Baked Cheese Balls

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
  • 7 ounces all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preparation:

Bring the water to a boil, then add the salt and the butter. When the butter melts, remove from heat and add the flour. Mix well. Add the grated cheese and the eggs. Mix everything very well, until you get a homogeneous composition. Let it cool for about one hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Put baking paper on the bottom of an oven tray. With your palms, start forming balls from the mixture. Put the balls on the baking paper, making sure there’s enough room around them, so they don’t get it touch with each other.

Bake the cheese balls for 30 minutes. You can serve them either hot or cold. Suggestion for serving: place several lettuce leaves on a big platter and arrange the cheese balls on top.

This recipe makes about 40-50 cheese balls.

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Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed With Cream Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
  • 20 fresh parsley leaves
  • 20 halves black olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste (optional)

Preparation:

Cut a small lid from the top of each cherry tomato. Scoop the tomatoes carefully. You can use a tea spoon for that.

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, dill, green onion, salt and pepper. Put the mixture into a decorating bag. If you don’t have a decorating bag, just use any clean plastic bag and cut one of the corners to allow the mixture to come out. Fill the cherry tomatoes one by one. Decorate them with a parsley leaf and with half black olive each. You can use other foods for decorating: red bell pepper, capers, pickled beetroot or even chopped ham or bacon.

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Easy Cheese Straws With Caraway Seeds

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound feta cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 pound all purpose white flour
  • 1-2 egg yolks (for glazing the cheese straws)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pound butter
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

Preparation:

Mix the flour, grated feta cheese, yogurt, butter and baking powder, until you get a firm dough. Cool it in the fridge for 1 hour. Divide the dough in 4 parts. Roll each of them until you get a 1/8 inch thick sheet. Try to shape it rectangular, if you can. If not, it’s not a problem, use a knife to cut the round edges and mix them into another dough ball.

In a small bowl, separate the egg yolks. Save the whites to use for other foods. With a pastry brush, glaze the dough sheet generously. Spread caraway seeds all over it.

Cut the dough sheet in stripes about 1/2 inch wide. The length can be anything you wish.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put baking paper in a tray, then transfer the dough stripes on it, carefully not to break them.

Bake the straws for 10-15 minutes. Watch them closely after 10 minutes, because it’s easy to overcook them.

Serve them at room temperature. If you have any of them left (although I doubt that) you can store them in the fridge and eat them the next day.

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Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

Bruschetta is one of the most popular appetizers and one of the easiest to prepare finger foods for parties. The original Italian “bruschetta” meant just toasted bread slices rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. The first known use of this word dates back from 1954 (information source: Merriam-Webster). Nowadays, the meaning has been extended to garlic – olive oil toast slices with various toppings such as tomatoes, mozzarella and herbs.

This is my version of bruschetta with tomato and basil which I serve as appetizer at parties. It’s my favorite finger food recipe for summer time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 French baguette, sliced thick
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 6-7 basil leaves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, diced
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

In a pot, bring water to a boil. Remove it from heat and add the tomatoes. Wait one minute. Drain the tomatoes, peel them, chop them and remove the seeds and the stem areas. Parboiled tomatoes are very easy to peel.

Mince the basil leaves and two garlic cloves, dice the mozzarella, then mix them with the chopped tomatoes. Add salt and pepper. Refrigerate while you prepare the bread.

Cut the French baguette in diagonal slices about 1/2 inch thick. Toast the bread slices. Cut one garlic clove and rub the toast with it, then drizzle some olive oil on top. Spoon the tomato – basil mixture on top of each toast slice, on the side that’s been rubbed with garlic and oiled. Serve the bruschetta immediately.

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