Tag Archives: appetizers

How to Make Bruschetta in 15 Minutes (Plus the Best Bruschetta Bar for Nights Inside)

Nothing says staying indoors quite like a delightful seasonal spread bursting with fresh ingredients. We absolutely love to use the best of the season, and one summer and early fall favourite is tomatoes. Fresh, juicy and perfectly ripe at the end of summer, we’re always looking for ways to make them a star. Our new favourite is to assemble a quick and easy bruschetta bar when spending time inside with loved ones (because we’re desperate to switch things up these days!).  With a few simple ingredients, you can showcase the bright, herbaceous flavours of this beloved app and present an impressive spread in just a few minutes.

How to Make Bruschetta (And the Best Bruschetta Bar!)

bruschetta-bar-spread

Related: From Homemade Bread to Pickles, 20 Recipes to Master While Indoors

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced or 12 cocktail tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup Vidalia onion, minced
1 clove garlic, grated
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup labneh or Greek yogurt
3/4 cup ricotta
3/4 cup hummus
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 Tbsp za’atar
1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
Olive oil

bruschetta bar assembled

Related: Ranking Canadian Retailers Offering Grocery Delivery Right Now, by Price

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Place labneh, ricotta, hummus, walnuts, parsley, basil, parmesan and pine nuts into small bowls and place on platter.
3. Sprinkle labneh with za’atar and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle ricotta with herbs, if desired.
4. Assemble all items on a platter and serve with plates for guests to assemble their appetizers.

Looking for more easy peasy recipes? Trust us: these snack plates are the easy dinner option you need this week!

This Jalapeño Popper Dip Will Be Your New Favourite Super Bowl Appetizer

Everything you love in a jalapeño popper is whirred into a cheesy, party-perfect dip. Spicy jalapeños, crispy bacon, cream cheese and a crunchy topping come together for a delicious, ultra-indulgent dip. Serve this up with veggies and tortilla chips at your next party for a crowd-pleasing riff on the new-classic appetizer.

Related: Score a Touchdown with These Vegetarian Finger Foods

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:
6 strips bacon
2 (250 g) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
3 green onions, minced
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Sliced veggies or tortilla chips for serving

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, turning occasionally, until crispy, about 10 min. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve 2 Tbsp bacon grease in a medium heat-safe bowl. Once bacon is cool, chop or crumble into pieces.
3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese until smooth. Gradually mix in mayonnaise until fully combined. To cream cheese and mayonnaise, add Cheddar, jalapenos, green onions and bacon pieces and mix to combine. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly into a 9-inch round ovenproof dish.
4. Stir panko into reserved bacon grease and sprinkle over cream cheese mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbling at the sides. Serve warm with tortilla chips or veggies for dipping.

Make-Ahead: You can make this dip ahead of time (without the panko topping, and prior to baking) and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Warm refrigerated bacon renderings in the microwave until liquefied and stir in panko. Sprinkle cream cheese mixture with panko mixture and bake, adding 5 minutes to the cooking time (40 to 45 minutes instead of 35 to 40 minutes).

Nothing gets a crowd going like a good app, so here are 35 last-minute party appetizers that are beyond easy.

cheeseball bites

Cheese Ball Bites Are the Ultimate Make-Ahead Party Appetizer

Your favourite party-perfect appetizer made mini! A simply adorable starter for the holiday season, these mini cheese balls are easy to put together and can be rolled in a variety of delicious ingredients. Serve with fresh bread for spreading, and you’re set for festive entertaining. No time? Make your gathering even easier by preparing and rolling the cheese ball bites (without coatings) up to two days ahead (wrap and refrigerate). When guests arrive, roll in your desired coatings, then dive right in.

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 24

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Ingredients:

Cheese Ball Bites
1-½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 brick (250g) cream cheese, softened
2 green onions, minced
1 tsp paprika
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper

Coating
3 Tbsp chopped, toasted walnuts
3 Tbsp chopped dried cranberries
3 Tbsp chopped crispy fried onions
3 Tbsp minced chives
3 Tbsp (3 strips) cooked, crumbled bacon
3 Tbsp roasted sunflower seeds

Serving
Sliced fresh baguette
Crostini
Crackers

Directions:

Cheese Ball Bites
In a large bowl, stir together cheddar cheese, cream cheese, green onions, paprika and cayenne pepper. Form mixture into 24, 1 Tbsp balls (tip: dampen hands with a little water if mixture is sticking).

