Tasty Tidbits

Appetizer, antipasto, canapé, starter, finger food, munchies, samples, hors d’oeuvre, whatever you call it, if your life is anything like mine, your kitchen is filled with them this holiday season. From work functions, to family get-togethers and tacky sweater parties, each one involves some sort of tasty tidbit or two. I love appetizers! I’d rather have a meal of 3 to 5 small bites and a charcuterie tray, than a full chicken fried steak dinner any time. Let’s take a moment to break down a great appetizer or starter course. As a host, the appetizer sets off the tone of you party. As a guest, it shows your excitement for the people around you and thankfulness to the host for inviting you into their home. Appetizers don’t have to be difficult, in fact, some of the best munchies I’ve eaten are the easiest ones!

Thanks to pinterest, the options for great apps recipes out there are endless! I’ve tried to help you out a little bit this season by pulling together some of my favorites, sharing 2 of my new creations, and telling you what to look for when you’re out there on the internet scrolling through endless pinterest pictures.

Let’s start with what to look for in a good holiday starter recipe. First and foremost, simplicity. A starter shouldn’t be overly complicated, but it should have great flavor. Look for something you can make ahead and serve cold or hot. Having something that doesn’t have to be reheated or warmed is essential when going to someone's house. If you’re hosting a dinner party, look for something that can be made ahead of time and doesn’t require you to “serve” it.

There are some great recipes out there. I’ll share some of my favorites in a bit, but first I want to give you a taste of two recipes that I came up with recently. First up is the Sweet Potato Tart with Sage Brown Butter. This tart features Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, sweet potato, sage brown butter, and most importantly, bacon. Next, Rosemary Honey Goat Cheese Pear Puffs. Puff pastry filled with goat cheese, caramelized onions, pears, prosciutto, and rosemary honey make this bite sized snack a great take-anywhere appetizer. Make these great recipes together, and give yourself two really different-tasting starters in half the time. Make these recipes ahead of time and reheat or serve at room temperature. If you have two Christmases, these are the recipes for you! Take one to Nana’s and one to Auntie Pat’s and everyone will be impressed.

Sweet Potato Tart with Sage Brown Butter

This recipe is wonderful right out of the oven, served room temperature, or reheated. Making it a perfect recipe for this time of year. It looks elegant, but it is couldn't be any easier. I typically don't use a store-bought crust, but I was in a rush and picked up a frozen one from Trader Joe's. The tarts came out perfect! If you're not going to make it from scratch (here's my favorite recipe), Trader Joe's is the next best thing. 





1 pie crust

1/2 onion

1 shallot

1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 sweet potato

3 strips bacon

2 sage leaves

1 to 2 tablespoons butter

olive oil

salt and pepper


preheat oven to 400 degrees

line a large tart pan with 1 pie crust

heat about a tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium heat

add sliced onion, shallot, and a pinch of salt

cook until the onions are tender and slightly golden on medium-low heat

while the onions are cooking, cut 3 strips of bacon into small, bite-sized pieces and fry just slightly until most of the grease is cooked out

shred the Swiss cheese

slice the sweet potato into thin slices

start assembling the tart by layering the Swiss cheese over the crust

next, add the caramelized onions and shallots

top the cheese and onions with the thinly sliced sweet potato

drizzle the sweet potato with olive oil, salt, and pepper

finally, top with the bacon bits

cook, uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, if the crust starts to brown or the bacon starts to burn, place a piece of tinfoil on the top, shinny side up

while the tart is cooking, make the sage brown butter

heat the butter and sage leaves in a small pan on a medium low heat until the butter starts to brown, be careful, it can burn very easily!

remove the tart from the oven and brush with the brown butter

cover loosely with tinfoil and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes

brush with more butter, cover loosely, and cook another 5 minutes

the sweet potato should be tender, if not, keep cooking and checking every 5 to 10 minutes

serve hot or let cool to room temperature


Rosemary Honey Goat Cheese Pear Puffs

Is there anything better than puff pastry? I think not. I keep puff pastry in my freezer at all times, just in case I ever need a last-minute dessert or if someone is going to drop by for coffee and I want to offer them a savory treat. Puff pastry is so versatile, it should be a "pantry staple". 





1 puff pastry

1/2 onion

1 shallot

about 5 to 6 oz goat cheese

1 (2) pear

1 small package of prosciutto

2 sprigs rosemary

1/4 cup honey


heat oven to 425 degrees

thaw puff pastry and cut into 20 rectangles, place the rectangles on a parchment lined baking sheet

heat about a tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium heat

add sliced onion, shallot, and a pinch of salt

cook until the onions are tender and slightly golden on medium-low heat

while the onions are cooking, make the rosemary honey

heat the honey for about 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave

add the 2 sprigs of rosemary, and let steep, covered for 3 to 5 minutes

mix together the caramelized onions, goat cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the rosemary honey

thinly slice the pear

cut the prosciutto into small 1inch by 1/4 inch pieces

take a small dollop of the goat cheese mixture and place in the middle of each piece of pastry

top with 1 to 2 slice of pear

then add 1 to 2 pieces of prosciutto

fold together the edges of opposite corners

brush with an egg wash (optional)

bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are golden and puffed

while is it warm, drizzle with the remaining rosemary honey


If none of these tickle your fancy, give one of the recipes below a try. These are Capital Confessions tested and approved!

Butternut Squash Soup from Whisking Through Life (Thanks to Lauren for sharing this!) If you’re looking for yummy baked goods, Lauren is your girl. She’s got recipes for every occasion!

Prosciutto Dijon and Gruyere Puffs by Joy the Baker

Bite-sized Baked Brie also by Joy the Baker

Roasted Figs & Prosciutto by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

Bacon-Wrapped Dates from The Kitchn

I hope one of these makes it on your holiday menu this season. If you have a go-to recipe, share it below!