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Here is just another sampling of the different items we put out for our wine and cheese social that we hold for our guests every Friday and Saturday evening from 5:00-6:00. Of course, it always depends how many we have that are participating on what and how much we decide to provide but this one was a huge hit last weekend. Not only is it very colorful but it provides it a little something for everyone. Lucky for me there were extra so my dinner consisted of a few of the tortellini skewers. The platter consists of summer sausage and my favorite Satori Bellavitano cheese which is a little sharp, nutty and fruity all in one bite. Great with red or white wine. Home made fresh salsa (see previous recipe), home made Roasted red pepper Hummus (see previous recipe), served with pepperjack rice crackers (great for gluten free folks and yummy with all sorts of things) and Ritz crackers for those that are not, cheese tortellini skewers and toasted salmon baguettes. See both recipes for the skewers and baguettes below.
Cheese Tortellini Skewers
1 package of cheese tortellini (in the dairy case), cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, hard salami, and fresh basil leaves. Boil tortellini as package describes. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Assemble on the skewers. I used two of everything except fresh mozzarella which I only used one, but that is up to you. I then drizzled them with a home made balsamic glaze (recipe is at bottom of page when clicking on link).
Toasted Salmon Baguettes
French bread, sliced about 1″ thickness, cream cheese(room temp) mixed with a little garlic, smoked salmon, capers, crush black pepper.
Toast bread slices at 400 degrees about 5 minutes. Spread cream cheese mixture on bread, add smoked salmon, a few capers and crushed black pepper.
I could think of a lot of other creative names to call this besides our appetizer board, but I wanted to a make it easy to find for anyone looking for a variety of appetizers. I like to think of this as our happy hour platter personally. We always do a wine and cheese social on Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:00-6:00. The variety of the wine and cheese always changes depending what is in season, or what I have a taste for. This past weekend we had a large group at the inn and I wasn’t sure how many were going to join us. There were so many great festivities going on in town so either everyone would want to come back and enjoy a break or couldn’t break away, so I made enough for everyone but only a few us were able to enjoy it. That’s okay, more for us.
So on the platter I added some green and red grapes. Made some home made guacamole served with blue organic tortilla chips, homemade red pepper hummus ( I have listed this recipe before, so just click on the link) served with pita chips and then I made some little tartlets from a Pillsbury pie crust and added a variety of fillings. Recipes below.
Chunky Guacamole – 1 1/2 C
2 avocados, 1/4 C red onion, handful of cherry tomatoes, pinch of horseradish, tsp. minced garlic, 1/4 bunch of cilantro, splash of lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Add all ingredients to a food processor and chop until mixed but large chunks are still appear.
Tartlets – serves 12
1 Pillsbury pie crust. Cut out circles that fit into a mini muffin pan and bake for approx 12 minutes. Pop out and add whatever ingredients you like. Different ideas that I tried are below.
Red grapes, cut in half with feta cheese sprinkled over.
Fresh raspberries with Greek yogurt flavored with cinnamon and honey.
Sliced pears with Gruyere cheese and applesauce
Prosciutto with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil leaves.
You can also add the guacamole and hummus into the tartlets as well. Have fun creating your own variations.
This is the first year in 14 years that I was not able to get out and go strawberry picking. Although disappointing, the selection at the downtown Oshkosh Saturday Farmers Market has been outstanding. Last weekend I had an abundance of strawberries, so I whipped up some strawberry jalapeno salsa for our wine and cheese extravaganza that we have each weekend. I can’t really tell you how much of anything I added, as I just threw it together, taste tested and added a little more of this and that, so its kind of guess. So, that being said, you can make as spicy as you want to leave out any ingredients that don’t fit your tastes. As much as I enjoyed this, I think it would be fun to add a little peach, or mango or even pineapple. Mmm, that makes me think that maybe this weekend, I will bring back my pineapple salsa.
Strawberries (around 25 chopped), 1/4 C red onion diced, a small bunch of cilantro, chopped, 1 jalapeno, without seeds, chopped, TB lime juice, maybe a little more, black pepper, and a TB sugar.
Add all ingredients together and serve right away. The next day, it was pretty mushy, so don’t make too far in advance.
This is one of my favorite recipes that I make every October. I have been anxiously waiting to share it with you. I thought that being Halloween this would be the perfect time for any Halloween treats this evening or this weekend when you are hosting a party. Sometimes these tiny little pumpkins known as “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins” are very hard to come across. I was fortunate to be to pick up 4 this year at our Oshkosh Saturday Farmers Market so I could make this recipe each weekend for our guests. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Pumpkin Queso Fondue
1- 2-3# sugar pumpkin, 8 oz. chorizo, diced, 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped without seeds, 4oz. chopped green chilies, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 3 TB flour, 1 1/2 C chicken broth, 2 C shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 C monterey jack cheese, tortilla chips and parsley or cilantro for garnish.
Preheat oven to degrees. Slice off the top 1.5″ of the pumpkin and toss. Scoop out the seeds and pulp and set pumpkin aside.
Heat the chorizo in a medium saucepan over med.-high heat about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeño, green chilies, cumin and black pepper and cook, stirring until the japapeno softens about a couple of minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring until it is slight light brown about 2 more minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir in cheeses. Cook, stirring occasionally until the all the cheese melts and is creamy, about 3 more minutes.
Place the pumpkin in an 8×8 baking dish with a 1/2 inch of water in dish. Pour cheese mixture into pumpkin. cover loosely with foil and bake until the pumpkin is tender but not soft for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until the cheese is golden and bubbly about 15-20 more minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro and serve with tortilla chips. YUMMMMMM!