Showing posts with label Clobbered by Camembert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clobbered by Camembert. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Broccoli soup ala Avery Aames

Still cold? No. Me, either, but I love soup. I can drink it even on the warmest of days. There's something so comforting about it. Wrapping my hands around the bowl. Letting the steam waft over my face. Savoring the first bite as my mouth and tongue get used to the temperature and flavors.  I like soup all by itself or maybe with a hunk of bread. Most people like to add a salad or half a sandwich. Whatever your preference, enjoy!


I found a wonderful, light recipe for soup that included Gorgonzola cheese.  Because I'm in the middle of writing the 5th in the Cheese Shop Mystery series called THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT, I've got Roquefort on the brain. Gorgonzola is the Italian version of Roquefort.


HISTORY OF GORGONZOLA:
Gorgonzola is an area in the northern part of Italy, in the Milan area which is part of Lombardy. The residents of the area claim that farmers from their area created Gorgonzola cheese around 879.   This is under dispute by a couple of other towns that have the same geographic makeup. Do I care? Not really. It tastes good. Gorgonzola is a veined blue cheese with quite a bite to it. It's made from raw milk (cow or goat, by the way).


Now, back to soup. Can a soup made with Gorgonzola cheese be light? Yes! I kid you not.


The trick to making soups with veggies  is to use a blender or food processor. But remember--and this is key to the way I like soup--reserve some big chunks of the veggies or starches so the soup isn't all pureed.


EASY BROCCOLI AND GORGONZOLA SOUP


Ingredients:

Serves 4
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (gluten free if needed)
½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (divide in half)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
¾ cup half-and-half

Directions:

Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, chopped, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. 

Add the broccoli florets and broth and cook, covered, about 5 minutes. Remove about 1 cup of the florets and reserve.  

Add half of the cheese, the salt and pepper, and half-and-half to the pot. Stir. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. 

Divide the mixture among 4 bowls. Garnish each with reserved florets and some of the cheese.











Like I said, I like my soup with a hunk of bread. I made biscuits for this meal. Gluten-free, using a Pamela's mix. So easy. All it takes is some of the mix, butter, and milk. Twelve minutes later, light fluffy biscuits. They're perfect with soup.


* * * * *

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.
Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for my mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

Also, do you know about my alter ego?
DARYL WOOD GERBER...
That is my "second" name on the left.
Daryl is what my husband actually calls me.

Daryl--I--will have a new series out in 2013:
THE COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERIES
featuring a cookbook store owner
who is an avid reader and admitted foodie!

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
She doesn't say all the same things "I" do. Promise.

Say cheese!

***********




Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cecina Flatbread - made with Garbanzos & Gluten-free


This is grilled salmon covered with the tomato sauce/cecina on the side.
This flatbread was recommended to me by a waiter who knew I needed to eat gluten-free. He said back in Italy (the Tuscany region), where he was raised, this is the bread they served to anyone who had a wheat allergy. {If you didn't know, Italy has been way ahead of the US in discovering gluten allergies. From what I’ve heard, all children are tested by the age of two.}


The flatbread is called cecina (garbanzo is ceci in Italian) and it works as an appetizer or snack. Just like bread, it is best eaten right when it comes out of the oven. I read on the Internet (from someone else who read it somewhere..don't you love the Internet?) that cecina was "invented" by accident when a ship carrying garbanzo flour was caught in a storm. The flour got wet but the crew, not wanting to throw it away, added oil and baked it. I believe it, don’t you?  J  Hey, cheese was discovered when goat milk was transported across the desert. The milk, stowed in sacks that were loaded onto camels, rocked to and fro and churned itself.
Make sure to bake the cecina in a hot oven until it has a golden crust. Since baking times will vary depending on your oven, check on it often!  {I also will suggest that once it's done, if you want it crispier, cut into slices, remove the pieces from the baking pan, put on a new (non-oiled) pan and bake longer to "dry" them out. It's delish! Promise.  (And full of protein)



CECINA

Serves: 4

2 cups garbanzo flour
2 cups water
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
freshly-ground black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix the garbanzo flour and add the water with a whisk. Stir well, making sure you don't have any lumps. Add the salt. The mixture should be silky smooth.

