When I have friends over for dinner, I want to enjoy their company and not be slaving away in the kitchen. This is especially true when they first arrive and it is time for a pre-dinner cocktail. I always want to have something ready to go to serve with those cocktails; preferably something slightly salty, something that can be made at least the day before and something with a bit of a “wow” factor. The answer is often Pork Rillettes. The French name makes them sound fancy, but really they are simple to make (but no need to tell your guests that).
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I visit my favourite cheese troll and his shop on a regular basis. While I have some favourites* that I always turn to, Sean always seems to have something new for me to try and unfortunately I have rarely met a cheese that I don’t like! This usually means that I end up buying way more than I intended and I am often left with various little nubs of cheese in my refrigerator. A lot of those little pieces were thrown out. This seemed like such a waste that I went on a search to figure out what I could do with them. Of course, the French have a solution; Fromage Fort, literally “strong cheese.”
It is the time of year when hosts and hostesses get to shine or collapse from sheer exhaustion. To keep ourselves out of that latter group, we need to be prepared with tried and true recipes. I came across this recipe for Garlic and Gruyère Stuffed Mushrooms last year when I was helping a friend out with a Christmas luncheon. Since then, I have made them a dozen times! These would be perfect to nibble on with a glass of champagne as you toast the New Year!
With spring in the air, beet carpaccio is a perfect appetizer to celebrate the season. It is light and fresh tasting. I made this last weekend when some friends were coming to our house for a drink before we went out to dinner. I wanted to have something to nibble on but I didn’t want it to ruin our appetites.