Are you looking forward to planning a “pitch-in” gathering with a small group of your friends or family members? Since more and more of us have (thankfully!) received our COVID-19 vaccinations, we are feeling freer to finally come together in small groups.
Who’s bringing an appetizer? A salad? Dessert? While the host may provide a main dish, it’s fun to see what others bring to add to the table. Here are some “go-to” recipes, tried-and-true, and often requested, that you may want to consider for your next small party.
Malaysian Curry Cheese Appetizer
Contributor: Linda Stewart, Life Uncorked
Mix the following ingredients until well blended:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. curry powder
2 Tbs. finely chopped onion
2 Tbs. finely chopped peanuts
2 Tbs. toasted shredded coconut
3 Tbs. finely chopped dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, berries)
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and shape into a log or ball, then roll into topping; serve with crackers.
3 Tbs. finely chopped peanuts
2 Tbs. finely grated coconut
2 tsp. finely chopped parsley or cilantro
Black Bean Salsa
Contributor: Sharon Rigney
This dish can be made into a salsa for eating atop tortilla chips, it can be a topping for burgers or it can be a delicious side dish for Spring or Summer meals. It is colorful, pretty, and healthy. It makes a good amount (officially serves 6-8 people) so you can satisfy a small group or hungry family at a picnic or gathering. It gets great reviews wherever I take it.
1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15.2 oz. can corn, drained
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp lime juice
Combine beans, corn, peppers, red onion, and garlic in a bowl or serving container. In small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice. Pour over bean mixture close to serving time and stir to combine. Enjoy.
Shrimp with Pommery Sauce
Contributor: Priscilla Willis, She’s Cookin’
A versatile sauce is the secret weapon of any host, and Spaghettini’s Pommery Mustard Sauce is wonderful with shrimp sautéed in garlic butter, with steamed clams or mussels, tossed with pasta, or as a dipping sauce in a shrimp cocktail.
Servings: 2 cups
- 1 large shallot
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons of Pommery mustard or other French whole grain mustard
- salt* and pepper to taste
- Using a medium pot, on medium heat, add the shallot and white wine. Let it reduce. Once the liquid reduces to 1/4 cup, add the heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Let the cream incorporate.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the mustard and stir gently to prevent the sauce from separating. It should take about 10 minutes to thicken.
- Add additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- *Eliminate salt for low sodium diets.
Recipe Notes: *Eliminating salt did not affect how good this sauce tastes.
Recipe can be doubled or tripled and will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recipe reprinted with permission of Spaghettini Seal Beach.
Contributor: Debbra Dunning Brouillette, Tropical Travel Girl
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas (undrained)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
(Makes about 1 1/3 cups)
Note: I often add chopped roasted red peppers and sprinkle with pine nuts.
Serve with: pita wedges, pita chips, or raw vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, celery)
Gravlax with Mustard Sauce
Contributor: Phyl Doppelt, Phyl on the Go
2 lbs. middle cut Atlantic Salmon with skin on, no bones
2/3 cup sugar, white or brown
1/3 cup kosher or pink Himalayan Salt
Freshly ground black pepper,
1 Tablespoon Trader Joe Everything Bagel seasoning (optional)
1 Bunch fresh dill, chopped
The salmon must be very fresh, with skin on, and no bones.
Place the salmon, skin side down in a non re-active dish, such as glass or Corning ware, slightly larger than the fish.
Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pack onto the top of the salmon.
Cover with a piece of tin foil loosely wrapped around the top of the dish and place it in the fridge.
Weight the top of the salmon on top of the tinfoil with weights or cans of food.
After about 6 hours, check the salmon. By now there should be liquid collecting in the dish.
Spoon the liquid over the salmon and return to the fridge, covered with tinfoil, and replace weights.
Do this about every 6-10 hours.
After 48 hours, remove from fridge. Scrape off the cure. With damp paper toweling, wipe off all the salt/ sugar covering.
Place salmon on cutting board, skin side down, and slice thin, against the grain.
This requires a very sharp knife, not serrated, to avoid tearing the fish as you slice.
Serve sliced with mustard sauce or on buttered rye bread, slashed with mustard sauce and topped with salmon and chopped dill.
Mustard Sauce: Any ready made mild honey mustard sauce with a little chopped dill added.
This is a very forgiving recipe and you can adjust the ingredients or add different spices that will infuse with the brine. Must be stored in the fridge.