Cover and let the mixture stand for an hour (or longer…overnight is okay). Remove any foam that has formed at the top. Stir again.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour oil into a 15 x 10 x 1 jellyroll style pan. (It should cover the bottom.)

Add the garbanzo mixture. It should be low -- no higher than ¼ inch high...sort of floating on top of the oil.

Bake in the hot oven until the cecina has a golden crust all over, about 30 minutes.

Grind lots of fresh black pepper on top of the cecina as soon as it comes out of the oven. Cut into slices and serve warm.

I served this with my:

Homemade Tomato Oregano Sauce


Ingredients:

10 Roma tomatoes (peeled, seeded, diced) (about 3 cups)
½ yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
10 grinds of a pepper mill
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
¼ cup olive oil

Directions:

Chop and dice tomatoes (see below for removing peel). Chop and dice onions. Put all the ingredients in a 10” saucepan. Heat to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

**Peeling tomatoes: Bring a pot of water to boil.  Put the tomatoes into the boiling water for about 20-30 seconds. Remove with tongs and douse with cold water. The peel should remove easily with a serrated knife.  Once peeled, cut in half, remove the seeds, then chop fine for the sauce.



* * * * *

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.
Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for my mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

ALSO...DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY ALTER EGO
DARYL WOOD GERBER? "She" has a new series that will start next year, 2013:
THE COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERIES.

{"We" share a website portal.}

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
She doesn't say all the same things I do.
And pretty soon she'll have some fun news to share!

You'll hear that first in Avery's newsletter!

Say cheese!

***********















Wednesday, May 2, 2012

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO






Hi, all. Just got back from Malice Domestic conference and the Festival of Mystery conference. I posted lots of pictures on my Facebook page.  What a blast we had. Meeting readers, sharing laughs with great friends.


Sisters in Crime Guppies (me) Kaye George, Janet Bolin, Rochelle Staab, Krista Davis & Leslie Budewitz
 I hope you'll check out the photos and leave comments. Enjoy!


And now...

Happy Cinco de Mayo.

Okay, it's not the fifth of May today, it's the second, but I like Mexican food and I love to celebrate.  My mother did, too, so in honor of mother's day which is soon, too, I'm sharing my mother's favorite drink: a margarita. She served it with the caveat that you couldn't have more than one and a half. My mother was never a stickler when it came to drinking, but in this regard, she KNEW. This drink is POTENT!  So beware but enjoy. Olé!  By the way, Grandmére in the Cheese Shop Mysteries likes her occasional cocktail, and this is one I've mentioned in the books.


Margarita ala Joanie (my mom)
(1 drink)
1 jigger nice tequila (spoil yourself; at least go for Cuervo Gold)
1 jigger Rose's Lime Juice (found in the beverage or juice section of a grocery store)
2 jiggers Triple Sec

Mix together. Rim a glass with margarita salt. Set 3-4 cubes of ice in the glass. Pour in the margarita mixture. Enjoy!



In addition to margaritas, my mother loved food.  LOL

One of the foods she loved was shrimp. So, again, in her honor, I offer you a "ceviche" tostada (made with corn tortillas). Needless to say, this goes great with a margarita.





SHRIMP CEVICHE SALAD WITH CORN TORTILLAS 
AND FETA CHEESE

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound cooked medium shrimp (see below)
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
½ cucumber, peeled, chopped
¼ red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 lime
8 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons oil
½ cup crumbled feta cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Pinch the tails off the shrimp. Cut in length half-wise. {Note: I find this easiest with kitchen scissors, starting at the fat end.} Chop the tomato, avocado, cucumber, onion. Put shrimp and vegetables into a bowl. Sprinkle with oregano and parsley and salt.  Cut lime in half and squeeze (as hard as you can) over the shrimp mixture. Let mixture stand.

Heat half of the oil in a skillet. One at a time, cook the corn tortillas, grilling to warm brown on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels as you cook the other.

Assemble the salads: 1-2 tortillas, ¼ of the shrimp mixture. Top with 2 tablespoons of feta cheese. Sprinkle with more parsley to decorate.



Now, one last "Mother's day" "cinch de Mayo" celebration.

Okay, it has nothing to do with either, but my mother would be very excited...



