Island Cooking: Hey Cooks, Say Cheese!



Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s almost 2010 – where does the time go? I always heard when I was growing from people older than me that as you got older the time seemed to speed right by, but at the ripe old age of 18 I thought that would never happen; and when I hit 25 I realized I wasn’t 21 anymore and I was five years from 30, it seemed to start speeding up a bit then. When my oldest daughter was born in 1988 and I calculated that she would graduate high school in 2006, it seemed like an eternity away and now it has passed and my middle child will be graduating high school in 2010. Where did the time go?

 

For this New Year’s, I’m sure some of you have parties or gatherings to go to or just plan to stay home and celebrate the New Year. We seem to be staying home the past few years, so I like to make appetizers to snack on all night. I think appetizers are some of my favorite foods. You can eat a little bit of lots of different kinds and get to taste everything!

But first, since it is a New Year and you may or may not indulge in a beverage or two, I thought a nice mimosa for the day after New Year’s Eve – maybe for a late brunch – would be just the thing.

Mimosas

It doesn’t get easier than this for the morning after New Year’s Eve. Have a bottle of your favorite champagne and a bottle of your favorite orange juice chilling in the refriderator. Pull out those champange glasses and fill half with the champange and half orange juice, sit and enjoy!

Cheesy Puff Pastry

I love cheese and puff pastry; I think it’s one of the best combinations ever and the following recipes are so easy and good.

  • 1/2 package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (1 sheet) thawed
  • 8 ounces Brie cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

Heat the oven to 400. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Place the cheese in the center. Fold the pastry up over the cheese to cover. Trim any excess pastry and press to seal.

Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk. Brush the seam of the pastry with the egg mixture. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Brush with the egg mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 20 minutes. Get your favorite crackers and dig in.

 


 

Cheese Bites

 

  • 1/2 package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (1 sheet) thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chunky salsa
  • 5 pitted ripe olives, cut into quarters (optional) I like to use jalapeños
  • Chili powder

Heat the oven to 400. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk. Stir the cheese and salsa in a small bowl.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 15×12-inch rectangle. Cut into 20 (3-inch) squares. Place about 1 tablespoon cheese mixture in the center of each pastry square. Top each with 1 olive piece or jalepeno, if desired. Brush the edges of the pastry squares with the egg mixture. Fold the pastry over the filling to form triangles. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Place the filled pastries onto baking sheets. Brush the pastries with the egg mixture and sprinkle with the chili powder.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes.

Have a happy and safe New Year to everyone and please send your recipes to [email protected]

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