My Blog on WCCO-TV: Bite of Minnesota

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Loads of Appetizers

I still have more to post from this weekend and since we ate leftovers, I figure I'll take this opportunity to share some more.

Since Ryan had tons of studying to do this weekend, I was able to make a lot of things in the kitchen. I tried a Sangiovese Vinaigrette recipe from my new cookbook, The Spirited Vegetarian. It was made with Sangiovese that was reduced to about half, balsamic vinegar (which we now realize is not TRUE balsamic –argh!), brown sugar, garlic, parsley, dried mustard and olive oil.

Oh yeah, the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, but for some reason I read it as 1 tablespoon and didn’t realize until after I took the picture.

We then drizzled this over tomatoes, basil and mozzarella and served it with a foccicia bread for a post-workout meal.

On Sunday, I wanted to try out some appetizers for the Vikings game. I made Stuffed and Marinated Portobello Mushrooms from Gourmet Magazine and Phyllo Triangles with Artichoke Dip from The Everyday Vegan.

The mushrooms were awesome. We served them on some of our salad mix tossed with the vinaigrette marinade. I think this would be an awesome starter dish if we had company over. I used a little bacon for the stuffing, but could have used Smart Bacon or even omitted it altogether as it wasn’t the main highlight.

The Phyllo Triangles with Artichoke Dip were a bit messy to fold, but I managed it. I think the key is to use less filling. I like mine crispier, so now I know for next time. Also, I cheated a bit – since I didn’t have vegan parmesan, I used regular dairy parmesan. These were a great appetizer for a football game. No need for hand-eye coordination while dipping since the dip is wrapped up in a neat little package.

Since the oven was still on, I popped in a few frozen chocolate chip cookies.

I did use vegan chocolate chips, but not a vegan cookie recipe, so it kinda defeats the purpose – BUT, those chocolate chips do rock!


  1. Great food presentation! I just had lunch and now I want one of your cookays!

  2. Good looking stuff, Crystal. I like the phyllo dough crispier too. Since I've only used it once, I should be better at using it next time . . . live and learn!!!

    I'd probably watch more of a football game if I had your good food and, of course, one of those marvelous looking cookies.

    Something new to add to my favorite quick lunch of triscuits, tomatoes, cheese and basil . . . Sangiovese Vinaigrette. Nummy!!!

    Love You -


  3. Yum!

    Why is it not real balsamic? Did I miss something?

  4. Yum! Those little phyllo triangles are so cute. I really should give them a try!

  5. Those appies look so good. I love finger foods.

    I'm confused about you saying this wasn't real balsamic vinager too? I noticed the label on the botle said it was from Modena, which as I understand is the region in Italy famous for it's balsamic. Do you mean this isn't the $300 a bottle aged and thick balsamic?

  6. Please give me a cookie, Crystal!! :o)

    Really, all the food looks so darn good!! Stuffed and marinated p'bello 'shrooms, ohdearlord!!! That's some good eatin's there...

  7. I'm in love with Balsamic Vinegar! In LOVE! ;)

  8. this really looks so good! what a great photos so artistic!

    thanks for share them!

  9. Mmmm! Crystal, everything looks wonderfully delicious, especially your pastries. I'm the biggest non-football fan, but I'd come watch a game with you just for food. Excellent post!

  10. My favorite post yet!! Love everything, it all looks fantastic.

  11. oh i love insalada caprese. (i think i spelled that wrong)
    looks great

  12. Teddy - now I wonder how it is spelled. I'll have to look it up sometime!!

    Annie - thanks!! We had fun eating little things over the weekend.

    Carrie - I'm with you...we could totally spend the whole day in the kitchen instead of watching the game.

    Johanna - aw, thanks for the compliment. My camera keeps freaking out on me, so I'm always worried how the pics are going to turn out.

    Harmonia - me too! I just love vinegar period. Love it with cukes!

    Kleo - umm...yeah, about sharing those cookies...they are kinda long gone!!! It was hard to not eat them.

    Megan & Taylor - here's what the cookbook said about balsamic vinegar:
    "Balsamic vinegar is made by boiling the juice of white Trebbiano grapes in copper pots until it caramelizes. True balsamic is then aged for up to 100 years, in barrels made from various woods. The result has a heavy, mellow, almost sweet flavor and a dark color.

    Inexpensive imitations that lack the distinctive flavor complexity are made from red wine vinegar that has been fortified wtih concentrated grape juice and caramelized sugar."

    My bottle of "balsamic" vinegar showed the ingredients as "red wine vinegar with grape musts". Argh!!

    Crystal - you must try the phyllo triangles, they are very good and different.

    Diane - well, you know, we should get together for a game sometime this season!

    Jeff - yum on the cookies. I want to make more.

  13. LOVE the square cut tomatoes and mozzarella!


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