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Coating
Roll 4 balls into walnuts, pressing lightly to adhere, and place on a serving platter. Repeat with remaining balls and coatings (4 balls per 3 Tbsp of topping).

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Serving
Serve finished cheese ball bites with fresh baguette, crostini or crackers.

Add these mini cheese ball bites to an epic Canadian cheese platter at your next holiday gathering. You can also try these 25-minute everything bagel smoked sausage rolls, along with our best last-minute party appetizers that are beyond easy.

baked-brie-rolls

Baked Brie Becomes a Show-Stopping Appetizer with Pull-Apart Bread Rolls

Store-bought pizza dough makes this show-stopping appetizer come together in a matter of minutes. A wheel of Brie is already a crowd-pleaser, but it is transformed into a truly sensational holiday dish when baked with fresh buns and served warm from the oven. Serve in the cast iron pan at the table so guests can tear off pieces of bread and dig in to the gooey, melty cheese.

BakedBrie3

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients:
600g pizza dough
170g Brie wheel
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
Pinch each salt and pepper
Jam (cranberry, fig or lingonberry)
Fresh figs and rosemary sprig (to garnish)

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Divide dough into 75g pieces. Roll each into a tight ball; set aside.
2. Using sharp knife, remove top rind of Brie. Place Brie, cut side-up, in centre of cast iron pan. Arrange pizza dough rolls around cheese.
3. In small bowl, combine melted butter, rosemary, salt and pepper. Brush butter mixture over pizza rolls.

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4. Bake in 400°F oven until top of pizza rolls start to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375°F; bake until pizza rolls are golden, hard on the outside and sound hollow when tapped, about 15 minutes.
5. Spoon a little jam over Brie; top with fresh figs and garnish with rosemary sprig.

Looking for more inspiration?  Try Our Cheesiest Appetizers Ever.

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Salami Antipasto Cups are Your New Favourite Make-Ahead Appetizers

Parties, parties and more parties rule this time of year. From ugly sweater get-togethers to cookie swaps to annual potlucks, your calendar seems to fill up quickly in this season of celebration. With party-going comes the need for fun and flavourful appetizers you can toss together with ease, no matter the occasion.

These cute little salami antipasto cups are a perfect holiday party date. Each savoury cup is packed with delicious and fresh flavours that are guaranteed to make you a favoured guest. The best part? You can use virtually any and all kinds of salami, fresh herbs, cheese and veggies you have on hand for a delicious array of flavour combinations. Plus, you can make these bites in advance, and use a muffin tin to safely transport to your party.

stuffed-salami-antipasto-cups

Salami Antipasto Cups Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 24 cups

Ingredients:
24 slices round salami
½ cup  mozzarella cheese, torn or cubed
½ cup artichoke hearts, chopped
⅓ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
10 basil leaves, torn
2 Tbsp roasted red peppers, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

salami-cup-ingredients

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375F. Line 24 mini muffin tins with salami. Fill each cup with a 1-inch loose tinfoil ball. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until crispy. Let cool completely.

2. Toss together remaining ingredients. Spoon into cooled cups.

Looking for more tasty ideas? Try these Holiday Party Appetizers Your Guests Will Love.

Apple and brie roses holiday appetizer

Make These Beautiful Brie and Apple Cinnamon Rose Appetizers

These pretty little appetizers are as easy on the eyes as they are to eat. Tender apple and creamy Brie all wrapped up in a delectable crispy, buttery puff pastry cup with a cinnamon sugar swirl. These are sure to be a hit with your guests – and will make it onto your roster of simple and delicious appetizers for the holidays!

Brie and Apple Cinnamon Roses

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Makes: 16

Ingredients:
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 sheets (two 450 g packages) frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
1 egg, beaten
1 Granny Smith apple, very thinly sliced
400 g Brie cheese, thinly sliced

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray two muffin tins with cooking spray (you’ll need 16 cups total).
2. Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
3. On a lightly floured surface, unroll one sheet of puff pastry (keep the other chilled). Cut into four 2½-inch wide strips. Egg wash ½-inch of one long end and one short end of each strip.
4. Place apple slices along the opposite long edge from the egg wash, extending slightly over the edge. Top with slices of Brie cheese. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar.
5. Starting at unwashed short side, roll dough, upwards. Press lightly to seal edge. Pinch bottom to seal and place into prepared tin. Egg wash the exposed pastry lightly. Repeat with remaining strips, sheets of pastry and ingredients.
6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until pastry is golden. Carefully remove pastries from tins immediately and place on wire cooking rack to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Love this recipe? Check out 10 more puff pastry holiday appetizer recipes.

