Goat Cheese, Honey, Pistachio Toasts for White Wine Cheese Pairing

Yesterday, I shared my marinated feta and olive recipe that I prefer to pair with pinot noir. Today, I’m sharing these little goat cheese appetizers that I love with a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc or even a rose wine.

You guys know I love an easy recipe, especially an appetizer that feels well thought out but is still easy to keep in your back pocket. Most of the time, I have these ingredients in the house. I’m constantly using goat cheese in an appetizer situation so I typically have it on hand. And aren’t they pretty?! Especially when you’ve got that swirl down!

I also really love a pop of green on this dish with the pistachios! The pistachios are an important part of this appetizer recipe; they really balance the sweetness of the honey and the tanginess of the goat cheese.

Marinated Feta & Olives for a Wine & Cheese Night Appetizer

I must tell you – I am not a sommelier. I poked around, found some pairings I thought we would enjoy and here we are. So, if you’re going to argue with me that feta and red wine don’t mix, I hear you. But also, I poked around the Internet a bit and did find that a light pinot noir will pair well with feta. And so here we are!

I personally love how the feta and olives pair with a low key pinot noir, but feta also pairs well with sauvignon blanc and rose wine. You’ll want something dry and light as the olives give a salty punch compared to feta on its own.

I love to DIY marinated feta and olives, or really any marinated cheese. It always feels pretty impressive even though, I swear, it’s so. easy.

A Trader Joe’s Charcuterie Board for 6-8 People

Hi, can you please tell me something, anything, better than a charcuterie board? Because I am obsessed. I think it’s the best part of any meal! Putting together an epic and photo-worthy cheese board is so easy, I promise! I’m going to share all my tips and tricks with you to pull together this cheese board, for which I used all Trader Joe’s products. Trader Joe’s is definitely my favorite place for all my entertaining goodies, whether I’m putting together a charcuterie board or need some frozen appetizers to fill in for a menu.

The great thing about a cheese board is that it is totally customizable to your dinner party theme, personal preferences, dietary restrictions, and so on. You can put anything on a charcuterie board!

Okay, let’s dig into all the secrets!

How to Roast Shishito Peppers with 3 Ingredients

I’ll be honest with you – I’ve never noticed shishito peppers in the grocery store before. Then, hubby and I went out with friends to a ramen place and we had blistered shishito peppers for an appetizer – I’ve been hooked ever since! And I’ve been actually noticing the peppers at the farmer’s market and Trader Joe’s.

 

Did you know: 1 in 10 shishito peppers are very spicy? The rest are just warm. And when they’re blistered, they make the most excellent vehicle for salt. Yep, these little guys are just an excuse for me to eat some salt. Because if you follow me on the ‘gram, you know I’m 100% obsessed with salt. In fact, I’ve got about 10 or 11 types of salt in my cabinet. #psycho

These cook up super fast – they puff, blister, and deflate. You can eat it in one bite and really do you here! You can season it up with anything! I used a Mexican spiced salt that I bought when I was in Mexico last year, and unfortunately it doesn’t have the ingredients in it. I’ve grabbed a few options for different salts I would try on these below.

Mushroom Bruschetta Toasts Recipe

When we were traveling to Paris for New Years, we had a layover at Heathrow airport in London. It was one of those layovers that’s so long and you aren’t really sure what you’re going to do with yourself for so many hours, but not long enough that you could actually leave the airport and have a visit in London. Next time, eh?

While we were in London, I had the most incredible mushroom toast. It was the kind of breakfast-lunch-brunch dish that has had me jonesing for round two ever since! The meatyness of the mushrooms with the creaminess of the butter and the crunch of the bread…don’t mind me while I day dream about it for the next few minutes.

