Savory Little Bites for the Holidays

When you’re pressed for time, but want to entertain during the holidays, nothing could be easier than inviting friends over for a glass of prosecco or champagne and some simple appetizers. I’ve entertained this way several times recently, and have discovered that warm homemade cheese crisps, a definite crowd pleaser, are a snap to make for this season’s parties.

These savory wafers are prepared with a basic formula. Flour, butter, grated cheese, and seasonings are blended in a food processor, then rolled into a log. This log is then sliced into thin rounds that are baked quickly in the oven. You can vary your choice of cheese as I’ve done often when making these delicious nibbles. Fontina paired with crushed fennel seeds, Pepper Jack blended with toasted cumin seeds, as well as Cheshire cheese accented with chopped watercress have all been winners with friends. Continue reading

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola, Walnuts, and Rosemary

Years ago when my husband and I were newly married, we were invited to dinner one night by another young couple, both of whom were Italian. Although the entire meal was delicious, the dish I remember best was their gnocchi made with farina. Gnocchi (Italian for dumplings) can be prepared with potatoes, flour, or farina, and are usually enriched with eggs and cheese. Today, flour-based gnocchi are fashionably popular, but farina ones have long been my favorite. These gnocchi, garnished with crumbled gorgonzola, chopped walnuts, and minced fresh rosemary can be assembled ahead and served as a first course or a side dish.
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