Entries Tagged as 'appetizers'

portobello “pizza”

April 2nd, 2012 · 5 Comments

I don’t know if you guys consider this a full dinner, but at the very least, this is one of my absolute favorite snacks.  I can almost never resist a portobello anything on a restaurant menu — whether it’s a salad, burger, or a delicious combo like this!

Chad and I have spent a good deal of the last few weekends househunting (basically everytime we’re not working or committed to something else) and it’s a long, intense process that so far isn’t even close to finishing. 

Have any of you guys gone through it?  We had a few places we were considering, and they’ve inevitably sold before we could even decide whether to make an offer!  I guess it’s good news for the economy, but it’s a little stressful for us. 

Fingers crossed that we find something soon!  I’m really looking forward to living in one place for more than 3 years in a row — I haven’t since I was 17!

Portobello Mushroom “Pizza”

4 portobello mushroom caps
8 ounce can store-bought pizza sauce
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces mozzarella cheese (pulled apart or thinly sliced)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Clean mushroom caps with paper towel and remove stems. Spoon 1/4 cup tomato sauce into cap.  Layer parmesan cheese and then with mozzarella cheese. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.  Add two small basil leaves as a garnish.  Serve warm.

Tags: appetizers · main dishes

tomato pesto tarts

March 26th, 2012 · 9 Comments

Oh my gosh, you guys!

I almost can’t write a post because I’m so excited that Mad Men is back on the air!  A year and a half in the making, and I wasn’t disappointed at all — which is no small feat!  While I love the fashion on the show (obviously), it’s not usually my personal style — but as they get further into the sixties, I’m drooling over all the mod minidresses we’re starting to see (this one obviously belongs in my closet)!  Can’t wait to see where this season goes. 

Now onto these — I actually saw a similar dish on Pinterest, and I couldn’t get it out of my head!  I made these just for fun on Sunday, but they’d also be perfect as a party appetizer. 

Easy to make ahead of time and just pop in the oven when you need them — and they only take a few minutes!  Simple, colorful, and totally delicious.

Hope everybody had a great weekend! 

Tomato Pesto Tarts


One sheet puff pastry (I use these sheets, available at just about every grocery store)
2 plum tomatoes cut into thin slices
9 small leaves fresh basil
1/4 cup pesto (I used store bought, but this recipe is probably way better!)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Flaky sea salt


Defrost the puff pastry overnight in the fridge and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the puff pastry into 9 equal-sized squares.  Brush them with olive oil and place the tomato slices in the center of each tart.  Sprinkle 1-2 tbsp of Parmesan cheese and a small pinch of sea salt on each one.  Bake for ten minutes, then add pesto and bake for an additional five minutes.  Top each one with a small basil leaf and serve warm.

Makes 9 tarts, can easily be doubled or tripled.

Tags: appetizers · food

game day nachos

January 18th, 2012 · 6 Comments

I won’t lie… I was really hoping to post this if the Houston team made it to the Superbowl — how fun would that have been?  Even as a brand new Texan, it was hard not to get excited when every Monday, all anyone could talk about is whether or not the Texans would keep winning.  So this weekend was a little sad!

But no matter who’s playing, nachos are always delicious.  You can’t really beat a combination of chips, cheese, guac, salsa, sour cream and chives — throw on some grilled chicken and you’ve got yourself a whole meal! 

Chad and I used to regularly order nachos at one of our favorite restaurants in our neighborhood in New York, and while the Tex Mex here is pretty amazing, we somehow haven’t found a go-to nacho dish in quite the same way.  So for the immediate future, at least, I’m going to stick to making our own!



6-8 cups tortilla chips
3 cups shredded cheddar Cheese or Mexican cheese mix
2/3 cup salsa
2/3 cup guacamole
1/2 cup sour cream
3 large chopped scallions


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Arrange a layer of tortilla chips along the bottom of a wide, shallow baking pan.  Sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese over the top of chips, and bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Add dollops of salsa, sour cream and guacamole, and another thinner layer of cheese, and broil at 500 degrees F for about 2 minutes.  Sprinkle with chopped scallions and serve.

Tags: appetizers · food

a true greek salad

January 4th, 2012 · 17 Comments

One thing you may not know about me: I’m half Greek.  That means that growing up, I learned to count to ten in Greek, celebrated a whole separate Easter (seriously!), baked bread with a dime in it, and ate the best baklava on earth, made by my grandmother. 

What it also means: I am extremely picky about Greek food.  Which is too bad, because Greek and Mediterranean dishes tend to be pirated on terrible menus more than just about any other type.  But one of my major pet peeves: when a Greek salad uses lettuce.

Greek salads are about thick, chunky vegetables and fresh, colorful ingredients.  And yet every diner and subpar restaurant I’ve ever been to seems to want to add lettuce to this dish — probably because it’s cheap?  But a real, true Greek salad consists of just a few ingredients, and it’s one of the freshest, most delicious meals you’ll ever eat.

And on that note, I want to introduce you guys to Costa Navarino, a gourmet food line that’s based in one of the most beautiful regions of Greece, and also happens to be run by one of my cousins!  Even better — their products are available at Dean & Deluca.  So you can bring a little Mediterranean sun (and salad) to your cold January day!

And speaking of color, I couldn’t resist breaking out my Noritake Colorwave plates — they’re 15% off on the Noritake website until January 8th!

True Greek Salad

1 package red or yellow cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 shallot
1/2 jar Costa Navarino olives, in olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil (you can use the oil that the olives were packed in if it’s good quality!)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Fleur de sel
Freshly ground pepper


Dice tomatoes and cucumbers into 1/2″ wedges.  Dice shallot into 1/4″ pieces.  In large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion and olives. Toss with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta cheese over salad, toss again lightly, and serve.

Tags: appetizers · food · salads

thanksgiving favorites!

November 17th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Can you believe that in four years of blogging, I’ve never posted a Thanksgiving turkey recipe?

Well, it’s true.  But over the past four holiday seasons, I’ve posted a lot of other delicious Thanksgiving recipes, so I thought that I’d highlight a few of them for you (you’re welcome).  This way they’ll be fresh on your mind when you’re grocery shopping next week!

Starting off, it’s not Thanksgiving without a plate of traditional stuffing — we put dried apricots in ours, and they’re absolutely to die for.  I usually hate celery, but Thanksgiving stuffing is the one recipe where I love it!  And then on the side, take your pick of glazed carrots, roasted green beans with shallots and almonds, a root vegetable mix, or any other fallthemed side dish (yes, my family once cooked farro for Thanksgiving).

And for dessert — obviously, you guys are going to make my mom’s apple pie recipe!  How could you resist?  But in case you want a wider variety, I have excellent holiday recipes for incredibly easy two-ingredient maple souffl├ęs, indulgent flourless chocolate cake, mini lemon tarts, and homemade petit fours (these would actually be a fun–messy–one to do with kids)!

And if you really neeeed a turkey recipe, we used Martha Stewart’s t-shirt turkey recipe last year, and it was absolutely terrific. 

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Tags: appetizers · desserts · food · side dishes