Cheddar Cheese Straws
I won't forget the cheese straws that my mother made for my father. The only difference was that she did not add cayenne pepper. These make wonderful hors d'oevres.
Puff Pastry Shells
These are fairly simple to make, and once baked the real fun begins, as they can hold so many amazing fillings, both sweet and savory. The key is making sure your puff pastry dough is very firm, and very cold, preferably still partially frozen, before you start cutting it. You want nice clean cuts, because if you mash the layers of pastry together, your shells will not rise as high, and they can also bake into some strange shapes.
Pesto Puff Pastry Pinwheel
With three main ingredients you can make this gorgeous giant puff pastry pinwheel in no time. Pesto and ricotta fill layers of puff pastry that are cut and twisted into a pinwheel which begs to be pulled apart!
Cheese Filled Triangles
The only tricky part of this recipe is working with phyllo, and once you get the hang of it, it's fun. Sometimes you get a bad batch of phyllo that rips and tears easily, so I always buy an extra just in case. I have frozen these before baking. Just add a few minutes to cooking time when you cook them in a frozen state. I have also doubled this recipe for large parties.
Beef and potatoes are the main ingredients folded inside these wonderful deep fried samosas. Chicken livers may be substituted for beef, if you choose. My friend from Bangladesh gave me this savory, spicy recipe. You just can't buy better in the shops.
Authentic Chinese Egg Rolls (from a Chinese person)
My mom is the best cook ever and I am a picky eater. If I like this, then you will. This is very authentic because my family is Chinese and I am too. This recipe is at least 300 years old in the Ling family.
Jamaican Saltfish Fritters (Stamp and Go)
A popular Jamaican appetizer. Just stamp them out in the kitchen, take some for the road and go! Saltcod can be prepared the day before for a quicker cook time. These are also good served with a spicy dipping sauce.
Texas Sausage Kolaches (Klobasneks)
I grew up in Central Texas, where kolaches and sausage kolaches (also called klobasneks) were plentiful. Every donut shop and bakery had them. Then I moved to Seattle, where nobody had heard of them! I couldn't find a decent recipe online. Everything I tried didn't turn out as fluffy, sweet, and heavenly as the kolaches I know and love. I cobbled together this recipe for what I think is the perfect sausage kolache.
Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
This wonderful, light puff pastry is filled with melted Brie cheese. Serve with crackers on the side.
Spinach Rolls with Puff Pastry
A vegetarian version of mini sausage rolls but made with a spinach and feta filling. I used frozen spinach because it was a better buy than fresh at the time but the equivalent amount of fresh spinach, chopped and wilted, would do the job.
Baked Hawaiian Sandwiches
These sandwiches are quick, easy, and always a hit. They can be served at receptions, baby showers, Bible studies, or tailgate parties! I have made large quantities and they have always turned out. Sandwiches can be made up in advance and stored in refrigerator until ready to bake. Try them and enjoy!