The best part about being home for break is getting to see all my family and friends! Today Shelby and I hosted a “tea party.” I made appetizers for lunch, and Shelby and I baked a bunch of desserts last night. And we drank tea of course. For the menu, I decided to make a bunch of little finger foods, rather than a couple main dishes. I took my inspiration from appetizers I’ve seen at restaurants that I wanted to try, as well as some recipes I’ve seen in my blog surfing adventures. I made Pear Pecan Brie Toasts, Mini Mushroom Phyllo Tarts, Butternut Squash Kale Quesadillas, and Butternut Squash Polenta Bites. My favorite was the pear toasts, although all were quite tasty. I didn’t use recipes for these, just kind of went with whatever came to mind, so the measurements aren’t exact. Here’s my best estimate of my recipes!
Pear Pecan Brie Toasts
1 baguette (choose your favorite)
4 oz brie cheese
2 large pears, sliced (I used Bartlett)
1 cup candied pecans
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Slice the baguette on a bias into 1/2 inch slices. Spread the brie cheese evenly among the slices, then toast for 6-8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Remove from oven and top with pear slices and pecans. Serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!
Mini Mushroom Phyllo Tarts
30 mini phyllo shells
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat, and lightly brown the garlic. Add the mushrooms and onions and sauté until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms release their juices. Add the white wine and soy sauce and cook until the liquid has reduced. Divide the mushroom mixture evenly between the phyllo cups. Bake the tarts for 5-8 minutes, until the tart shells are warm and crispy. Serve warm. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Kale Quesadillas
6 flour tortillas
Half a butternut squash, diced
6 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
3 cups kale, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Roast the butternut squash for about 25 minutes, until fork-tender.
Place 1 cup of the kale on a tortilla. Layer slices of mozzarella over than, then place the butternut squash on top. Fry in a skillet over medium-low heat until the cheese is melted and the kale is wilted. Repeat with the other 4 tortillas, making 3 full quesadillas total. Cut each into wedges. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Polenta Bites
Makes 16 squares
1 cup cornmeal
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp sage
Half a butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 yellow onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the polenta:
Bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Whisk in the cornmeal until no lumps remain. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the sage. Spread in a greased 9×9 pan and allow to cool. Once the polenta has cooled, invert onto a cutting board and cut 16 squares, or whatever shapes you wish.
For the topping:
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Toss the onions and squash in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, or other herbs and spices. Place the onions and squash on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 25 minutes. Place a spoonful of the vegetables on each polenta square. Sprinkle with Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake for 5-6 minutes, until the polenta is warmed through. Serve warm. Enjoy!