Category: Appetizers

Brie Bite Appetizers with Cranberry or Drunken Onions

If you need a quick and easy appetizer, you can’t beat baked brie in crescent dough.  Top it off with cranberry sauce or drunken onions and add a sprig of fresh rosemary for a little extra kick.  Baked brie bites disappear quickly from any appetizer table.

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crescent pastry filled with brie and cranberry or cartelized onions topped with rosemary


ingredients for crescent dough brie bites

  • Pillsbury crescent dough (dough sheet preferred, but the original Crescent Dough Dinner Roll variety will work)
  • Brie cheese
  • Cranberry sauce (canned cranberry sauce or even a fresh berry is perfectly acceptable) or Drunken onions (red onions carmelized with balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and red wine.
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs

crescent dough with brie, onions or cranberry, and rosemary

Preparation & Tools

  1. Unroll crescent dough on floured cutting board.  If you could only find the dinner roll variety pinch the seams together.
  2. Use a pizza cutter to slice the sheet into 24 squares, as equal as possible.
  3. Place crescent dough squares into the wells of a mini muffin tin.  See above.
  4. Place a small square of brie into the crescent dough.  I cut squares large enough to cover the base and I leave the brie rind (exterior surface) intact.
  5. Cover the brie with cranberry sauce or onions carmelized with balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and wine.  Canned cranberry sauce or relish is an easy alternative.  You don’t have to ‘can’ or process the onions if you prepare and use within a few days.
  6. Top with a small sprig of rosemary.
  7. Bake for approximately 15-minutes at 350 F.  The dough should be golden.
  8. Best served warm, but room temperature is fine.
  9. VARIATION:  Fresh blueberries or blackberries can also be used in place of the cranberries or onions.  In this case, I recommend using a mint leaf in place of the rosemary.

I love the flavor of the brie bites.  Do you have recommendations for other varieties?  Maybe some other kind of homemade or purchased relish?  I would love some options for my next party.


Grilled oyster recipes that everyone can enjoy

Raw oysters are great, but try grilling/broiling with spinach, garlic & Parmesan or Chorizo & cheddar. Don’t like raw oysters? Try these recipes.

As a kid, I spent a significant part of my summers down  in Gulf  Shores, Alabama.  We loved slow-living on the bay, fun times with family and good friends, and the delicious Gulf Seafood.  Shrimp, stuffed flounder, and crabs were fantastic, but my younger brother and I were HUGE fans of raw oysters.  One summer, during a side trip to New Orleans, my parents couldn’t get the trays of raw oysters to our table fast enough.  My favorite dinner as a ‘grown up’?  A wedge salad with bacon and blue cheese accompanied by at least one dozen oysters with lemon, horseradish and hot sauce.  Mmmmmmm!

While not everyone appreciates the slimy texture of oysters like I do, it is possible to prepare oysters that everyone will enjoy.  There is something primitive about cracking open the shells.  Throw a few on the grill and enjoy.

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Spinach Parmesan Grilled Oysters

Chorizo Jalapeno Cheddar Grilled Oysters

Where to buy oysters?

We found a local grocery store that often carries oysters.  I definitely recommend that you call ahead and order in advance.  You don’t want to prepare a menu only to find out oysters are not available.  Unfortunately, I am speaking from experience on this point.

The guys at our fish counter always give us a few extra.  They are typically priced by the dozen and usually one or two of the oysters are not good (won’t open or they are stinky when you open them).  Request that they pack the the oyster in a bag on ice.  Once you arrive home, be sure to open the bag when you place them in the refrigerator so the oysters can breath.

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Drunken Onion Sourdough Baguette Appetizer

I am enjoying lots of parties this holiday season.  I do hope you are too!  Many thanks to friends and family for the wonderful invitations.  I enjoy bringing along food and for a recent party I used Drunken Onions I canned back in September as the star of an appetizer dish.

I purchased the baguette slices and goat cheese from Costco and the London Broil deli meat from a local grocery store.  I have used the baguettes in the past, but didn’t notice they were jalapeno cheddar flavor until I opened them.  I thought the flavors might clash, but the little bite of heat that lingered after eating these tasty treats was quite nice.

Super easy assembly.  Spread baguette slices with a ‘schmear’ of goat cheese, add a nice layer of Drunken Onions, and top off with some roast beef or London Broil.  Voile’.  What a fabulous appetizer.  When it was time to leave the party, the plate was empty.  You’ll notice in the photos below, I made myself a little sample plate.  So important to have a taste test of what you plan to serve.

I wanted to let party guests know some details about the dish.  While I LOVE goat cheese, I realize it’s not for everyone.  I suppose cream cheese would be a good alternative.  Came up with this cute little appetizer label idea while digging through my gift wrap box.  So here I am all wrapped up and ready to head out to the party.  I brought along a couple of gifts for the wonderful hostess, including  a jar of Drunken Onions and a cute little cupcake candy dish.

Loved that the hostess sent me this cute picture the next morning……perfect place to store sugared cranberries.  We certainly enjoyed those sweet little cranberries in our martinis.  Yum.  White cranberry juice, vodka, and a few sugared cranberries.  Beautiful simplicity!  Enjoyable drink!

Cheers!  Laura