The crispness of fall is in the air and with that brings me the desire to eat rich, delicious comfort food.
Enter: baked brie
Not only is this baked brie perfect as a stand alone appetizer, but also makes the perfect addition to a charcuterie board. The apple walnut topping is super simple to prepare and hilights some of the beyt flavours of the season. This brie is sure to be a hit in your house.
Baked Brie with Apple Walnut Topping
- 1/2 apple, diced thin
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped fine
- 2 tbsp Maple syrup or liquid sweetener of choice
- pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 400F
- Slice the top rind off your brie and place in a brie baker or on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until centre is liquid-y and melted.
- Meanwhile add all topping ingredients to a small pot and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the apples have softened a little.
- Serve with crackers or as part of your next cheese board.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
As fall arrives, many of us are struggling with an overload and excess of tomatoes – many shapes and sizes. Some beefsteaks and most likely some lovely sweet cherry tomatoes. In my family, those cherry tomatoes are just as good as candy – we all pop them in our mouths, sometimes fresh off the plant!
This appetizer is a great way to use some of those tomatoes in a classic combination, in appetizer size – caprese salad bites.
- 10 basil leaves
- 10 cherry tomatoes, various colours
- 10 mini bocconcini balls
- balsamic vinegar (optional)
- olive oil (optional)
- Pull out 10 longer sized toothpicks.
- On each toothpick, stack a cherry tomato, a basil leaf, and a cheese ball.
- Place or stack on serving plate of your choice.
- This recipe is very easy to scale up (or down) depending on your party size. If you are making it for yourself, then the sky is the limit!
- If you want to make it a bit more fancy, you could either drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over top, or place it on the side for dipping. Both those flavours complement the cheese and tomatoes very well, making it a classic combination.
River City Cookery http://rivercitycookery.com/
Nothing beats the fresh summer produce that we get fresh from the garden – zucchini, peppers, beans, peas, cucumbers, and not least of all tomatoes. Pretty soon, any avid gardener is going to have more tomatoes than they can shake a stick at!
Here is a great, super simple fresh salsa to answer the age-old question: what do I do with all these tomatoes?
If you’re anything like us this awesome summer weather has given you the urge to get together and share some beautiful food with your friends and family! You need not worry if you’ve never invited more than one person over to your home for a meal before. Today we’re sharing some of our best tips for hosting a dinner party!
Make it what you want
- When you’re the host, it’s up to you: you don’t have to do all the cooking – make it a pot luck and ask specific people to bring specific items
- Try choosing a theme! Brunch for dinner, foods from different cultures, or different cooking methods (BBQ).
- When it comes to cleaning your home ahead of time don’t waste your precious minutes scrubbing the floor with a tooth brush! No one is going to notice, your guests are there to spend time with you not to inspect your floors!
Keep it Simple
- The idea of hosting a dinner party used to give me so much anxiety – I’ve learned the best thing to do if you’re new to entertaining is to keep it simple. Simple menu, simple drinks, and it’s not necessary to blow your budget either. Pinterest may have given us some unrealistic dinner party goals, but all your guest will remember is good food and the people they were with.
- It may not be the best idea to try a new, complicated recipe – stick to what is comfortable (or test it out ahead of time if you’re nervous)!
Do the prep ahead
- We’re not saying you need to spend hours in the kitchen before your guests arrive to get things organized but we think spending some time ahead of your guests arrival will ensure you’re not spending the entire night in the kitchen.
- We prep ahead as much as we can – make your appetizer dips a head of time, pasta sauces can be made ahead and even frozen, make a tossed salad earlier in the day (just don’t add the dressing!), or let your slow cooker do the work. Less time in the kitchen means more time with your friends and family enjoying the food and each others company. I know you’re picking up on the theme 😉
- One final prep ahead tip: set the table the night before!
Be a thoughtful host and attendee
- Be mindful of your guests dietary restrictions: this may mean tailoring a menu or providing an alternative option.
- We like to have a few beverage options as well, and will often have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Not everyone will want to have an alcoholic beverage; soda water, pop, or juice can be great alternatives.
- If you’re attending a dinner party it’s nice not to come empty handed. If the host indicates not to bring anything for the meal, a small token of appreciation is a kind gesture. We’ve brought wine, chocolate, or another small gift.
What are your best tips for hosting a dinner party? Please share below in the comments!
At any kind of party, there is really nothing better than a fabulous cheese tray. With the beginning of May, comes endless brunches, barbeques, and spring and summer nights in which a cheese tray could do no wrong.
Here are a few simple ideas that can help make your cheese tray appealing to ALL of your senses:
- It is always best to go for a wide variety of cheeses: this means you want some hard and soft cheeses. You also want a variety of tastes: play around with mild, strong, and smoked cheeses. These will provide some visual interest as well.
- Cheese is not the only thing that goes on a cheese tray – add some grapes or some nuts, like walnuts and almonds to add some texture.
- To take your cheese tray to the next level, add some salami or prosciutto, and some olives to make it more of a charcuterie board.
The next thing you need is some sort of vessel, to get the cheese to your mouth. My #1 go-to is the cracker! The options are endless in the cracker aisle, so feel free to go crazy with flavour here. If you don’t love the cracker like I do, a baguette or a ciabatta loaf will do nicely as well.
For the cheese tray above, we used brie, edam, a double smoked cheddar, and a jalapeno monterey jack. Using a ciabatta as our bread, and some nuts, dried fruit, and grapes to break it up with some texture and colour. Other cheeses you could use could be marble cheddar, goat cheese, blue cheese, or a crotonese. An Italian crotonese is a very hard, crumbly cheese with a similar nutty taste and smell to parmesan.
To help you create your own wonderful cheese tray, here are a few helpful tips!