17 Hot & Cold Appetizer Recipes for Easy Entertaining

Winter is in the air, which means that holiday party season is nearly here.  Every good host knows that a stellar appetizer spread should ideally include an equal number of hot and cold hors-d’oeuvres. If you’re hosting a Christmas bash, an ugly sweater party or a potluck, we’ve got a mix of sizzling and cool recipes that will get your party started.

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Hot Appetizer Recipes

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs

Gougeres (Gruyere Cheese Puffs)

Crispy Crab Cakes with Mustard Artichoke Aioli

Duck Pot Stickers with Plum Sauce

Lemon Chicken Lollipops

Pear and Gorgonzola Mini Pizzas

Sausage Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Shrimp Chips with Spicy Peanut Sauce

The Pioneer Woman’s Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Ina Garten’s Baked Brie

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Cold Appetizer Recipes

Holiday Cheeseball Wreath

The Pioneer Woman’s Salami Roll-Ups

Smoked Salmon on Corn Blini with Wasabi Cream

Middle Eastern Bean Dip

Chunky Summer Gazpacho

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

Tortellini Skewers

Looking for more party ideas? Try these Holiday Party Appetizers That Your Guests Will Love.

Peach-and-Proscuitto-toast-on-plate

These Fresh, Easy Appetizers Will Save Your Summer

Summer entertaining doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, it can be as easy as toast … especially when you can lean on the abundance of beautiful fresh stone fruit that is soon to be in season. We’d love to show how to turn your fruit bowl into an easy summer appetizer, with a baguette and some simple toppings.

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Peach & Prosciutto Crostini Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12 crostini

Ingredients:
1 demi baguette, cut diagonally into 12 slices
12 slices prosciutto or speck
1 ripe peach, cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup basil, torn
Good quality olive oil to garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, then drizzle with oil. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly, then drape 1 piece of prosciutto over each toast. Top each with 2 peach wedges. Garnish toasts with pistachios and basil, then finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Plum & Ricotta Crostini Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12 crostini

Ingredients:
1 demi baguette, cut diagonally into 12 slices
3/4 cup ricotta
1 ripe plum, cut into thin slices
2 Tbsp balsamic glaze
3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1 Tbsp tarragon, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, then drizzle with oil. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly, then smear 1 Tbsp ricotta over each toast. Top each with 3 plum slices. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, then garnish with pine nuts and tarragon.

Cherry & Goat Cheese Crostini Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12 crostini

Ingredients:
1 demi baguette, cut diagonally into 12 slices
1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper to garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, then drizzle with oil. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly, then divide cherries between toasts. Top with goat cheese and almonds. Drizzle with honey, then garnish with thyme and a crack of freshly ground black pepper.

Fruit-Toasts-spread

Looking for more recipes? Try these Sensational Summer Appetizers Your Guests Will Love.

Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe copy

Jalapeño Popper Dip is Your Favourite New Make-Ahead Appetizer

Everything you love in a jalapeño popper is whirred into a cheesy, party-perfect dip. Spicy jalapeños, crispy bacon, cream cheese and a crunchy topping come together for a delicious, ultra-indulgent dip. Serve this up with veggies and tortilla chips at your next party for a crowd-pleasing riff on the new-classic appetizer.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients: 
6 strips bacon
2 (250 g) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
3 green onions, minced
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Sliced veggies or tortilla chips for serving

Dip prechop

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, turning occasionally, until crispy, about 10 min. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve 2 Tbsp bacon grease in a medium heat-safe bowl. Once bacon is cool, chop or crumble into pieces.
3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese until smooth. Gradually mix in mayonnaise until fully combined. To cream cheese and mayonnaise, add Cheddar, jalapenos, green onions and bacon pieces and mix to combine. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly into a 9-inch round ovenproof dish.

Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe

4. Stir panko into reserved bacon grease and sprinkle over cream cheese mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbling at the sides. Serve warm with tortilla chips or veggies for dipping.

Make-Ahead: You can make this dip ahead of time (without the panko topping, and prior to baking) and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Warm refrigerated bacon renderings in the microwave until liquefied and stir in panko. Sprinkle cream cheese mixture with panko mixture and bake, adding 5 minutes to the cooking time (40 to 45 minutes instead of 35 to 40 minutes).

