A Feast to Satisfy Both the Eyes and The Stomach

A party is not a party unless you have some delicious appetizers to munch on. So to go with the previously published Holiday Cocktail Drink Recipe Guide (https://fashionpluslifestyle.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/lets-break-out-the-booze-and-have-a-ball/), I am also posting a menu of fun, tasty finger foods for you to make and enjoy as you hang out with family and friends.

Smucker’s® has introduced Smucker’s Pairings – a simple way to get inspired and discover new uses for your favorite fruit spreads. By uniting unique or traditional ingredients, home cooks can make delicious flavor combinations and create the ultimate wow factor. Smucker’s Pairings use five ingredients or less and are ready in about 15 minutes, so you don’t have to wait long to delight the taste buds. Whether entertaining friends, whipping up a family meal or making an afternoon snack for the kids, Smucker’s Pairings will inspire you to experiment with fruit spreads in new ways – like creating a Fresh Cranberry Orange Pecan Relish or a delicious Strawberry Feta Almond Spread.
SMUCKER’S NATURAL FRUIT SPREADS (available in four delicious fruit flavors – Strawberry, Red Raspberry, Orange Marmalade and Concord Grape) are made with ingredients from natural sources, has no preservatives and is naturally delicious made with real sugar.

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Strawberry Feta Almond Spread
A classic combo with a twist: Combine the natural sweetness of Smucker’s®Orchard’s Finest Pacific Mountain Strawberry Preserves with the bold taste of feta cheese, toasted almonds, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Spread on assorted crackers, pitas, or endive.

Turkey Cranberry Bites
This appetizer is Thanksgiving in a bite. Just chop up some roast turkey breast, and spoon into thawed phyllo cups. Add brie, and top with Orchard’s Finest® Lakeside Cranberry Raspberry Preserves. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes at 350° F. Serve warm with a garnish of additional preserves, if desired.

Sweet & Spicy Orange Glazed Pecans
Try this pairing for a tasty spicy-sweet treat. Combine Smucker’s® Sweet Orange Marmalade and cayenne pepper, warming 30 seconds in the microwave. Toss with pecans and toast in a 300°F oven 20 to 22 minutes, until browned. Once toasted, sprinkle with salt and rosemary.

Fresh Cranberry Orange Pecan Relish
Add some seasonal flavor to your cheese board with this relish made with with cranberries, pecans, and orange. Combine chopped cranberries, toasted pecan pieces, diced red onion, and Smucker’s® Natural Orange Marmalade Fruit Spread in a bowl. Add a dash of red pepper flakes. Serve with a wedge of gorgonzola cheese, rustic crackers, or cinnamon pita chips.

Peach Pumpkin Dip
This snack captures autumn’s richness. Combine Smucker’s® Peach Preserves with the creamy lusciousness of canned pumpkin. Add a dash of pumpkin pie spice and combine with cream cheese. Puree in a blender, and serve with gingersnaps or vanilla wafers.

SMUCKER’S NATURAL FRUIT SPREADS VARIETIES are available at manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $2.59-3.89 at select retailers nationwide. Visit http://www.smuckers.com for a full list of Smucker’s fruit spreads varieties, product locator and recipes. Visit http://www.Smuckers.com/Pairings to view all the Smucker’s Pairings, and share your favorite using #smuckers #pairings.

FAIR. Quinoa Vodka is a product of the world’s first and unique Fair Trade Certified line of spirits. The company believes in being socially responsible by treating all people fairly and their vision has taken them globally to source the best ingredients directly from farmers for their high-quality, award-winning spirit. FAIR. Spirits has partnered with Kelley Sparwasser and Jessica Harlan, authors of the recently published Quinoa Cuisine, to create festive, palate-pleasing quinoa creations to complement FAIR. Quinoa cocktails. Below you’ll find cocktail dishes organized by brunch, appetizers, and then dessert.
Photo Credit: Dina Avila Photography

Blini with Crème Fraîche and Gravlax

Blini with Crème Fraîche and Gravlax

Blini with Crème Fraîche and Gravlax
This recipe will quickly become your go-to for guests, since it’s versatile enough to serve for brunch and a cocktail party alike. These fancy but easy blini are sure to have your guests thinking you’ve spent hours in the kitchen. Gravlax is salmon that has been cold-cured in salt, sugar, and spices. It is available at most specialty food stores and can even be purchased at IKEA. Tobiko can be purchased in the seafood department of most Asian and specialty food stores. Makes 20 to 24 Blini

1 recipe Quinoa Buttermilk Pancakes
1 cup whole milk
unsalted butter, as needed
6 tablespoons crème fraîche
2 pounds gravlax
4 tablespoons tobiko (flying fish roe)
24 small sprigs fresh dill

1. Make the quinoa buttermilk pancake batter according to the recipe instructions, but reduce the honey to 2 tablespoons and substitute 1 cup of milk for the buttermilk in the recipe.
2. Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a dollop of butter and melt, spreading with a large flat spatula or tilting to coat the skillet completely. Spoon the batter onto the griddle or skillet, about 1 Tablespoon per blini. Cook until the underside is golden and little bubbles form on top, about 4 minutes, then flip and cook through, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Repeat with the rest of the batter, adding butter to the griddle or skillet as needed. Let cool.
3. To serve, top each blini with ¾ teaspoon crème fraîche, 1 ounce gravlax, ½ teaspoon tobiko, and a small sprig of fresh dill.

