When we lived in Texas, cheese wafers were extremely popular snacks. I think they are perfect with a glass of wine or add Cheese Wafers to any cheese and fruit tray. Making Cheese Wafers is similar to making slice and bake cookies. I often divide the dough; bake one now and freeze the other cheese log to bake at a later date. The sharp cheddar and Parmesan cheese are just the perfect combination. I like to add a bit of cayenne pepper, you can certainly adjust the amount if you like a cracker with spice. These are best if stored in an airtight container.
unsalted butter, room temperature
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
shredded Parmesan cheese
Add all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until you have a smooth dough. Turn dough out onto 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Form into two logs approximately 1 inch in diameter. Refrigerate logs for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the logs into 1/4 inch slices. Place on baking sheet and bake 30 minutes or until they begin to brown around the edges. Cool. Store in airtight container. You can freeze the logs, just place in refrigerator to thaw overnight, slice and bake.
On a recent trip to Fayetteville, NC we had dinner at a terrific bar/restaurant called Mac’s Speed Shop. Their wings were hands down the best wings I have ever had. They smoked their wings and tossed them in a wonderful chipotle sauce. The thought of those wings made me think of grilling wings and then tossing them with a BBQ sauce with a hint of chipotles. These wings are truly finger lickin’ good. Did you know the key to grilling wings is to have them touch each other while grilling to keep them moist and to turn them every 6-8 minutes. It takes about 35-40 minutes for the wings to be crispy on the outside and fall-off the bone tender. Serve them with your favorite blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing. Keep plenty of napkins handy – you will need them!
Chipotle Grilled Wings
chicken wings, cut
chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
Cook wings over medium heat on the grill, turn every 6 - 8 minutes for approx. 35 minutes or until crispy and meat is falling off the bone. When grilling, the wings should be touching each other as they cook to keep them moist. While the wings are grilling, combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Remove wings from grill when finished cooking, place in bowl with sauce and toss until all are coated. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing on the side.
You cannot pass by this recipe. The elegant taste of truffles tossed with popcorn is a taste sensation. When I was playing around with ingredients one day, I brought out my bottle of white truffle oil and I had just made my Cantaloupe Tomato Salad and fresh Italian parsley was still on my cutting board. I thought it was time for a glass of wine and I needed a break from recipe writing. Out came a bag of microwave popcorn and I tossed in a few other items. Time to sit, relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
White Truffle Popcorn
microwave popcorn, plain
white truffle oil
parmigiano reggiano cheese
fresh Italian parsley
Pop corn as directed on package. Pour popped corn into a large bowl. Toss with white truffle oil, add melted butter, toss. Add cheese and parsley, toss. Salt to taste. Enjoy!
Are you game day ready with your Super Bowl menu? If you are still looking for another great recipe to serve during the game – Chicken Wings with Jalapeno Pepper Sauce is the recipe for you. Go Team!
Chicken Wings with Jalapeno Pepper Sauce
- 1 - 12 oz. bottle chili sauce
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup catsup
- 1 medium onion
- 5 jalapeno peppers, seeded
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 32 chicken wings (approx. 5 - 6 pounds)
- Combine first nine ingredients in container of an electric blender, process 30 seconds or until mixture is well blended.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil. Cut wings in half or purchase pre-cut wings. Place on foil lined sheet, spoon 1/2 of the sauce over wings. (Depending on number of wings you are cooking, you might need two sheet pans), Bake 30 minutes. Turn wings and top with the remaining sauce. If it appears to be too much sauce, reserve remaining sauce and refrigerate. Bake another 30 minutes or until fall of the bone tender.
- If you like your wings to be crispy, remove wings and place on a rack on a baking sheet, return to the oven and bake an additional 10 - 15 minutes, watch carefully. Serve warm with ranch dressing and celery sticks.
What I thought would be a great addition to brunch turned out to be so successful I would add this to any breakfast, brunch or tailgate. I always knew cooking bacon in the oven when preparing large quantities was easy. However, this time I wanted bacon to be finger food and decided to thread the bacon on a stick. I cut each piece of thick cut bacon in half, then threaded each piece on a six inch wooden skewer. Brushed them all with maple syrup (you will see the syrup on the first piece on the top row), then I sprinkled the bacon with a brown sugar,ground nuts and cayenne mixture. In the oven it went …
and out came the most delicious bacon pops…
- 18 oz. package, thick cut bacon
- 22 six-inch wooden skewers
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 walnuts or pecans, ground
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Soak skewers in water for 15 minutes. Cut bacon in half crosswise. Thread each piece of bacon on one skewer. Place skewers on rack in a foil lined cookie sheet. Combine brown sugar, nuts, and cayenne pepper. Brush each skewer of bacon with maple syrup. Try to avoid getting the end of the skewers coated (the skewers will be easier to serve when not sticky). Sprinkle each slice of bacon with brown sugar combination. Bake in preheated oven until the bacon is golden, approximately 35-45 minutes. Remove from rack when cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- These would also be a wonderful addition to a Bloody Mary bar.