Nothing gets a crowd going like a good dip, so here are over 25 party-perfect options to dive into.

Bacon-Wrapped Cheesy Jalapeño Ghouls

The thrill of stuffed jalapeños is that you never know how spicy a pepper will be — a true trick or treat! A fun twist on Halloween mummies, these crowd-pleasing ghoulish appetizers are stuffed with a creamy filling of sharp Parmesan cheese, yogurt, mustard and thyme. The ghouls are then wrapped in smoky bacon, and gain vision with diced black olives.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 8

bacon-wrapped-jalapeno-ghouls1

Ingredients:

For Filling:
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp grainy mustard
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried thyme

For Assembly:
4 large jalapeños, cut lengthwise, seeds and veins removed
4 strips bacon, cut lengthwise into thin strips
2 pitted black olives, cut into small dice (for “eyes”)
Food colouring gel or melted dark chocolate (for “eyes”)

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a large baking sheet with foil and add jalapeños, cut side-up.
2. In a small bowl, combine filling ingredients. Divide evenly between jalapeños and smooth out top.
3. Wrap thin strips of bacon around jalapeños, leaving a small gap near the stem for the eyes. Up to this point (precooked), you can cover and refrigerate the mummies for up to 1 day.
4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until bacon is crispy and cheese is bubbling. Cool for 5 minutes.
5. Place two pieces of diced olive on each jalapeno (the “eyes”) in the small gap near the stem. Serve warm.

8-Minute Garlic and Parmesan Pan-Fried Shrimp

This dish embodies the spirit and heart of Italian cuisine; fresh, simple ingredients with a few key flavours like garlic and oregano. Pan-frying the shrimp with lots of Parmesan gives this dish wonderful contrasting texture.

Perfect for a light summer lunch, finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with chunk of toasted ciabatta bread slightly dipped in a good quality olive oil.

panfried-garlic-shrimp2

Garlic and Parmesan Pan-Fried Shrimp

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 dozen shrimp, deveined, head removed and tail on
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
Handful finely chopped basil leaves
Zest of one lemon + juice
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided

Directions:
1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, lemon zest and chopped basil to combine.
2. Add shrimp and 1/2 Parmesan, and toss well with hands to coat.
3. Heat pan on maximum heat, add shrimp and cook each side until pink, about 3 to 4 minutes total.
4. Remove from heat and squeeze lemon juice on top; cover with the rest of the Parmesan and serve immediately with slices of toasted ciabatta or baguette.

5 Gorgeous and Easy to Prepare Holiday Nibbles

Whether you’re hosting the office party or a neighbourhood drop-in, our superb spread of holiday bites has got you covered. From Thai-spiced chicken satays to Michael Smith’s famous shrimp cocktail, satisfy your guests in style.

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Crostini with Sweet Pea Mash
Spinach and Prosciutto Party Wheels

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Chicken Satays 
Michael Smith’s Shrimp Cocktail

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Bal Anerson’s Spiced Eggplant Dip with Crudites and Flatbread

Photography: James Tse. Food Stylist: Adele Shaw. Prop Stylist: Carolyn Souch. Creative Direction: Jessica Hotson

Get more holiday recipes and tips here: The Kit Holiday Issue.

Gingerbread Dip

A Gingerbread Dip That Will Pleasantly Surprise You

By Wanda Baker

If there’s one scent that takes me back to my youth, it’s gingerbread. My parents grew a big garden in our backyard, and I learned to cook by watching my parents spend countless hours turning the fruit and vegetables they harvested into the most delicious smelling food in our kitchen.

When winter arrived, jars of fruit, vegetables and salmon lined the pantry shelves. My mom didn’t bake much until later in life, but she did make us a few treats whenever the holidays arrived. Since we didn’t have family around, we spent Christmas with friends, who would bring homemade items like Christmas cakes and gingerbread to share during our holiday dinner.

Over the years I’ve experimented with gingerbread in various ways, always loving the flavour combinations. With so many ways to incorporate these flavours into baking, this recipe came about rather quickly as I was preparing for an evening with friends, and needed to whip up something at the last minute. The ladies loved it and it’s become an annual treat.

Gingerbread Dip, Courtesy of Wanda Baker, bakersbeans.ca, Calgary

The warm flavours of gingerbread infuse this creamy dessert dip.

