Mid Winter Appies

With lavish Christmas feasting ahead of us, the members of CEC decided that we would simplify things this week by sticking to a menu of enticing appies.

Deb, Toby and I busied ourselves prepping our various dishes while Darren assembled a bevy of tasty bits for us to snack on: wonderfully greasy Italian sausage...

...mild prosciutto-wrapped cheese log and a strapping Dubliner cheese with stout...

...zesty Kalamata olives that look oddly pink in this picture...

...and chocolate-coated, almond-covered toffee that Darren swore he slaved over all day. We're pretty sure that's a whopper though (was it the mischievous grin that betrayed him?) since he didn't have it before he went to Trader Joe's and DID have it upon his return. Amazing the things that guy can whip up in his car! ;-)

Deb made beautiful potato appies topped with cheesy sour cream, real bacon and scallions.

Toby made two kinds of zucchini - both of them deeeelicious! The first was pan fried zucchini with olive oil and garlic topped with Parmesan for the gluten-free member of our group.

The second was crispy, oven baked zucchini with a savory cheesy crust.

And I made cute little gluten-free, crustless quiches studded with mild green chilies and bits of sausage.

We were quite pleased with ourselves for managing to actually time things to be ready at the same moment. I think this may have been a first. :-) Armed with glasses of cold Riesling, we settled on couches, chairs and floor to visit and nibble. Twas a lovely way to ring in the holidays.

Happy eating, dear ones! 

Deb's Philly Mini Potato Bites
(From All Recipes)


1 1/2 pounds new potatoes
1/2 cup Philadelphia Herb & Garlic Cream Cheese Spread
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons Kraft 100% Parmesan Grated Cheese
2 tablespoons Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

  1. Place potatoes in large saucepan; add enough water to cover. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, mix cream cheese spread, sour cream and Parmesan cheese; cover. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Drain potatoes. Cool slightly. Cut potatoes in half; cut small piece from rounded bottom of each potato half. Place, bottom-sides down, on serving platter. Top each with 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with bacon bits and chives.
Toby's Breaded 'n Baked Zucchini Chips
(From Recipezaar)


2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 " slices
1 egg, mixed with
2 tablespoons milk
1 clove smashed garlic
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Combine egg, milk and garlic in a shallow dish and set aside for about 15 minutes to let flavors combine.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley and pepper in another shallow dish.
  4. Dip zucchini slices into egg mixture, then into crumbs and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over and bake for 5 minutes more or until brown and crispy.


    1. Oh this just looks and sounds perfect..what a great way to start the Season.

      Thank you SO much for the really generous comment, it really made my day.

      Sending warm Aussie wishes your way for Christmas,
      xoxo DJ

    2. I hope that's a good thing, Amuse! :-)

    3. You are so welcome, DJ! Your blog is such a delight to me. :-)

    4. Good idea to have appetizers for dinner! We could all use a little break from hectic and frantic cooking! These all look so good. I love the two zucchini preparations and those mini quiches.

      Merry Christmas chica! <3

    5. I totally agree, Joanne! Merriest of Christmases to you too!! :-)

    6. What fabulous things to nosh on!! I killed WAY too many olives on Christmas Eve. I think I ate the whole bowl alone. Ah ha ha

    7. They WERE, Kristin! :-) Mmm, love those good olives! :-)