Last Minute, Holiday Appetizers

If your looking for a quick holiday appetizer to pull together on a moments notice have no fear, these bite size bundles are the perfect thing!
Providing you have a box or two of puff pastry tucked away in your freezer. You have some don’t you? If not you should!
Take it straight out of the freezer, lay it on your counter, in ten or fifteen minutes you’ll be able to separate the sheets. Then sprinkle a little flour on your counter and with a pizza cutter, cut the sheet into thirds, then each third into four slices, for a total of 12 per sheet, if you cut into the other sheet you’ll have a whopping 24 appetizers!
Now place each square into a mini muffin pan, I didn’t have to grease mine but it has been called to my attention that you might have to depending on the type of muffin tins you might have. My tins are not non stick but they are fairly new so maybe the butter in the pastry was just enough.
Now the fun begins, the fillings are endless! I had less than a cup of caramelized onions sitting in my fridge so I took a bowl and mixed the onions with gorgonzola cheese and toasted walnuts, that’s how I made mine here.
 Each puff pastry cup only requires a heaping tablespoon so you don’t need much filling at all.
Think, tomato, basil and goat cheese, roasted peppers and fontina, spinach, artichoke and feta, crabmeat and cream cheese, gouda and apple, roasted mushrooms with gruyere, Do you have a jar of fig jam or even chutney in your fridge? How about a little brie and fig? You get the picture, use what you have, it’s all good!
They take 20 minutes in a 375 oven, in the meantime open a cold bottle of wine, they’ll be done in no time!
I know this is a busy time for everyone, myself included, I’ve shopped, wrapped, planned my Christmas menu and baked my last cookie, with a little help from my granddaughter!
Puff Cookies, they’re tradition in my house! One bite brings back happy memories to me.
 Now if I could just stop at one bite, that would be a good thing!
But what I really wanted to do was to take this opportunity to thank you, all my readers, for the wonderful support you’ve given me, and to wish you all a very Happy Holiday filled with an over abundance of happiness, amazing food, surrounded by those you love!
xox

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Summer Bounty Zucchini Tart

Delicate zucchini blossoms and thin ribbons of squash pressed into cheesey flavored ricotta highlight this summer bounty tart and it’s nothing short of perfection!Zucchini blossoms need to be showcased and this is the perfect canvas.
Thanks to convenient store bought puff pastry, it makes everything look so elegant when laid upon it and it tastes out of this world.
Crunchy, flaky, buttery!
Even if it sticks together because you might have left it out of the fridge too long and you couldn’t unfold it like you wanted to, ( cough cough),  it still looks pretty and no one would even have a clue that you had a problem.Here’s how you make it.

RICOTTA MIXTURE
In a bowl mix 2 heaping cups of drained ricotta
1 egg
fresh snipped basil
3 different shredded cheeses, I used romano, mozzarella and an aged chedder. At least 1/4 cup each or even more to taste. My advice, taste mixture before you add the egg.
Salt and pepper
TOPPING
In a saute pan with olive oil and 1 clove of crushed garlic, saute ribbons of zucchini, yellow squash and your zucchini blossoms for a quick minute or two until slightly wilted.
PUFF PASTRY
Line a baking sheet with parchment and unfold your cold puff pastry sheet right on to it. Lightly roll it till seams are flat and sheet looks even all around. Take a pairing knife and make a 1/2 inch border all the way around being careful not to cut through. Take a fork and prick the pastry all within the border so air can get through.
Just spread the ricotta mixture, (you’ll have extra to do another one) within the border and then lay your sauteed squash on top and dot with a few cherry tomatoes and a little drizzle of olive oil.
I like to brush my edges with olive oil and a sprinkling of romano cheese.
Cook in a 350 degree oven until edges are dark golden and crispy and so is the bottom, at least 1/2 hour could be more. Ovens vary so just check it.
ENJOY!
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BREAK OUT YOUR SPRING FORM PAN!!

AND MAKE A ROUND LASAGNA!
For some reason, don’t ask me why, I like curved objects! I know it’s a bit weird but my eye always goes to curved things, arches, rounded windows, scrolls, I can go on and on. Give me a choice between a straight line and a curve, and guess what I’m picking? So it’s no wonder that I sometimes like to make a round lasagna, it’s out of the norm, I know, but it’s fun to change it up sometimes. Just make your favorite lasagna, this one was made with ricotta and spinach, and do it exactly how you make any lasagna, just trim up the pasta to fit your spring form pan. This was made in a 10″ pan, and I’ve even made it in the smallest one, for an individual size, you can be very creative!! The only thing I would suggest is to bake it on a cookie sheet in your oven.
AND A ROASTED VEGETABLE CROSTATA!
This is a great way to use up any vegetables you might have laying around. Cut them up and lay them on a cookie sheet with olive oil, and seasonings of your choice, I used a tuscan dried herb mix I have, plus salt and pepper. Roast them till al dente in a 400 degree oven, you do not want to overcook them!For mine I used, eggplant, zuccini, red pepper, onion, and a little fennel I had. Next, roll out one piece of puff pastry so its big enough to line the bottom of a 10″ springform pan, just push down the sides and make a little crust. Place your veggies on top, sprinkle with a generous amount of Romano cheese, about a cup of Provolone cut in chunks,( the real stuff). Beat 2 eggs with a little milk, pour all over, and finally, grated Fontina sprinkled all over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 mins, or until everything is golden and crisp.

 

Don’t cut it while its hot, let it cool down to room temp, that’s the best way to eat this! If you wait, it won’t fall apart when you cut into it either. Besides the flavors come out even more at room temp. This is great with a salad for dinner, or fancy enough to serve at a party! Only you will know, you were just using up your leftover veggie’s!!!BUON APPETITO!!

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