In the Kitchen with Allie, April, and Nina: Appetizers

Today, a little special treat — a collaboration between three girlfriends who are also bloggers: April from A. Liz Adventures, Allie from Key Ingredients, and Nina from Peace, Love, and Good Food.

This is a three-part series all centered around holiday cuisine! Today we will share an appetizer with you. Tomorrow will be a dessert or sweet treat. Thursday is all about cocktails!


Hot Cheesy Mushroom Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour – 1 hour 20 minutes

• 1 tablespoon oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 medium onion (sliced)
• 1 pound mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)
• 1 clove garlic (chopped)
• 1 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/4 cup white wine
• 4 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup mozzarella (grated)
• 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano

1. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a skillet.
2. Add the onion and cook until it starts to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
3. Add the mushrooms and saute until they start to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Add the wine, deglaze the skillet and cook until it has evaporated.
7. Puree 1/2 of the mushrooms in a food processor.
8. Mix all mushrooms, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano and place in a baking dish.
9. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until bubbling and golden brown on top, about 20-40 minutes.

Key Ingredients

This simple yet elegant crowd pleasing appetizer will make a beautiful addition to your holiday spread. It’s full of flavor from the tender squash, creamy goat cheese, sweet dried cranberries and earthy sage. A little bit of sweet, a little bit of savory and a whole lot of deliciousness is packed on to this bite-sized crostini.


Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Crostini
– 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 baguette, thinly sliced into 1/4″ rounds
– 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
– 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
– 1/2 cup dried cranberries
– 1/2 medium onion
– salt and pepper
– 10-12 fresh sage leaves
-Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
– Brush each side of the sliced baguette with oil. Season with salt and pepper
– Bake for 5 minutes, flip each crostini and continue to bake for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
– Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Cut the butternut squash into 1/4 ” cubes (or buy precut squash found in the produce section of most grocery stores). Dice the onion. Add squash and onion t a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and roast until tender. (About 25 minutes). Remove from oven
– Meanwhile in a skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the sage leaves and fry until crispy. Remove from pan and set onto a paper towel.
– To assemble the crostini: Spread a small amount of goat cheese on to each crostini and top with desired amount of the squash mixture. Finish off with a small amount of cranberries and a sage leaf cut in half.
– Add to a platter and serve

Image result for peace love and good food

Ohhhhh this baked brie. It’s become a staple for my family and a Thanksgiving and Christmas favorite. It’s never a bad idea and now I’m wondering why we only wait until this time of year to make it. I guess it wouldn’t be as special but still. Cranberries, cinnamon and brown sugar with melty brie!? So much goodness in one bite. Serve it with baked crostini and Honeycrisp apple slices. 


Cranberry + Cinnamon Brie en Croute

1 wedge of brie
1 sheet puff pastry
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
Defrost puff pastry for 15-20 minutes and unfold. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
On a baking sheet, lay puff pastry flat. Place brie on top of puff pastry. 
In a small bowl, mix cranberries, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spoon cranberry mixture on top of brie. Fold puff pastry over the wedge, making sure there are no holes or air pockets. Brush with egg wash. For a little extra pizazz, cut out a piece of puff pastry with a cookie cutter and arrange on top for a decorative detail, like I did with the Christmas tree above.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until pastry is browned, puffed and brie is nicely melted.

I like to plate this on a giant cutting board (like this one) Add in these appetizer plates and mini spreading knives for a gorgeous and festive holiday cocktail spread! 


Nice and tidy.


We will see you back here tomorrow for desserts and sweet treats!
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By | 2018-06-01T09:37:14+00:00 December 6th, 2016|Appetizers|2 Comments


  1. Chelsey December 6, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Love these ideas for party apps! YUM!

  2. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious December 7, 2016 at 1:05 am

    These all look like such delicious appetizers! Perfect for entertaining!

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