I'm pleased to announce that my alter ego Daryl Wood Gerber (who is actually the real me...if you've noticed on occasion) has a new book deal!  [Mariachis, strum those guitars!!]

 I've been keeping this close to my vest until it was official.   It's a three-book deal (so far). In July of 2013, the first of The Cookbook Nook Mysteries will debut.


This is a new cozy mystery series featuring Jenna Hart, an avid reader, admitted foodie, and owner of a cookbook store in picturesque coastal California. The first in the series is titled: BY HOOK OR BY COOKBOOK. The books will include recipes and lots of tidbits about cookbooks! Check out my updated website! DARYL WOOD GERBER

And, don't worry, Avery will still continue to put out Cheese Shop Mysteries. The next comes out February 2013. I'll be a busy girl next year. Not as busy as some, but busy for me!

So..what is your favorite cookbook?




* * * * *

You can learn more about Avery by clicking this link.
Chat with Avery on Facebook and Twitter.

You can learn more about Daryl by clicking this link.
Chat with Daryl on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for "our" mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!
You'll hear everything first in "our" newsletter!

Say cheese!


Cookbook 'em, Dano!

***********




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chocolate & Raspberry - Anything Better?






I made something really easy this week. Why? Well, first off, because it's delicious and I was in the mood for something really decadent with chocolate and raspberries.
 Secondly, because time is short. Many authors, including me, are heading to the Malice Domestic mystery conference in Bethesda, Maryland (or Washington D.C. as some of us prefer to think of it). What a fabulous area. The Smithsonian, the zoo, the history! 
What a fun conference. It starts early on Friday.

[Before all this, I'm heading to Salt & Pepper Books in Occoquan, VA Thursday with MLK author pals, Krista, Lucy, and Sheila. I'll have lots of photos from that event on the site next week and perhaps...some other news...can you stand the wait?  :)  ] 
Back to Malice Domestic...

There are panels and there's a banquet where the Agatha Awards are presented. Last year, THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE won the best first novel.

This year...

Krista's THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE is nominated for best novel, and Krista, Lucy (Roberta), and I (Daryl) are all nominated for best short story.  Whee.

Win or lose, we're going to party. By the way, I posted a blog on Fresh Fiction on April 19 about what to do if you're going to the convention for your first time. Take a peek. I hope the tips are helpful. {Note: I also posted them as  "note" on my Facebook page if you can't log in to Fresh Fiction.}

Hey, if you are going to attend the conference, please make sure you say hello to all of us! We love meeting our readers.

So here's what I made. Chocolate Raspberry Decadence.

First, I made is a gluten-free chocolate cake. Easy, right out of a bag from Pamela's. I love her bakery goods. You can make any chocolate cake for this, of course, if you don't have to eat gluten-free.  Then, have on hand raspberries, raspberry jam, and mascarpone cheese.

Mascarpone cheese is an Italian cheese that is like cream cheese but richer. It's easy to spread. It's milky-white and often used in desserts like Tiramisu and cheesecake. Sometimes it's used instead of butter or Parmesan cheese when making risotto. I use it to make homemade ice cream.


So here's the simple recipe:

CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY DECADENCE

(per serving)
1 slice chocolate cake
2 -3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
6-8 raspberries
2-3 tablespoons raspberry jam

Directions:

Place a slice of chocolate cake on a dish. Lather with mascarpone cheese. Place the raspberries on top of the cheese. Heat the jam for about 5-10 seconds in the microwave. Drizzle the hot jam over the berries and cheese. Savor.


* * * * *

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.
Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for my mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

ALSO...DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY ALTER EGO
DARYL WOOD GERBER?

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
She doesn't say all the same things I do.
And pretty soon she'll have some fun news to share!

You'll hear that first in Avery's newsletter!

Say cheese!

***********





Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pasta "casserole"ala Mom



When she got out of college, my mother wasn't much of a cook.   Her mother had done all the cooking growing up. But my mother was determined to teach herself how to cook. She understood "chemistry." I have letters written from her to her grandmother bragging about the first Jell-O salad she made!

Because Mom worked (one of the few in her group of women that did), she needed to throw things together quickly. Casseroles were a mainstay for us.  Luckily she loved pasta. {So did we.} And she adored vegetables. Often she would just chop things up and they'd all go into the meal.

