All posts filed under: Appetizers

Vegetable Spring Rolls

Happy Chinese New Year! To celebrate the Year of the Rat, I am serving up lots of delicious Chinese dishes for this big day, including one of my most favourite Chinese recipes: Vegetable Spring Rolls! One of the Best Crowd-Pleasing Recipes These Vegetable Spring Rolls are a crowd-pleaser for many reasons. They are warm, crispy and full of delightful vegetables and noodles. Plus, they can be enjoyed by everyone—vegetarians included! For the filling, I combine shredded carrots, cabbage, woodear mushrooms, scallions, rice noodles, and a few key Chinese sauces and oils. Then, I wrap the filling in store-bought spring roll wraps (yay for convenience!) before they are plunged into a pot of oil and are deep fried until crispy. I have another recipe for Baked Spring Rolls that works great too, but I like to deep-fry these when celebrating special events such as Chinese New Year. Once they come out of the fryer, I drain the excess oil and serve them warm with a side of Plum Sauce for dipping. As I was crunched for …

Cheese & Thyme Gougères

We are on the last day of 2019 and I can’t believe what an exciting (and tasty) year it’s been! From making tons of delicious recipes to doing my first paid collaboration to starting a YouTube channel (!), it’s been so fun and so rewarding to have this outlet to do what I love and share it with so many others who love food! Of course, I could not let this year go out without a bangin’ recipe, so for the final post in my #AppyHolidays series, I am sharing this wonderful recipe for my Cheese & Thyme Gougères! These are the perfect treat to ring in the new year and go great with a glass of bubbly! 🍾 What are Gougères? Gougères are these little delicious cheesy puffs that are incredibly light and airy. The base is made of choux pastry, which consists of flour, water, and butter. These are cooked over the stove until the dough comes together in a nice smooth ball. After that, whole eggs are mixed in one at a …

No-Cook Party Appetizers for the Holidays

We are exactly ONE WEEK away from Christmas and I am super excited for the big day! While it can get to be a hectic time entertaining friends and family, it can become even more hectic when you have unexpected guests drop by (or invite themselves over last minute!).  Today, I am giving you three of my favourite No-Cook Party appetizers that you can whip up in a flash when you have guests coming by. These are all really simple and can be made with just a few ingredients. Plus, you don’t have to cook anything! Total bonus! Of course, while these recipes are simple, it’s important to use high quality ingredients to get the best flavour! Citrus Marinated Olives My Citrus Marinated Olives can be made right before guests come over or can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge. I use castelvetrano olives in this recipe since they have a nice buttery consistency, and they’re not overpowering in flavour or salt.  To marinate these olives, I add olive …

Cream Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

It’s Tuesday and you know what that means… I am back again today with another #AppyHolidays post! This week, I am sharing my Cream Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Mushroom recipe. These Cream Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms are the perfect little appetizer that your guests can pop right into their mouths and savour during a cocktail party or right before a festive holiday meal. They are also very easy to make and can be served straight out of the oven or at room temperature. These mushrooms are fabulous either way! I particularly love this recipe since mushrooms are in season and widely available. Plus, during the winter here in Canada, we don’t always have fresh local produce year round (other than greenhouse veggies in the winter)! However, mushrooms are available year-round thanks to the amazing local mushroom farmers! While you can stuff mushrooms with just about any filling, I went for cream cheese and bacon this year. I think that these ingredients make it so rich and decadent, and isn’t that what the holidays are …

Pear & Goat Cheese Tartlets

I am back with another wonderful #AppyHolidays recipe this week! This recipe is for all of those who like something a little bit elegant and complex in flavour, but don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen creating it! These Pear & Goat Cheese Tartlets are great little appetizers to serve at a cocktail party or as a first course of your holiday dinner this year, perhaps with a side salad! Using the Best of the Season The late fall/early winter is when pears begin to come into season here in BC. And when they start arriving, I can’t stop myself from eating them! They’re sweet and have a nice subtle flavour, making them the perfect fruit to pair with other ingredients! Plus, if you can find locally grown pears (yes, those exist here in B.C.) then you will be on your way to making a wonderful seasonal and local recipe! A Delicate Combination of Flavours and Textures When combining sweet and savoury flavours, I like to keep things simple with basic, but good …

