Rosemary Pecans


Preheat oven to 350º

2 Tbsp melted butter
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
1½ Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1½ tsp dried rosemary
2 C pecan halves
Salt to taste

Mix together butter, pepper and rosemary. Add pecans and toss well. Spread pecans in baking pan and bake at 350º for 8-10 minutes, stirring once or twice while baking.
Cool and sprinkle with salt if desired.

Pepper Bruschetta


4 bell peppers – mix 3 colors
¾ C balsamic vinegar (or more)
Salt and pepper to taste

Seed and slice 4 peppers thinly and cook slowly in ¾ C balsamic vinegar until very soft, about an hour. Stir occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Add more vinegar if they look dry.
Serve over toasted bread rounds or hard cheese, such as Parmesan.


Roasted Red Pepper Humus


1/3 C tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Greek seasoning
3 (15½ oz.) cans garbanzo beans, drained
1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp ground red pepper

In a food processor, combine beans, peppers, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and pepper. Process until smooth. Serve with pita chips.

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.