If you are like me, during this time of the year, it seems like each day brings a new and interesting kitchen challenge. This time, I needed an appetizer and I needed it fast. After leafing through my recipes, nothing really inspired me and time was running short. Well, one quick trip to the store and my appetizer was almost done. With a shopping list in hand, I dashed to my local store. My list read like this – 3 dried fruits, 3 cheeses, 2 meats, olives, nuts, crackers, and jam. Here is how I tackled my list at the market – first I headed to the dried fruits, in my cart went dried pineapple, dates, and cranberries, Off to the cheese section – cheddar with cranberries, Stilton with ginger and mango, and a nice piece of gouda with the red wax. Stopped by the olive bar and picked up 8 oz. of assorted pitted olives, crackers – I looked for three distinctive shapes, sticks, squares, and rectangles. Picked up a few roasted cashews, one package each; sliced dried chorizo and sliced prosciutto and one jar of fig jam. Quick, easy and out the door. When I got home, out came my holiday tray and quickly layered the tray full of my finds. My appetizer was ready – no cooking required and absolutely delicious.
Vidalia Onion Dip was another one of my mom’s favorites that I discovered on a well used recipe card in my card file. You know this is a good recipe when she commented on the number of people that requested that she bring this over and over again. You might wonder how I know these little facts, my mom (and now I do this same thing) wrote copious notes inside covers of her books, note books and recipe cards, these notes included everything from when she served it last, where she served it and any noteworthy fact she wanted to remember. My daughter served this last weekend; after a day in the stadium watching our favorite college team play football. This dip was perfect to serve on a beautiful fall day celebrating with great friends. This recipe is now a three generation favorite in our family!
Vidalia Onion Dip
- 2 cups finely shredded Swiss cheese
- 2 cups chopped Vidalia onions
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Combine first three ingredients. Pour into a greased casserole dish, top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake 325 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with crackers.
- This recipe can be made ahead up to 2 days. Just refrigerate until you are ready to bake.
This recipe has been a family favorite for many years. I know it originated years ago and I think it is time for a Layered Crab Dip revival. My mom always made this as well as her friends, this was their signature go to appetizer. I am sure the fact that it is quick, easy and delicious is the reason they all made this recipe. All I can say, I made it this past weekend, served it with water crackers and it was fantastic. This goes back to the old saying “Mothers are always right” I know mine was with this recipe!
Layered Crab Dip
- 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 medium onion, grated
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup seafood cocktail sauce
- 12 oz. fresh jumbo lump crabmeat
- 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
- Assemble dip in the following order; spread on a serving plate
- Layer 1 - cream together the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, onion, lemon juice and mayonnaise; spread on serving plate.
- Layer 2 - spread cocktail sauce over cream cheese layer.
- Layer 3 - Spread crabmeat over cocktail sauce.
- Layer 4 - Top with minced parsley
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
We just returned from the upper Midwest where the weather is beautiful, waters are wonderful and the farmers markets are at their peak. When in the Midwest, you absolutely have to try the fresh sweet corn. Abundant and oh so sweet, the ultimate taste of summer. After I purchased corn at the market, it was back to stir up this delicious salsa. I have to admit, it was so delicious, we just could not stop eating it! Great as an appetizer served with tortilla chips, but this salsa would be equally delicious along side grilled chicken or over fish tacos.
Fresh Corn and Avocado Salsa
- 2 ears of fresh corn, husk remove and kernels cut off of the cob
- 2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 avocados, ripe but firm, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 4 - 8 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- Mix all vegetables together in a medium bowl. Combine olive oil, cumin, oregano, red wine vinegar, hot pepper sauce, chili powder and lime juice. Pour over vegetables and mix thoroughly, Salt and pepper to taste.
I cannot walk past a display of farm fresh ripe tomatoes this time of year. I am such a huge tomato fan, my husband is convinced that I could eat them everyday for every meal. He is pretty much on target with that comment. Tomato Toast is my latest tomato creation. Crispy grilled bread, cheese filling, topped with tomato slices – perfect for an appetizer or side dish.
- 4 slices of crusty bread cut 1/2 inch thick
- olive oil
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- Prepare grill or grill pan. Brush both sides of bread with olive oil. Slice tomato. Combine ricotta cheese, pesto and parmesan cheese. Grill one side of bread until golden brown and crusty, turn bread slices. Spread grilled sides of bread with ricotta cheese mixture. Cover grill and heat until hot. Remove from grill. Top with sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve