Sunday, March 6, 2011

Figs, Strawberries and Goat Cheese Appetizer

We have been playing poker with two other couples for many years.
We play every other month and rotate houses.  It is a friendly group ( we don't play for money), and it is all about the food and socializing. The cards are just an excuse to get together.

We serve appetizers and snack food before and during the game- dessert when we finish playing .
When the guests arrive, the first thing they do is head directly for the refreshment table. It is kind of like a tradition, and it is actually funny. We stand around, eat, have a glass of wine, and chat for about 45- minutes to an hour before we start to play cards. ( of course everyone has just had dinner before they came).

As I said, its all about the food .
Each host/hostess tries to use his/ her imagination to think of some intriguing  appetisers or snacks.
I made it easy for myself- I purchased basic foods and simply assembled!

                                                                         Fresh Figs and Feta
Moist Black Mission figs and creamy goat cheese is a simple idea, but is really delicious. 
I lined up the black mission figs alongside the cheese log. We stuffed the figs with goat cheese ( of course I added more of the wonderful figs as we devoured them) The sweet taste of the figs really blended well with the tangy goat cheese. Or how about some walnuts to stuff the figs!

 I also had two little dishes on the side. One was filled with pitted Calamata olives ( traditionally Mediterranean)  and in the other little dish I had a sweet and sour cranberry apple chutney

The olives, the figs, and the cranberry chutney  each provided an interesting taste  with the goat cheese. I also used some fresh strawberries for garnish.Not shown: gluten free crackers.

I also had a platter of cilantro and jalapeno humus , roasted eggplant garlic dip, sweet peppers and flax seed chips ( Trader Joe's)

I try to keep the appetizers low in carbs so I choose peppers, humus, and eggplant dip. Everything on this plate is from Trader Joes'. ( love that place!!)  They have a wide selection of gluten free or gluten friendly foods. These adorable peppers are sweet, not hot! And I do mean sweet. We used them as dippers for the spicy eggplant garlic dip and the cilantro humus dip. Did you notice how I put the humus in a bell pepper? I just cut off the top, cleaned out the seeds, and filled it with cilantro humus... yum and pretty. The chips are flax seeds and soy and according to my guests , " you just can't eat one. "

 In addition, I had some little snacks.
 This trio is composed of dark chocolate covered almonds,  peanut brittle and  mini Hershey bars- all gluten free. ( you gotta have chocolate)

There were six of us and by the end of the evening,  EVERY morsel on those plates were gone!  Gone...!

For dessert, I made a traditional Northern Italian dessert ( Panna Cotta) that I topped with fresh strawberries soaked in Amaretto liquor. I am not going to show you the dessert because  the Pann Cotta is going to be one of my next blog posts with step by step pictures.

Some additional desserts:
sugar free, gluten free, egg free, and milk free - moist and tender oatmeal raisin cookies

coconut flour , gluten free- banana muffins or banana loaf

Gluten Free Pumpkin choc chips torte

My favorite; 3 minute cake in a mug- gluten free of course and easy
A quick gluten free, egg free, milk free, nut free cake made in a mug AND it is GOOD!
(If you are not gluten free, you can make it with regular flour and still enjoy)

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  1. Loved this week's article. The goat cheese appetizer looks delicious and easy.

  2. Hi Judee, I sure wish that I knew how to play cards and come over to your house for all of these goodies. I'd jump right into those figs and goat cheese spread immediately. Please stop by my Friday/Saturday blog get-together this coming weekend and add any recipe or post on healthier living if you like. I'd love to have you!

  3. Can you believe I've never tasted a fig...except for fig newtons (those don't count). I know they'd be good...they sound like they would be. Does the taste compare to anything? Which type of fig would you recommend?

    I do like dates and other dried fruits. Hmmmm....

    I think it's cause they look scary :)

    I've stopped by from Real Food Wednesday where I posted my Mexican Omelette recipe. I'm think it's gluten-free, but since I don't eat GF...I'm never entirely sure. Guess I need to do more research.

    BTW....your appetizer spread looks amazing!!

    Denise @ Creative Kitchen

  4. Denise,

    I used Black mission figs. They are dried figs, but very moist and tasty. If you like dates and other dry fruits, I am sure will like these figs..


  5. These look absolutely awesome! I am anxious to give them a try. That goat cheese with figs is right up my alley! Thanks for coming over to Dining With Debbie.

  6. Hi Judee,
    What a great evening with friends. Your Goat Cheese and Figs looks delicious and I would love it. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

  7. What a tempting and yummy spread! I'd love to taste that mission figs stuffed with cheese....

  8. My sister is gluten intolerant I'm going to share these with her. Thanks

  9. Whether or not someone needs gluten free recipes... these look like delicious ideas! Thanks so much for linking to Saturday Swap. have a super weekend!!!

  10. Loved all the gluten-free options. My daughter is a Celiac so, we turn everything into a gluten-free recipe when we all get together. We're always looking for something new.

  11. I found my way here from Saturday Swap. Love all your appetizer ideas. Particularly using those fresh peppers to dip.



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