Monday, March 22, 2010

Avery's Fifteen Minute Appetizer

Rush, rush, rush.
Make time.
Fit it all in.

Are these words NOT music to your ears?

Mine, either. But life seems to run away from us sometimes.

"Big wheel keeps on turning!"

So, to honor our busy lives, and waking up this morning realizing I had a post to fix for Monday before I could get on a plane to visit my nephew -- my husband will stay home and take care of our buddy Max --

I threw together a quick recipe [15 minutes or less] that I love to serve when I, at the last minute, realize I've got guests coming and need an appetizer A.S.A.P., and I've decided NOT to go with a cheese platter (which is always a great appetizer).

These are what I call "cheese wheels on a stick", for lack of a more elegant title.

I keep these items in my kitchen at all times for just such an occasion: mozzarella cheese (which comes in roll-able strips by Bel Gioso), tomatoes, fresh basil (a live plant, bought at the local grocery), herbs, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, TOOTHPICKS.

Cheese Wheels On A Stick

[amount depends on # of guests - 1 package of Bel Gioso cheese will make about 24]
Mozzarella cheese strips
Roma tomato, sliced thin [really, really thin!]
Fresh basil [full leaves]
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Dried: Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, Parsley, Paprika

Place Mozzarella strips on a working surface
Drizzel with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs
Layer with basil and thinly-sliced tomatoes
Roll into a "roll"
Hold fast with toothpicks
Sprinkle with paprika
Slice in 1/2" slices [re-secure with toothpicks if necessary]

That's it!

Serve on your prettiest plate and enjoy! These little morsels melt in your mouth.

And NOTE: they keep well for another day if you made too many!

Congrats to our very own Krista Davis! Her new Domestic Diva mystery, The Diva Paints the Town, is now a best seller with the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.

Don't forget about our contest! We’re celebrating cupcakes now that Jenn McKinlay’s SPRINKLE WITH MURDER is out in bookstores near you! If you’d like to win cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop, send us an e-mail at or leave a comment with your idea of the wackiest cupcake ingredients you can think of. Tofu, anyone?

To celebrate the April release of CUT TO THE CORPSE, Jenn is giving away an autographed copy of the book. All you have to do is visit the contest section on her web page ( and cast your vote for Team Nate or Team Dom. For those of you who read the first book in the series STUCK ON MURDER, you know that
her heroine Brenna is going to have to make a choice! Help her out and cast your vote today!

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST [at least I hope not least...]
My latest newsletter came out on St. Patrick's Day, and I'm having a contest as well. Win eight ounces of a delicious gourmet cheese. The contest is for all who sign up for the newsletter using the link above. Send me an email about YOUR favorite cheese and you're entered to win.

And now...

Sorry to make this post so brief, but I really do have to run to catch the airplane.

coming this July from Berkley Prime Crime


  1. I could easily eat mozzarella all day so these are right up my alley! Thanks for another great recipe!

  2. It's brilliant! I love how easy this is, Avery. And they're pretty on a plate, too! Thanks for this'll help with my crazy life!


  3. What a beautiful presentation this makes. This is a great quick treat!

  4. Sauerkraut is my cupcake ingredient. Coming from good German stock my gram of course had a yummy recipe for sauerkraut cake in her recipes! I'm presently enjoying reading "The Diva Paints The Town". :)

  5. There would be no leftovers at our house. Thanks for such a quick and easy appetizer.

  6. Glad everyone is enjoying! I'm waiting for my plane :)

  7. Avery - Just wanted to let you know that I love your pinwheel idea -- the colors are fabulous. You also reminded me just how wonderful it is to include the taste of fresh basil leaves in...well (frankly) too many things to list. LOL! Have a great (and safe) trip!

    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  8. Have fun, Avery. I love your recipe.
    One of the best sandwiches I ever had was
    mozzarella, tomato and basil on crusty
    French bread. Divine.

  9. Fresh basil can't be too far away anymore. Just the thought of it makes me think of summer!

    Pickleberries, I hope you enjoy The Diva Paints the Town! I come from German stock, too, but I've never heard of sauerkraut cake!

  10. I can just see these on a nice plate, tempting!