Layered Pumpkin Dip


8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
½ jar Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter (purchased at Williams Sonoma)
½ c chopped pecans
2 Tbsp crumbled bacon
2 Tbsp green onion, chopped (or to taste)
Spread cream cheese in a small baking dish or gratin.
Top with pumpkin butter then bacon, pecans, and green onion.
Serve with crackers.

Cheddar and Roasted Pear Canapés


4 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch dices 
2 T brown sugar 
1 T olive oil or vegetable oil 
1 T balsamic vinegar 
Baguette (French bread) sliced into thin rounds 
8 oz. extra sharp or sharp cheddar, sliced thin and in a diameter similar to bread rounds 
cup chopped toasted pecans 
Thinly slivered fresh sage leaves 

Place rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 400º. In large Pyrex pan, toss pears, sugar and oil until well combined. Spread in even layer in pan and bake for 15 minutes. Stir pears, then return to oven for 10-15 minutes longer or until sugar has begun to caramelize and pears are browned. Add vinegar and stir well. 

Bake pears for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. (Pears can be prepared up to 1 week ahead and refrigerated until ...

Mushroom Pate


1 “container” each of 3 kinds of mushrooms 

Hen of the Wood (3½ oz.) 
Crimini (8 oz.) 
Champignons (8 oz.)
1 medium large shallot, chopped  
T butter ½ tsp. thyme 
Salt and pepper to taste 
2 T brandy or sherry 
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese 
1-2 tsp. white truffle oil (Williams Sonoma) optional 

Trim off tough ends on stems of mushrooms and chop. Process with medium large shallot to a paste. Melt butter in skillet and add dried thyme to taste. Put mushroom paste into skillet and cook until dry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add brandy or sherry and cook down until dry. Put mushroom mixture back in processor and add cream cheese and white truffle oil (optional). Process until it comes together. Put into mold and refrigerate until solid.

You can use any kind of mushroom. Flavorful ones wo ...

Stuffed Mushrooms


Preheat oven to 375 º

House Seasoning: 1 C salt, ¼ C black pepper, ¼ C garlic powder (Store for multi use)
1 C crabmeat
½ C cream cheese
½ C fresh chopped parsley
½ C chopped green onion
4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
House seasoning
10-12 mushroom caps
½ C bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients (except mushrooms). Stuff mushroom caps and top with bread crumbs. Spray mushrooms with a cooking spray to help brown. 
Bake for 20 minutes.



2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and dried (Progresso brand preferred)
½ to 1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic (mashed/minced)
lemon juice (to taste)
pinch of black pepper
olive oil
olive oil
1 small chopped plum tomato
1 scallion chopped
Kalamata olives – approx. 8

Place the chickpeas in a food processor and add approximately ½ cup olive oil. 
Add salt, pepper, lemon juice (start with 1 T), and garlic.
Mix until chickpeas are smooth. You may have to add more olive oil.
Adjust seasoning regarding salt and lemon juice – should have a little bite.
More garlic may be added, if desired. For the “author” there is no such thing as too much garlic!
Refrigerate hummus in a covered container.
Serve chilled, on ...

Fresh Herb Mini Tartlet


3 eggs

1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp. chopped fresh herbs (basil and chives)
2 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 dash ground red pepper
1 cup finely shredded Swiss cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed

Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the eggs, heavy cream, herbs, shallots, black pepper, and red pepper in a medium bowl with a fork or whisk. Stir in the cheese. 
Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut into 36 (2-inch squares). Press the pastry squares into 36 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon egg mixture into each muffin-pan cup.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the filling is set and the pastries are golden brown. Let the pastries ...

Herbed Cheddar Cheese Log


2 (8-ounce) blocks sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic minced
2 cups chopped walnuts
Assorted cracker or apple slices

In a large bowl, beat cheddar cheese and cream cheese at medium speed with a mixer until creamy. Add basil, tarragon, thyme, and garlic, beating until combined. Shape mixture into an 80ince log. Roll in walnuts to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. Serve with assorted cracker and apple slices.

Yogurt Cheese with Za 'atar and Olives


1 quart goat's-milk yogurt
Kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Za'atat herb blend
24 Kalamata olives
1 bunch small radishes, trimmed
Pita bread, cut into wedges, warmed

Line a sieve with cheesecloth. If the cheesecloth is loosely woven (most supermarket brands are), use triple thickness. Pour the yogurt into the sieve, then gather the edges of the cheesecloth and tie to become a bag. Hang the bag over the sink or over a bowl to catch the drippings. Let drain for 8 hours.
Turn the soft, creamy cheese out onto a platter. Season the surface with salt to taste, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with za'atar. Surround the cheese with the olives and radishes. Serve with the warm pita bread wedges.

Please note: Za'atar, a middle Eastern herb frequently sprinkled on lubneh, varies fr ...

Mixed Herbal Crackers


1 c all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 Tbsp chopped thyme
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
4 Tbsp cold butter
¼ cup sour cream
Salt for sprinkling

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Add herbs and mix well. Stir in sour cream and mix until the dough comes together. Divide in half and roll each piece into a sheet 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and press lightly. Cut into 2 ½ -inch squares using a fluted edge cutter.
Place on a baking sheet and pierce each cracker with a fork. Bake at 325 degrees F until just brown and firm. (about 26 minutes).
Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. Yields 24 2 ½ inch square crackers.

Herb Toastettes 


1 loaf Pepperidge Farm Thin-sliced White Bread
1 stick butter 
1 t. fresh lemon Juice 
3 T. fresh minced herbs (parsley, tarragon, chives, marjoram)
2 heaping T. toasted sesame seed

Trim edges. Cut each slice in half. Mix butter, herbs, lemon juice and sesame seed. Spread lightly on bread slices. Bake at 300 for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and leave in an additional 30 minutes or until crisp.