Tag Burrata

Parties That Cook’s Cure for the Ho-Hum Holiday Appetizer Platter

Looking to host a fantastic holiday party? You might offering a full meal, or you might just serve cocktails and nibbles for mingling guests. Either way, an appetizer platter does more than just hold over your guests ’til the main course arrives. Here’s our list of must-haves for an Appetizer Platter That Pops! There’s something for everyone – even Atkins dieters, healthy eaters, gluten free folks and anyone who LOVES and appreciates gourmet food! Best of all, these items are EASY to throw together. Most, if not all, of these items can be purchased at Whole Foods, but we’ve provided some links for online orders.

This complete list can be found online at SkinnyScoop.com

Italian Castelvetrano Olives – Buttery, rich and delectable olive. These little guys go great with a glass of wine, but can stand on their own for snacking purposes.

Peppadew Pepper – Slightly sweet and pleasantly pickled, peppadew peppers make great vehicles for simple spreads and spreadable cheeses. These peppers are versatile – stuff them with goat cheese, mozzarella, kalamata olives, feta, and more. The sky’s the limit!

Burrata CheeseArtisan cheese from Italy! Incredibly delicious when sprinkled with salt. Can’t get easier than that!

Roasted or Grilled Fruit – Adds a hint of sweetness to your platter, without necessarily tasting like a dessert. In the summer grill figs, peaches or apricots tossed with olive oil on the grill until cooked but not too soft. In the fall, roast quince or persimmon in the oven tossed with olive oil and a touch of honey until soft.

Prosciutto di San Daniele – Sliced – Darker in color and sweeter in flavor than Prosciutto di Parma, it pairs wonderfully with a number of items on this plate!

Baby Arugula – A little something to balance out the stronger flavors on the plate..

Bread Sticks – Great for wrapping prosciutto and arugula around, but also great on their own – Who can argue with that??

Marcona Almonds – Originating in Spain, these pop-able bites are becoming increasingly popular in North America. Shorter, rounder, sweeter, and more delicate in texture than other varieties of almonds – What’s not to love?

Judy’s Breadsticks Crackers Country Crackers are fabulous with soft cheeses such as goat cheese, and drizzled with sweetness!

Mary’s Gluten Free Crackers No to gluten, yes to flavor and health! Organic, vegan crackers with a satisfying crunch. Eating gluten free doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor!

Can you think of your own appetizer platter must-haves? Let us know! We’re always looking for more holiday cheese platter essentials.


Parties That Cook’s January Cookbook Club: Harvest to Heat

Last Tuesday we met for our January cookbook club. Rosie, one of our amazing event planners, selected Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer’s Harvest to Heat. This cookbook puts much needed emphasis on where ingredients come from. Every few pages, you can find a short story featuring a different artisan, farmer or fisherman, and the story of how they became successful. Relationships between chefs and farmers are highlighted with the help of beautiful photos. Featuring simple recipes from numerous renowned chefs, Harvest to Heat is a confidence builder for cooks of any level.

Two of our event all-stars, Dana and Pat, joined us. Pat even made delicious Herb Gougeres! With a great semisoft cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, she could do no wrong. Still, the gougeres were baked to perfection: light and puffy, yet crispy.

Rosie signed up for Crostini with Burrata, Marinated Escarole, and Carmelized Shallots. Unfortunately, she could not find Burrata anywhere – even after checking multiple stores! She made a substitution of mozzarella, which might have gone unnoticed had she not mentioned the switch. Rosie thought the final result was a little too salty, but everybody loved them!

Michelene chose to make the Beet Salad with Chevre and Black Olive Croutons. She, too, unnecessarily confessed to a shortcut of buying olive bread (Such honest ladies!). The outcome was a beautiful and delicious salad.

Beth took on the all-day task of making Savory Bread Pudding with Bacon and Farmstead Cheese with Tomato Jam. Though the recipe requires a lot of time, you definitely do not need to be in the kitchen during much of the cooking. Beth made the executive decision to double the bacon in the bread pudding, and boy were we glad she did! Even with the extra bacon, the flavor was faint and not at all overwhelming. This dish was quite popular!

Carolyn selected Duck Meatballs with Pomegranate-Orange Glaze and Pureed Parsnips for her recipe. Carolyn could not find ground duck at the stores, and opted to substitute chicken for duck. The pomegranate-orange glaze was delicious, and the parsnip puree was a great complement to the meatballs!

Crissy wanted to try the Pork Osso Buco with Wild Mushrooms and Almond Piccata. She was very pleased with the outcome (along with everyone else!), though she did note a slight change in the texture when she reheated the meat the next day.

Bibby opted for the Cheese Grits . Bibby could not find stone-ground grits, and instant grits made a fine substitution. After following the recipe, Bibby found the grits a little bland. To correct this, she added a lot of cheese. In the end, there was no denying this was a cheese grits dish, but there’s nothing wrong with that! Everyone found these cheese grits delicious!
Bibby also decided to make Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter, Bacon and Sage. She found the recipe, which had her cook the Brussels sprouts on the stovetop in some remaining bacon fat, a bit odd. The resulting sprouts were delicious!

Traci was going to bring in Butter Bean and Corn Succotash with Candied Bacon, but was not feeling up to it after getting sick over the weekend. Erin was going to bring her mother in law, her adorable son AND a Milk Chocolate Semifreddo with Star Anise Carrot Cake, but he too fell ill over the weekend.

Overall, this was one of our most successful cookbook clubs ever! All the food was delicious, and there were few issues with the recipes! After much reminiscing about old family recipes, there was talk of a future cookbook club featuring childhood favorites. Keep an eye out for updates!