Last-Minute Entertaining in Paris!

Summer Cherry and Cheese Tartines 3 My husband never met a stranger and is prone to issuing last-minute invitations to our house for drinks and appetizers. That was why it was not surprising that only one day after we arrived in Paris last week—still in full jet lag mode—I found myself scrambling to make hors d’oeuvres and buying rosé to serve friends passing through the City of Light.

A new recipe I had tried on the other side of the Atlantic turned out to be the pièce de résistance of our impromptu get together. I brushed baguette slices with olive oil, toasted them quickly in the oven, and then spread then with some creamy Gorgonzola. However, it was the cooked sweet and tart cherries that I spooned on top that gave these nibbles their dazzle. Continue reading

Oscar Snacks!

Deb Brown's Grilled Cheese Tartines 2After much movie-going in 2012, I’m betting that these will be Oscar winners (in the top five categories) on Sunday night!

Best Picture—Argo
Best Actor—Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Best Actress—Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best Supporting Actor—Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best Supporting Actress—Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)

I’d love to hear about your favorites! You can find a ballot here

Regardless of whom you’re rooting for, everyone loves to nibble while watching this mother of all awards shows. Decadently good cheese tartines served with a balsamic dipping sauce would be perfect to put on the menu for the big night.

These miniature grilled cheese sandwiches are the creation of Deborah Snow, the talented chef of Blue Heron Restaurant and Catering in Sunderland, Massachusetts. Deb willingly shared the recipe, explaining that these addictive little morsels were one of her catering firm’s most requested dishes.

Prepared with grated Gruyère and Grafton cheddar (a white cheddar from Vermont) that is mounded between slices of good white bread, these sandwiches are coated with melted butter, quickly sautéed, then placed in the oven for several minutes. Deb cuts the sandwiches into squares or triangles, and serves them with a simple balsamic sauce and some pear puree. I followed her directions, but used only the balsamic sauce as a garnish. Continue reading