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Heavy Apps Delight!

Happy New Year, Blogland! Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2010!

Congratulations to Gina of Simply Life and winner of the Prevention Cookbook Giveaway! She will also receive a copy of Georgie’s cookbook! Congrats, Gina!

I hope you all had a wonderful and safe NYE! Mine started off well — we booked a trip to Vegas April 2-4th! Yay!

I was a busy bee last night and must share with you all our delicious appetizers! Heavy appetizers as a meal is one of my favorite ways to eat!



Roma tomatoes, sliced
fresh mozzarella, sliced
fresh basil leaves
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
French baguette, sliced

Toast baguette slices until edges start to brown — about 10-15 minutes at 350 F. Place tomato and cheese on to slices. Sprinkle with salt, lightly. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and then olive oil. Top with fresh basil leave.

Mini Corn Bread Crab Cakes with Lemon-Caper Sauce

Mini Corn Bread Crab Cakes with Lemon-Caper Sauce (Source: Cooking Light)

Bake the corn bread up to three days in advance, and keep in a zip-top plastic bag. Combine the sauce ingredients and assemble the crab cakes the night before; refrigerate separately. Any leftover crab cakes are terrific with a green salad.

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 crab cake and about 1 teaspoon mayonnaise mixture)

1/3  cup  reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 1/2  tablespoons  chopped fresh chives
1  tablespoon  capers, drained and chopped
1/4  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
2  teaspoons  fresh lemon juice
1/4  teaspoon  hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/8  teaspoon  minced garlic
Dash of freshly ground black pepper

Crab cakes:
2  teaspoons  olive oil
1/2  cup  sliced green onions
1/3  cup  finely diced red bell pepper
1/3  cup  finely diced green bell pepper
1  garlic clove, minced
1/4  cup  reduced-fat mayonnaise
2  tablespoons  chopped fresh chives
2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
1/2  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
1  tablespoon  hot pepper sauce
1  teaspoon  (30%-less-sodium) Old Bay seasoning
1  large egg, lightly beaten
2  cups  crumbled Buttermilk Corn Bread
1  pound  lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
Cooking spray
Fresh chives (optional)

To prepare sauce, combine first 8 ingredients; chill.

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare crab cakes, heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool. Combine bell pepper mixture, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and next 6 ingredients (through Old Bay); stir in egg. Fold in Buttermilk Corn Bread and crabmeat. Scoop mixture into 16 portions (about 1/4 cup each) onto 2 baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Lightly cover, and refrigerate 1 hour. Uncover and bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet with a metal spatula. Serve with sauce. Garnish with chives, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories:83 (35% from fat); Fat:3.2g (sat 0.6g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.3g) ; Protein:7.4g; Carbohydrate:6.4g; Fiber:0.5g; Cholesterol:38mg; Iron:0.6mg; Sodium:317mg; Calcium:54mg

Crostini with Gorgonzola, Caramelized Onions, and Fig Jam

Crostini with Gorgonzola, Caramelized Onions, and Fig Jam (Source: Cooking Light)

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 2 crostini)

1  cup  dried Black Mission figs (about 6 ounces)
1  teaspoon  lemon juice
2  cups  water
2  tablespoons  maple syrup
Dash of salt

Cooking spray
2  cups  vertically sliced yellow onion
1  teaspoon  balsamic vinegar
1/2  teaspoon  chopped fresh thyme
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/2  cup  water (optional)

Remaining ingredients:
1/2  cup  (4 ounces) Gorgonzola cheese, softened
24  (1-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette, toasted (about 12 ounces)
1  teaspoon  fresh thyme leaves

To prepare jam, remove stems from figs. Place figs and juice in a food processor; process until figs are coarsely chopped. Place fig mixture, 2 cups water, syrup, and dash of salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until thick. Cool completely.

To prepare onions, heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add onion, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and cook 5 minutes. Uncover and cook 20 minutes or until onion is deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. While onion cooks, add 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup at a time, to keep onion from sticking to pan.