GingerbreadDip

Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
1 package cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter, softened
3 tbsp (45 mL) brown sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
½ tsp (2 mL) ginger
¼ tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
¼ tsp (1 mL) cloves
pinch salt
grated fresh nutmeg
holiday-themed sprinkles (optional)
artisan crackers, flatbread crackers or shortbread cookies, for dipping

Directions
1. In small bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
2. Scrape into serving bowl and sprinkle top with grated fresh nutmeg. Garnish sprinkles if desired.
3. Serve with plain artisan crackers, flatbread crackers or shortbread cookies.

Bakersbeans
Wanda Baker is the author of food and life blog Bakersbeans. She is married and is mom to two kids. Following a career in marketing and events, Wanda started blogging in 2006 as a way to share her adventures and recipes. When she’s not blogging, Wanda is recipe-testing, writing, planning city-wide food events and freelancing as a social media manager.

cauliflower-healthy-arancini-risotto-balls

Crisp Cauliflower Arancini for a Healthy Snack

dairy-freee-cauliflower-arancini-balls-recipe

Cauliflower is sometimes an overlooked vegetable, but it’s an amazingly versatile ingredient that adds depth and nutrition to many dishes — particularly vegan recipes. We’ve made lots of vegan meals with cauliflower at the forefront, including cauliflower tacos, cauliflower risotto and cauliflower buffalo wings. Next we’re adding cauliflower arancini (risotto balls) to our collection of cauliflower recipes. These vegan cauliflower arancini are creamy and full of flavour with a delicate crispy crust. Serve them with your favourite marinara or homemade pesto for a satisfying snack.

dairy-freee-cauliflower-arancini-balls-recipe-2

Makes: 24 balls
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Dairy-free Cheese Sauce:
½ cup raw whole cashews (soaked in water for 3 hours minimum)
¾ cup non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons tapioca starch (or substitute cornstarch)
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt

Cauliflower Rice:
1 tablespoon ground flax (or ground chia seeds)
3 tablespoons water
5 cups cauliflower florets (approximately ½ a head of cauliflower)
2 garlic cloves
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

Extra: 3-4 cups vegetable oil (for deep frying)

Directions:
1. Whisk together ground flax with water and refrigerate for 10 minutes to set and thicken.
2. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor with garlic cloves until it becomes the texture of rice. Add the cauliflower rice to a large mixing bowl.
3. In another mixing bowl combine panko breadcrumbs with oregano, basil, sea salt, and ground pepper.
4. Drain raw cashews from the soaking water and rinse under fresh water. Drain and add to a high-powered blender with the remaining cheese sauce ingredients and blend until very smooth.
5. Heat the cheese sauce in a saucepan over medium low heat for 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly, until it thickens.
6. Add the cheese sauce to the cauliflower rice mixture, along with the thickened flax mixture, and 1 1/2 cups of the breadcrumb mixture and stir to combine well.
7. Heat vegetable oil in a pot until it reaches approximately 375 F.
8. While oil is heating form the risotto balls use a scant ¼ cup of the mixture to form 1 1/2“ balls with your hands. Then coat well in the remaining breadcrumb mixture. Set aside each ball onto a plate or baking sheet.
9. Place 3-4 balls in the hot frying oil and fry for approximately 1 ½-2 minutes each batch until the breadcrumb coating is golden brown. Remove each ball from the oil with a slotted fryer spoon and set onto paper towel. Continue until all the arancini are fried.
10. Warm up your dipping sauce while you’re frying and serve immediately.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Vegan Cashew Cheese Toasts with Poached Pears and Thyme

This recipe might look ambitious, but after one bite you’ll realize it was worth it. Besides, fancy toast is so trendy and impressive!

These delectable toasts combine a vegan smoked cashew “cheese” with juicy poached pears and crispy fried thyme for the perfect sweet and savoury bite. Try serving it alongside dinner, as part of an array of appetizers or make it for an indulgent weekend brunch.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 14 small toasts

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Ingredients:

Smoked Cashew Cheese:
1 cup raw whole cashews (soaked and refrigerated in water for 3 hours)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
½ tsp miso paste
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp white pepper
Powder from 1 vegan source probiotic capsule (10 billion CFU)

Poached Pears:
3 bosc pears
3 cups water
2/3 cup raw sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp cinnamon
2-3 thick slices of peeled ginger

Fried Thyme:
30 sprigs of thyme
1 tsp olive oil (for frying)

Extras:
Loaf of sourdough bread, thinly sliced (or your preference)