This month, we’ve been trying to eat a little bit lighter, so if you’ve joined us for a dinner party this month you’ll likely 1. have had this and 2. have had some meatless dishes. All week this week I’m sharing some of my fav meatless dishes for entertaining, so stay tuned! I love this as a nice little starter, especially when the bread is toasted in butter. I mean. It’s just sheer perfection for absolutely any topping.

I throw a pat of butter in a pan over medium heat and let these little guys soak up all that creamy, buttery goodness until they’re golden brown. I love when you can actually take a bite of bruschetta, and when you toast up the bread this way, the butter soaks into the center and makes it softer to take a bite.

Beef Empanadas Recipe

You didn’t think we’d talk about cocktail party recipes, like this and this, and not talk about empanadas, did you?! I wouldn’t leave you hanging like that! These empanadas have been crowd pleasers lately, especially with the aioli I shared with  you in the chicken thigh tapas post!

These empanadas use puff pastry as the shell, which give a lovely crunchy, buttery and almost sweetness to the empanadas. And there are 2 secret ingredients that make it interesting – keep reading!

Upgrading Pigs in a Blanket with Kielbasa

Being Polish, one flavor that always strikes me as the holidays is kielbasa. My grandmother always serves up kielbasa around holidays, but the from-the-butcher kind that tastes so amazing relative to the mass produced kind. So for this pigs in a blanket appetizer recipe, I encourage you to find a butcher that sells Polish kielbasa, and if you’re in the NJ-CT-NY area, get Rapacki!

We recently hosted a cocktail party before leaving for our New Years trip to Paris (!!!), and these were such a hit! You know I’m all about any opportunity to graze and these are delightful. The puff pastry adds a sweet crunch to the salty, savory kielbasa. Plus, they bake quickly (once your pastry is defrosted) and reheat well!

Spanish Tapas Chicken Thighs Recipe

Are you a grazer? I totally am, and would prefer to have snacky, appetizer-type food any day, which of course means I’m such a sucker for a cocktail party.

This chicken thigh recipe has been on repeat in our house, having made it at least 4 times for 4 different cocktail parties. I will tell you, it does work with chicken breast, but this dish is nowhere close to as good as it is when you use the chicken thighs. There’s no oil, though, so it evens out – right?

 

The flavor in this is out of this world, too. The paprika and garlic make the loveliest combination, and the chicken comes out so juicy. A little squeeze of lemon (or lime) and the fresh chopped parsley really bring a brightness to the dish. You can serve it with an aioli or sour cream or nothing at all. And don’t worry, won’t judge you for eating out of the pan.

Baked Brie for a Festive Appetizer

If you don’t get all heart eyes over cheese, I’m not sure we can be friends? It always feels like Christmas is an excuse to get things dressed up: the house, the table, and now, the cheese. This baked brie with cranberry apple compote is on point for Christmas! It’s wrapped in puff pastry and the tangy brie combines so well with the lightly sweet compote. Serve it up with sliced green apples and crackers – it’s great with both!

Whipped Goat Cheese with Pomegranates & Jam

I can’t remember exactly the first time I had goat cheese with fig jam, but I remember thinking, “wow I could eat this every day for the rest of my life.” Goat cheese, I’ve noticed, can be a little polarizing, but if you love it then you’ll love this “recipe.” It’s literally my go-to anytime we have company, and comes together in 3 minutes. Okay, 5 if you count the time to get it to the plate and open a box of crackers and get them on a plate.

If you’ve been here for a while, you know how much I love a customizable, you-do-you-boo kind of recipe. This is 100% one of them. Top the cheese with seasoning, like Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning, or herbs, like chives. I always serve whipped goat cheese with a seasonal jam. I know, I’m always going on and on about Trader Joe’s but it’s my favorite, for so many reasons. But I can tell you one of those reasons is seasonal jam! Recently, I’ve been serving this with the sugar plum and it’s awesome. But I’ve also done the Apple Cider Jam, Peach Bellini Jam, Fig Butter, etc. Basically, grab any jam-like jar from their shevles and you are all set, my friend.