Smoked Gouda Bites

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Savory often trumps sweet for little bites of something for any gathering. These goodies remind me of cheese and crackers, almost as simple but with a touch of fancy!  My almost 13 year old granddaughter loves smoked Gouda cheese, so I will make these for her at our next family gathering.

Smoked Gouda Bites

1 9 inch purchased refrigerated pie crust

4 slices smoked Gouda cheese

garlic salt, or your favorite seasoned salt

1 24 count miniature muffin pan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Set refrigerated pie crust out for at least 15 minutes prior to preparation. Cut each cheese slice into 6 pieces, making 24. On a lightly floured cloth or pastry sheet, unroll crust then roll out very thin from center, leaving a rectangular shape rather than circle. Using a paring knife, cut  into 24 squares. They don’t have to be perfect squares.  Put squares into ungreased muffin pan, gently pushing down but leaving edges sticking up..  Place in  oven for 3 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and put one small cheese piece into each crust.  Return to oven for 8 minutes, or until crusts are golden brown and cheese is melted.

Remove Gouda bites from pan and serve. These are delicious when they are hot, but serve well at room temperature.

Zucchini Bites

002We enjoy zucchini in a variety of ways because I think this squash is one of the most versatile as well as easy to prepare vegetables. Usually I slice the zucchini lengthwise before adding some toppings and baking. Here I have simply applied the principle “less is more” by making it a finger food.  These bite sized rounds (well maybe 2 bites) are a perfect appetizer as well as a side.  I think they would make a nice addition to a holiday dinner.

Zucchini Bites

2 medium zucchini squash

1/2 cup jarred marinara sauce – your choice.  We like spicy!  Save the rest of the jar to add to spaghetti sauce or chicken parmesan!

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

shaved parmesan cheese

Panko bread crumbs

Italian seasoning blend – I use Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset, or you can buy Italian Seasoned Panko

Heat oven to 375. Wash zucchini and pat dry.  Trim ends and stems, then slice into thick rounds (an inch or so).  Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Top each round with marinara (a little goes a long way).  Add a few parmesan shavings and sprinkle Panko crumbs on top. Bake for around 20 minutes, until squash is tender but not mushy.  Tops should be golden brown.

Curry Soup

Yesterday’s recipe made me remember another great soup with curry.  I have been making this soup since  September 1988, when we lived in Jakarta, Indonesia.  I am fondly remembering the meal, and the three couples who came to dinner that night.  Every time I serve this, people love it and have fun guessing what the ingredients are!  I usually serve it in small espresso or demitasse cups, and seconds are always requested.

                                                Curry Soup

                                 3 Tablespoons butter

                                 1 onion, diced

                                 1 clove garlic, crushed

                                 2 Tablespoons flour

                                 1 Tablespoon curry powder

                                 2  Cups half and half

                                 1 quart chicken stock

                                 1 raw apple, peeled and quartered

                                 Salt and Pepper to taste

                                 1 Teaspoon thyme – I like to use Penzey’s French thyme.

Melt butter in large soup pot.  Add onion and garlic; cook over low heat until onion is soft and beginning to turn golden.  Add flour and curry powder; cook about 3 mintes, stirring. Add cream and chicken stock, continuing to cook and stir with a wire whisk until smooth, about 15 minutes.  Add the apple and thyme, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve in demitasse cups before dinner.  Serves 12.

The original recipe is froom one of my all time favorite cookbooks, The Texas Experience, Friendship and Food Texas Style, which was given to me by my dear friend Sondra for Christmas in 1984.