Nibbles and Appetizers (The Starters)

bites

Cranberry Brie Bites

Bring A Snack To Share      You’ve been invited to a party, and you’ve been asked to bring a snack to share with the others in attendance. What’s a good snack to bring as your offering?     Considerations      We usually stick with the following criteria for a good party snack: We think individual bites are best – something a guest can pick up and put on their plate. Our current go-to snack is Cranberry Brie Bites. We avoid taking snacks that are messy or need to be cut, sliced, or spread at the table prior…

Read More
Marrow

Bone Marrow Roasted

     Bone Marrow. For years now, nutritionists have been touting the benefits of consuming bone marrow in our diets. Claims have been made that it builds immunity, aids in digestion and wound repair, and even helps fight cancer.      It’s considered a culinary delicacy, but it’s been around long enough that it no longer has vogue status. It’s becoming more and more common to find bone marrow listed on menus, usually as an appetizer. Yuck!      And when you see it, it’s not terribly appetizing. It’s a soft and mushy…

Read More
lemon curd

The Versatile Lemon Curd

A lemon curd? I’m thinking YUCK!      My introduction to this was at a friend’s house. Their breakfast offering was scones served with a lemon curd. The curds and whey mentioned in the nursery rhyme immediately popped into my head.      This always sounded awful to me, so with some trepidation I spread it on my scone. It resembled a spreadable custard in consistency, and it is in fact a type of preserves. It was delicious. And when you look at the list of ingredients, it’s no wonder it tastes so good – sugar, egg yolks,…

Read More
tableside

Performing A Caesar Salad Preparation Tableside

     One of the more delightful experiences diners can have is for a skilled waiter to prepare a Caesar salad at their table. It’s a chance for waiters to demonstrate their art. The vigorous whisking, mixing, tossing and stirring the ingredients delights their patrons. It’s quite a show. After croutons are added for crunch and slivers of cheese for flavor, the masterpiece is served.  Ah, perfection. Prepare Your Own Caesar Salad      With a bit of preparation and practice, you can do this at home.  If you want some pointers, search YouTube….

Read More
Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller – A Great Holiday Appetizer

First Up – Oysters Rockefeller     When we are hosting a Christmas dinner, most of our guests arrive absolutely famished. They can’t wait to begin the feast. Knowing this we love to immediately offer them Oysters Rockefeller. It’s unique appetizer and a great starter,      We let our guests know ahead of time what we will be serving. Not everyone will want to partake, so getting their orders before they arrive certainly helps in planning. We usually prepare 2-3 oysters per guest.      Also, on Christmas day stovetop and oven space…

Read More
tableside

Caesar Salad Without A Net

     One of the more delightful experiences diners can have is for a skilled waiter to prepare a Caesar salad at their table. It’s a chance for waiters to demonstrate their art by vigorously whisking, mixing, tossing and stirring the ingredients to the delight of their patrons. After croutons are added for crunch and slivers of cheese for flavor, the salad is served.  Ah, perfection.      With a bit of preparation and practice, you can do this at home.  If you want some pointers, search “Caesar salad preparation” on YouTube,…

Read More
Turtle for soup

Turtle Soup (A Louisiana Delicacy)

      Seeking culinary adventures while vacationing in New Orleans, Dorothy and I thought what better way to begin than to dine at Commander’s Palace. We’d heard so much about the great food and impeccable service, and we were very excited about the evening’s possibilities.      As a first course we ordered turtle soup. It was suggested by our waiter that we might order a glass of sherry to drink with the soup, and we followed his advice.      The soup arrived at our table. It had a wonderful aroma and…

Read More
Crock of creamy homemade butter

Sweet and Delicious Homemade Butter

      Butter – absolutely one of the sweetest, most delicious treats in life.  This was brought to light while we were enjoying a cheese plate with a side of bread at a favorite wine bar and delicatessen. I broke off a piece of the bread, buttered it, and I was shocked at how good it tasted. I like butter, but this was special.      Back home I tasted our usual brand of butter.  It paled by comparison. Over the next several weeks I tried seven different commercial brands, and none…

Read More
Tomato salsa

Salsa Season In The Midwest

    Salsa has a season; at least it does in the Midwest. It begins when those first July tomatoes ripen on the vine, and it might last into the middle of September.      It’s hard to beat the succulent taste of a fresh tomato, and it spoils it for the rest of the year when we have to rely on grocery stores to be our providers. Their tomatoes certainly don’t compare with our homegrown types, but it really isn’t fair to the out-of-state growers to make such comparisons.      First…

Read More
Wine flight

Wine Flight Appetizers (A Novel First Course)

      For a novel first course, we sometimes substitute the salad for a wine flight. We’ve found this to be an enjoyable and unique way to kick off an evening.      To populate a wine flight, we select wines either by vintage, varietal, region, or country. We also think it’s a good idea to consider the level of sophistication of the guests’ wine palettes. If our guests are new to wine, it gives them a chance to contrast the differences between each grape.       One of our recent wine flights featured…

Read More