Mushroom, Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche
Contributor: Diane Dobry, Getting Hungary
One refrigerated pre-made pie crust dough circle
3 Leeks—white portion sliced and cleaned
8 oz. Baby Bella or Crimini mushrooms sliced
4 oz. soft goat cheese
1 cup half & half or whole milk (for non-dairy, I suggest unsweetened Flax milk)
Thyme leaves from 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper
¼ to ½ tsp. fresh cracked pepper
½ tsp. salt
1Tbsp. oil and 1Tbsp. butter or butter spread
Fresh Roma tomatoes sliced (optional) for garnish
Preheat oven to 400˚. Put pie crust into a glass pie plate, pierce several times with a fork, crimp the edges with a fork or pie wheel, and fill with beans or pie weights. It is also possible to line the inside of the pie shell with foil or parchment paper and fill the foil/parchment liner with rice to weigh down the pastry. Bake on middle rack for 15 minutes. Crust will not be fully browned, but will allow the quiche to be fully cooked more quickly.
While the crust is pre-baking, sauté the leeks until soft in the oil and butter adding mushrooms. Cook until softened adding ½ the thyme leaves halfway through the process. Remove crust from oven after 15 minutes, and discard (or wrap and save the rice—I use a cleaned, dry jar to store the rice for future use with pie crusts). Spread the sauteed leek/mushroom mixture on the crust and dice or crumble the soft goat cheese over the vegetables.
Beat the eggs and whisk in the half & half or milk, adding the salt, cayenne and cracked pepper to the mix. Pour the mixture over the goat cheese and vegetables and sprinkle with remaining thyme leaves. If desired, place about 5 slices of Roma tomatoes on top of the quiche mixture before baking.
Bake for 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and the center is fairly firm. Allow the quiche to rest for 10–15 minutes to allow it to set before serving.
(If served as an appetizer, cut into small wedges. Or, serve for a lunch gathering with other salads.)
Bon appetit! Or as the Hungarians say, Jó étvágyat!
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Contributor: Lori Sweet, Voyage Writers
This simple recipe is always a hit. This very versatile dish can be used as an appetizer or as a side for a meal.
Preheat oven to 400° or can be grilled or sautéed in a pan.
1 lb of asparagus ( medium stalks work best)
3.5 oz of sliced prosciutto ( 1/2 slice per stalk)
Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
Rinse and pat the asparagus dry. Snap off tough ends.
Slice each piece of prosciutto in half length wise. Wrap each spear of asparagus with one strip of the sliced prosciutto.
Lay the wrapped asparagus on the lined sheet pan.
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the asparagus.
Bake the asparagus for 8 to 10 minutes.
Transfer to a platter for serving.
Suggested Add ons:
Sprinkle with black or white pepper or top with lemon zest.
Use Italian seasoning or fresh herbs.
Serve with garlic aioli or a balsamic glaze.
Note: Wrapped asparagus can be cut with a sharp knife after cooking to make smaller pieces, if desired.
Bacon Wrapped Apricots
Contributor: Lori Sweet, Voyage Writers
This simple appetizer has been adapted over the years. I tend to make a double or triple batch depending on the size of the group. I never seem to come home with leftovers no matter how many I make.
Preheat oven to 375°
1 lb. of bacon ( I like to use maple flavoured)
3 cups of dried apricots
1/2 cup whole almonds ( I have used both skin on or off)
1/4 cup of preserves or jelly*
2 tablespoons of soy sauce*
* I have used everything from plum preserves to peach.
* I have also used a honey BBQ sauce .
Cut each bacon strip into thirds.
Place an almond on the apricot and wrap with bacon.
Secure with a toothpick.
Place in an ungreased pan.
Bake until the bacon is crisp, around 20-25 minutes, turning halfway.
While the wraps are baking, place sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook and stir until heated through.
Once the wraps are done, drain on a paper towel. Serve with sauce. Toothpicks are already there for easy eating.
Note: These transport very well. They can be reheated in the oven or microwave.
The sauce reheats very well in the microwave. The wraps even taste great at room temperature…although they rarely last that long!
Contributor: Elaine J Masters, Trip Well Gal
I live with a fishmonger, so we usually bring a seafood appetizer and an easy crowd-pleaser is Ceviche. We make it shortly before leaving to meet our pals and grab a bag of fresh tortilla chips. The bowl always empties before the first course is on the table.