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Directions:
1. Drain the soaking water from the cashews and then rinse them in fresh water.
2. In a high-powered blender, combine cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, miso paste, sea salt, smoked paprika, white pepper and probiotic powder. You’ll need to stop the blender frequently to move the mixture around with a spatula and scrape it off the sides to get it smooth.
3. Wrap the cashew cheese mixture in a double layer of cheesecloth and place in sealed container to achieve a round shape or scoop the mixture into a jar with a lid and let it set in the fridge for at least 24 hours (up to 36 hours for a stronger flavour).
4. For the poached pears, bring water, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and peeled ginger to a boil in a pot.
5. Meanwhile, peel the pears, cut them in halves and remove the core and seeds.
6. Once the poaching liquid is boiling, place pears in the pot and let simmer at a rolling boil for 20 minutes. To prevent pears from poking out of the liquid you can cut a circle of parchment paper (the same circumference of your pot), cut a small hole in the centre and place it on top of the liquid in the pot.
7. The pears are done when you can easily poke a fork in them and they slide off. Remove them from the liquid and allow to cool.
8. Just before serving the toasts, heat a pan over medium heat with oil and thyme sprigs. Fry for 1-2 minutes until crispy, but still contain some colour.
9. Prepare your toast to your liking in the oven or toaster. Meanwhile, thinly slice the cooled poached pears.
10. Spread smoked cashew cheese on pieces of toast, place 3 thin slices of pear on top and garnish with fried thyme. Serve immediately.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

12 Best Late-Night Eats to Try Across Canada

As much as we all love a 3-course, refined dinner out with friends, sometimes we find ourselves out pretty late at night with those same friends — and once the night starts winding down, you just may find yourself getting hungry again. From shabby to chic, here are 12 places from coast to coast that will keep you well fed, well after midnight.

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416 Snack Bar 

416 Snack Bar (Toronto, ON)

Open ‘til 2 AM every night of the week, this popular eatery serves up all kinds of small plates like Korean-fried chicken, spicy tuna cones, steak tartare and even foie torchon. Start off with a plate of oysters and some bubbly, and then see where the (late) night takes you.

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Bar Isabel via BlogTO

Bar Isabel (Toronto, ON)

It’s pretty rare that you’re able to be served some of the best food in the city after midnight, but Bar Isabel is happy to do so. Their Spanish plates from patatas bravas to their signature grilled octopus will leave you happily full before you decide to turn in for the night.

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Blackfoot Truckstop Diner via Elsie Hui

Blackfoot Truckstop Diner (Calgary, AB)

Probably the most classic diner you’ll find in the prairies, this kitschy Calgary gem serves up classic fare 24/7. For me, it’s hard not to order a simple grilled ham and cheese sandwich, a perfectly greasy after-bar sort of dish, but no one leaves this place without a slice of the lemon meringue pie.

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Blackfoot Truckstop Diner via Elsie Hui

The Diamond (Vancouver, BC)

This upper-level spot in Gastown is a popular go-to for many in the food and beverage industry, as they serve food and well-made cocktails until 1 AM on weekdays and 2 AM on weekends. Sip on a michelada (tequila, mezcal, clamato and lager), while you’re grabbing a late-night bite, to cure that hangover before it even starts.

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Freeman’s Pizza via Eat This Town

Freeman’s Pizza (Halifax, NS)

Once the famous Halifax donair shops have closed their doors, you can look to Freeman’s for something tasty to eat. As the name implies, pizza is the highlight of their menu, but there’s no shortage of other options like burgers, all-day breakfast dishes, fish and chips and even salads. Though, I think we can all agree that a salad is not quite as fulfilling as a typical midnight snack. If you’re not in the mood to go out, all three locations offer pizza delivery until 5 AM as well.

Johnny G’s (Winnipeg, MB)

While it may not be the most sophisticated place to eat at in Winnipeg, it’s certainly one that most people flock to once the bars stop serving drinks after last call. The menu is has a little bit of everything, with options like spring rolls or French onion soup to chicken fingers, burgers and barbecue ribs. Don’t overthink it.

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La Banquise via Our Toronto Life

La Banquise (Montreal, QC)

If there’s ever a time to bastardize a classic poutine, it’s after midnight. Of course, you can opt for the standard fries, cheese curds and gravy option, but you’ll feel so much more content stepping outside the box and going for a poutine topped with sliced hot dogs or ground beef, pepperoni and bacon or maybe even pulled pork, slaw and sour cream. If only they delivered across the country…

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Lucy’s Eastside Diner

Lucy’s Eastside Diner (Vancouver, BC)

Walking into to Lucy’s, it’s hard not to be transported back to the 1950s with the baby pink and turquoise interior. The diner is a step above other average diners in the country, opting for things like handmade patties for their burgers, fresh baked goods and much more.

