BBQ Chicken Flatbread

BBQ Chicken Flatbread

Need an easy appetizer for a party?  Try this one.  It’s always a crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients:

Store bought flatbread (sold at specialty stores and some grocery stores)
shredded chicken breast
BBQ sauce (I like Trader Joe’s Bold and Smokey Kansas City Style)
fresh cilantro sprigs
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 of a small red onion (thinly sliced)

Directions:

Place the flatbread on a cookie sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from oven and spread a thin layer of bbq sauce on the flatbread.
Add shredded chicken and red onion slices.
Add a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and edges of bread are lightly browned.
Remove from oven and add fresh cilantro leaves.
Slice and place on a serving dish and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Goat Cheese with Lemon Garlic and Rosemary

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Fresh and light, this Goat Cheese with Lemon and Rosemary is an easy and tasty appetizer you can serve in both in the summer and winter.  I first enjoyed this when my sister served this before a holiday meal.  Bring it to a potluck or a party.  Your guests will Ooo and Ahh!

The secret is fresh rosemary.  I have it growing in my garden and I love the aroma as well as the flavor it brings to so many dishes.

Goat Cheese with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary

6 ingredients
1 5 oz. log of goat cheese
zest of one lemon
1/8- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients but the goat cheese together. Place the goat cheese on a small dish with a lip and pour the mixture over the cheese. Marinate for 4 hours to allow the flavors to mingle. Sprinkle with a little more rosemary to taste and garnish with a sprig. Serve with water crackers. Enjoy!

Apricots with Basil, Goat Cheese, & Almonds

apricots-cheese-su-xIngredients

4 ounces fresh goat cheese such as Laura Chenel, at room temperature

About 2 tsp. milk

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

40 dried apricots

40 almonds, preferably Marcona 

2 teaspoons honey

Preparation

1. Mix together cheese, 2 tsp. milk, and basil with a wooden spoon until spreadable. Thin with more milk if necessary.

2. Spread a heaping 1/4 tsp. cheese on each apricot and top each with an almond. Drizzle with honey.

Psst!  You can make this healthy appetizer up to one day ahead.  Refrigerate and then bring to room temperature (30-60 minutes before serving). Drizzle with honey  just before serving.

Easy Bruschetta

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Bruschetta is and italian antipasto  that boasts a  mixture of chopped tomatoes, balsamic, basil, and garlic, spooned over olive oil brushed slices of toasted baguette or rustic bread. It’s like summer on toast!

You can  prepare the topping  and toast the baguette slices ahead of time if needed. Then you can assemble right before serving.

Easy Bruschetta 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: Makes 24 small slices (serves 6-10 as an appetizer)

Ingredients

  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes (I like to use 1 red and 1 yellow)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced* or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more or less to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (plus a little more for brushing the toast)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Prepare the topping: Finely chop the cherry tomatoes (in 6 pieces) and place them in a medium bowl. Mix in the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar. Stir in the thinly sliced basil and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding more to taste. Set aside to marinate.

3. Prepare the baguette slices: Use a bread knife to slice the baguette on the diagonal making half-inch thick slices. Brush one side of each slice with olive oil with a pastry brush and place on a baking sheet or roasting pan.  Sprinkle with a little kosher salt.  Place in the oven on the top rack and toast for 5-6 minutes. Check for doneness and if needed, toast for 1-2 minutes more until lightly browned and slightly crunchy.  Allow the toast to cool.

4.  Assemble the bruschetta:  Place a small spoonful of topping on toasted bread and place on a serving platter. These can be made up to 30 minutes before serving and still be crunchy due to the toasting with olive oil.

You can also serve the toasts plain with a bowl of the tomato bruschetta mixture on the side for people to top their own.

Psst!   Trader Joe’s offers Bruschetta Sauce in a plastic carton in the refrigerator section and is a great substitute for making your own tomato bruschetta mixture when you are in a hurry.

 

Grilled Artichoke Frittata Squares

Grilled Artichoke Frittata Squares

Yield:   16 frittata squares
Cook Time:   35-40 minutes
These tasty protein-rich appetizers are delicious served fresh and hot from the oven but are also great served cooled, or after having chilled in the fridge. They also make a great on-the-go quick breakfast treat for those rushed mornings when made the night before.

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz. jar Trade Joe’s grilled marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (approx. 1 cup) -Don’t forget to reserve the liquid
  • 3-4 green onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 crispy crackers, (I like Ritz toasted original crackers) crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups of your favorite cheese, shredded (I use sharp cheddar cheese – approximately 8 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley plus a sprig for garnish

Directions

Pour 1/4 cup of artichoke marinade into a skillet and set aside. Chop artichoke hearts into roughly 1/2-inch-sized pieces and set aside. Heat marinade in skillet and add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are tender (about 3-4 minutes). Remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs until thoroughly beaten. Add crumbled crackers, salt and pepper, cheese, parsley, artichokes and onion and stir to combine.  Pour mixture into a 8×8-inch baking pan prepared with nonstick cooking spray) bake for 35-40 minutes or until set and very slightly browned on top. Allow to cool in pan, then cut into 16 bite-size squares.

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Pops

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Pops

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With Superbowl Sunday just around the corner, I know many of you are looking for HEALTHY appetizers to balance out all the junk food we tend to indulge in while watching the big game.  Here is a repost of a popular one that is both simple, satisfying and guilt free!  Enjoy!Tomato Basil Appetizer

1 dry pint (basket) of cherry tomatoes
1 carton of fresh mozzarella cheese (small balls or you can cut up larger ones)
10-20 fresh basil leaves (depending on size)
good quality extra virgin olive oil
good quality balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
toothpicks

 Directions

Wash tomatoes and basil and allow to dry; Thread tooth picks with tomato, basil leaf and cheese; Arrange on a serving dish; Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl; Drizzle over tomato skewers.   Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Salad Variation: eliminate the toothpicks and cut the basil leafs with scissors. Toss all ingredients together and serve in a pretty bowl for a yummy, fresh side salad.

 

 

Masala Meatballs with Mango Ginger Chutney

img_8040This easy-peasy appetizer is so simple but the flavor combination is devine.

Masala Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

Slowcooker Method
In a  slowcooker, heat the meatballs and simmer sauce for about 2-3 hours on high until heated through.

Oven Method
Preheat oven to 350°. Place meatballs on a jellyroll pan  and cover with masala sauce. Place in oven and let cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until meatballs are heated through and sauce is hot.

Serve warm alongside a small dipping bowl of Mango & Ginger Chutney.  What could be simpler?