Fresh white meat fish (halibut, grouper or any firm, pale fish)
Salt and Pepper
Tabasco, Siracha or Harissa paste for heat
Fish and ingredient amounts depend on size of group.
Chop the fish into 1/2” chunks
Soak in fresh lemon juice from 15 minutes to 24 hours
(This ‘cooks’ the fish, turning it from transparent to opaque.)
Pour off the juice
Add chopped red onion, cilantro and tomatoes
Add Salt and Pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste
If there are any leftovers, eat them within 24 hours before the fish ‘overcooks’ and gets mushy.
Mark Mazotti’s Poke Salad Recipe
Contributor: Elizabeth Smith, Elizabeth Smith Consulting
½ lb. AAA Grade ahi tuna
½ lb. AAA Grade salmon
(Fresh versus frozen. Under FDA law, only tuna can be served without ever having been frozen. Salmon is a different story. In Japan, one may use raw salmon, but they have issues with parasites. Therefore, it is not recommended in the U.S. If you buy fresh salmon, put it in your freezer overnight or buy frozen sashimi grade salmon.)
1 bag of spring mix
1 sweet onion
1 bunch green onion
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 small ball of prepared wasabi, from powder or tube
1 large avocado
1 large mango
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Japanese or Korean pepper flakes. (If you use Spanish peppers, remove the seeds)
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Prepare the salmon and tuna. (one may use all or either) and cut into ½ inch cubes and mix.
Add the soy sauce, wasabi ball, sesame oil, white pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
In a separate bowl, add the spring mix and the poke mixture. Stir, then add the seasoning ingredients. Stir again well. You may wish to add spice to the dish and season it to taste. Enjoy!
Basil and Feta Orzo Salad
Contributor: Sharon Kurtz, SharonKKurtz.com
This make-ahead salad is simple to prepare, fresh, bright and delicious. It’s a perfect summer salad when basil is overflowing in my backyard herb garden. Makes 6 to 8 servings
8 ounces orzo pasta
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. coarse salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces fresh basil leaves, sliced chiffonade
6 ounces (about 1½ cups) feta cheese, crumbled
Cook the orzo in a large pot of salted water) until tender but firm; about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse quickly in cold water. Drain well and set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, toast almonds until lightly golden; about 2 minutes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until combined. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Keep whisking until the vinaigrette has emulsified.
To the vinaigrette, add pasta, almonds, basil and feta. Toss until everything is combined and serve immediately. This salad can be made up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Couscous with Greens, Cranberries and Pine Nuts
Contributor: Priscilla Willis, She’s Cookin’
A wonderful balance of textures and sweet and savory flavors come together in this quick and easy crowd-pleasing dish, perfect for potlucks, parties or quick weeknight meals. Servings: 10 servings
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Parsley
- 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Cilantro
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 8 oz. package pearl couscous (also known as Israeli couscous)
- 2 5 oz. packages baby greens, spinach or kale
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese, feta, or vegan cheese
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
- Combine lemon juice, Gourmet Gardens Cilantro and Gourmet Gardens Parsley in a large bowl. Whisk in olive oil until well mixed.
- Make couscous according to package directions. When cooked, stir into dressing. Add greens so they wilt slightly from the heat of the couscous. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Bob’s Red Mill makes a gluten free pearl couscous.
- Recipe from Gourmet Gardens.
Contributor: Christine Cutler, Cold Pasta and Red Wine
In 16th century, Italian peasants would use stale bread and mix it with vegetables as a way not to waste any food. At the time, tomatoes did not exist in Italy, so onions were an important ingredient. Today, tomatoes and cucumbers usually take center stage, but there are dozens of recipes for panzanella, many with a variety of ingredients that are not part of the simple, original salad. This BLT version is one of those remakes.
3-4 cups day-old Tuscan bread cut into 1-inch cubes (If you use fresh bread, let the cubes dry overnight)
6 thick slices pancetta (or bacon) cooked and chopped (Save the drippings)
2-3 cups chopped heirloom tomatoes
2 cups chopped romaine or butter lettuce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
Chop the tomatoes and place in a bowl. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt, toss to coat, and let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. (You want them juicy.)
Toss the bread cubes in the drippings from the pancetta. Heat the pan, and when it is hot, put the bread cubes in, stirring them until they get just a bit of a crust. Remove and set aside.
