top of page
  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

It’s all so Appetizing

The signup for the office holiday potluck is posted and you’ve been assigned appetizers. Before you reach—again—for the chips and jar of salsa, here are a few suggestions that anyone, yes, anyone, can make easily.

You don’t even need to spell Hor D’Oeuvres.

Sweet Goat Cheese


8 oz log of goat cheese

Drizzle of honey

Small strips of mint leaves

1 tsp lemon zest


1.Drizzle honey, mint leaves and lemon zest over goat cheese.

2. Serve with Raincoast Crisp® (fruit and nut-type) crackers.

Pumpkin & Fig Goat Cheese

Ingredients 8 oz log of goat cheese

Pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted (Trader Joe’s™ carries them)

Jar of fig jam


1. Toast ½ cup pumpkin seeds on a cookie sheet in a 350˚ oven for 10 minutes.

2. Spoon the fig jam over the cheese log and let it run down the sides.

3. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the cheese log.

4. Serve with crackers.

Autumn Brie

Ingredients 1 Tbsp each butter and olive oil

Add 1 clove minced garlic

Splash of white wine

Dried fruits (i.e. cranberries, dates, raisins, apples, apricots or Sun Maid™ Fruit Bits)

1 Tbsp pecans

8 oz wheel of brie cheese


1. Heat butter and olive oil in skillet, add garlic and wine.

2. Add fruit and stir until softened.

3. Add pecans and sauté a few minutes.

4. Pour all ingredients over the wheel of brie.

5. Microwave brie to soften and enjoy.

Garlic Spread

Ingredients Small handful of peeled garlic (you can get pre-peeled garlic in supermarkets)


Wedge of Cambazola cheese


1. Put garlic in the middle of a sheet of aluminum foil (a double layer is good) add salt, pepper and olive oil to the garlic.

2. Wrap the foil so it makes a little sealed “tent” for the garlic.

3. Put in 400-425˚ oven until garlic is tender and smaller pieces start to caramelize (about 40 minutes).

4. Spoon garlic into a small bowl or ramekin.

5. Serve with warm olive oil drizzled French bread crostini (pre-packaged or fresh crisped in oven for 5-10 minutes) and Cambazola cheese.

Filet Bruschetta

Ingredients 1 baguette

5.2 oz Boursin cheese

Small filet mignon

Sprinkle of salt


1. Slice baguette, spread with olive oil and toast both sides (you can make in advance and tightly seal.)

2. Swipe toasted slices with Boursin cheese.

3. Cook filet to medium, thinly slice and top the cheese.

4. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Chiles Rellenos Squares (adapted from


3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican Cheese Mix

1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 cans (4 oz each) chopped green chiles, drained

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp whole milk

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour


1. Preheat oven to 375˚.

2. Sprinkle half of each of the cheeses onto the bottom of a greased 8-in square baking dish. Layer with chiles and remaining cheeses.

3. Whisk together eggs, milk and flour; pour over top. Bake, uncovered, until set, 25-30 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before cutting.

Salmon Mousse

Ingredients 4 oz smoked salmon

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp minced red onion

¼ cup fresh dill sprigs

Dill for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste


1. In food processor, process salmon until very finely chopped.

2. With machine running, add the cream cheeses one quarter at a time until all is incorporated.

3. Stop machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl while checking for lumps.

4. Add onion, lemon juice and dill and process until mousse is free of lumps, correct for salt and pepper and place in an airtight container.

5. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

6. Mousse can be molded on a plate or piped from a bag onto crackers or croutons.

7. Garnish with additional dill and a slice of lemon

Stuffed Mushrooms

(adapted from

Ingredients 12 fresh mushrooms

½ pound ground beef, turkey or sausage

1 Tbsp minced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp butter

¼ cup breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste ¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup butter, melted

1 tsp chili powder


1. Preheat the oven to 425˚.

2. Remove and chop mushroom stems.

3. Combine ground meat, onion, and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until beef is no longer pink, drain.

4. Mix in chopped mushroom stems, 1 tablespoon butter, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and stir in cream.

6. Dip mushroom caps in 1/4 cup melted butter and stuff generously with meat mixture. Arrange stuffed mushrooms in a baking dish. Sprinkle with chili powder.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes



bottom of page