Fancy Hors D’Oeuvres: Stuffed Celery

 

celery stuffed with cream cheese and olives in a fancy orange dish

My grandmother would invite us over for “cocktails and hors d’oeuvres” and sometimes dinner would follow.  She never said the word, “appetizers”.  How boring.  Although the hors d’oeuvres were often stale Triscuits and a can of Cheez-Whiz or or a tub of WisPride port wine cheddar, not exactly fancy stuff.  The cocktails were a base of vodka, whiskey or rum (your choice) and an array of mixers: cranberry juice,  ginger ale, Coke and 7-Up.  But sometimes, if it was a holiday or the night after a big party, there were other treats on the table. Continue reading

Tomato Jam

tomato jam in a white bowl with a silver spoon

At this time of year, after Labor day, when the nights are much cooler and the days are sunny and dry, we drift into the end of tomato season on Cape Cod.  Like many, I anticipate the arrival of tomatoes ripened on the vine, warmed by the sun, so juicy they sometimes crack open at the touch.  I cannot wait to make a tomato sandwich with slices stacked so high, I can barely get my mouth around it.  Tomato and cucumber salad, tomatoes with just salt and pepper as a side dish, tomato tarts and tomato pies.  The possibilities seem endless for this versatile fruit.  Until they don’t.  Until I get tired of all of the tomato recipes I cannot wait to make while I pine away thinking about them during cold winter months.  But I also cannot stand to see any go to waste.  That is why I now make tomato jam.  It’s fast, easy and works with all types of tomatoes even those sad looking store bought cherry tomatoes on supermarket shelves in February.  But the best tomato jam is made and devoured right now in September. Continue reading

Crab Puff

TriscuitcrackersHellmansRealMayonnaisePhiladelphiaCreamCheeseBumbleBeeCrabmeatforcrabpuffIt’s really nothing to look at but delicious to eat.  A perfectly easy hot hors d’eouvre to serve with crackers or even Cape Cod Potato Chips.  I found the recipe in my grandmother’s recipe file.  While she wasn’t known for her cooking,  she certainly loved to entertain.  Her old file is filled with no shortage of quick and easy recipes mainly magazine and newspaper clippings affixed to recipe index cards with Scotch tape that is slowly disintegrating.  From recipes with Campbell’s soup as its base to more intricate ones like Swedish Meatballs and even one made with green jello, canned pineapple and cottage cheese, there is something for everyone…that is if you having a “Mad Men” themed party. Continue reading