Spread 1 teaspoon cheese over each baguette slice. Top each slice with about 1 teaspoon onion mixture and 1 teaspoon jam. Sprinkle evenly with thyme leaves.

Nutritional Information
Calories:106 (29% from fat); Fat:3.4g (sat 1.9g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.3g); Protein:2.9g; Carbohydrate:16.3g; Fiber:2.4g; Cholesterol:8mg; Iron:0.6mg; Sodium:82mg; Calcium:85mg

Parmesan Zucchini Sticks with Smoky Roasted Romesco Sauce
Parmesan Zucchini Sticks with Smoky Roasted Romesco Sauce

Parmesan Zucchini Sticks with Smoky Roasted Romesco Sauce (Source: Cooking Light)

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 6 zucchini sticks and 1/4 cup sauce)

3  medium red bell peppers
2  plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2  cup  (1/2-inch) cubed French bread baguette, crusts removed
1 1/2  tablespoons  smoked almonds
1  tablespoon  extravirgin olive oil
1  tablespoon  sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/4  teaspoon  Spanish smoked paprika
1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1  large garlic clove

3  large zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1  cup  dry breadcrumbs
1/2  cup  panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/2  cup  egg substitute
Cooking spray

1. Preheat broiler.

2. To prepare sauce, cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place bell pepper halves and tomatoes, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten bell peppers with hand. Broil 10 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and coarsely chop, reserving any liquid.

3. Combine bell peppers, reserved liquid, tomatoes, and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

4. Preheat oven to 400°.

5. To prepare zucchini, cut 1 zucchini in half crosswise; cut each half lengthwise into 8 wedges. Repeat procedure with remaining zucchini. Combine breadcrumbs, panko, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper in a shallow dish. Dip zucchini in egg substitute; dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place zucchini on a wire rack coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat zucchini with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with sauce.

Nutritional Information
Calories:170 (30% from fat); Fat:5.6g (sat 1.3g,mono 2.5g,poly 1.3g); Protein:8.4g; Carbohydrate:23.4g; Fiber:3.9g; Cholesterol:3mg; Iron:1.9mg; Sodium:434mg; Calcium:107mg

Order of appetizer preference from the hubby:

1. Caprese (“…because I was craving it”)
2. crostini with gorgonzola and fig (“it had a really unique taste”)
3. zucchini sticks (“really good and healthy, but the sauce needed more kick”)
4. crab cakes (“good, but lemony”)

Order of appetizer preference from the chef:

1. crostini with gorgonzola and fig (“pain to make, but so unique and flavorful!”)
2. Caprese (“Can you go wrong when you combine those ingredients? No way, Jose! Yum!”)
3. crab cakes (“Crumbly, but delicious! Very lemony. May go easier on the capers next time.”)
4. zuccini sticks (“Really good, but next time I will buy red peppers instead of allowing my cheap husband to talk me into using orange because we already had them. Sauce needed some kick, but the sticks were delish!”)

Question 1: Do you know the difference between “appetizers” and “hors d’oeuvres”? 😉 There is a difference!

Hint: some of my “apps” are probably more fitting in a “hors d’oeuvres” category!

Question 2: Have you been to Las Vegas? Where is your favorite place to stay? Anything we MUST do?

Off for a hot date with the treadmill to get this year started right! Also on the schedule today: black eyed peas and kale chips! Maybe even watching Food, Inc. with the in-laws! I’m excited!

Happy New Year!

Share With Your Friends!


  1. January 1, 2010 / 10:52 am

    Yum, these look and sound great! Can’t wait to test out some of the recipes in the cookbook. Thank you so much for organizing this! Happy New Years!

  2. January 1, 2010 / 11:59 am

    Happy New Year to you.. you have nice motto going on here and will visit with you again. Thanks for stopping by Collaborative Curry

  3. January 1, 2010 / 1:01 pm

    Wow, I have no idea about the difference…that is provoking curiosity. Merry New year.