Make the vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients together.
Combine the romaine, tomatoes (with the juice), and pancetta in large salad bowl. Toss with vinaigrette. Add the bread cubes, toss, and serve immediately.
Note: You can use any good, crusty bread or tomatoes. You can also add cheese cucumbers, onions, olives, etc.
Mixed Green Salad With Feta and Golden Raisins
Contributor: Susan J. Montgomery, Life Uncorked
Ingredients for Salad:
1 bag (5 oz.) spring mix lettuce greens or make your own mixture of greens
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup cashews or sliced almonds (or other nuts)
Thin slices red onion (optional)
Ingredients for Dressing:
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
dollop of honey
Steps to Make Salad:
1. Wash salad greens and pat dry. Put in bowl.
2. Plump raisins by adding to boiling water for about 5 min. Then drain.
3. Add feta, raisins, nuts and red onion to greens.
4. Combine dressing ingredients and add to salad.
Easy Papaya Fruit Boat
Contributor: Stacey Wittig, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey
1 Fresh pineapple
1 cup of blueberries
Wash papayas and blueberries and pat dry. Cut papayas in half and then scoop out the seeds and soft membrane. Throw away or compost. Use six of the oval-shaped halves as bowls. Out of the other two halves, scoop the fruit and cut into bite-sized pieces, place in a large mixing bowl.Remove fruit from fresh pineapple, and cut into bite-sized pieces and add to the mixing bowl.
Peel the cherimoya, remove the seeds and core. Cut into bite-sized pieces. You could substitute two medium apples for the cherimoya.
Add the washed blueberries to the large mixing bowl. Squeeze the lemon over the fruit and stir the fruit together. Spoon fruit mixture into individual papaya bowls. Chill.
Serves six. (See my post, Rare exotic fruits take you away, for more recipes using exotic fruits!)
Easy Black Bean, Quinoa, and Mango Salad
Contributor: Noreen Kompanik, noreenkompanik.com
This Southwestern salad is delicious and the perfect way to get more plant-based foods and vegetables to your diet. It’s a lovely recipe from SkinnyTaste.com with my own personal variations.
15- ounce can black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked quinoa (red or tri-color), according to package directions
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh mango
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
Juice from 1 medium lemon or lime
1 1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
Mix together the beans, quinoa, corn, bell pepper, mango, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño in a mixing bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and turmeric in a small bowl. Drizzle over the mixture and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Farro Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta
Contributor: Alison Abbott, Green With Renvy
Simple hearty salad with fresh flavors
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked farro (Bob’s Red Mill is a good choice)
10 ounces grape tomatoes
1 persian cucumber
salt and pepper to taste
4 T olive oil
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro or basil + 1T to sprinkle on top
4 ounces crumbled feta
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
zest from lemon or orange (optional for color)
- Preheat the oven to 250°
- In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add a sprinkle of salt, and farro to boiling water. Stir and reduce to a simmer. Cook on simmer for approx 20 minutes until farro is al dente. Drain any excess water.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and drizzle with 1 T. olive oil. Toss with feta cheese. The heat from the farro will soften up the cheese.
- Cut grape tomatoes in half, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix with 1 T. olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking pan, seed side up. Roast in the oven for 1 hour. Let cool.
- Dice cucumber in small bites.
- Add cooled tomatoes, basil/cilantro and cucumber to farro and toss.
- Add lemon juice, 2 T. olive oil. Toss and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with zest (optional) and remaining T. of herb.
Serve and enjoy.
Pea Salad with Smoked Almonds
Contributor: Anne Braly, AnneBraly.com
2 (16-ounce) packages frozen peas
6 ounces smoke-flavored almonds, finely chopped
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped, or more to taste
1/2 cup mayonnaise (reduced-fat mayonnaise OK)
1/2 cup sour cream (light sour cream OK)
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Place frozen peas in a colander; rinse under cold water until thawed. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add almonds and onions; mix well. Fold mayonnaise, sour cream and black pepper into pea mixture until evenly coated. Transfer to serving container and top with shredded cheese. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Before serving, you way want to blend cheese into mixture, or leave it on top for a prettier presentation.