In her honor, I decided to make a throw-together meal like she used to make. My tools are better. I have this fabulous "simple" chopper. It cost pennies to purchase -- I bought it at one of those home cookware events -- and it saves me countless time.

Note, this is a great way to hide vegetables for kids. Chop them up fine and they cook down so that kids don't really "see" them.







MEAT SAUCE AND RIGATONI
HIDDEN VEGGIES, GLUTEN-FREE, SALT FREE

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked gluten-free rigatoni (according to package) (I use Bionature)
1 pound ground beef
½ yellow onion, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped (seeds removed)
1 zucchini (chopped fine)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ to 1 cup Parmesan cheese


Directions:

Cook rigatoni according to the package directions. {May be made ahead and heated at serving by dunking in boiling water quickly.} {Yes, for those who can eat regular pasta, go right ahead!}

In a low-temperature skillet, place hamburger. Chop into bits. Let brown for about 5-10 minutes. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, sugar and pepper. Stir and let cook, at 200 degrees or low-low heat, for one hour.

When ready to serve, toss rigatoni with meat mixture.  Divide on four plates. Sprinkle with Parmesan. {Note: there is salt in Parmesan cheese.}

Enjoy.

* * * * *

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.
Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for my mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

ALSO...DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY ALTER EGO
DARYL WOOD GERBER?

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
She doesn't say all the same things I do.
And pretty soon she'll have some fun news to share!

You'll hear that first in Avery's newsletter!

Say cheese!

***********




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's Grilled Cheese Month!

It's national grilled cheese month!  Wheee!!!!!

I almost forgot until my good pal, Spaulding the Feline Foodie and his mistress, the Marcella the Cheesemonger reminded me. How silly of moi!


Marcella, the wizard, shares the perfect way to make a grilled cheese. I cannot do this better than she! Here's a link.  After visiting her link, come back and see which cheese combo I make...or go to her link after and print out the instructions. So much fun!


 If I never told you, here's the way I met Marcella and Spaulding. In THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE, the author (a.k.a. me, myself, and I) made a tiny error. Spaulding the Feline Foodie contacted me to point out the itsy bitsy error...which had to do with Humboldt Fog (a delicious Cypress Grove goat cheese).  So Rags...Charlotte's rescued Ragdoll cat in A Cheese Shop Mystery...wrote back to Spaulding. They had a delightful conversation. Spaulding's mistress forgave me the faux pas and we have become fast friends. Marcella has given me a wealth of great information about cheese. I couldn't be nearly as knowledgeable without her help. She now travels the world in the name of cheese! Lucky her.  [Poor Spaulding misses her...but he has "the man" - Marcella's sweet other half- to keep him loved.]

Devil's Gulch
I digress...back to grilled cheese. One of my all-time favorite foods. Talk about comfort food? I've never had a grilled cheese I didn't like...until I tried a combo this week that didn't work. The cheese was fabulous on its own--creamy and coated in tiny pepper flakes, but in the experiment I tried--adding olives--blech! That doesn't mean a grilled cheese with Devil's Gulch on its own wouldn't be great. It was my experiment that didn't work.


First layer of grilled cheese
On the other hand, try this sandwich that melted in my mouth. I adore the flavors of rosemary, olives, and cheese! And with simple yet delicious cheese, yummy! [Remember, the more cheese, the more it's a grilled "cheese" and not grilled "bread."]

THREE CHEESE GRILLED CHEESE


Ingredients:
(serves 2)

2 ounces Fromage d’Affiinois cheese
2 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
8 kalamata olives, sliced in half
4 slices bread  (gluten-free if necessary)
2 tablespoons butter


  Directions:

second layer
Butter the bread on one side.  Heat a griddle on medium to LOW.  Lay two pieces of bread on the griddle, butter-side down.  Layer with Fromage d’Affinois (RIND CUT OFF) and mascarpone cheese. Then add rosemary and olives. Top with shredded Gouda. Place other slide of bread on top of each sandwich “half.”

See it ooze out
Cook the sandwich about 2 minutes. Gently flip so no cheese or olives fall out. Cook another 2 minutes. Flip again. Cook 2-4 more minutes, until the cheese is oozing out the sides. [If necessary, cover with foil or another pan to make the heat really stay inside the sandwiches.]  Remember, we don’t want a burned grilled cheese, so make sure the heat stays low.