Quinoa Buttermilk Pancakes
A great go-to pancake recipe plus a few simple additions—your favorite fruit, or shredded coconut and macadamia nuts for a Hawaiian twist—will jazz up any breakfast. You can also give this recipe a savory slant by adding chopped fresh herbs, cheese, or seasonings such as cumin or paprika. Unlike traditional pancake recipes, here you beat the egg whites before adding them to the batter, which helps keep the quinoa flour from making the pancakes dense. Makes 8 to 10 Pancakes
¾ cup quinoa flour
¾ cup quinoa flakes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
¾ cup buttermilk
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
unsalted butter, as needed

1. In a bowl, stir together the quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
2. Separate the egg whites and yolks into two medium bowls; set aside the whites. Whisk the yolks together with the honey and buttermilk. Stir the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture
until combined. Set aside for 5 minutes.
3. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on low speed until they begin to foam, about 1 minute. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until firm peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter until just combined.
4. Heat a griddle or a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a dollop of butter and melt, spreading with a large flat spatula or tilting to coat the skillet completely. Spoon the batter onto the griddle or skillet, about ⅓ cup per pancake. Cook until the underside is golden and the edges appear dry, 5 to 7 minutes, then flip and cook through, about 5 minutes longer. Repeat with the rest of the batter, adding more butter as needed. You can keep cooked pancakes warm in a 170°F oven while you cook the rest.

Eggplant “Caviar” on Grilled Quinoa Polenta

Eggplant “Caviar” on Grilled Quinoa Polenta

Eggplant “Caviar” on Grilled Quinoa Polenta
This elegant appetizer is far easier to prepare than it looks. The eggplant mixture can be made a day or two ahead and reheated to serve on ready-made quinoa polenta (the kind that comes in a tube)—just slice and grill! Makes 10 Appetizers
1 medium eggplant
1-3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 (18-ounce) package prepared quinoa polenta, any flavor, chilled in the refrigerator
1 tablespoon canola oil
flat-leaf parsley sprigs for garnish
kosher salt and black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Brush the cut sides with 1-3 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side-down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the eggplant is soft and can easily be pricked with a fork, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool.
3. Use a spoon to scoop the eggplant flesh away from the skin onto a cutting board. Chop with a knife until pulpy. Transfer to a bowl and add the lemon juice and the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The eggplant can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days. Warm it in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove before serving.
4. To serve, slice the polenta into about 10 half-inch rounds. Heat a grill pan or a countertop grill to medium-high and brush the surface lightly with the canola oil. Grill the polenta rounds until grill marks appear, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and top each with about 1 tablespoon of the warm eggplant caviar. Garnish with sprigs of parsley and serve warm.

Ginger Biscotti

Ginger Biscotti

Ginger Biscotti
These ginger biscotti pair beautifully with tea. For the coffee lover in your life, you can modify the recipe to make almond biscotti by eliminating the candied ginger, substituting almond extract for the vanilla extract, and adding ½ cup sliced almonds. Makes 10 to 12 Biscotti
2½ cups quinoa flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup minced candied ginger

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift together the quinoa flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and ginger into a medium bowl.
2. In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until the eggs have thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract; beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined, 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Stir in the candied ginger.
3. Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and form it into one long log, about 3 to 4 inches wide and 1½ to 2 inches thick. Place on the prepared baking sheet; if it doesn’t fit, divide the log in half and use a second baking sheet.
4. Bake until the top of the log begins to crack and the center is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven to 300°F.
5. Cut the roll into 1-inch slices and lay them out on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the slices over and continue baking until dry, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Packaging Tips: Stack the biscotti and wrap in food-safe cellophane, tied with raffia. Or look for
vintage cookie tins at flea markets, line them with parchment paper, and pack with cookies.

Muffins Bowl

Muffins Bowl

Quinoa Muffins
These muffins make for a great on-the-go breakfast or snack–or even a tasy, healthy appetizer fro your upcoming holiday party.. While they’re extremely tasty on their own, you can add blueberries, raspberries and lemon zest, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts, or almost anything you choose to create your own muffin masterpieces. Makes 12 Muffins

1¼ cups quinoa flakes
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 12 cups of a standard muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the quinoa flakes, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. Remove the butter from the freezer and grate, using the large holes of the grater. Add half the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss with a fork to coat with the dry ingredients, making sure the butter does not clump. Repeat with the remaining butter.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, applesauce, vanilla, and milk. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until combined.
5. If making orange-cranberry muffins, incorporate 1 c. dried cranberries, and the zest of ½ orange.
6. Spoon the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the tops of the muffins are light brown and spring back when pressed lightly, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the muffins directly to the wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature in a covered container for 1 to 2 days.

Sesame-Quinoa Cheese Straws

Sesame-Quinoa Cheese Straws

Sesame-Quinoa Cheese Straws
In the South, cheese straws are ubiquitous at celebrations, from weddings to birthday parties. Rich in cheese and butter, with a kick of cayenne, this version is a little softer than the manufactured kind but no less flavorful. Makes about 4 Dozen Straws

1¾ cups quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces), at room temperature
¼ cup whole milk, or as needed
¼ cup sesame seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the quinoa flour, baking powder, salt, mustard, and cayenne pepper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the cheese, mixing at low speed until the butter is soft and the cheese is mixed in well. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix at low speed until crumbly. Add the milk and mix at low speed, increasing to medium, until the dough comes together in a ball, using a little more milk if the dough seems too crumbly.
3. You can form the straws by using a cookie press, by rolling out the dough on a floured surface to about ¼ inch thick and cutting it into thin strips, or by handrolling small pieces of dough into thin straws. Place the sesame seeds in a shallow dish and press each cheese straw into the seeds.
Arrange the straws on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the edges are browned, 8 to 16 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days.