Tag Archives: Starters

Cheese Straws

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Last month, I catered a dinner party for which my client and I were trying to think of simple appetizers. She is a huge fan of Ina Garten, and when she mentioned bread sticks, I knew we had to try this recipe out of Ina’s Barefoot In Paris cookbook. Continue reading


Fig and Goat Cheese Toast Points

photo 3Here is another appetizer that I came up with this past holiday season, which looks very festive on a serving platter, but is simple to make. It is also both savory and sweet.

I know I have mentioned before that I like to make my appetizers easy to eat in one or two bites. This allows guests to eat discretely while carrying on conversations. This appetizer has the added advantage of letting guests eat cheese without digging into the cheese board.

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Prosciutto-Sweet Potato Bites

photo 1Are you entertaining this holiday season—or would you like to take a dish with you to any holiday parties? Here’s an appetizer to serve that combines the salty-savory taste of prosciutto with creamy sweet potatoes. Continue reading

Caprese Bites

The combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto (or basil) is a popular appetizer that can be served in many different forms. I have served it as the traditional caprese salad, layering slices of tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves, drizzled with olive oil. And I have used a fresh basil sprig as a skewer and threaded it through small tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls.

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Nibbles for Meat Lovers

I had some pre-sliced salami remaining from an event that I wanted to use, but I wasn’t sure how. We were going to a wine tasting at a friend’s house, where we would be tasting Italian wine—Dolcetto from the Piedmont region, to be precise—and that seemed like a perfect time to serve the salami, but how did I want to present it? Continue reading

Cheese Dip for Beer Lovers

If you’re having friends over–or attending a gathering–this weekend to watch the Super Bowl, here’s a great idea for a snack to serve to a crowd. My mother shared this recipe with me (I included a copy of her hand-written recipe below), but it is originally from the old Rainier Beer Company.

Serve it with a sliced baguette or a dark bread such as pumpernickel or rye. And serve it with beer, of course. Continue reading

Easy Being Green

This is one of my most popular recipes and several of my regular clients often request that I make it for them. It was one of my aunt’s favorites back in the 1960s, and it recently has seen a resurgence in popularity. Continue reading

Ring in the New Year

Our house in Seattle sits on a hill that overlooks downtown, so we often have friends over on New Year’s Eve to watch the fireworks that are set off at midnight from the top of the Space Needle.

Here’s an appetizer I plan to serve to my guests. It’s a relatively easy recipe to follow, so you can make it for your party guests too—or take with you if you are invited to a friend’s house for the celebration. Continue reading

‘Tis the Season

I’ve been busy catering parties for the past couple of weeks, so I thought that instead of posting a recipe today I would simply share some of the photographs I’ve taken at different events. Continue reading

Squash Season, Part II

I mentioned in a post last week that squash is one of my favorite fall foods, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m sharing another recipe that features butternut squash. This one can actually use any leftovers from the roast squash recipe that I posted last week. Continue reading