These would be great little appetizers for a summer party!  I definitely tweaked this recipe a bit more to my liking and I think it turned out well.  Loved the roasted pepper taste. 
Source: Just Tasting

2 packages of refrigerator rolls or biscuits

3 cloves of garlic, minced 

1 small squash, cut into very small pieces

1 small zucchini, cut into very small pieces 

1 red pepper, cut into very small pieces

1 small sweet onion, coarsely chopped

2 oz parmesan cheese

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or 2 whole tomatoes, thinly sliced

3 tbsp fresh thyme (or 2 tsp of dried thyme) 

Salt & Pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic and thyme.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add vegetables and cook until they are tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. 

While the veggies cook, spray each of the muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray. Unroll the refrigerator rolls and separate. Place the thin pastry roll into the bottom of each of the muffin compartments. Press down.

Fill each of the muffin tins with a slice of tomato and some vegetable pieces. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and a pinch of thyme.

Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and remove from the pan. Can be served hot or at room temperature. Arrange on a beautiful oval platter or individual tasting plates and serve. Enjoy!

Makes 20 little tarts 
This is a delightfully cheesy spin on cornbread and is great served with soups.  I omit the roasted red peppers. 
Source: Everyday With Rachael Ray
  • 1 14 3/4 ounce can  creamed corn

  • 1 roasted red pepper, cut into small cubes

  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 stick  (4 ounces) butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup half-and-half

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . Grease a 2-quart or 8-inch square baking dish and set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the corn, roasted red pepper, scallions, eggs, butter, half-and-half and salt. Working over a large bowl, sift together the cornmeal and baking soda, then stir in the cheese.
  2. Stir the vegetable mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined; do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until set, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.
These were surprisingly filling!  I also LOVED the fresh cucumber in the sauce paired with the veggies in the latkes.  These would make great appetizers, especially at a party.  Delish!
  • 1 pound zucchini,shredded
  • 2 cups shredded cooked potato, (see Note)
  • 2 medium shallots, minced, divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs, (see Tip)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and shredded
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Toss zucchini, potato, 3 tablespoons shallot and egg in a large bowl. Add breadcrumbs, feta, 1 tablespoon dill, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss to combine. Form the mixture into 12 patties.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 6 patties, cover and cook until crispy and browned on one side, 2 to 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the latkes to the prepared pan, browned-side down. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and patties.
  4. Transfer the latkes to the oven and bake until firm and heated through, 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare tzatziki: Combine yogurt, cucumber, vinegar, the remaining minced shallot, 1 tablespoon dill and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl. Serve the latkes with the tzatziki on the side.
  • Note: Shredded cooked potatoes can be found in the refrigerated produce section or dairy section of most supermarkets.
  • Tip: To make fresh breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor into coarse crumbs. One slice makes about 1/3 cup crumbs.
What do you do when you have too much basil?  Make this!  What's better than fresh basil, organic tomatoes, and salty mozz?  This makes a TON of food and takes only minutes.  Perfect for a pot luck or summer picnic.

3/4 pound cooked, drained, and cooled pasta (elbows or other shape)
1/2 pound diced ripe tomatoes
1/2 pound diced fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup vinaigrette
lots of fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
(optional additions that I sometimes add - sliced black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts)

Mix ingredients together and serve.
Easy and delicious!

Note - use a serrated knife to easily cut both the tomatoes and the fresh mozzarella. So much easier than using a standard knife. 
I was really surprised at how much I liked these whole wheat pita flat breads!  What an easy, healthy way to eat pizza!  I used three small pears and think if I make this again, I'll drizzle them with just a little honey to complement the sweetness of them.
 The EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 medium ripe pear, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 6 1/2-inch or eight 4-inch whole-wheat pita breads
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft and golden, about 7 minutes. Stir in pear and cook, stirring often, until slightly soft and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vinegar and pepper and continue cooking, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated and the onion is tender and coated with a dark glaze, about 2 minutes more.
  3. Divide the onion-pear mixture among the pitas; sprinkle with cheese and walnuts. Transfer the pitas to a large baking sheet and bake until crispy and the cheese is melted, 10 to 15 minutes.
I might be going through a mushroom stage so here's another portobello recipe.  This features olives which I hate, so I just left them out.  Guess how many calories these puppies have?  122 a pop :-)
Source: The EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook

  • 2/3 cup chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/8 teaspoon dried
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, 5 inches wide
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

