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Quick Onion Tarts for Spring Entertaining

As you ready yourself for the spring holidays and general turn-of-the-season entertaining, consider adding this simple (yet impressive-looking) recipe to your arsenal. Elegant, party-ready foods needn’t take much of your time to prepare, or be particularly difficult to execute. Here, I use a sheet of puff pastry, onion, herbs, cherry tomatoes, feta and French olives (all of which happened to be in my refrigerator) to make these bite-size tarts. This combo makes a great Mediterranean-inspired dish, but really any mixture of pantry items will do. Consider it my contribution to your spring cleaning.

Onion Tarts

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13 Days of Pumpkin: Grilled Brie with Pumpkin Chutney

Cheese and BBQ together? It’s the best idea we’ve ever had. Find out how to make Grilled Brie with a Spiced Pumpkin Chutney.

Grilled cheese is about to take on a whole new meaning:

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Bacon-Wrapped Dates, Three Ways

Bacon-Wrapped Dates Recipe

Whether your party is made up of die-hard face painters or people more interested in determining the top commercial, pretty much everyone is a fan of Super Bowl Sunday. Finding new ways to satisfy a diverse group of friends expecting the traditional more-is-more spread of wings, dips and chips can be a challenge.

Chewy dates wrapped in thick slices of uncured bacon are easy to put together assembly-line style to feed a crowd. For variety, stuff them with an array of fillings like crunchy almonds, spicy chorizo, or sharp Manchego to balance out the sweetness. If you’re running short on time, they can be quickly pan fried or baked off all at once to candied crisp. Regardless of the game’s outcome, these pig skins are sure to please everyone.

Bacon-Wrapped Dates Recipe

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Creamy Mushrooms on Toast

Creamed Mushrooms on Toast

Mushrooms and cream go way back in Russian cooking. In my family, we often cooked chanterelles (which were dirt cheap in Russia, can you believe it?) with onions, herbs and sour cream to mix with pasta for a deliriously glorious dish.

Here in America, chanterelles are a bit too pricey for most of us and aren’t the easiest mushroom to locate. But cremini mushrooms are widely available in most supermarkets, so I decided to try my hand at substituting those instead. With some white wine and a dash of heavy cream blended with sour cream (it’s Russian, so of course there’s sour cream), my mushrooms turned out to be quite heavenly.  I stood in my kitchen, licking my spoon and contemplating the mushrooms’ future fate. With so many holiday parties around the corner, they would make an excellent topping for a cracker or, better yet, some buttered, toasted pieces of brioche.

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