Slice in half andsserve warm.


Remember to "like" Spaulding on Facebook. 


And remember to check out our recipe box on the right for more grilled cheese sandwiches! We have a lot of them!

* * * * * 

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.
Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for my mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

ALSO...DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY ALTER EGO
DARYL WOOD GERBER?

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
She doesn't say all the same things I do.
And pretty soon she'll have some fun news to share!

You'll hear that first in Avery's newsletter!

Say cheese!

***********




Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Brunch Apple Danish



I am married to a wonderful man. I'm Christian. He's Jewish. Our family has celebrated both Easter and Passover for many years. Our combination of religions has made us see a bigger picture; we think God does, too. Our combo has also made me learn how to cook a variety of foods, including ham and brisket  (not together! LOL).  I can make waffles and potato latkes. I know how to prepare Charosos (pronounced: har-oh-sis, with a sort of guttural "h" at the beginning). It's made with apples, nuts, wine, and cinnamon (a requirement at a Seder dinner), and I know how to dip Easter eggs so the color is just right!  Vinegar to water balance is key.

I also know where NOT TO HIDE those Easter eggs so that you don't find them until the following year. [I actually make a list and keep count. Sometimes the adults are doing all the hunting in the end for the "missing" egg. Too funny.]

This year, after a Seder dinner on Friday, we're celebrating Easter on Sunday. We're having an egg hunt and I'm serving brunch, and I thought what could I do instead of waffles?

I saw a recipe for apple galette in a cheese course book that a girlfriend gave me, and thought, hmm, sounds like apple pie but looks so pretty and it's different. A galette  is basically a danish.


As many of you know, I need to eat gluten-free, so sometimes making pastry isn't all that easy. I've gone for the store-brand pre-made GF pie shell in the past, but this recipe called out to me (I have craved a good danish ever since I went off gluten), and I have to say I'm never going back to store-bought. It was so easy to make this "shell" and it tasted fabulously rich. The butter definitely made the difference. (Not good for the waistline, so good for the taste buds.)

Truly, making the pastry was easy. I used a food processor to mix up the dough. Huge help!  The dough held together. When it cooked, the dough crisped up perfectly. And the Gouda cheese made it...well, "not just gouda...great!"  (...to coin a phrase that fellow author Lorna Barrett coined for my first Cheese Shop Mystery.)

GLUTEN-FREE APPLE GALETTE WITH GOUDA

[This can be made with normal flour - sub out the rice flour and omit the Xanthan gum...that's all.]

Ingredients:

1 cup rice flour (or mixture of choice)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (less half tablespoon) unsalted butter (cold)
3 Tablespoons ice cold water
1 pound apples (Granny Smith)
3-5 Tablespoons sugar (depending on your taste)
1 egg yolk whisked with 1 teaspoon water
4 ounces (1/2 pound) aged Gouda

Directions:

To make the dough: in a food processor, combine flour, salt, and half of the butter, diced into small bits. Pulse. Add the rest of the butter, diced into small bits. Pulse. The mixture should resemble small peas.

Move mixture to a bowl. Add the ice cold water and stir with a fork. You might need to knead the mixture with your fingers (sparingly) until it holds together. Form a ball. Pat it into a hamburger-patty sized flat round. Cover with waxed paper and set in refrigerator for an hour.


Meanwhile, pare the apples, quarter, core, and then cut into thin-thin slices. Also, make the egg yolk and water mixture. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. 


Set it on a gluten-free floured board. Cover with a fresh piece of wax paper. Roll it out to about a 12-inch round. If necessary, reach beneath the wax paper and pinch pieces of flour together so no cracks form. Remove the wax paper, slice off the jagged edge so you have a circle. Set the circle on a flat (round if you have it) baking pan. (I use my pizza pan.)


Layer the apples (about 2 ½ cups of slices) in the center of the galette, leaving about 2 inches of dough free. Sprinkle the apples with sugar. Gently fold up the edges of the galette, pinching together where necessary to prevent cracks in the dough. Brush the dough with the egg wash.  Set in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. [Check to make sure it doesn’t burn. This is a hot oven.]

