Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Posts tagged 'appetizers'

Recipe: Goat Cheese, Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato Torta

I know I haven’t posted much about our Christmas dinner. I’ll just say this. The food rocked. I plan on making all the dishes again, so the recipes will pop up here anyways.

The first recipe that I made is this layered “torta” that my mom put together for Christmas. The other appetizers I was doing were a bit more labor intensive, so she wanted something that was quick, easy- and delicious.

Goat Cheese, Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato Torta

via Bake Space (from “The Bride and Groom’s First Cookbook”)


8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz goat cheese, softened
2/3 cup pesto – store-bought or homemade, but it should be on the thicker side
3/4 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
basil leaves or pine nuts for garnish

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and goat cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Combine 1/4 cup cheese mixture with sundried tomatoes in another bowl and mix well.
Line a 2-cup ramekin with plastic wrap, letting ends hang over.
Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray.
Carefully spread half of cheese mixture in bottom of ramekin, followed by pesto, sundried tomato mixture, and remaining cheese.
Carefully pull on plastic wrap as you go to create smooth layers.
When finished, wrap ends of plastic wrap over top and chill for at least one hour.
When ready to serve, unwrap the top, and invert onto a plate.
Remove dish and plastic wrap.


You can serve it with crackers, or as my mom (and I) did, with some crostini. Just slice a french baguette, brush a little olive oil on the slices and toast in a preheated 375 degree oven until they’re nice and crisp. The recipe makes plenty of dip, so make sure you have enough crackers or crostini to go around!

TheBoy loved this so much that it was the one appetizer I made for New Year’s Eve. Since I added a food processor to my kitchen arsenal, I even made the pesto! Definitely great, since it looks impressive- it comes together pretty quickly (for Christmas we used Trader Joe’s pesto) and it’s something you make ahead. As a matter of fact, the toughest part will probably be tearing off the cling wrap to line the bowl with.

Macaroni & Cheese cups

These were a last minute addition to my lineup. How last minute? I ran to the store the morning of the baby shower to buy a few ingredients.

Aside from my contributions, we had a lovely curry chicken salad made by the mother to be’s grandmother, fruit supplied by her mother, and two types of sandwiches made by the grandmother. However, she’d made them two days in advance! My mother-in-law and I were concerned that it was too soon and they might be soggy.

So I decided to make these- a double batch so that I could make 48 for the party no matter what, and another 48 if the sandwiches weren’t edible. Thanks to my mom, for emailing this the night before! Read More…

Mini Quiches

I didn't get to take a picture, so this is the picture from Martha Stewart.

When I was thinking of things for the baby shower, I wanted it to be easy to eat. Something that anyone would feel comfortable grabbing and enjoying a bite. Which led me to mini quiche.

I admit, I’m not a big fan of eggs. But when you have eggs, milk and cream mixed together with some cheese and fillings in a flaky pastry? It’s one of my favorite things to have. Read More…

Pan-fried Crostini w/ Bruschetta

Recipe time! After seeing the movie- I prepared the first meal that we see Julie Powell make (pre-Project, for those wondering). Bruschetta with a pan-fried bread. It’s quite a simple recipe (I made it in practically no time at all- even after I accidentally burnt the first batch of bread)

Bruschetta ala Julie and Julia
from The Hungry Novelist


For the crostini:
French bread (the wider loaf, not a thin baguette- though if you’re doing a party, those are great, too)
Olive oil
One clove of garlic

For the bruschetta:
Tomatoes (good quality)
Fresh Basil
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

The simplest part of the recipe is the bruschetta. Simply roughly chop your tomatoes, removing the core and seeds if they don’t look edible. Toss them in a little bit of olive oil (the original recipe called for 16 oz of tomatoes, and 1 T of olive oil) and sea salt. I added a tiny bit of pepper as well. Then, tear the basil into bite size pieces and set aside for the moment (to make sure that the basil doesn’t get soggy, it’s added at the last minute)

The crostini is pretty easy, too. But as I mentioned, you might want to keep an eye on the bread- I did burn mine the first time. In a non-stick skillet, heat 3 T of olive oil. Add in your bread (don’t overcrowd the pan) and cook until one side is a golden brown. Flip the bread and add more olive oil, if necessary – the bread will soak up the oil as it cooks. Remove as soon as they’re golden brown to a paper towel. Take your clove of garlic and rub the toast (both sides).

When all your toasts are done, top with the bruschetta and enjoy!

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