Mushroom Empanadas


In late 2005, I spent a month visiting my sister in Argentina. She and her best friends were studying abroad in Buenos Aries for the year and I had recently returned to America heart broken after ending a relationship with a Spaniard. I was depressed and unemployed and my parents didn’t really know what to do with me, so they sent me to South America for some sisterly love, sun, steak, and Malbec. It was just what the doctor ordered!

My dad, best friend, and I in my sister's apartment in Argentina, circa December 2005.

My dad, best friend, and I in my sister’s apartment in Argentina, circa December 2005.

One can’t visit Argentina without falling in love with the flaky and delicious empanada. The hand-held pastries are everywhere and made in so many different variations that they can suit virtually any tastebud. They can be baked and filled with ham and cheese or deep fried and stuffed with cinnamon, apples, and sugar. Continue reading

Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Crostini

IMG_4116If you’ve been to a couple of my parties, you’ll probably notice a common denominator. No, I’m not talking about the large quantities of booze (this is a given), I’m talking about crostini! I’m obsessed with the bite-sized appetizer. There are a million different ways to top crostini from melty cheese to salty salami to creamy avocado. This sun-dried tomato and goat cheese variation is super easy to throw together at any time of year, although the burnt reddish color brings to mind fall. Pair with a glass of bubbly and some fabulous company and you’ve got yourself an easy little party!

Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Crostini

4 ounces herbed goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crostini, or other toasted bread for serving
Olive oil for drizzling

  1. Preheat the oven to broil.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the goat cheese with the sun-dried tomatoes and the basil. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse to combine.
  3. Spread the mixture on the prepared crostini and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Broil for 4-5 minutes until the goat cheese is warmed through.

Makes 1 baguette of crostini.

Old-Fashioned Cheese Puffs

IMG_4113Today, I’m finally sharing one of my new cooking videos! In it, I teach you how to make one of my all-time favorite recipes: an old-fashioned cheese, mayonnaise, and bread appetizer that is addictive and downright delicious. It’s super easy to put together and versatile — feel free to use whatever bread and cheese you want. Also, don’t be afraid of adding garnishes or mix-ins like fresh herbs and chopped olives. Watch the video now and let me know what you think!

Old-Fashioned Cheese Puffs

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup minced onion
1/3 cup grated parmesan
8 slice of white bread, crusts removed, lightly toasted, cut into bite-sized squares
Chopped chives, for garnish

  1. Heat the broiler.
  2. In a food processor, combine mayonnaise, onion, and cheese. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse to combine.
  3. Divide mixture evenly over the toasted bread slices.
  4. Place on broiler pan and broil until golden and bubbly about 2-5 minutes, depending on the heat of your broiler. Garnish with chives and serve warm.

Makes 32 bites.