Serve warm with shavings of aged Gouda on each portion.

So on this Easter, or Passover, or if you simply celebrate the newness of Spring, may you enjoy good health, hope, a happy vision of your future, and be inspired to love not only yourself but those who mean so much to you! New things are on the horizon!



* * * * *

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.
Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for my mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

ALSO...DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY ALTER EGO
DARYL WOOD GERBER?

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
She doesn't say all the same things I do.
And pretty soon she'll have some fun news to share!

You'll hear that first in Avery's newsletter!

Say cheese!

***********




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March Madness Popcorn Treat





It's Final Four time and plenty of readers are going through March Madness. Woo-hoo! You (or someone you love) have watched dozens of basketball games. You are hungry for more. And if you are planning to watch basketball this weekend, you need appetizers.

[Cue: Roar from crowd!!!]

Easy-peasy is my attitude when it comes to appetizers for a sports-hungry group. Do the least amount possible. Chips and dip, cut-up veggies (for those who are health conscious), a cheese platter, and...

Dah-dah-tada! 

Parmesan dusted popcorn.

[Cue: More cheers!]

I adore popcorn, at the movies, as a snack at home, and nowadays, it's so easy to make with Orville Redenbacher's (and other popular brands) and a microwave.  [Tip: Listen for when the popcorn slows down. That's the time to take out the bag so the popcorn doesn't overcook.]













PARMESAN POPCORN

Ingredients:

Your favorite popcorn, four cups (popped)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Mix the cheese and spices. Sprinkle over popcorn when it's warm. Toss with tongs. Serve.

How easy is that!!!!


Other appetizers to consider:

Cleo's Chicken Wings
Riley Adams' Bacon and Tomato Dip
Avery's Caprese Salad on a Stick









(AND DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUR RECIPE INDEX ON THE RIGHT)


NEW FEATURE
Every few weeks, I'd like to give you a snippet of why I'm a paid author and not an employed chef, so I'm going to post a couple of lines from my current book. I hope you enjoy.

From CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT:


“I thought I’d seen a ghost,” Matthew said.
“It wasn’t Chip.” I popped off the lid of another Tupperware box of decorations we’d lugged from The Cheese Shop. “Chip lives in France, not Providence.”
“He was blonde, broad-shouldered, and fast.”
“So are you.”
“I’m telling you, the guy could run. What if it was him?”
I blew a stray hair off my face. “My ex-fiancée is not loping through the Winter Wonderland faire in the middle of February. Last I heard, he hated winter.” And hated me, but that was water over the falls.
“I worry that he’ll hurt—”
“It wasn’t him. We have tourists. Lots and lots of tourists. One looked like him, that’s all.” A fog of breath wisped out of my mouth. I buttoned my pearl-colored sweater and tightened the gold filigree scarf around my neck to ward off the morning chill. Wearing corduroys, a turtleneck, and extra socks beneath my boots weren’t doing the trick.
Every year, in celebration of Providence’s Founder’s Day, the Village Green transformed itself into a Winter Wonderland faire. Farmers, vintners, and crafters from all over Holmes County and beyond joined in the weekend fun that would officially start on Friday evening. It was a tourist draw in a season when tourists should have been scarce. Overnight, small white tents with picture windows, peaked roofs, swinging doors, and fake green grass floors appeared. Twinkling white lights outlined each tent.
I stood in the middle of ours and removed glittery wedge-shaped ornaments from the decoration box. “Let’s change the subject.”
“Okay, Miss Touchy.” A grin inched up the right side of my cousin’s handsome face. He could be such a joker. He plucked another taste of what I called ambrosia—he’d already eaten three—from a small platter of cheeses that I’d brought to sample while we worked. “Hungry?” He waved it under my nose. “Mm-mmm. This is a delicious cheese. What is it?”
“Zamorano. A sheep’s cheese from Zamora, Spain. Sort of like Manchego. The milk comes from Churra sheep.” I’d eaten my fair share as an early morning snack.
“It’s nutty and sort of buttery.”
“Your new favorite,” I teased.
                “How’d you guess?” He slipped the cheese into his mouth and hummed his appreciation. 



* * * * *

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Say cheese!
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