Decadent Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake Recipe
Contributor: Betsi Hill, Betsi’s World
8 oz. packages of cream cheese at room temperature (two packs)
½ cup peanut butter (you can use smooth or crunchy)
6 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup sour cream (or yogurt)
5-6 Oreo cookies crushed (with crème)
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup heavy whipping cream
Reese’s cup pieces
To make the crust:
1. Prepare your crust by placing the Oreo cookies in a food processor if possible.
2. Prepare a 6” springform pan with nonstick spray, and dump the Oreo crust into the bottom and pack down.
3. Place in the freezer until you are finished with the filling.
To start the filling:
1. Cream together the cream cheese and peanut butter, this is the longest part because you want to make sure that there are no lumps in the cream cheese before adding anything else. I mix mine 6-8 minutes until I am sure it is lump free.
2. Add in the sugar one tablespoon at a time and combine completely.
3. Add in the sour cream and mix well.
4. Finally add in the eggs one at a time making sure to completely combine before adding the next. Mix as little as possible to get the eggs incorporated well in the batter .
5. Pour the batter in the prepared springform and tap a few times against the counter.
6. Prepare your Instant Pot pressure cooker with 1 cup of water and place the trivet in the bottom of the pot.
7. Cover your cheesecake with aluminum foil, and place on the trivet. Set pressure cooker to 35 minutes high pressure. Allow the pot to naturally release.
8. After you can open the pot, take the cheesecake out and let it sit on the counter until cooled. Place in the refrigerator 8 hours to overnight.
9. Once the cheesecake is completely cool you can top it with a chocolate ganache and Reese’s cup pieces.
For the ganache:
1. Place ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Add in ½ cup heavy whipping cream and place in the microwave for 30 seconds. Take out and allow to stand for about 5 minutes and then mix. Make sure there are no lumps.
2. Pour over the cheesecake and drip small amounts over the side if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Strawberry Crepes w/Creamy Filling
Contributor: Deirdre Michalski, Tastes and Travel
This recipe is delicious for a brunch treat, or for dessert. It is also a fun offering to set up for each person to build their very own! Fresh, sweet strawberries from the farm add a lot of flavor.
Servings: Makes 7-8 crepes using an 8” nonstick pan. It can easily be doubled.
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter-melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tsp. white sugar
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fruit and Whipped Cream Topping
4 cups fresh strawberries, washed, sliced, divided in 2
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
Sprinkle of Confectioner’s (Powdered) Sugar
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and butter together. In another bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Then slowly add dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix well. Refrigerate, covered, at least for 1 hour.
(Note: This mixture can be made ahead and stored overnight to stir and cook in the morning.)
- Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet over medium heat. (The base of the pan will be 7” but can use a smaller pan if you desire tiny crepes.) Stir batter. Fill a 1/4-cup measure halfway with batter; pour into center of pan. Quickly lift and tilt pan to swirl and coat the bottom evenly. Cook until top appears dry; turn crepe over and cook until bottom is cooked—about 15 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing pan as needed. When cool, stack crepes between pieces of waxed paper or paper towels. (If you have extra crepes, they can be covered and refrigerated or freeze remaining crepes in an airtight container, unfilled, for future use.)
- For Smear, in a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until smooth.
Two Options to Build Crepes: A) You can fold into the cream cheese mixture with 2 cups of strawberries and the whipped cream. Spoon about 1/3 cup filling down the center of each crepe; roll up. Garnish on top with remaining berries on top and can sprinkle with additional confectioner’s sugar. OR B) What I prefer to do is to use a spoon to spread some of the Smear down the center of the crepe. Add strawberries and whipped cream, then roll up and garnish with whipped cream, strawberries and sprinkled confectioner’s sugar.
Upside-Down Fresh Peach Cake
Contributor, Judi Cohen, Traveling Judi
This easy-peasy cake is a hit with just about everyone! It’s not sweet and the smell of the fresh fruit is so inviting. It’s best served warm when it comes out of the oven with or without ice cream. I found the recipe on Taste of Home. Worked like a charm with fresh peaches!
3/4 cup butter, softened, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups sliced peeled fresh peaches (or pineapple, plum or other fruit that’s in season like pears).
2/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 2% milk
Melt 1/4 cup butter; pour into an ungreased 9-inch round baking pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange peach slices in single layer over sugar. In a large bowl, cream sugar and remaining butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Spoon over peaches. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm.
Serve with ice cream or frozen yogurt. Enjoy!