Cranberry Glazed Meatballs

Hello everyone! I am happy to announce that #AppyHolidays is back on the blog! This is the third year I am doing this blog series where I post a holiday recipe once a week for the month of December. So this year, there will be FIVE holiday appetizer recipes for you to make and enjoy with your friends and family. However this year is special as I am partnering with a wonderful not-for-profit organization called We Heart Local BC. We share similar philosophies of cooking with local and seasonal ingredients wherever possible. Head over to their website to check out some awesome blog posts about local farmers in British Columbia as well as lots of tasty recipes. Retro Recipes with a Modern Twist For my #AppyHolidays series this year, I took my inspiration from the retro holiday appetizers that my parents and grandparents used to make when I was a kid. In this case, I experienced these retro appetizer recipes growing up in the early/mid 1990s, but these recipes most likely originated between the 1960s …

Squid Ink Arancini

Happy Halloween, everyone! I know I am a day early, but I had to post this haunting recipe so that you can make it to celebrate to spookiest day of the year! This year, I came up with terrifying (yet delicious) Squid Ink Arancini– and they’re perfect for serving at any Halloween party you may be hosting or attending! A Spooky Twist on an Italian Classic Arancini are simply deep fried rice balls. They are made of risotto (often leftovers from a previous meal) and are typically deep fried and served with marinara or another similar tomato sauce. They are a classic Italian appetizer recipe as they are a small 2-3 bites in size, but they can sometimes be large enough to be served as a main dish as well. Of course, since rice is a blank canvas, there are so many flavours that you can add to the risotto itself! Mushroom, squash, or even my Spring Veggie Risotto are all delicious and classic risotto flavours. However, in this recipe, I opted to keep it …

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

For my final recipe of 2018, I am putting a twist on a classic recipe: Shrimp Cocktail. This elegant recipe concludes my #AppyHolidays series on my blog and it just so happens to be perfect for New Years Eve! Small (Shrimpy) Changes Make A Big Difference For the most part, the ingredients for classic shrimp cocktail and this Roasted Shrimp Cocktail are the same, however, the preparation method is slightly different. Typically, shrimp for a classic shrimp cocktail are often boiled in water until they are cooked, then are chilled and served on a platter with cocktail sauce. In this recipe, the shrimp are still served chilled, but they have tons more flavour as I roast the shrimp in the oven! This additional step (and a bit of garlic, salt and pepper) adds so much flavour and ensures that the shrimp say nice and succulent and juicy. Sustainable Seafood As with any recipe, the quality of the ingredients can really make or break the dish. In this Roasted Shrimp Cocktail recipe, I really wanted to focus …

Asian Pear & Radicchio Crostini

I’m back with another #AppyHolidays recipe for you all! And this one is perfect for when you have those pesky last minute guests that are coming to visit! We all know how that goes during the holidays… These Asian Pear & Radicchio Crostini are fast and use seasonal ingredients. Really, you can make Crostini with really anything you have, but you always need a good bread to host all the other toppings! I use a locally made French Baguette from Portofino Bakery to make these crostini. The bread has a great thin crust on the outside and a soft and spongy center. A quick toast under the broiler with a drizzle of olive oil and salt, and voila! You have a delicious crostini base to top with any ingredients you like! In this case, I used a generous smear of Herb Boursin Cheese, a few leaves of bitter radicchio and a few slices of very thinly sliced Asian pear. I really like the combination of the crunch and saltiness of the bread, mixed with the …

Maple Pork Belly Bites

These Maple Pork Belly Bites make the perfect appetizer for the holiday season. They are sweet, savoury, spicy and are packed with tons of flavour. Plus the bite-sized portions really help you control this rich cut of meat! Pork belly comes from– you guessed it– the belly of the pig. The cut of meat is what is also used to make bacon. It is heavily marbled with meat and fat, meaning that it will be juicy, tender and flavourful once cooked. I prefer to roast or braise the pork belly for a few hours in the oven so that the fat renders off slowly. Plus, this makes the meat super tender! This cut of meat typically comes with a thick cap of fat and pork skin. This gets nice and crispy when roasted under the broiler. It is important to lightly score the fat with a sharp knife so that the pork cooks evenly. I buy my Pork Belly from Fairway Market in Victoria. Fairway is an Asian grocery store that has just about any …