  4. January 1, 2010 / 1:35 pm

    I love appetizers for dinner! And those all look unbelievably delicious! Some of my favorite flavor combos!

  5. January 1, 2010 / 1:38 pm

    I love appetizers as a meal too. YUM!

    As for Vegas, I loved staying at Paris or The Venetian. They can be relatively pricey so look for deals on sites like expedia.com. You won’t regret it!

    I love walking through the Bellagio and watching the fountains. Eating at Serendipity 3 by Caesar’s is great too!

  6. January 1, 2010 / 1:54 pm

    I’ll admit, as good as these recipes look, and as delicious as each of your creations look, they call for too many ingredients for me. I gotta have 5-6 ingredients or less, or I just won’t make it. I leave those recipes for OTHER people to make for ME, haha.

    I’m not sure what the difference between app. and hors. is…let us know! MAybe an app is supposed to be served before a meal, whereas hors. are served separately from the meal, while people are still standing and walking around. Am I close??

  7. January 1, 2010 / 2:05 pm

    What a dedicated blogger you are! Thanks for this great post and the amazing recipes. I have a couple of zuchinis in my fridge just begging to be breaded! I know my daughter will love this one too!

    Happy New Year Nicole!

  8. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce
    January 1, 2010 / 3:49 pm

    i love crostini and caprese, so good! happy new year 🙂

  9. January 1, 2010 / 3:56 pm

    I often order from the appetizer menu because it is a portion I know that I can handle for my waist line.

    You scored big on the Cooking Light ones. I love their recipes.

  10. January 1, 2010 / 4:09 pm

    All the recipes sound amazing! Caprese salad is one of my favorite meals of all times. I could honestly eat it for every meal… 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing the recipes!

    Happy New Year!

  11. January 1, 2010 / 4:25 pm

    Since I lived in Vegas I know tons of things to do. If you are on twitter start following the hotels since you will get special alerts to hot hotel rates. I will also tell you if you book today and the rate is cheaper tomorrow, they will honor the lower rate. Just stay vigilant. My mom always saved that way. Let me know what you are thinking of doing or seeing and I can give you mroe specific ideas. Also Kristin of eatingRD and the swankyRD live in Las Vegas still (and both RDs too!!!). So check out their blogs and you may get some ideas of stuff going on there or things you may want to see. If you are into tapas (speaking of apps) try either Firefly (which is off the strip but not too far) or Cafe BabaReba which is on the strip at fashion show mall. Also check out http://www.spyonvegas.com and if they have an event at a strip or nearby location you may score some free drinks. I have plenty of other tips and ideas, so let me know if you want help planning.

  12. January 1, 2010 / 5:30 pm

    i had no idea there was a difference!! hmm..interesting..those all look so good! happy new year girl!

  13. January 1, 2010 / 6:10 pm

    Yums everything looks delish!

    Happy new year!!!!!!!!

    btw thanks for the email ayer…all the recipes look great

  14. January 1, 2010 / 8:24 pm

    Haha – the answer to both of those questions is “No – I DON’T know!!” – but now I want to know!! So, don’t keep me in suspense girl :)…great app’s…or hor d’oeuvres…much healthier than the chocolate, wine and cupcakes we consumed :(…

  15. January 1, 2010 / 8:38 pm

    That food is making me hungry!! 🙂 Looks like a fun evening.

  16. January 2, 2010 / 12:27 pm

    Cute blog! I’m a huge fan of all app spreads too – everything looks wonderful! Happy New Year!

  17. January 2, 2010 / 12:55 pm

    Crostini with Gorgonzola, Caramelized Onions, and Fig Jam sounds AMAAAAAAZING!

    I’ve been to Vegas but honestly don’t know too much about it. I always have fun but I don’t have favorites of anything.

  18. January 3, 2010 / 7:01 am

    YAY! Thanks again! I can’t wait!!!

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