  1. Combine tomatoes, cheese, olives, garlic, 1 teaspoon oil, rosemary and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Preheat grill to medium.
  3. Discard mushroom stems. Remove brown gills from the undersides of the caps using a spoon; discard gills. Mix the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, lemon juice and soy sauce in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over both sides of the caps.
  4. Oil a grill rack (see Tip). Place the caps on the rack, stem sides down, cover and grill until soft, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and fill with the tomato mixture. Return to the grill, cover, and cook until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes more.
Designed as an app, but worthy of dinner with a heavy side.  You'll be surprised at how good this is despite being so simple!
Source: Food Network

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the grill pan
  • 4 to 6 portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over both sides of the mushrooms. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil on the grill to prevent the mushrooms from sticking. Grill until the mushrooms are heated through and tender, about 5 minutes per side.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Place the grilled mushrooms on top of the marinara sauce and top with the remaining marinara sauce. Sprinkle with the cheeses and top with the butter pieces. Bake until the cheese melts and the top is golden, about 15 minutes. Serve.
This recipe is a little lighter on the cheese and manages to sneak in some vegetables and protein.  I make mine with whole grain tortillas to make it even healthier.  This recipe majorly cuts down on the fat and calories.  Ole!

Source: Rachel Ray Mag
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1 1/4 pound bunch  broccoli, cut into small florets, stems peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 15 ounce can  cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup store-bought salsa verde
  • 1/4 cup plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt
  1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees . Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. On a cutting board, brush the tortillas with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then stack and cut into quarters. Arrange on the baking sheets in a single layer; season with salt and pepper. Bake until crisp and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the broccoli and 1/3 cup water and cook, stirring, until the water is cooked off and the broccoli is tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the beans and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese over each tray of chips; spoon the broccoli mixture on top, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with the salsa and yogurt.
Curry Carrot Soup
Source: Everyday Food
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat butter in a Dutch oven or large (4- to 5-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, curry powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, carrots, and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. In a blender, puree soup in batches until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan. Add more water to thin to desired consistency. Reheat, if necessary. Stir in lemon juice. Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.

***Hot liquids will expand when blended, so be careful not to fill the jar of the blender more than halfway. To prevent the liquid from spattering, allow the heat to escape: Remove the cap from hole in lid, and cover lid with a dish towel when blending.  I still got hit with a little hot soup!  
BBQ Turkey Meatballs
Source: Everyday with Rachel Ray (with changes)

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup of skim milk
  • 1 1/4 cup of torn bread
  • 1 1/2 pound of ground turkey
  • 1 cup of chipotle flavored barbecue sauce (or if this is too spicy for you, you could use 1/2 cup of chipotle sauce and 1/2 plain bbq) 
  • Crumbled cotija or queso fresco cheese (optional but delicious!)
1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook the garlic and onion for 5 minutes. 
2. Beat egg and milk together.  Add bread and let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir in onion, salt, and pepper.
3. Mix together and form into 20 balls.
4. Cook meatballs in extra oil on skillet for 7 minutes or broil for 10 minutes (flipping after 5) until cooked through.
5. Toss with sauce and top with cheese.   
Friday nights are for indulgence and there is nothing I love more than eating rich cheese and drinking wine snuggled up with my husband.  The dates are a new recipe for us that we loved.  I first had something similar to this at a Spanish restaurant in Charlottesville called Mas.  We've also had them at a few other Spanish tapas restaurants and this recipe really nailed it.  We loved these with the other cheeses and wine.  

Stilton-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto 
Source: Wine Bites by Barbara Scott-Goodman
12 dates, pitted
2-3 oz of Stilton cheese, crumbled 
6 thin slices of prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise 

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Cut a lengthwise slit in each date.  Stuff each one with just enough cheese to fill the cavity but not spill out.  Pinch the stuffed dates closed.

Wrap each date in a piece of prosciutto and arrange them, seam-side down, on the prepared pan.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and using tongs, carefully turn the dates.  Return to the oven and bake until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes longer.  

Note: Working with prosciutto can be frustrating because it is so thin.  I kept the meat on the paper when handling it.  I cut it on the paper and placed the date on the end of each slice and just rolled it along the strip.  

We paired these dates with the rest of the Stilton (which also featured cranberries!), Emmental cheese (a hard Swiss), and Le Petite Creme (a soft cheese like a Brie but is almost liquid in the center, even fresh out of the refrigerator making it perfect for spreading).  

Stilton is an English Blue cheese, the official type made only in 6 dairies.  There is a blue vein that runs throughout the cheese representing the penicillin mold.  It is paired best with a port or sherry but by that token, a sweet white wine as well. (Source: Cheese & Wine by Janet Fletcher).  
We eat our cheese on bread and crackers and pair it with apples or pears, honey, apple jelly, apricot preserves, and usually chopped dates or figs.  We love to play around with the different combinations you can make to see how the taste of the cheese changes.  We finished it all off with a petite Shriaz and a "Sweet Red."