Monthly Archives: November 2013

Roasted Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs


Easy and impressive is a good thing to aim for.  These figs are super easy and a serious crowd pleaser. Plus they look and taste fantastic!

12 fresh figs

Goat Cheese



Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Quarter the figs and slice 3/4 of the way down. Open them up and stuff with goat cheese. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.  Drizzle with warm honey (optional).


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Thanksgiving Appetizers

Thanksgiving Appetizers

Forget the turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes. For me Thanksgiving is all about the appetizers. Here is a recap of my mother and my slightly overboard array this year.

olive tapenade
sun-dried tomato and pesto torte
goat cheese stuffed figs
chips and salsa
mexican seven layer dip
bacon wrapped jalapeno
bacon wrapped scallops
stuffed mushrooms
roasted chickpeas

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Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Torta


We have our guilty pleasures and then we have our real pleasure.  My guilty pleasure is Subway.  My real pleasure is this.  I will boast about this recipe until the day I die.  I’ll shout it from the rooftops.  I LOVE it.  Do you get it? Or should I go on…

This torte is a Thanksgiving staple.  I’ve never met someone who dislikes it…partly because its 80% cream cheese. Don’t be afraid.  Embrace it. 


4 cloves garlic

1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh basil

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 tbs evoo

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 1/2 cups cream cheese (room temperature) about 20 oz.

1/4 freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups drained oil packed sun-dried tomatoes

1/3 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

toasted pine nuts for garnishing 


Combine garlic, basil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, oil, and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until well combined. Add 1/4 cup of cream cheese and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.  Process until just about blended.  Transfer the pesto mixture to a medium sized bowl.

Combine sun-dried tomatoes, and tomato paste in the food processor.  Add 1/3 cup cream cheese and blend until smooth.

Using an electric mixer beat 2 cups of cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until fluffy.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Line a bowl or souflee dish with plastic wrap extending over sides.  Spread 3/4 of cream cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the tomato mixture followed by 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture then half the pesto.  Repeat with remaining layers.  Top with cream cheese butter mixture and pine nuts.  Cover and chill overnight.   Invert the torte onto a platter and peel off the plastic. 


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Orange Cranberry Relish


The time has come.  First of many Thanksgiving installments. 


1 Medium Orange, quartered with peels. 

12 oz fresh cranberries

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tsp cinnamon


Blend orange and cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Place the mixture into a pan over high heat and boil for ten minutes with sugar and cinnamon.  Remove from heat and serve. 

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