Spend some time with this tasty app!

Even though it is not the Christmas holidays, I was tantalized by this gorgeous red and green chevre appetizer today. It fits in any time of the year, and is soooo simple, you hardly need any time at all to make it for guests who suddenly drop in and need something impressive and yummy. There’s an app for that, and this is it! Thanks to sing for your supper!

 

Goat Cheese Log with Pistachios and Cranberries/Cherries

1 8-ounce log goat cheese
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries, roughly chopped

sliced baguette or crackers for serving

In a small pan over medium-high heat, toast the pistachios until fragrant; about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool.

Combine the pistachios and cranberries or dried cherries in a plate and roll the goat cheese log in the mixture until completely coated. Place on a serving dish and sprinkle the remaining pistachio/cranberry or cherry mixture around the log. Allow to sit out at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving so the cheese will soften nicely and become more spreadable. Serves approximately 6-8.

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Holiday Apple Almond Tarte

My mother emailed me this lovely holiday recipe, concocted by the people at Viking Cruises. She and her husband sail with them frequently, and it is a wonderful reminiscence of Europe.


Ingredients:
1 unbaked, room-temperature 9-inch tart shell
1 roll (about 7 oz) almond paste
1 cup fresh cranberries
5 medium-sized apples (preferably Macintosh), peeled and sliced to make approximately 5 cups
A quarter cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
A half cup uncooked oats
A half cup all-purpose flour
A half cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold or frozen
A quarter cup sliced almonds
Vanilla ice cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Flatten almond paste on a sheet of wax paper with a rolling pin, to form an 8-inch circle. Press almond circle into the bottom of the unbaked tart shell. In a bowl, combine cranberries, apples, sugar and a half teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour on top of almond circle, into tart shell. In a bowl, combine the remaining cinnamon, oats, flour and brown sugar. Cut butter into very small pieces and stir into cinnamon mixture until crumbs form. Spoon crumb mixture evenly over the top of the apple mixture. Bake 50-60 minutes. Sprinkle with sliced almonds during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Makes 6 servings.

Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Goat Cheese

Y’all know I’m a big fan of Smitten Kitchen, right? Well, Deb over there is as big a fan of sweet potatoes as I am, so it just seems fated that I feature her sweet potato coins adorned with goat cheese as a prelude to Thanksgiving.

This recipe is really a sort of salad, using roasted sweet potatoes as the serving “shell”. If you don’t like sweet potatoes, you can mix the rest of the ingredients with leftover roasted turkey and still call it a salad. Although personally, I can’t understand anyone not liking sweet potatoes. They are the perfect side dish, getting you through the meal until the real star appears, aka dessert!

Serves 2 1/2

1 1/2 pounds sweet potato, scrubbed, unpeeled, in 3/4- to 1-inch coins
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup toasted and cooled pecan halves
2 tiny or 1 small shallot
2 stalks celery
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon dried cranberries or cherries (optional)
2 ounces firm goat cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet generously with olive oil, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Lay sweet potatoes in one layer on the oiled sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, without disturbing, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece: the undersides should be blistery, dark and a bit puffy and should release from the pan with no effort. If they’re not, let it cook longer. Sprinkle them with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until the undersides match the tops.

Meanwhile, prepare your salad. Chop your pecans well, mince your shallot, chop your celery and parsley, mince cranberries if using them. Crumble your goat cheese. If you got too soft a goat cheese for mixing, set it aside and sprinkle it on top. If it’s firmer, stir it into the mixture. In a small dish, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon dijon. Pour half over salad.

When the sweet potatoes are done, set a couple coins aside just in case someone in your party isn’t into the toppings. Lay the rest on a serving platter. Scoop a spoonful of the salsa over each round. Pour remaining salad dressing over top, to taste. Eat immediately.