Artichoke Ricotta Wreath

Category : Appetizers

This incredibly flavorful treat came as a last minute inspiration while trying to come up with a vegetarian friendly filling for a crescent roll wreath I learned to make at a Pampered Chef party.

2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls (8oz containers)
1 egg white, lightly beaten

16 oz regular ricotta cheese
8 oz marinated artichoke hearts
, drained and chopped
6 oz grated parmesan cheese
2 green onions, chopped
1 egg, beaten
⅓ cup Italian bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Fresh herbs
, chopped (combine basil leaves, thyme, savory, rosemary to make 1/8 cup)

Preheat oven to 375°F

Combine all of the filling ingredients together, stirring in each ingredient before adding the next. Mix until well blended.

Unroll the crescent dough and separate into 16 triangles. On a pizza stone, arrange 8 of the triangles in a circle, the wide ends towards the middle. The corners of the wide ends should touch and the points will extend off of the pizza stone. Match the wide ends of the remaining 8 triangles and arrange points neatly in the middle. Seal the wide edges only by pinching.

Spoon the cheese mixture in a mound over the seams. Starting at the middle, lift one dough point over the cheese mixture. Continue by alternating one outer point and bring it over the mixture towards the center. Slightly overlap the triangles. Tuck the last end under the first. If you end up with a lot of dough towards the center, snip off the points and lay them over open areas of the wreath.

Brush the egg white over the dough. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until very golden brown. Don’t undercook as the middle needs the extra time to firm up. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.


Sage Blackberry Cookies

Category : Appetizers, Featured, Sweet Treats

I discovered that sage and fruit go together to make both sweet and savory dishes exotic and delicious. I’ve combined sage with peaches, black raspberry, blackberries, and cherries with much appreciation!

Dry Ingredients:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup yellow cornmeal
1¾ teaspoons rubbed sage
½ teaspoon baking powder

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

1 cup seedless black raspberry or blackberry fruit spread

Preheat oven to 350°F

Combine all dry ingredients and mix well.

In a large bowl, blend butter until slightly fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add brown sugar and mix well.

Add remaining wet ingredients until blended.

Add the dry mix. If you have a stand beater, add all the flour mix. If you are using a hand mixer, the batter will be too stiff for the beater, so blend what you can and then kneed in the rest by hand.

Roll dough into ¾ inch balls and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie pan. I prefer to put a sheet of parchment paper, but it works just as well without.

Press your thumb lightly into the middle of each cookie to make a slight depression. Place ¼ teaspoon of the fruit spread into the depression. Place the fruit spread carefully to keep the cookies looking neat after baking.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool the cookie before moving.

Makes 60 cookies

Gouda Walnut Tartlettes

Category : Appetizers

This dish allows you to make tasty appetizers and, with little effort, additional light little crackers that can be used in the presentation.

1 package Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts. (at room temperature)

Filling Ingredients:
2 eggs
¼ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Table Seasoning Blend
Pinch salt

Additional Ingredients:
6 oz shredded Gouda
⅓ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup chopped fresh chives
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat ove to 375°F

Make sure that the pie crusts have sat out for at least an hour before attempting to unfold.

Using a 2½ inch round cookie cutter and cut out 12 circles from each pie crust. Using the bottom of a shot glass, press the dough into the ungreased cups of two miniature muffin tins. Save all dough scraps!

Caution: Try not to tear the dough in the cups, the egg will seep out and make the cup stick in the pan.

Beat the eggs until well blended in a medium bowl. Add cream, flour, and seasoning.

Sprinkle chopped walnuts evenly in the bottom of each cup. Fill each cup with shredded gouda. Using a measuring spoon, press down on the cheese and slowly pour in at least a teaspoon of the egg mixture into each cup. Dividing what you have left over among the cups.

Caution: Try and keep the egg away from the edges. It will bind to the pan and make it harder to remove the cups after baking. Clean spills well.

Sprinkle the chopped chives on top.

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes until egg is set and the edges are lightly golden brown. Cool 5 minutes, then remove from cups. A thin knife around the top edge will help to loosen the cups.

With the remaining dough, cut out small shapes. Place on a cookie sheet and brush lightly with butter, then sprinkle with Mrs. Dash Table Seasoning Blend. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes until golden brown.

Use the shapes to decorate the presentation place, and add one to each tartlette for garnish.


Roast Beef Wraps

Category : Appetizers

I wanted to do something different than the standard ham roll ups, so I created this savory treat.

1/2 lb thinly sliced fresh roast beef
1/2 cup onion & chive cream cheese
– softened
Sun Dried Tomato Spread
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
(not packed in oil)
1/8 cup bourbon
1/8 cup porcini favored olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper

In a food processor, snip the tomatoes into small pieces. Add the remainder of the ingredients and pulse until it forms a thick paste.

Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on each slice of beef. Gently spread a thin layer of the sun-dried tomato spread on top of the cream cheese. Roll up each piece tightly and refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour.

Cut the rolls into 1″ slices and arrange on a platter.