Recently, Lucy’s was noted for having some of the best milkshakes in the city, which is great because if a big ol’ milkshake can’t knock you out before bed, nothing will.

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St. Viateur Bagel via Meals with D

St. Viateur Bagel (Montreal, QC)

There’s never a bad time of day for an authentic Montreal-style bagel. St. Viateur’s flagship location is open all day and all night, every day. If you’re stopping by to get your fix of carbs, don’t forget to snag a container of Liberté cream cheese from the cooler to slather on those warm, doughy cirlces of goodness.

Thompson Hotel (Toronto, ON)

This diner inside the Thompson hotel saves Torontonians from fast food binges every day of the week. Start off with their signature poutine, made with peking duck, crispy duck skin and a hoisin gravy, before diving into something even more calorie-ridden, like the grilled cheese burger that’s every bit over-the-top as it sounds.

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Tubby Dog

Tubby Dog (Calgary, AB)

After 10 years of business and still going strong, this establishment has clearly staked its claim in the city’s restaurant scene, with their gourmet (occasionally outrageous) hot dog offerings. You can never go wrong with their namesake dog, topped with chili, bacon, onions, mustard and cheese, but if you’re feeling a little crazy, then the PBJ dog with peanut butter, jelly and captain crunch cereal will surely be a memorable meal. Don’t forget a side order of their gigantic onion rings, either.

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Union 613 via Instagram

Union 613 (Ottawa, ON)

Serving until 2 AM from Wednesday to Sunday, you can always get your fix of Southern-inspired fare here. Fried chicken, cheddar grits and cast iron corn bread are just a few of the dishes you can dig into to calm that early morning appetite. The best part? If you head downstairs, find the right book on the bookshelf to the left and pull on it to enter into their underground speakeasy. It’s pretty darn cool!

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

Bacon Cheese Puffs

Is there any food combination better than bacon and cheese? If you want an appetizer that will have everyone wanting seconds (and thirds), look no further. These amazing little puffs pack big, bold flavour into one tasty bite: light and flaky choux pastry is filled with a mouth-watering dip that combines Pepper Jack and Parmesan with crispy bacon. Feel free to serve this dip on the side and allow your guests to dip right in!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 60 bites

cheesy bacon puff pastry bites

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
3/4 cup water
6 tbsp unsalted butter
4 eggs

Cheesy Bacon Dip:
7 slices bacon
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise

Directions:

Choux Pastry:
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift flour with salt, set aside.
2. Bring water and butter to a boil in a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Remove saucepan from heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, set over medium heat until mixture forms a ball and coats the pan with a thin film.
3. Transfer to stand mixer bowl. Mix with paddle attachment until cool. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue beating until dough is shiny and smooth.
4. Spoon into piping bag fitted with 1/4-inch (6 mm) plain tip. Pipe 1-inch (25 cm) rounds, 2-inches (50 cm) apart onto prepared pans.
5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden. Reduce heat to 350°F, continue to bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Turn oven off and let the choux puffs cool for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Cheesy Bacon Dip:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Heat a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook bacon for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Cool completely and crumble.
2. In the same skillet, set over medium heat, cook onion and garlic for 2 minutes or until softened. Let cool completely. Stir onion mixture with bacon, Pepper Jack cheese, Parmesan cheese and mayonnaise until combined.
3. Split the puffs and fill each with 1 tsp (5 mL) dip. Arrange on prepared pans. Bake for 10 minutes or until filling heats through and cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Notes: Pepper Jack is Monterey Jack cheese flavoured with jalapeno peppers. Substitute Havarti cheese spiced with jalapeno if you like.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 

Amanda Riva is part of the Blog Network family.

Jarlsberg Cheese Biscuits with Creamy Garlic and Herb Butter

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Soft and pillowy on the inside with a light, cheese-topped outer crust, these homemade biscuits make even the speediest meals feel special and are bound to become a family favourite. Whether you to eat them fresh out of the oven, smothered in garlic-herb butter, as a vehicle to mop up chili, or as a base for eggs Benedict, the subtle sweet and nutty taste of Jarlsberg cheese give these warm biscuits an added layer of flavour you’ll love.

