-1 large tomato (we used beefsteak)
-rice (we used short grain but any will do)
-sea salt, pepper, olive oil
-optional wine (we used Chardonnay)
-salad greens (not pictured)
Directions: 1. Prep the asparagus by washing and then cutting off the ends (cut to just where the white ends and the beautiful green color begins) 2. Cut the tomatoes in wedges– if you are using smaller tomatoes just cut in half 3. Put the asparagus and tomatoes in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1 half of the lemon (then throw the lemon in the bowl) 4. toss in a couple of teaspoons of sea salt 5. drizzle olive oil over the vegetables (about 2 tablespoons) 5. grind pepper onto the vegetables (about 6 twists)
Directions: 1. Prep rice in rice maker (use rice cooker directions). You will end up needing about 1/2 a cup of cooked rice per person 2. Start the rice (if you do not have a rice cooker then just follow the directions on the rice package to cook the rice. 3. Season tuna with the juice of half a lemon and olive oil. Put the lemon half in the bowl with the vegetables. 4. Heat grill to a high even heat (my grill is electric so it just meant turning a knob– if you have charcoal you might want to do this step earlier.
Grilling Directions: 1. Start grilling the tuna. If you want the tuna to be cooked through then cook 4-5 minutes per side on high heat. If you prefer a seared tuna then cook 1-2 minutes on a very high heat per side. 2. After about 3 minutes turn the tuna 90 degrees to get the beautiful sear marks. At this time also put the vegetables on the grill. 3. At five minutes turn the fish over and rotate the vegetables. 4. Turn the fish 90 degrees at the 8 minute mark. The tomatoes will be finished before the asparagus. Once they are softened a bit take them off the grill. If you want the lemons to have the nice charred face then put them face down on the grill. 5. Take everything off the grill at the 10 minute mark. Cut the fish into serving sizes and plate.
Want to make a delicious appetizer instead? This dish can be served as a first course to a menu with an Asian flair. Or, if you make several, they’d be great for passed Hors D’Oeuvres.
Prep the vegetables and tuna the same as the recipe above. For this recipe you will also need Nori (a seeweed paper used in sushi) and soy sauce.
1) wrap the rice in the nori (you really need to use the short grain rice for this appetizer) 2) slice the wrapped rice into 1/2 inch or smaller slices 3) top the wrapped rice with the grilled tomato 3) slice into the asparagus making equal sized portions. Using two portions make an X on top of the tomato 4) add a cube of salmon and place the entire portion on top of a bed of soy sauce
Oh, and the optional wine? That is for drinking! I’d suggest a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc to pair with the grilled goodness of the tuna. Enjoy!