Contributor: Jo Clark, Have Glass Will Travel
Note: Pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer. This is my own recipe, using ideas from three different recipes and testing it in my kitchen.
Save time and use a refrigerator pie crust (since you get two in the box, you can make two or wait until you’ve eaten every crumb and then make another one!) The perfect way to throw together a fast pie and clean out your fruit bowl!
1–2 pounds fruit (plums, pluots, nectarines, or peaches, and you can toss in some blueberries), halved, pitted and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices
¼ cup mixed white & brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling (you can use turbinado, but use this mixture if you don’t have it—you can use only white sugar)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon kosher or pink salt
1 tablespoon butter, thinly sliced (use unsalted, or cut back on salt)
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Preheat. Move rack to the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
Unroll the dough. Unwrap the dough and place it on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Make the fruit filling. Toss sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl. Add in the sliced fruits and toss gently.
Assemble the galette. Pile the fruit filling onto the dough, slightly mounding it in the center and leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. (or you can be OCD like me—see the picture—and arrange it in overlapping circles with a small pile in the center.) Fold the edges of the dough up and over the edge of the filling, overlapping the dough as you go around and pleating the dough. Distribute the cubes of butter across the top of the fruit.
Wash the crust. Beat the egg with water. Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with more turbinado sugar.
Bake the galette. Bake until the crust is a deep golden-brown and the fruit is cooked, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the parchment with the galette on it to a wire rack and cool completely. (or if you can’t wait, just take tiny bites so you don’t burn your tongue!)
Serve the galette. Cut the galette into wedges and serve. You can add vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Tastes best the day you make it but can be covered and left out to enjoy the next day. It’s a great breakfast pastry—trust me!
Peach & Blueberry Crumbles
Contributor: M’Liss Hinshaw, MlissTravels
Note: I adapted this Barefoot Contessa recipe by using plums and peaches, so the fruit used can be whatever you have in the fridge. (© 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved)
For the Fruit:
2 pounds firm, ripe peaches (6 to 8 peaches)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh blueberries (1/2 pint)
For the Crumble:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until their skins peel off easily. Place them immediately in cold water. Peel the peaches, slice them into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the blueberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into ramekins or custard cups.
For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it’s in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you want to make these early, store the unbaked crumbles in the refrigerator and bake before dinner.
Apple Berry Salsa
Contributor: Heather Raulerson, RaulersonGirlsTravel
2 medium granny smith apples
1 kiwi peeled, sliced, and chopped
1 small orange
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp apple jelly
1 cup strawberries, sliced
Peel, core and slice the apples. Cut the apples into quarters and chop into little pieces. Slice strawberries thinly. Chop kiwi into little pieces. Place fruit into a bowl. Zest orange and add to fruit mixture. Juice the orange (squeeze out all the orange juice and add to the fruit mixture). After adding the orange zest and juice, add the brown sugar and apple jelly to the fruit mixture. Mix gently.
Serve with Nilla Wafer Cookies or another type of cookie to add the fruit on top.
Contributor: Kathleen Walls, American Roads and Global Highways
Mardi Gras might be over but with the traditional King Cake recipe below, you can celebrate whenever you are in the mood. So, laissez les bons temps roller (Let the good times roll).
1½ cups water
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
8 oz sour cream
2 eggs (separate one and save the white to make a wash)
3 cups flour
1½ cups sugar
ï¿½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tiny porcelain baby doll or one uncooked dried large bean
1½ cup of sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
green, yellow, red and blue food coloring
If using a bread maker, put ingredients except baby (or bean) in the order called for by the manufacturer. Set for “dough.”
After dough has risen, roll it out on a flat surface till you have a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Mix the “spread” ingredients together and blend. Spread it over the flattened dough. Roll jellyroll fashion from the long side. Shape it into a hollow oval. Join the ends of the oval by moistening and pushing dough together. Insert the baby (or bean) from the underside and smooth over the hole. Set it on a greased cookie sheet and cover with clean towel to rise. When it doubles in size, about 20 to 30 minutes, brush with a wash made of egg white and a little water. Bake in 375 degree oven about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Put 1 Tbsp. sugar in 3 small containers. Put in a drop of the food coloring in each container respectively. In one, mix the red and blue to get purple. A tiny bit of food coloring goes a long way so be sparing. Stir it into the sugar to get nice bright shades of green, gold and purple. Sprinkle over the finished cake one color at a time.