Do-Ahead Party for a Crowd – Easy Appetizer Menu (Part 2 of 3)

Lime-Cumin Chicken Salad in Square Won Tons

There are certain flavor combinations that I find magical.

Sometimes these are flavors that take each other up a notch when combined in sequence – like Roquefort with a good Cabernet Sauvignon.  Both the cheese and the wine are excellent alone; yet, when you pair them in the right proportions by eating them sequentially, each one enhances the other. Continue reading

A Science Project — Mocha Devil’s Food Cake and Oh-So-Easy Ganache

Mocha Devil’s Food Cake with Oh-so-easy Ganache

Regular readers may be wondering why, until now, I didn’t have ANY desserts posted.

No, I don’t hate sweets.   I love a good creamy bowl of ice cream, a fluffy cake, a nice soufflé or a crisp cookie.   But I do have one hang-up with making desserts.  I can’t resist turning them into extended science projects. Continue reading

Easy Mini-Tart Appetizers – Chard, Cheese and Smoked Bacon

These appetizer tarts meet my criteria for an ideal dinner-party appetizer:

  • a bite of complex but strong flavors that will stand up to cocktails
  • easy to make
  • colorful
  • edible without plates and utensils;  just pop in your mouth
  • can be made ahead and reheated before serving (can also be served at room temperature)
  • are easy to transport if making for a friend

So, last night, when invited to a friend’s house for dinner, I chose this tart recipe. Continue reading

Wine, Crab Muffins and a Sunset


Last year, I was missing my English golfing friends so much that I invited seven of them to visit and golf in Michigan.  Surely, I thought, they wouldn’t all say “yes”.   They had families, jobs, etc.  I would be lucky if one or two agreed to make the transatlantic trip. Right? Continue reading