The best part about this recipe is that they freeze well, so you can double the recipe and stash away the extras for an easy weeknight treat.

Do you have a winning Jarlsberg recipe? Share it now for a chance to win a set of Le Creuset cookware worth $1500 and a 10 kg wheel of Jarlsberg cheese. Details here.

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Jarlsberg Cheese Biscuits with Creamy Garlic and Herb Butter

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: Makes about 12 biscuits

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese
1 cup buttermilk
extra shredded Jarlsberg cheese for topping

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, mix cold shortening into flour mixture until combined.
4. Quickly blend cold butter into the flour mixture until butter is roughly the size of peas. Add the shredded Jarlsberg cheese and mix until blended.
5. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the buttermilk. Working from the outside in, bring the flour into the centre with a large spoon, scooping and turning the bowl until the buttermilk is incorporated into the flour. Do not over mix.
6. For rustic-style biscuits, drop large tablespoon-sized pieces of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops with the garlic-herb butter and add some shredded Jarlsberg cheese.
7. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with more garlic-herb butter.

Jarlsberg Cheese Biscuits with Creamy Garlic and Herb Butter Recipe
Creamy Homemade Garlic and Herb Butter

Ingredients:

1/2 lb unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of rosemary, minced
2 tablespoons of parsley, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

1. Add minced herbs, garlic and butter to a food processor and blend until well combined and creamy.
2. Spoon mixture on to a waxed paper and roll, twisting the ends to secure. Put in fridge until ready to use or store in the freezer.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo

5 Ways To Master Phyllo Pastry

Transforming this wispy-thin pastry into a myriad of festive options is easier than you think. From a delightful cherry almond strudel to brunch-friendly smoked ham and egg cups, here are five reasons to get your phyllo on right now.

1. Phyllo Egg Cups with Ham and Cheese

Churning out brunch for a crowd with the ease of a seasoned line cook is a breeze with these delightfully light phyllo pastry cups, filled with smoked ham, shredded cheese and eggs, all baked to a golden brown perfection.

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2. Cherry Almond Strudel

Brimming with ripe, juicy cherries encased in crisp, flaky layers of phyllo pastry and topped with a dusting of cinnamon, brown sugar and almonds, this delicate and sophisticated treat is a cinch to pull off thanks to the PC® Black Label Sour Cherry Fruit Spread.

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3. Classic Greek Baklava

Dripping with honey and crunchy bits of walnut, this showstopper dish is where phyllo pastry really shines. Serve alongside grapes and a dollop of Greek yogurt to balance out the sweetness of this classic Greek dessert.

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4. Tomato Cheese Tart

This knock-out recipe for savoury tomatoes on a crisp, buttery tart can be thrown together in a snap, making it the perfect recipe to have on hand during the holiday season.

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5. Camembert Feuilletee with Apricot Syrup and Pistachios

Sweet apricot, creamy Camembert and pistachio, all wrapped up in a buttery phyllo purse is bound to become a dinner party staple. Because who doesn’t love melted cheese paired with fruit and nuts?

5 Crowd-Pleasing Party Starters

’Tis the season for clinking glasses and indulging in small, festive bites bursting with big flavours. Here’s how you can create a memorable stress-free holiday spread with these party-friendly nibbles that are best eaten with your hands.

1. Stuffed Sweet Mini Peppers

Filled with a mixture of creamy cheese, aromatic shallots and a touch of fiery Peperoncini Piccanti, and topped with crisp and smoky hickory sticks, these stuffed Tricolore mini sweet cherry peppers are an exceptional combination of sweet and zesty. Perfect as a quick cocktail party canapé, these crowd-pleasing bites can be whipped up in minutes.

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2. Prosciutto Spinach Party Wheels

These buttery prosciutto and spinach-filled puff pastry wheels are an impressive addition to a party spread, but are deceivingly easy to put together.

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3. Corn Fritters with Scallion Aioli

Warning: these gorgeous and addictive fritters will turn your double-dipping radar on high alert. The leftovers make a delightful base for a twist on Eggs Benedict.

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4. Antipasto Skewers

A party-pleasing take on the traditional antipasto plate, these skewers are the ideal drink-in-hand hors d’oeuvres for holiday party nibbling.

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5. Yellow Curry Shrimp Sticks

These scrumptious little battered shrimp sticks are full of crunch and when served with your favourite sweet chilli sauce, are guaranteed to become a beloved appetizer at your next party.