This headline goes back to a family ‘story.’ When my niece and nephew were little I’d occasionally join them and their parents for dinner in a restaurant. I have loved dining out for as long as I can remember whether in a schmancy place or at the Hot Shoppes Cafeteria. I’ve always wanted to try as many items on a menu as possible – can you imagine how happy I am at a tapas restaurant?

Back in the day…

Well, one evening years ago as I sat with my sister’s family at a restaurant and menus were passed around my then 6 year old nephew gleefully said “Oh good. Monica’s here. We can have appetizers!” 

Apparently in an effort to maintain a budget, my sister skipped the appetizers unless I was present. My nephew saw the pattern. And I just thought he loved me for me…I think it was the appetizers.

It’s “Appetizer Season”

As we move into what I think of as “Appetizer Season” …. Thanksgiving, holiday parties and especially New Years Eve … I try new combinations as well as ‘downsize’ some favorite dishes (schnitzel bites anyone??).

Appetizers need to pack a punch in just a bite or two. Think pear + gorgonzola tartlets or smoked trout + Honeycup mustard atop a slice of cucumber or fig jam + brie crostini.

Bacon is found in many appetizers because of the big flavor it brings. It’s especially fabulous paired with the sweetness of a date or the tang of taleggio cheese. Maybe wrapped around fresh pineapple cubes? Crumbled over deviled eggs? Slipped inside mini grilled cheese bites? Draped around shrimp sprinkled with ground chipotle? You get the idea.

Have any other ideas for me?? C’mon over to my Facebook page  and share with me!

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